The following innovators are some of the coolest, brightest, most outside-the-box thinkers and doers we’ve ever met. We are grateful to have them help in the co-design of Mycelium. But don’t take our word for it, check ’em out for yourself…
“If you want to understand the entrepreneur, study the juvenile delinquent. The delinquent is saying with his actions, “This sucks. I’m going to do my own thing.” -Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia
Even though we won’t open our doors for another 15 months, we’re proud to announce we’ve received our first official applicant, Ibada Wadud. And if Iba is setting any kind of precedent for the caliber of participant that Mycelium will attract, we’re in for a very exciting ride. Iba has worked as a professor in Spain and with leaders of social transformation at Yale University. She is the founder of ETHOS-DISEñO, a creative think tank, design lab and green consultancy. With a focus on human rights, sustainable development and innovation, Iba is using the vehicle of fashion to eliminate the divide between ethics and aesthetics in the fashion industry.
LIFE IS CHANGE. In the eighties we hopped on the bigger is better bandwagon. The nineties held the advent of the dotcoms and of course, the dotcom bubble. We lost the better part of the 2000’s to 9/11 and a war on two fronts. This served as the red herring while back room deals were done in penthouse offices until they were called out and our world tipped like dominoes from Lehman Brothers down to Auntie Mae’s Five and Dime. As the dust settles and the smoke rises, little seedlings sprout up. They are social enterprises. But can they really save us?
Carol Sanford has been a leader of innovative, value-adding businesses for over 30 years. By applying a whole-systems approach, she has been able to help evolve businesses from ones that are “different” to ones that “make a difference”. She is a respected international speaker and business consultant to both Fortune 500 and new-economy businesses. Her clients include: Seventh Generation, DuPont, Clorox, Colgate-Palmolive, Hunt-Wesson, Sharp, Ford Motor Company, and Nike Americas Group among others.
A Time of Firsts
A few months ago, The William T. Morris Foundation voted to support The Mycelium School with a seed grant. It’s not only our first, but also the first time the 60-year-old foundation has supported an organization that is still in the development phase.
These kinds of decision are risky, rewarding and necessary. In our time of transition, we all must make decisions that, at times, go against the safe bet. The safe bet may change scenarios, but the risky bet can change systems.
Ode to the Heretic
The world didn’t end on May 21st, but a new world rapidly unfolds.
Current systems are large freighters. Course change is slow and obtuse. As a result, we live in a bygone structure that doesn’t allow for the human potential to emerge.
As we see in Northern Africa and the Middle East, systems that can’t adapt, fail. Systems that are disconnected from their parts are not fit for survival. If we work against natural laws, there will always be a winner and it will never be us. Our challenge (and opportunity) in these times is to learn how natural systems work and gear in with them. When we can do this, we move beyond a world of win/lose and enter the new model of win/win.
Turning our cities’ windows into vertical vegetable farms.
Do you have a sunny window in your apartment or home? Do you wish you could just stroll over to your vertical salad and herb garden to pluck yourself some lunch? You are in luck!
Britta Riley has developed a groundbreaking new system called The Windowfarm Project. Urbanites are now growing food in their apartment or office windows throughout the year. These elegant, inexpensive, vertical, hydroponic vegetable gardens are made from recycled materials or items available at the local hardware store. The first system yielded a weekly mixed salad throughout the winter in a dimly lit 4’ x 6’ NYC window.
So here we are in Asheville, North Carolina staying at the Kleiwerks Eco-Sweet meeting folks and checking out the lay of the land. It’s an interesting phenomenon how the school has been drawn to the Asheville area for a good year now, yet this is the first time we’ve come to say hello. And you know what? It’s wise to trust intuition. Prospective school partners and strangers alike, continue to be genuine, engaged and supportive. Here’s a taste of the school’s prospective co-creators we’re meeting with this week:
For the first time in the history of the world, we have the ability to breath, to laugh, to cry and to act as one. This school will be a theater for not just the students and teachers to collaborate and create, but for us all. As we share our fears, our wisdom and our insights, we will be able to stand on each other’s shoulders as we look to horizon and work toward the world we wish to see. As our collective story unfolds, we at The Mycelium School look forward to holding a space for us all to share our part.
Moving into the future, massive shifts are taking place below our feet. An underground movement is afoot. Links are made and the web expands. We are connecting and sharing as one living organism. There are legions of humans that recognize this and are gearing in with the great rhythms of nature. And thus, the muse for this school. A lab of the world. A grand and bold experiment aligned with the calling of our times. The Indian poet, Arundhati Roy said, “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way… On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.” The Mycelium School is here to foster the ushering of this new world.