Samwel, Dante, Jeff - let's start! for MyFoodStory
- I'm happy to report that Greg Wolff and Victor Colunga of UnaMesa Association
have sent out the first payment of $6,000 for our work on My Food Story.
This includes payments for the first three teams that we will feature. I'm
now waiting for the eCheck to clear, and then to transfer the funds to my
checking account, so that will take about ten days total.
Samwel, please consider, how would be the best way to send you money? Is it
possible for you to open a bank account so that I could send you a money
Dante, Jeff, do you have PayPal accounts?
Please know that this is a modest amount of money ($500 plus bonuses) for
part-time work for a period of several months, long enough to get going a
community that has an interest in regularly contributing to our MyFoodStory
website and its list of stories and producers. So it truly should be related
to your personal interests as much as possible.
My plan is to feature:
- Samwel Kongere (soybean, wifi, motivation to sacrifice) in October, 2006 at
a new group
- Dante Gabryell-Monson (cacao, concept mapping, paradigms for inspiration)
in November, 2006 - please confirm! at working-in-parallel
- Jeff Buderer (fish, George Chan's integrated farming and waste management,
sustainability) in December, 2006 at back-to-the-root
Also, Janet Feldman, it would be great if you might work as a team leader to
support Pamela McLean, for example, on chicken - learning from each other -
and multibandwidth interfaces, for example, in January, 2006. There's quite
a bit of time to think about that.
Samwel, what would you like to name your new group? It should be related to
your key concept of "motivation to sacrifice" in English or Kiswahili or
I have thought a lot about our various comments and have organized quite a
few of them at our wiki http://www.myfoodstory.org My main concern is that
we have clear leaders with personal projects that might make for vibrant
communities that continue into the future. Indeed, this is the main
deliverable that I face ("six vibrant communities") but it is also the main
goal that I have as a co-investor (that our independent thinkers grow in
depth and number). Please understand that this is not a typical work-for-pay
but that we are all sharing this opportunity to build our assets that should
have value to us in the future. And our greatest asset is our people. So I
will look to each of you as an investigator that we are featuring, an
investigator whose project we're organizing around. This will keep our
projects interesting because they will be open-ended to a degree, and we will
engage people to help us. Also, your field agents will assist you in your
investigations and may have questions in their own right. A key goal is that
by revealing your interests you will attract and hold together fantastic
So please write about the project that you want to work on. It should
highlight your chosen crop in a way that shows its meaning. Your project
should help you reach out to people who might help you and who would be
interested in the long run. As you write about your project we will
understand what producers and technologists to reach out to. Certainly, your
project can involve several crops, several values, several technologies, as
Janet and others have suggested. But for purposes of focused presentation
and focused investigation it is important to bring to the forefront one crop,
one value, one technology. So I think the best is to make sure that the value
is one that you personally care greatly for. This is how we will be sure to
attract and engage the right people as our helpers.
Please let's realize that we will be engaging people and they are of a very
wide range of consciousness, at least in the online sense. Janet and all, it
is very important to keep separate how things seem to you (a few handfuls who
may be signed up to 10 groups) and how they seem to 90% of our 1000+ lurkers
(who typically are signed up to 1 group) and all the people in between. My
goal, with our help, is to plan out how to engage people who will be
participating at different levels.
Samwel, Dante, Jeff, please think, who might be your field agents? Please
write about the people who you would like to work for you. They should be
people who have:
* demonstrated that they can work online by writing letters to our lab's
* demonstrated they they can write about their personal values - what is
their deepest value that includes all their values? and an investigatory
question that they don't have the answer to, but intend to answer?
* demonstrated that they can "work for free", that they have a project of
their own that they are working on and can share with us.
Samwel Kongere was a great example of such a field agent and that is why he
is now a team leader. Let's find more such examples!
We have many such candidates at Holistic Helping, see the pulldown for
and I invite more of us to speak up and introduce ourselves!
So we will need to work closely with our field agents and help them grow.
Also, we will want to have and build a team of people who will help us build
our resource. We can develop a community currency to help reward them. But
most important is to be responsive to their own projects and to reach out and
invite people who might benefit from working with us.
We will also want to reach out to producers. But often they may participate
less actively, much like "lurkers". So I'm interested in creating an email
driven "social ping" system which, as Thomas Kalka envisages, would contact
them every month or two with a questionnaire by which they might update, for
example, their producer profile or add a story.
We need to think about the data formats that we would like to maintain. That
is the strength of our new system at http://www.myfoodstory.info It is
straightforward to create new questionnaires (new object types) as this is as
easy as creating new wiki pages. This will take some time to think through.
Also, I look forward to working with David Alan Body of http://www.xigi.net
to see how we might most usefully exchange data.
Also, Greg has encouraged us to think about business models for the future.
Steve Bosserman and I have quite a few ideas. One simple one is to contact
Andrea Mills of Italy Innovation Lab, he is interested in funding work on
projects similar to the chocolate project, and we might build a version of
our system for the Piacenza, Italy region just as we are for the Columbus,
Those are some questions on my mind for now.
Greetings from Tel Aviv, Israel,
+370 (699) 30003