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Official De-Lurking and Re-Introducing Thread

105314952_1cb57cf49d_delurking.jpgAll right, everyone, let's get to know one another.

Worldchanging readers -- that's you -- are smart, engaged, diverse and dispersed all around the globe. We're generating virtual scenius here around the best ideas and paradigm-shifting innovations out there, and when it comes down to it, our greatest strength lies in our network. Those connections, of course, each begin with an introduction. So please take this as your invitation to let us know who you are, where you're from and what you're doing and thinking about these days.

Photo credit: flickr/vanderlin, Creative Commons license.

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Thanks for asking!

I'm on the team at BikePortland.org, and have had WorldChanging on my feed reader for a few months, keeping an eye out for good transportation and livability/public space stories to include in our weekly news roundup.

Thanks for helping us keep our readers informed about news and ideas beyond strictly bikes.


Posted by: Elly Blue on 16 Jun 09

I live in NW Arkansas. I'm a research associate and commentator at Center for a Stateless Society, and am also working on a book on relocalized manufacturing and the informal and household economies.


Posted by: Kevin Carson on 16 Jun 09

Loving Worldchanging and bright green for a long time... working with group called Volunteers for Change in Berkshires, MA, trying to get clear on how we can best move 'bright green' forth in our county and beyond. Lots to learn.


Posted by: Susan Olshuff on 16 Jun 09

Thank you for the opportunity, as we are all making contributions to the effort. I very much enjoy reading everyone's insight at World Changing.

Scientists have warned that a rise of two degrees Celsius will ruin the planet, and that we must reduce
levels of carbon in the atmosphere within six years. Businesses, governments, and community
organizations hold the combined power to help transition society to a post-fossil fuel way of living.Regardless of the effects of any disaster, the solution is always achieved through community cohesion.

Anyone who has ever tried to build a community organization around a pressing problem will understand the need for Bright Neighbor. It is difficult to build a group that gets work done, monetizes efforts effectively, shares resources, communicates proactively with other groups, and also builds momentum that can be sustained. Bright Neighbor reduces the costs and barriers to building and managing communities where ever it is needed or even required by law.

People want social interaction within a safe context, and community is built on the good works of
activists and volunteers. Billions of dollars are spent each year in the US attempting to reach, organize, and leverage the power of community groups. Bright Neighbor can monetize the efforts of less sophisticated grass roots communities and empower individuals within larger established organizations.

By use of an elegant social networking platform individuals can organize within any community, share
resources more effectively, reduce waste, and build further sub-communities.

Bright Neighbor was developed after I participated in researching and co-authoring a groundbreaking resource-depletion response plan for the City of Portland. After a few frustrating experiences of trying to organize around the triple threat of peak oil, climate change, and economic collapse, I saw an immediate need for Bright Neighbor and built the product that is active and succeeding in Portland with 4,000 users joining in the past six months.

Portland General Electric has licensed the technology to help its 2,500+ employees combat hard times, fight global warming, and create closer connections between employees. Gerding Edlen Development has contracted with Bright Neighbor to create a cohesive, collaborative, and connected community at their leading-edge green buildings and properties. The City of Portland licensed Bright Neighbor as a technology to help neighborhoods throughout the city.

Our immediate focus is helping communities build home-based food and water harvesting systems.



Posted by: Randy White on 16 Jun 09

I'm a sustainability writer working with the CEO of Human Factors International on a book about the coming lifestyle change, and how business must adapt to it - and lead it.


Posted by: Douglas Gorney on 16 Jun 09

I'm a political science student in Victoria, British Columbia, and I've been reading the site for a few months in my feedreader. I love the site and what it stands for, and I really hope I can work in something similar after uni, and/or at least volunteer work to make the community I live in more light green.

God job guys, keep it going!


Posted by: Socraton on 16 Jun 09

I'm a PhD student in planetary geophysics at the University of Colorado in Boulder, and the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena (which is where I actually live), but I intend to get work doing computational modeling of passive buildings when I'm done with "school", and have moved back to Boulder, CO.

I'm an advocate for human powered transportation, and human-scaled cities. I'm interested in how information technology can enable a more sustainable re-organization of society. I'm also interested in economics and finance, and especially what aspects of our current economic system incentivizes unsustainable behavior.

I'm a big fan of Karl Popper, Carl Sagan, Amory Lovins, Edward Abbey, and Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars books. I love bicycles, sand dunes, sailboats, and starry skies. Some life goals: sail around the world; bike the Silk Road; learn to speak Mandarin, Spanish, Arabic, and Russian conversationally; spend one year living as a hunter-gatherer, and one year as a subsistence farmer; start an un-school; design and build or retrofit and then live in a sustainable condo complex in Boulder.

I like to think of myself, and everyone else, as amateur earthlings.

I love Worldchanging. It's one of the only places I know of really trying to think about the future in a constructive (in contrast to critical, or outright destructive) way, but if I had one suggestion, it would be that insofar as it is possible, potential solutions should be vetted for physical plausibility and potential impact before they get posted too enthusiastically. Not doing so lowers the signal to noise ratio, and ends up distracting people with ideas that in the long run can't really play a meaningful role in the social, economic, and technological transformation we need to effect.


Posted by: Zane Selvans on 16 Jun 09

I'm a grad student getting a master's in renewable energy. I'm studying in the Netherlands, but originally from (and preparing to return to) the US. My thesis is on applying some different aspects of decision theory to energy models, but I'm looking to get involved in doing sustainability strategy for small and medium sized municipalities.


Posted by: Michael Payne on 16 Jun 09

I live in Wisconsin and have been a lurker since the hard-cover book was introduced. I'm a naturist, not to be confused with a naturalist, and will be giving a presentation on green technologies during the Naturist Society's Eastern Gathering this year. Naturists have always been environmentally friendly -- we save a ton on laundry, don't require air conditioning, and have a fundamental connection with nature au natural. It's a low-impact lifestyle. The Naturist Society, and many resorts, have been going green since before it was a trend. Keep up the great work, because it's always been an inspiration.


Posted by: Doug on 16 Jun 09

I'm the Director of Green Future Solutions, a Singapore-based business that promotes environmental awareness and action for a green future, through a network of green websites, events, presentations, publications and consultancy.

I'm the Editor for AsiaIsGreen, Green Business Times, Zero Waste Singapore and Low Carbon Singapore,
and also the Curator for TEDxGreen, an independently organized TED event with the theme: Ideas for a Green Future.


Posted by: Eugene Tay on 16 Jun 09

I'm a software engineer; I live in the "Silicon Forest" suburbs of Portland, OR.

I was most active hear early on; as I recall I hopped over here from the Viridian Design project. I contributed a piece to the book.


Posted by: Stefan Jones on 16 Jun 09

Hi, I'm a designer about to go back to grad school in Cincinnati for product design. I've spent some time doing consumer products, furniture, medical goods, and some social design work as well in Brazil with bamboo, and got to work on the Solar Decathlon competition in undergrad. I'd like to push the envelope on what product designers are called to work on, possibly pulling on some of the public roles that architects and planners find, or working with social organizations and non-profits on creative solutions and production to help uplift people. I'm looking to also pick up some project managing and lifecycle assessment experience to help position myself better for the newer roles that product designers need to play in the economy in the future. I'm glad Worldchanging has been here to build this community and provide glimpses into the bright green future and how to attain it before we are dragged there kicking by necessity.


Posted by: Matt Anthony on 16 Jun 09

Facilities siting, risk assessment and utilities consultant involved in Ethiopia’s Gibe III dam and Indian tariff reform to support renewable energy. Found out about World Changing by sharing at table at the Blue Moon pub in Seattle several years ago with Alex Steffan.


Posted by: Anthony Mitchell on 16 Jun 09

I'm a 25-year-old City Council member in Fayetteville, Arkansas elected on an economy and ecology platform. I've been a full-time community organizer for three years, focusing on the links between ecological solutions and ending poverty.

I'm also a technology consultant to nonprofits and institutions who want to lower costs by using online and open-source solutions.


Posted by: Matthew Petty on 16 Jun 09

I'm in Europe, just about to move from Berlin to Paris
Have a couple of projects on the go, although they're going slowly through shortage of time and mental energy. One is scraping and indexing data on corporations registered in tax havens, mainly for the purpose of helping transparency researchers follow the activities and connections of businessmen, politicians, etc. I've done Panama, and am now working on a couple of others.
The second project is building a decent interface to the first edition of the Oxford English Dictionary. The current edition is online, charging ~$200/year for access, but the first edition is out of copyright, sitting on archive.org, and just waiting for somebody to make it accessible without the need to download several GB of scans.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to figure out how to combine a peripatetic lifestyle with getting usefully involved in local politics. Alas, that's a problem I'm nowhere near cracking.


Posted by: Dan O'Huiginn on 17 Jun 09

Hi, I'm Tony Fisk. I'm a defunct physicist turned software engineer living in Melbourne, Australia. I do not currently have swine flu.

Someone (Stefan?) pointed me to this site about four years ago, and I've been lurking and casting the odd comment ever since.

Currently, I'm bumming around, waiting for some enlightened employer to see sense and hire me (you mean...it *doesn't* work that way?...oh!)

Meantime, I'm filling in time attending the festival of ideas at the University of Melbourne.


Posted by: Tony Fisk on 17 Jun 09

Hi, my name is Feileacán.

I live in Norway & study architecture. I've been lurking for a number of years now (the issue of environmentalism is what prompted me to choose architecture in the first place) & very much enjoy the positive (and constructive) view of the current situation.


Posted by: Feileacán on 17 Jun 09

Hi, I live in Italy and I'm working on a system which will allow open source developers to earn money directly from their code (if they want to).


Posted by: David on 17 Jun 09

My name is Andrea McDowell; I work full-time as an environmental officer in Toronto, Canada (mostly doing contaminated sites remediation) and write freelance on environmental subjects on the side. I volunteer with a couple of local environmental groups and my name links to my local green blog, which isn't the most active place at present but it's hard to find time to blog with everything else I have going on. :)

Lately I've been doing a ton of research on environmental psychology, and how to get people connected to non-human nature as a prerequisite for being motivated to save it. It's fun.

I've been reading and enjoying (and occasionally posting to) WorldChanging since well before the hardcover.


Posted by: Andrea on 17 Jun 09

Hi, I'm Ryan Viergutz, a science fiction writer who isn't published at the moment, and finding every aspect of who he thought he was turned over topsy turvy.

I ran across this place after I read through most of Bruce Sterling's essays online, and I'm currently transforming myself into a really mobile person. I'm on the tip of a move, why not see how his ideas work?

Living in a glum rural region at the moment, I also have a fascination with cities after realising more than half of the world lives in them. The job war is a bit glum, but at least I'm in it.


Posted by: Ryan Viergutz on 17 Jun 09

Officially, I'm a grad student at Univ of NE - Lincoln getting a double masters in Architecture and Community Planning. One day I may even be a licensed architect and certified planner. Unofficially, I'm a writer with a paying gig for the opinion section of the student paper (circulation of 18,000) and an nonpaying blog about Buddhism in the Midwest. I'll probably end up designing buildings and doing development work for nonprofits that can't afford me and end up getting paid in organic produce. While writing the 'Great American Novel' on the side, of course. Thank you Worldchanging for keeping me in the loop and incubating so many good ideas!


Posted by: Monica on 17 Jun 09

Hi, I'm Alice. I'm a scientist (just wrapping up a PhD thesis in computational biology) and evangelist (Quaker).


Posted by: Alice Yaxley on 17 Jun 09

Hi, I'm from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the US. I'm a professional software developer. I started avidly following this site after my wife bought me the World Changing book in 2006 for Christmas.

I like using this site to keep my hopes up about the future, and to get ideas for smart ways to improve my home & lifestyles.

- Jake


Posted by: Jake on 17 Jun 09

Kyle Taylor
Victoria, BC (Canada)

23 yr old environmental science graduate, green entrepreneur, increasingly focused on community-scale climate quantification, action, education and communication. Co-owner at Small Feet Inc. and multi-faceted consultant.

I dream about soccer and carbon footprints.

Love the vibrant content and community here @ Worldchanging - keep it up!


Posted by: Kyle on 17 Jun 09

Hi, I'm a solar PV enthusiast in Southern California attempting to start a consulting practice encouraging homeowners and businesses to install solar. Worldchanging has been in my feed for a few months after a friend of mine up in Portland put me on to it.

Keep up the good work!


Posted by: Shawn Roe on 18 Jun 09

I am a painter (art, not houses) and a die-hard composter and I try to teach after school gardening to inner-city kids. It's tough to buck entrenched patterns of intentional wastefulness and ignorant consumption. There is no curriculum that addresses the problem as effectively as simple personal interaction and shared experience. Your blog is informative and helpful, especially when I don't agree with the particular viewpoint. Lots of food for thought.


Posted by: Lady Xoc on 18 Jun 09

Hi, I am a recent graduate working with a friend to start a website called SixLinks.org in Portland, OR. We are trying to pull together the basics of all the major sustainability issues and combine them with step by step guides and a supportive community to educate and encourage change in people's lives.

We believe that people want to know more about what's going on and what they can do. But sometimes they don't know where to look to find information written in a simple, straightforward way. We also try to be honest with people about what needs to happen and what each and every one of us can do to help.

The website has just launched, and we are beginning to reach out and solicit feedback and new users.


Posted by: Jeffrey Gunther on 18 Jun 09

I'm a scientific developer at www.amee.com, the Avoiding Mass Extinctions Engine, the programmable web API of carbon footprint modelling. I blog a little bit at agoodgeek.blogspot.com and tweet as @jamespjh. I'm also involved in www.sicamp.org and www.rewiredstate.org. I'm a scientist and programmer who tries to help use the web to save the world.


Posted by: James Hetherington on 19 Jun 09

Hi, I'm a academic coach in DC who stops by daily to get a hit of what's new in the world from the ecoperspective. Love the news, love the site.


Posted by: Sarah Fraser on 27 Jun 09

I'm David, and direct the project design and finance activities at the Great Lakes Protection Fund. I read this site daily and believe that it attracts a special audience.

I have spent most of the last three decades working with the sharpest minds in government, business and the not-for-profit sectors creating environmental quality: Sometimes as a leader, sometimes as a partner, sometimes as a financier, and sometimes as a advocate, enforcer, or pain-in-the-rear. I have an MBA and an B.Phil in environmental science.

If any of you have a great idea to protect fresh water resources, please visit our site below and let's talk about how to finance it.


Posted by: David Rankin on 7 Jul 09

So great to read what my fellow Worldchangers are up to!

I'm a writer exploring what bright green looks like from the inside. WC has the externals covered but the structures of our internal world -- values, relationships, who we think we are -- must change, as well. This is what we write about at The Sunny Way -- and this is what we push into in our lives every day. How do we become the kind of people the future needs us to be?


Posted by: Megan Dietz on 19 Jul 09

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