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5,000! Three Years!

In a nice piece of unplanned synergy, this is our 5,000th post, and tomorrow is our three-year anniversary.

It's quite odd, actually, to think that it's only been three years since we put up our first post (about Jim Moore's essay, The Second Superpower). That seems an age ago.

Looking back, though, it's amazing how well the stories we wrote that first month have anticipated the work we've done in the three years since, with pieces on Corruption and Transparency International, the Thai Bio-Solar House, the Earth Simulator, Organic Photovoltaics, Open Source and the Developing World. the Public Library of Science, Open Source Biology, Car-Free Cities, Creative Commons and Copyleft, Biomimicry, "Soft Paths" for Water, Solar Power in the Developing World, Knowing Nature Through Technology, Reducing Poverty and Greening Mega-Cities, The Ethics of Nanotechnology, Sustainable Business, MySociety, WiFi in the Himalayas and Ecological Economics.

It's also amazing to see how quickly many ideas we once thought fringe have moved so quickly into the mainstream. Sustainability, social change, collaborative innovation and emerging technologies are all popular concerns now. The Worldchanging community has had at least some small part in helping create that change.

That's terrific, and presents us here with both with amazing opportunities and some real challenges.

On the one hand, the upsurge in people working on innovative solutions (while an excellent thing in itself) is going to make it harder to continue to cover the expanding frontier of tools, models and ideas for building a better future. Approaches are shifting; new models emerging, and new and old tools converging: we're all in a process of rapid discovery. In times like these, good horizon-scanning and innovation diffusion become almost as difficult and important as solution creation itself.

On the other hand, we're moving as quickly as we can to create amore powerful infrastructure for finding and sharing good solutions. Our book will be out in a matter of weeks, and available in North America, the UK, Australia and New Zealand immediately, with wider distribution and a French translation to follow shortly after. Our book tour launches in November. We're also getting ready to roll out our newly redesigned look, including some features which'll make it easy to get and track the information you most want. And we're about to announce a couple major new editorial efforts and partnerships. The next three months are going to be phenomenal ones. Stay tuned.

We're in a headlong race here on our planet, as we've long remarked. Difficult social trends are accelerating and ecological damage accumulating: we're moving quickly in the wrong direction. But many more people are paying attention to the world's interlocking serious problems, and working to solve them: we're getting better at changing directions. Whether we will can change direction fast enough is still an open question.

But we plan to do our bit, helping to spread good new thinking as quickly and widely as we can. Hopefully our work is making a difference.

Finally, we'd like to thank you. The group of people who've come together around Worldchanging -- readers, allies, the extended network of sources and occasional collaborators, volunteers, contributors, and supporters -- is the most amazing group of people we've ever known, and a source of constant inspiration and optimism. Thank you.

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Thank you guys so much for all your hard work. I can tell you personally that you have made my life better by simply making good green news easily accessible. Bill O'Reilly has a new book out called Culture Warrior. While I have never agreed with him before, I believe that the media is one of the major fronts in the culture wars. I'm glad to have organizations like WorldChanging on side.

Jeremy Kirouac

Posted by: Jeremy Kirouac on 30 Sep 06

Congratulations to the worldchanging team for sustaining the quality and the scope of topics addressed. As you say ".... good horizon-scanning and innovation diffusion become almost as difficult and important as solution creation itself". This website itself is worldchanging in a self-referential way.

One topic that is never covered (along with religion and politics - yes, leave them out please) is war and violence as a means of conflict resolution. I agree that discussing the details of current conflicts will surely escalate into emotional forays and distract from the core function of

I will risk saying the following though. Given that as far back in history as we can possibly know, there has always been the good fight of the good guys and the good fight of the bad guys. So what may truly be worldchanging is to have the courage to contemplate, and just contemplate, the possibility of eliminating armed conflict altogether from the planet. Utopian indeed, but where else can we even mention such a thought, if not here. I will leave it at that.

Posted by: Subbarao Seethamsetty on 30 Sep 06

Congratulations friends, for a job well done. We have centuries of work ahead of us - 3 years is a good start.

Posted by: David Foley on 30 Sep 06

Congrats on another benchmark for a very worthwhile and awesome site. Here's to the next 5000!
Interested in solutions, not despair.

Posted by: PeakEngineer on 30 Sep 06

Congrats Alex.... I think I made at least 5 of those posts!

Posted by: Cameron Sinclair on 30 Sep 06

Actually, I think you need 4 more posts to make this the 5000th post, since 000005 was the first...

congratulations none the less :o)

Posted by: Ewout on 1 Oct 06

Congratulations + Thanks + How could we have translations to other languages (I'm thinking Spanish) + Please join us in "Pandemic Flu Awareness Week" (click on my nickname to read a one-page press-release).

A flu pandemic needs many of the resources detailed in WC (and then some specific things like simple washable masks and better treatments at home). But, and this is a big "but", it would need everything fast ("just in time") and wide (all the world at the same time - think a thousand Katrinas with no outside help). The time to prepare is now.

Posted by: lugon on 1 Oct 06

The sincerest of thanks to all of the worldchanging contributors. For the past two years I've found daily satisfaction in the education and stimulation you provide. It continues to inform my work and life in ways I could not have expected. Again, thank you and congratulations.

Posted by: Randy J. Hunt on 2 Oct 06

Congrats to the whole WorldChanging team!

Posted by: Michael G. Richard on 2 Oct 06

thank you very much. its a great project and a pleasure to visit your site. honestly!

Posted by: k0ochy on 2 Oct 06

WorldChanging is a top-notch site and a terrific accomplishment. Happy birthday!

Posted by: Gabrielle Taylor on 2 Oct 06

WorldChanging, you are one of the few exemplars of how to make a difference and affect the discourse in a timely and interesting fashion.

I hope you find even greater success in the future in your attempts to do good.

PG and all of us over at The Oil Drum

Posted by: Prof. Goose (The Oil Drum) on 3 Oct 06



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