Douglas Rushkoff - author of the book Life Inc: How the world became a corporation and how to take it back - is a guest blogger.
I've started doing a rather free-form talk radio show on WFMU-FM and WFMU.ORG called The Media Squat, in which we explore bottom-up, open-source style solutions to some of the problems engendered by a relentlessly top-down, closed source society. We've had some great guests so far, from Richard Metzger and Paul Krassner to Joanna Harcourt-Smith and RU Sirius.
We also focus on "real people doing real things" - from people turning cement tracts in the projects into urban agriculture centers, and unemployed workers developing local currencies.
A month or so ago, a group from Indiana emailed asking if they could meet up with me in New York to get some advice and support for some bottom-up ventures they're initiating - and I figured it would be a great opportunity to take advantage of some of the community we've developed through the show. So they're coming on this Monday evening, May 11, at 7p EST.
I invite you all to tune in and help them figure out exactly how to proceed. Here's what they sent me so far:
The Bloomington Think Tank, aka the 'Culturvators,' are a group of young people in Bloomington, IN who are exploring and enacting hyper-local methods of creating, supporting, and improving permaculture practices, local economic initiatives, and community. They are promoters of and participants in organic agriculture, the art community, and local currency/bartering. They are engaged with local permaculture practitioners, and are earning food through a work-share CSA.
The Culturvators believe in the tribe, or small to medium social group, as the key component in improving their local community, and the world at large, in our present moment of crisis. Culturvation is the process of bridging the gaps of individuation that prevent us from creating and sustaining working relationships with our neighbors. Culturvators are those who break down barriers to form the social groups that produce change. In short, many hands make light work, and the Culturvators get those hands to shake so the work can get done.
Winner of the Media Ecology Association's first Neil Postman award for Career Achievement in Public Intellectual Activity, Douglas Rushkoff is an author, teacher, and documentarian who focuses on the ways people, cultures, and institutions create, share, and influence each other's values. He is technology and media commentator for CNN, and has taught and lectured around the world about media, technology, culture and economics. His new book, Program or Be Programmed: Ten Commands for a Digital Age, a followup to his Frontline documentary, Digital Nation. His last book, an analysis of the corporate spectacle called Life Inc., was also made into a short, award-winning film.