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WorldChanging's Future, TED and Ed Burtynsky

We love doing WorldChanging. It's rare to have a project which you feel excited about working on when you wake up in the morning, and we do. We know how lucky that makes us. But WorldChanging is still, in the end, a lot of hard work: researching, interviewing, scanning the web, and (of course) writing. We've realized that if we're going to keep doing all this work, much less try to improve the site and do new and better things with it, we need to find a way to help pay the bills.

Therefore, we're starting a nonprofit organization which is going to be WorldChanging's new home. We're also actively looking for resources and partners to make that organization sustainable.

We've been incredibly lucky to have found a fabulous partner in the TED conference and the Sapling Foundation. Sapling will be WorldChanging's partner, lending us the umbrella of their 501(c)3 status so that we can receive tax-deductible gifts and charitable grants, and generously offering some financial support of their own. Chris Anderson, the visionary behind TED, has our profound thanks for not only making all this possible, but also agreeing to serve on our new board of directors. Thank you, Chris -- you're changing our world.

Ed Burtynsky has just changed our world as well. As part of his winning the TED Prize this year, he made one of his three wishes that the TED community would help WorldChanging grow and prosper. This will be done in part through the creation of a national media campaign promoting WorldChanging through the use of Ed's gorgeous and thought-provoking photographs of landscapes transformed through human activity. Ed is an amazing guy -- a deeply committed and visionary worldchanger -- and we are grateful for his support and incredibly excited to be collaborating with Ed on WorldChanging projects. Welcome aboard, Ed, and thanks for believing in us!

We're in conversation with some other potential partners and supporters, and we'll share more about those relationships as they are confirmed. Let's just say here that things are going better than we could have wished, and that's going to empower us to do all sorts of cool work over the next couple years.

What kinds of cool work?

Well, first and foremost, we're going to keep trying to make WorldChanging into the best blog on the planet, a place where the tools, models, ideas for building a better future -- and the people making them -- get the attention they deserve. We're going to be doing a lot more original content as well: interviews with worldchangers, profiles of cool NGOs, reviews of books and tools, and so on. We're also redesigning the site so it's easier to use and prettier to look at.

We're also hoping to grow this site into an even more global conversation by adding more contributors from parts of the world usually overlooked by mainstream media in the developed world. We particularly hope to have great contributors and correspondents in South America, Africa and Asia. (If you'd like to start writing for us, drop us a line and let us know.)

We're going to be doing more travel as well. We get lots of recommendations about projects which sound amazing, but which haven't yet been reported in English (which makes them difficult to blog). We're putting together a team trip next year -- what we're calling "Around the Future in 80 Days" -- to tell the best of those stories. There might even be a documentary about the trip. We're also going to be going to a bunch of conferences and meetings and blogging the proceedings.

We're developing a relationship with an online community, which will allow us to make this a more interactive conversation, and allow you guys out there reading to better share ideas with one another.

We're exploring the idea of doing a WorldChanging book for release next year. It's too early to talk too much about it, but we've been approached by a major international publisher, and the conversation seems to be going well.

It's incredibly exciting, all this growth and change. We hope you like what we do now, and that you'll be as thrilled as we are about the directions in which we're moving. We'd love your ongoing support and participation. Changing the world is a team sport: we hope you'll continue to regard us as your teammates.

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Comments

I'm a poor college student and there are so many orgs I want to help (Wikipedia, EFF, Sierra Club, NRDC, AI, etc.. almost endless list).

Yours will probably be the first one I donate to. Keep up the good work.


Posted by: Mikhail Capone on 27 Feb 05

I also am a poor student. However Worldchanging is my (virtual) home. To find some other people out there who beleive the future can be a great place - if we're prepared to work for it - is endlessly inspiring and makes each day slightly more purposeful! Thankyou for all the changes you find and for the enthusiasm which you expend upon them. I hope that us readers can help to change the world in such an open and generous way as you do each day. May you always remain as open to the future IN the future as you have been in the past!


Posted by: Daniel Johnston on 27 Feb 05

That's fantastic news! I'm very happy for you all, as I simply love what you're doing here.


Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 27 Feb 05

I'm as well a college student and a big fan. One idea for us poor college students is to try to get our respective institutions to involve Worldchanging in their educational activities. This would not only spread the world, but could probably workup some cash for the site. One idea I’ve been throwing around is to try to get a Worldchanging contributor to come to my school to lecture. My school has a fund set aside for just this sort of thing through our student government. For those students who want to help but don’t have the cash themselves look into ways you might involve your college.


Posted by: Eli Steffen on 27 Feb 05

I approach this news with cautious optimism. Too often we see fine ethical endeavours slowly turned into tools for corporate, government or institutional propaganda, simply because they are the easiest sources of funding. Do we not have enough of that propaganda, FUD and astroturfing already?
i wish the WorldChanging team all the best with these new arrangements and can only hope they follow their hearts and not the purse-strings


Posted by: G. Webber on 27 Feb 05

Fantastic news. WorldChanging is already one of a handful of truly indispensable blogs in my book; I'm so excited to hear it'll be growing & getting even better.


Posted by: Robin on 27 Feb 05

Alex and the whole Worldchanging team - Congrats!

Awesome use of the Ted Prize!

And let me be one of the first to invite you a conference... MeshForum, May 1-4th here in Chicago. All about Networks - of all types. We'd love to have you here as participants in the conversations.

Shannon


Posted by: Shannon Clark on 27 Feb 05

We need translators into languages other than English. Folks at http://www.promedmail.org have done it. We need a forum for translators so work can be shared and tips as to the use of language can be passed along.


Posted by: Lucas Gonzalez on 28 Feb 05

Congratulations. You deserve the recognition. I'll be glad to be one of your supporters. Remember your core mission, and whenever you face a choice, view it in light of that mission. A sustainable future is more than a collection of hardware and techniques - it's a calling. Follow that, and you'll be leaders.


Posted by: David Foley on 28 Feb 05

Congratulations! I look forward to seeing how the site evolves.

Its great to hear that Ed Burtynsky is supporting you as well. His photos are great. I saw his travelling retrospective =manufactured landscapes= in Montreal last year - very powerful.

Keep up the good work!


Posted by: Garry Peterson on 28 Feb 05

Another congratulations from the US upper left hand corner!


Posted by: Nancy White on 28 Feb 05

How about a support us button thru Paypal for your website?


Posted by: Joe Deely on 28 Feb 05

Congratulations worldchanging team! Your blog is part of my daily diet and I'm enriched because of it. I look forward to witnessing how this effort develops and contributing to it in some fashion.


Posted by: paul on 28 Feb 05

Excellent work, folks.

I am someone who you probably would not like very much due to my worldview. However, I respect what you're trying to do, and I admire for the most part the way you try to accomplish it.

Here's hoping you can use this prize to do it some more.


Posted by: j.d. on 28 Feb 05

World Chaging has become my favorite blog. I'm very glad you guys are getting more recognition and even some financial support. Which reminds of a question I've had for a while, which is how you are making a living now, since from the flurry of posts, all of which are length and in-depth, how do you find time to earn a living, and if so what do you do, and how do you get paid? These might seem like personal questions, but I think it's relevant as there are lots of other very passionate people who want to get in on world changing but are stuck working the grind at often times demeaning work in order to pay the bills.

I suppose Jamais, I'm curious how you've been able to afford to pursue all these projects, trips, travel, and tremdous quality blogging. Eager world changers want to know. :)


Posted by: Paul Hughes on 4 Mar 05



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