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Two Years of Worldchanging
Alex Steffen, 1 Oct 05

Two years ago today, Jamais and I launched what we thought was going to be a hobby project -- a blog called -- with a post on Jim Moore's essay, The Second Superpower. We followed up with pieces on ideas which would turn out to become themes over the next couple years (like open source, leapfrogging, biomimicry, green building and climate change). At the end of the month, when we checked our server stats and found we'd had 89 visitors, we knew were writing to an audience mainly of our friends.

We think that's still the case. These days, though, we have a lot more friends.

Hundreds of thousands of you read Worldchanging now. You guys have made over 10,000 comments to date -- many as interesting as the posts on which they comment -- and sent us at least that many suggestions, critiques and encouragements via email. Indeed, while the whole editorial team enjoys the hunt for worldchanging tools, models and ideas, it's the amazing extended team that's coalesced around Worldchanging that's the coolest part of this gig. We've said it before, but you guys rock.

I can't speak for everyone else, but being involved with Worldchanging has been the most fun, rewarding work I've ever done, and that's largely a function of how many amazing, dedicated, optimistic, clever, big-hearted people I've met through that involvement. Thank you.

So what does the next year hold in store for us?

As I mentioned at the end of August, we've started a small non-profit to house Worldchanging. We're still learning the ropes, but we're well underway now, with a great little board, a small staff (Jamais, Chanel and myself) and some emerging ideas for how to raise the funds we need to continue.

We are doing a Worldchanging book. Essentially, it's a handbook for building a better future. We're pretty stoked about it: the planned publication date is next Fall, but you'll be hearing a lot more about it over the next couple months, because we'd like to ask y'all to be our partners in creating it. More soon on this front.

We're adding more contributors, trying especially to increase the diversity of the team's expertise and perspective. We're also looking to make our weekend features -- WorldChanging Weekend and Sustainability Sundays -- more dynamic and interesting, so in addition to the team members we've brought on board recently (Mikki, Joel, Jill and Sarah), we're looking for people who can cover other aspects of sustainability (like urban design, or clean energy) and global culture (we'd like to cover more worldchanging books, music and arts). We're also looking for more contributors from the developing world.

We're working on our first awards program. We want to recognize those people and organizations out there who are doing transformative work, or who have at least made bold steps in the right direction. We'll be asking for your help on this as well.

We're still trying to figure out how to facilitate conversation here, both online and off. Our ideas on that front are still emerging, but we'll be sharing them as they mature.

And, more than anything, we'll continue to be out there exploring, looking for signs that another world is, in fact, here. It's an expedition we hope you'll continue to take with us. After all, as we wrote two years ago, changing the world is a team sport.

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Congratulations on your second birthday, Worldchanging.
Your work shows that the internet can be more than just a place for fun or for mediocre and dull information. I think many will agree that Worldchanging gives people from diverse backgrounds a good overview of what we can do to create a smart new world, and that we're not alone in trying.
I for one, start my day with two cigarettes, a coffee and worldchanging.
May you have many more great years, so I can have many more great mornings.

Posted by: Lorenzo on 1 Oct 05

Happy birthday! I am posting this on behalf of dear Ms. Mead, who, I am sure, would have been eager to post her comment to you, if she could.

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. "Margaret Mead

Posted by: Subbarao Seethamsetty on 1 Oct 05

Happy Birthday!

You are right about the next Superpower being able to topple even the mightiest of corporations and nations, they are called "We the Consumers" for it is we that they attempt to oppress or appease. What would they do if just for a day no Human spent a dime? That shot would be geard as a clear and loud shout that Citizens of the World demand a change. So keep up the good work our children's children need it.

Posted by: Henry Schlatman on 1 Oct 05

Happy birthday WorldChanging!

You guys and girls got me interested in so many things and opened my eyes to so many problems and solution... I owe you much. Keep it up, and may your audience increase tenfold in the next year!

Posted by: Michael G. Ricahrd on 1 Oct 05

Well done on reaching two years old. I'm glad to say I've been here for more than half of that and will stay as long as you stay interesting and relevant, positive yet realistic. Which considering the subject matter available, should keep you here for a long time! I wondered, though, how you felt the world had changed in two years? Have they seen significant progress? Is the sea change under way...or is there still a lot more work to do? Thanks anyway! You and bbc news - the only sites I check multiple times every day. I could live without bbc news (just about). A world without worldchanging? that would be poorer indeed!

Posted by: Daniel Johnston on 2 Oct 05

There are many, many sites that lean toward progressive environmental causes. There remains, however, only one site I know of that sustains a tone of inclusion, hope, brilliance, and humanity.

Happy Birthday WorldChanging, may you live to be very old.

Posted by: Danger Stevens on 2 Oct 05

Happy birthday! The book's great news.

Posted by: Gyrus on 2 Oct 05

I knew when I first came to your site you were something mighty interesting. Not nearly as egotistical and pompus as I am and you can actauly write! A rare combo these days. Congrats and heres looking forward to the next 20 years!

Posted by: wintermane on 2 Oct 05

Congratulations! Here's to the next 2!

Posted by: Pete Cashmore on 2 Oct 05

Congratulations for work well done. I hope for a time when the remarkable news here is commonplace. You've done much to be proud of, and I think your best days lie ahead. Thanks for everything, especially for the hope.

Posted by: David Foley on 2 Oct 05

Wow. The last two years have flown by... Y'all still rock.

Posted by: billy on 2 Oct 05

Happy Birthday!

Posted by: sennoma on 2 Oct 05

Happy birthday!

I've only been here a months but wish I had found this place sooner, this is one of the best and most informative places on the web.

So congrats and continue to prosper!

Posted by: ode on 2 Oct 05

Happy Birthday!

and now I'm based back in the UK, if you want a London-based contributor on anything urban design/renewal based, British or artsy, let me know!

Posted by: Hana Loftus on 3 Oct 05

Congratulations! You mentioned facilitating conversation, so here's an excellent article about that:


Posted by: Peter Westlake on 3 Oct 05

Happy Birthday! You all have given me hope -- which is no small thing!

Posted by: adrian cotter on 3 Oct 05

Yeahhh, let's keep the hope, ideas & open-minded spirit going!

Posted by: Passion Flower on 4 Oct 05

Happy b-day WC!

I've been reading you folks for about a year now and have found your views and news very refreshing and inspiring. The optimistic techno-green view is very hard to find in this world saturated with depressing resignation on the left and arrogant oversimplification on the right.

I look forward to your new plans and goals but I must admit some worry that you might, in the process, loose that viridian outlook of the subtle and cagey optimist.

That said, happy birthday and stay sharp! I hope your readership and fans continues to grow. The public could stand the enlightenment!

Posted by: Pace Arkof on 5 Oct 05



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