Tag Archives: community

An Open Classroom for the World (Could this TEDx talk go viral?)

the agora projects

What if Self-Organizing Learning Environments (SOLE) spell the end of conventional education for the next culture? I was minding my own business two and a half years ago when a friend and supporter of my unorthodox entrepreneurial inclinations arranged for me to meet with another creative actionist and cultural change agent. Of course, we met at Alfalfa’s Market in Boulder, ... Read More »

ZIMMERMAN: Rainbow Gatherings — A Future-Primitive Civil Disobedience

Gathering Meadow Image

After ten days at the National Rainbow Gathering deep in the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache National Forest, my hands bloodied, my feet black with dirt, and my brow weathered, I entered the small Swiss Alps Motel anxious for a shower and a soft bed. In the lobby I find two fellow “Rainbows” looking sullenly down at the floor while an elderly woman, presumably ... Read More »

Modern Hermits – the Paradox of Social Solitude

old man hermit crouched writing underneath a tree

Today hermits are challenging their image, just as they did when they first appeared in the 4th century. Rather than embodying the stereotype of a monk or nun praying in silence and living alone, hermits are becoming a surprisingly connected community. Recently, The Wall Street Journal reported on a village seeking a hermit who also likes people, an apparent paradox. Can ... Read More »

THE ORDER OF THE GOOD DEATH: That Precious Time – Present With the Dead Body

One morning, my partner Kurt looked into our field and saw a black horse that wasn’t there.  The horse looked just like our neighbor Jeremy Frith’s horse, and turned out to be a harbinger of his impending death. A week earlier, Jeremy had been admitted to the emergency department due to concerns about his heart, but after EKG and blood pressure ... Read More »

Be a trendsetter!

The New York Times newsroom black and white

A lot of journalists are writing about the fate of journalism these days, trying their hardest to figure out whither it all goest. One might even be forgiven for suspecting that writing about journalism is what’s keeping journalism alive. How to make money at it is certainly a Big Question in the era of free (and if you’ve got the inside ... Read More »

Rub Some Dirt in It

Where the Wild Things Are Picture

We are all familiar with classics such as Where the Wild Things Are and Home Alone, two tales of children holding their own and embracing any obstacles in their path. While audiences find the main characters’ bold behavior amusing, such challenging situations are not only necessary for children’s development, but are getting harder and harder to come by. It does a kid a ... Read More »

The Power of Story

tag cloud of storytelling

I’m from a family of storytellers. It’s the norm at gatherings for clusters to form, circles of five, sometimes ten, where we tell each other stories about our lives. It seems like conversation, but it’s storytelling. Each story relates to the previous, makes a turn, then someone jumps in to make another connection, another story, another turn. We riff off ... Read More »

Frozen Dead Guy Days

blue skull in beanie for frozen dead guy days

One of the main events during the Frozen Dead Guy Days [FDGD] in Nederland, CO., which takes place annually to coincide with the weekend of daylight saving time, is the Coffin Races. Six people, dressed in costumes, carry a home-made coffin loaded with a seventh teammate around a snowy track. There are rules (see below) and this competition is taken seriously. ... Read More »

The Time Café

clock with money as face instead of numbers

Recently, a new kind of café opened in London. Ziferblat, which means “clock-face” in Russian, is a café where the coffee is free, but the time you spend there isn’t. At 3p a minute (that’s a nickle in the U.S.), the cost seems reasonable. That’d be $3 for an hour, which depending on your choice of frothy milk concoction is ... Read More »

Uncle Charlie

homeless man sleeping on grass

Some people emanate light wherever they are. They instinctively see the inner spark in people and feed it. They uplift and empower, because that’s just what they’re here to do. My friend Charlie is one of these people. As many people are, I was drawn to Charlie’s energy. He has a warm, energetic invitation, which his Brooklyn accent only magnifies. ... Read More »