Urgent Evoke

A crash course in changing the world.

Time for a critique! My Evokation: The Human Powered School

Here's my latest draft of my proposal. Let me know what you think. What sounds great? What's not clear? Is there anything else I should include?

Also, as far as the project's needs, right now the most crucial thing I need is a good, free, open source way to integrate some kind of profile page system into a wiki site. That and some brainstorming on a fun name for this site. (I'd love to use a non-english word or phrase, if possible. Anyone want to translate "beautiful school" or "my body school" into other languages?)

Anyway, here it is!


1. The Place. Where will you make a difference? Describe the institution, community, town or other geographic or virtual space in which you will focus your efforts.

The world! On the web, and in person anywhere there are humans curious about how to take better care of their bodies, and use their bodies to solve problems.

2. The Challenge. What will you aim to change, and for whom? Highlight what is the need that you perceive and who will benefit from this change.

Over half a century ago psychologist Abraham Maslow researched the basic needs for humans to become healthy, successful, and even transcendent beings who feel they are a part of a much larger wh*** and are motivated to contribute great things to the world. Yet a large percentage of humans on the planet still aren't able to regularly get the absolute bottom line needs that Maslow called the Physiological and Safety needs so that they can be healthy at their core, and take good care of their world.

With modern research, and what I like to call Maslow 2.0, we can more easily define those two levels of needs as:

Access to healthy physical inputs
- Wh*** Food
- Clean Water
- Fresh Air
- Warmth
- Light

The freedom to express physical outputs
- Solids (poop, salt, etc.)
- Liquids (pee, sweat, etc.)
- Gases (CO2, etc.)
- Energy (movement, sounds, static charge, etc.)

The change this Evokation is looking for is an increase in every human being's ability to get those basic needs met, both through education about what these needs are, and though practical solutions to getting those needs met in a variety of creative and sustainable ways, by making skillful use of the abundance of energy and creativity of the young people of the world, who generally have more free time, and are nearly always looking for ways to use their personal resources for the benefit of their families, communities, cultures, and even the planet as a wh***.

3. The Idea. Your solution – what is the action, product, service, project, change that you will initiate? Tell us how will your idea will succeed where others have failed.

The intention of this Evokation is to have an open wiki site that functions something like an elementary school for all ages, focused on the basic needs for human living. The school will be a welcoming virtual space, and potentially physical spaces, for young people to be both teachers and students in the art of raising the quality of life for every individual on the planet (and off!). The focus will be on very simple, practical, affordable ways to get more quality things into the human body, and to more effectively use the things that human bodies produce. The website structure will be similar to Wikipedia and Instructables.com (without the ads!), with entries categorized by type of need, and content being formatted as simple instructions, usually with pictures. There will also be a social networking component, with opportunities for people to participate in discussions about solutions, and the opportunity for participants to create their own profile pages (with permission from an adult, for younger kids). The school will be open to all ages to learn and teach, however, the site itself will primarily be aimed at appealing to kids and teenagers, to offer young people those "opportunities to lead and succeed" that 12 year old TED talk presenter, Adora Svitak, calls on us adults to help create:

"The goal is not to turn kids into your kind of adult, but rather better adults than you have been. Which may be a little challenging considering you guy's credentials... But the way progress happens is because new generations and new eras grow and become better than the previous ones. It's the reason we're not in the dark ages anymore. No matter your position or place in life, it is imperative that you create opportunities for children so that we can grow up to blow you away."

And the reason this project will succeed is because it's filling a need that no other school has filled, to offer kids and teens the opportunity to become skilled at taking excellent care of the world, and to blow us older folks away...

4. The Money. What would you do with your first US$1,000 given or invested in support of your vision?

This Evokation is effectively money independent. However, any money donated to the project will indeed be useful in helping secure long-term website hosting, and possibly pay small stipends for those individuals who contribute to the back-end structure of the website, as well as possibly helping teams of young people get the technology tools they need to doc**ent their solutions (digital cameras, for example).

Even more useful will be businesses that have environmentally safe, extra byproducts to donate to local groups of young people, so that the kids and teens can be more effective in learning how to use their local community's extra resources for creative problem solving. Working with the resources you've got is a crucial element of sustainability, so encouraging young problem solvers to use, recycle, and reuse materials that are locally abundant are primary aims of the school.

Ultimately, though, this project is quite literally Human Powered, not money powered, so nearly all of the contributions to the success of the school will come directly from humans! So, really, we don't need much money to succeed, instead, we need your human passion and creativity and love to succeed!

Views: 80

Comment by LucasG on April 17, 2010 at 4:59pm
http://www.appropedia.org is being used as a base for students who learn by doing, and teachers who teach by guiding.

There was even a "human centered wiki" idea suggested over at http://www.globalswadeshi.net Specifically, over at this thread: http://globalswadeshi.ning.com/forum/topics/2097821:Topic:5243 "Human centered needs wiki". The idea being that, take for instance permaculture designs, are made of elements that give and take to create a wh*** system. So a wiki would have pages where each page links to other pages based on "needs" and "gives".

I guess the appropedia, in a sense, would be a byproduct of your school. They take care of the bandwidth, maybe with part of your $1000 ;-), and you take care of actually building the school, with people and what not. Your school helps build the appropedia.

Fits into your plan, maybe?

One suggestion would be to take small steps, but keep specifically in mind that each step should put something good on the table. That way, if you stop contributing, at least that step is done and "out there". I think I learnt that from Andrius Kulikauskas http://www.ms.lt
Comment by Kevin DiVico on April 17, 2010 at 5:15pm
HI Turil,
just some initial suggestions...

Place an abstract or intro at the start of the Evokation stating that “The intention of this Evokation is to have an open wiki site that functions something like an elementary school for all ages, focused on the basic needs for human living.”: do not let the reader wait until section 3 to figure this out. Define the how the site will be sustained- you talk about instrucables without the ad but how will the site then pay its operation costs?

In section 2 you talk about The freedom to express physical outputs – define this are you looking for how to use the outputs of the human body to better the environment – aka the Kamen sterling engine that can run on cow dung. How does limiting these expressions cause a loss of freedom- this is a confusing section.

“Ultimately, though, this project is quite literally Human Powered, not money powered, so nearly all of the contributions to the success of the school will come directly from humans! So, really, we don't need much money to succeed, instead, we need your human passion and creativity and love to succeed!”

I disagree here – you will need money of some sort and you will need more then you think (projects always do) especially to start up.

Hope this helps

Comment by LucasG on April 17, 2010 at 5:15pm
Can you describe a day at that school?
Comment by Jeff Archambeault on April 17, 2010 at 5:24pm
is also working along these lines. "School of Everything is here so you can organise your education however you please." In the US, many cities have "Free Universities" (sometimes free, usually very low cost) sponsored by local community colleges.

Finding out who knows what in our communities and fostering a "trade of trades", learning exchanges, apprenticeships, and internships may be part of such a future web site.

Thanks for the great blog entry!
Comment by LucasG on April 17, 2010 at 5:31pm
Dougald at twitter http://www.twitter.com/dougald has School of Everything.

There's also http://www.twitter.com/uopeople University of the People. But that's more official.

Finally, there's the idea by Vinay Gupta of $60M to create TV content - but that's not what you want, I think. So happily discard!
Comment by Jeff Archambeault on April 17, 2010 at 6:13pm
interesting that the http://schoolofeverything.com/ link was lost at the very beginning of my comment
Comment by Turil Cronburg on April 17, 2010 at 6:24pm
Thanks for the comments so far, folks!

Kevin, what other things than what I've listed do you imagine money would be useful for? Also, I imagine you can guess what would happen to someone who isn't free to express their physical stuff (peeing, pooping, exhaling...) and that indeed finding ways to use those natural byproducts of the human body is a great goal, as it makes use of the most abundant local resources available to humans! :-) And finally, I'm using the official Evoke format for submissions, which does indeed make the audience "wait until section 3" to find out what the proposal is. If they change the format, I'll change my submission to reflect whatever order they want it in.

And Lucas, I imagine that the Appropedia might be a type of sister project, as it seems to be aimed at older folks, not kids. I'd love to have a links page on the Human Powered School site where people could explore other awesome sites and groups. And as for a day at the school, I imagine it would be similar to a day participating in Wikipedia and/or Instructables, but with even more simple, practical solutions that even young people can do relatively easily.

And Jeff, yes indeed, I hope that this project is a connection tool for even more learning and exploring and problem solving on other sites and in person.
Comment by ritaryan on April 17, 2010 at 6:25pm
if you can say sweat you can say excreta, dung, whatever...and pee is just urine...poop and pee dont go with the level of the rest of a great post...

congratulations on a thoughtful job...well done
Comment by Turil Cronburg on April 17, 2010 at 6:39pm
Heh, Ritaryan, it's pretty funny when adults get uncomfortable with normal, healthy ideas like peeing and pooping. Hopefully this school will help eliminate (no pun intended!) those silly discomforts and let everyone feel comfortable with the ideas, and the words.
Comment by LucasG on April 17, 2010 at 6:57pm
Kids can, and maybe even should, have their own projects in appropedia. Or anywhere.

You can use pbwiki.com if it's still free for education. Just make sure you have backups, just in case.

Appropedia is a wide space with room for http://www.appropedia.org/Appropedia:Learning_institutions_on_Appro...


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