Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Great Transitions...and "Happy Winter Solstice!



After the last post the universe decided that we needed a bit of a change of environment and we embarked upon our own 'Great Transition' of sorts.  You never can tell what the meaning of something may be in terms of sudden ultra aligned opportunities and I have always believed it is best to act first and then ask questions later when faced with advantageous opportunities so we made the leap and landed well on new land just 18 miles and 400ft elevation drop from where we previously called home - WE MOVED!  


Lady D and Fawn
Justin, Leah, & Lil' Sheeba
The deal breaker was the fruit and nut trees well established and an awesome barn for our horses.  Don't get me wrong, we loved the old historic/rustic barn that we rebuilt when we moved into the old place but we only had 1 horse when we arrived and our herd has grown to 5 now. 

So that is how we spent our Fall - moving.  We launched the 'A New We 2012' campaign and Global EcoVillage & Sustainable Community Network successfully on 11.11.11. but then had to immerse ourselves in the monumental task of uprooting 3 years worth of land (trees, herbs, flowers etc - yes we took everything...even the rocks) and preparing our *Ka-tet for the transition...

Thus the lack of presence online and also now the huge backlog of work we have to do to play catch up on within our ever expanding and evolving web matrix.  

Those who know us well are always asking us how we manage to handle our work load and we always tell them that having long term strategies and a sustainable agenda makes it possible because even when we hit the pillow after what can feel like a decade of work crammed into a 24 hour period of time we have a deep sense of well being that comes from having unwavering intent.  

Tonight is Winter Solstice eve and the wireless is up and running on all of our computers now so we will send out the Happy Solstice broadcasts and tomorrow light a fire to renew our spirits and perhaps get a glimpse into the coming epic year of 2012...
May you all have a bright and happy solstice day and may your holiday celebrations be blessed.  

In Sustainable Solidarity


*Ka-Tet: Literally speaking, ka-tet means "one made from many." Ka refers to destiny; tet refers to a group of people with the same interests or goals. Ka-tet is the place where man's lives are joined by fate.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Fall in Fall

Fall Fawn
Nothing like falling in the fall time...Occupy Wall Street is shaking the leaves on the big money tree and today 'All Roads Lead to Rome' was the adage leaf that these winds of change are blowing about...there was even a demonstration in our small rural community here in Nevada County! 

The SeThInk team has had its fair share of tree shaking since our last "Interdependence Day' post in July.  It seems everyone is needing to evaluate their priorities and make choices that will hopefully further their basic life intentions (whatever they may be).  

In early spring when the weather here in the Sierra's was still acting like winter we embarked upon our first on-the-ground strategies to build alliances and check out the local systems and structures built up around our own 'local' green and sustainable living circles.  The impetus for such a plan came from Transition California's successful sponsorship of the Bay Localize 'Roots of Resilience'5 Year Anniversary Gala.  

In May SeThInk Media sponsored our local 'Green Life EcoFest' which ended up being highly educational...uh humm....but there were a couple of outcomes from the event that at the time felt promising and made our energy and monetary investment seem worthwhile.  During the event we connected with the local indigenous Maidu tribe folks and proceeded to attempt to form a solid alliance and seek official endorsement of the Low Impact Sustainable Development agenda that we have been working on since the Lammas EcoVillage in Wales received planning approval..  

Maybe we are of a now extinct or not yet born mindset, but our team held an idea in our perhaps delusional minds that when alliances are formed there is an expected 'giving' of some kind that demonstrates worthiness and value to the pact.  Maybe we watched to many movies full of noble concepts or perhaps my generation simply missed a few human behavior memos.  Regardless I should simply fast forward and spare everyone the gory details of human dysfunction and folly but it turns out the Tsi Akim Maidu are not even the real indigenous tribe from this area - the Nisenan tribe is and we got a gullet full of...uh...politics(?) that we are still choking a bit on and trying to figure out.

By the end of September our team sat looking at substantial losses of time, energy, and resources in our pursuit of local sanity in the form of systems and structures that we had hoped would be a 3D basis for further support from our little digital matrix.  We also had a major family crises with an elder uncle.

We are now re-loading back into cyber-space and probably won't touch ground again until some omen or auspicious sign from on high demands we come out again to check the weather.  We are happy to be back in our office and realize that perhaps our little role in this transition needs to be primarily focused in our immediate sphere and our cyber-spheres.  Our attempt to expand our 'family' beyond that turned into a 13 ring circus.  Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses and this summer taught us a great deal about both so onward and upward.  

Where everything currently stands:

We severed our alliances with the following organizations and movements:

  • Earth Charter U.S.
  • 4 Years Go
  • Earth Scouts (the network is now community owned/managed and goes by the new name of Planet Earth Scouts - long story)

We determined that the following local orgs/groups are unable or unwilling at this time to understand what a 'strategic alliance' is therefore we will no longer be supporting or working with them until a change in leadership or comprehension occurs:

  • Alliance for the Post Petroleum Local Economy (A.P.P.L.E.) 
  • Nevada County Maidu
  • Various community 'leaders' whom we won't name

We will be focusing our energy on the following projects:

A partnership between SeThInk Media and L.O.V.E. Productions to launch the Global EcoVillages Sustainable Community Network and publish media related to sustainable living.

Continuing the effort to import and adapt the criteria and protocols established by the Lammas EcoVillage in Wales into the U.S.  

Complete update of this project and evolving resources for community members.

Launching the storytelling online education platform.

Working with members to launch a statewide campaign to get mandatory labeling of GMO's on the 2012 ballot, getting caught up on community network admin work, completing content upgrades, connecting with groups and having meetings that have been put off all summer.  Transition California is our favorite online community effort - we look forward to being able to plug back in and keep things evolving.

We have committed to helping this new network get a solid foundation built so we will be devoting time/energy towards that effort.


Along side these we will be doing general website updates across all our platforms.  
We are the Ninjas of Wild West Web!
SeThInk Media Team
In Sustainable Solidarity
PrezDar

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Interdependent Strategic Alliances & Partners

As the world continues to go through its multi-layers of transition during this time we live in our speck of the cosmos is actually riding the waves of change with relative grace and sometimes seemingly effortless synchronization with those around us who are seeking the same level of shift we have committed ourselves to. 

On July 3rd we celebrated our first 'local' 3D on the ground "Interdependence Day" event in partnership and alliance with the local Maidu family/friends.  The event was intended to be the launch pad for the "Inter-Tribal EcoVillage Council" and a fundraiser for the upcoming Indigenous Peoples Day annual event.

Our team is going into the next level of our long term strategies around the sustainability agenda and we have launched the official 'EcoVilage-Low Impact Sustainable Development' blog that will be an ongoing record of our efforts to import the criteria and protocols established in the UK here into the U.S.  

We put up an overview presentation of the story of Lammas EcoVillage in our SeThInk Media tent at the event and shared with attendees information about the goals and objectives of the council and agency.  

The excitement and enthusiasm that folks express towards this model getting accepted here in the U.S. always transforms into the fuel and energy we will need to translate and adapt the structure/language found in the established UK criteria into formats that will easily apply to our own local county in the State of California. 

The "Inter-Tribal EcoVillage Council' is being established parallel to the agency to represent indigenous stakeholders and interests in the adoption of the L.I.S.D. model on native lands that will manifest as education centers throughout the country.

The high level of interest from Native peoples and the establishment of the 'interdependent' Inter-Tribal council is a very encouraging sign that the time is perfect to begin the delicate weaving of a sustainable community model that will bridge the gap between many different worlds and their various challenges. 

The council leaders are coming together and the Buffalo Field Campaign and many other indigenous concerns will seamlessly be integrated into the Inter-Tribal EcoVillage Council agenda. 

At the Interdependence Day event stories, music, and information was shared by prominent members of the tribal families both local and from the East Coast Tribe's and seeds were planted for solid alliances as we move forward into this stage of our efforts.  

For more information please check out the agency blog and the Inter-Tribal blog here and sign up to receive updates.  
 








Wednesday, June 8, 2011

SeThInk Media & the GreenLife EcoFest

SeThInk Media's sustainability matrix had the opportunity to land on the ground for the GreenLife EcoFest 2011 first year debut here in Nevada County!  

Rachel Kaplan's new book
"Urban Homesteading"
displayed a the SeThInk Media
Community Pavilion
How it all started was with Transition California member and author of the new book 'Urban Homesteading", Rachel Kaplan, having to cancel as a speaker at the event and us telling her we would be happy to promote her book for her that seems this event was in our home town stomping grounds.  
We contacted the event director, Lori Lachman who manages the Local Green Sierra site, and made the initial inquiries.  Well one small thing always leads to another when you are committed to both the local and global efforts we decided to sponsor and volunteer the skills/talents of the SeThInk Media team towards this awesome community effort. 


Now the challenge of downloading our online media into 3D.  We put out a post to the Transition California members announcing the event and inviting anyone interested in coming to have a "Transition Meet Up"...so we need a space...a big one.  And Michael Lefler from Life's Best Inn Tents had the 40ft beautiful hexagonal tent that would serve the purpose!  

Having done event organizing in the past we jumped in as 5th wheels helping Lori and her volunteer committee round up sound systems, volunteers, food, and of course helping with the events website updates. Some of our efforts succeeded while others fell short due to the fact that we came on board in the last weeks countdown and any of you who have done events knows what a crazy time that is!  This event was being organized by a committee with zero event experience and zero budget so it was a
real community effort (All Hands on Deck) that we were happy to be a part of.  

A week before the event we realized that we had not even had time to prepare our own table content and media so we ourselves were caught in a whirlwind of activity creating and ordering print media for Seeds of Sustainability, Transition California, Jayatu, Earth Charter US, Interdependent Project, A New We, and the EcoVillage Network's Low Impact Sustainable Development agenda.  


I was also asked to be a speaker at the event to share the SOS (Seeds of Sustainability) info and we made arraignments for our partner Jayatu to attend the event to do storytelling that we could film for the launch of the Jayatu Storytelling Community. 
We were doing an event within an event and it was good that our team was swept up in the excited energy or we may have freaked out realizing the enormity of the task in front of us. Peak Moment TV sent us some of their media as well to have in the ever growing 'Community Conversation Cafe' (just one of the names we called our space) and speakers like Micheal Ruppert and Dimitri Orlov had their books available and did book signings after their presentations.

We had forgotten the world of paper in many ways, we were used to being able to quickly and easily present information in digital online formats.  Suddenly we were ordering hardcopies of our own DVD's, CD's, and printing mini ebooks, power point presentations, photos, and even ordering buttons/bumper stickers for the occasion.  

Another factor was the weather - it had been raining quite a bit and everyone was doing their own style sun dances and prayers for sunshine.  It worked...3 days of sun (well partly cloudy) opened the gates when it was showtime.  

The stage was set and ready to go...but it was not until Sunday that the show really arrived in the SeThInk pavillion...like a stampede of Buffalo hearing the gathering drum in walked native musicians Good Shield and Mignon offering to play their deep messages and sound that can be only described as the heartbeat of every Earth Native that walks today.  
We are now in the process of forging alliances with the local Maidu and other native groups to forward the Low Impact Sustainable Development Agenda.  We committed to sponsor and help organize the Native Village at the upcoming California Worldfest (also here in Nevada County) where we will be able to seek endorsements for the initiative.  We will be launching Good Shield's website and publishing his CD's right before the World Fest in July. 


We also test drove the 'Local Endorsement' media for the Earth Charter and had information about the Earth Scouts set up in the children's tent that was hosted by the Placer Nature Center.  There was a great deal of information overload happening and unfortunately I was not able to catch as much time and space I would have liked to spent with some very awesome folks who attended.  We did manage to catch a fat stack of business cards and phone numbers though that over the coming months will be followed up with emails and phone calls.  

Our team was stoked to have been able to participate and contribute and we look forward to seeing what direction the path unfolds as we put on our land legs and dive into the 'Local" activity of our obviously transitioning community!

In Sustainable Solidarity
PrezDar













 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Earth Day Report

Happy Earth Day Spherical SeThInk Friends and Family

My last blog post was at the beginning of the year when we set our intention on 2011 being the year of building sustainable models, structures, and systems...just goes to show how setting an intent can definitely lead to the 'chop wood, carry water' on the ground 'doings' and 'actions'.  

Our team has never been so absolutely tasked and tacked to the calendar we were laughing about how nice it would be if in reality 2012 was the end of the calendar and time so we could at least enjoy a day sleeping in or at least a vacation from the computers around here!

I am not complaining, would not dream of doing such a thing on such a special day.  I am spinning this blog report to recapitulate our activities and endeavors since the beginning of the year so let's begin with the biggest project first:  The Earth Charter U.S.


Background: 
Some of you may remember that in 2010 to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Earth Charter my awesome and hopelessly philanthropic/idealistic CEO wife, 'Dar of Dandarius' was granted my, her hopelessly practical humanistic/cautious Prez husband, permission to create and gift (with SeThInk $ponsorship) the Earth Charter U.S. a new network for their Earth Scouts program (which at the time was a network of super dedicated folks all over the US hanging-in-there on multiple seriously outdated Yahoo groups).

The Earth Charter is one of the Interdependent Project's 'Fellowship' organizations but we had never formalized any kind of partnership with Earth Charter U.S. and had only had contact with the founder Jan Roberts and then Earth Scouts coordinator Genie Skypek through an interview for the Interdependent Project Radio. 

So the Earth Scouts Network was created and gifted to a very surprised and appreciative founder and board of directors January 2010.  By fall 2010 dialogue and conversations with ECUS board members about their website issues (no one to man the helm without it costing them way more than their budget would allow) and we proposed to them an 'interdependent partnership' customized for their needs and the needs of our long term 2020 goals and strategies to weave a new model of online collaboration and networking amongst all the far flung and disconnected organizations whose missions were driven by sustainability themes.

The planning and work began in November but did not become official until the first of the year.  The plan was to rebuild their current website and build a community network capable of bringing together all the Earth Charter supporters, activists, and endorsers so that they could share and showcase their Earth Charter related activities.  Also included in this was to position Earth Charter U.S. to be the first organization to participate and test drive the 10% for the Planet system that our team has been in the think tank about for quite a few years.  By March we began the data base migration and launched the new website/network.  Their main list of supporters were asked to 're-commit' and we were very impressed with the quality of individuals who emerged to become the core community of the network.  On this Earth Day we began to cross-pollinate the networks and send out broadcasts about the Earth Charter to lists of people in our matrix to begin the next stage of the Earth Charter U.S. evolution.

Alongside this we entered into another 'interdependent partnership' with an Austrian film maker named Stefan Wolf who produced a film called 'A New We - EcoVillages and Ecological Communities in Europe'.  This film was available in hard copy DVD but not as a digital download so after a great deal of dialogue with Stefan we set about the task of publishing the digital download English version for release on Earth Day.  A % of SeThInk's share of the proceeds will be donated to the Green Fire Foundation and earmarked to fund a committee that is emerging from the Transition California community's EcoVillage Network to specifically take on the task of importing into the US the criteria and protocals that granted the Lammas EcoVillage in Wales precedent setting planning permission through the local government.

And SeThInk enjoyed being able to sponsor its first 'event' through the Transition California Community Network this year.  Bay Localize had a 'Roots of Resilience' 5 year anniversary gala on April 2nd and we were delighted to be able to contribute as a sponsor and gift members of the Transition California Community free tickets to the event as part of our sponsorship.  Although we were unable to attend the event the main organizer sent us copies of the evenings program and we were stoked to see the full page 'Titans of Transition' banner that promoted the Transition California Community Network at the event.  We are still waiting for photos from the folks who attended on our behalf and will post them when available.  

The Seeds of Sustainability DVD is on que for a complete revision this coming summer and the new release will include recipes and a great deal more information about the 'living oil'.  Every person who has purchased the DVD will receive a free digital download of the revised edition.  The online community network is evolving at a steady pace and we are confident that the new edition is going to please those members a great deal. 

There is a great deal more that could be reported but I just realized how long this report is getting and so I will save the rest for later.  I am going to sign off and enjoy the rest of the midnight hour doing something that I rarely have time to do....read from a good book!

In Sustainable Solidarity