January 2010 Newsletter

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Welcome to the first SolSeed e-newsletter! These regular emails will update you on what's been going on in the SolSeed Movement, where we stand now, and what our plans are for the future. In the first two issues, I'll summarize our history and plans.

Where we've been

2009 was a tremendously important year for the SolSeed Movement.

SolSeed1 049.JPG
  • After building momentum on our wiki site for four years, in January we held the first official SolSeed in-person “un-conference” gathering, Seed 2009, on Mount Hood. Many of you were there, of course, some coming all the way from the East Coast as well as Denver, Chicago, and Seattle. We discussed what we really mean by “The Destiny of SolSeed Is to Take Root Amongst the Stars,” setting a tone of inquiry and a direction for action for the rest of the year.
  • Over the following months, we started a program of regular conference calls, shifting gradually from general philosophical discussion toward action items like group book reading, trash pick-ups, and planning for our second big in-person event, Sol 2009.
  • Sol 2009 took place on the Oregon coast in June, with the theme question “Who are we?” In addition to more philosophy, watching videos, and having a great time out on the beach (with Bob Sanders' giant papier-mache rocket thrown in for good measure), we started developing a One-Page Plan and concrete strategies for where to go next.
  • After that, we continued the SolSeed book group, started the highly successful Peer Coaching Triads program, and started moving forward on the One-Page Plan's action items. Following the lead of founder Brandon CS Sanders, we decided to focus on the literal interpretation of our epic story about a future where humans seed the galaxy with life.
  • We staffed a table at the OryCon science fiction convention at the end of November, in hopes of attracting more like-minded folks from the Portland area. We developed a really cool display for our table (thanks again to Bob Sanders for crafting the Life Ship), a trifold brochure (thanks to Ben Sibelman), and gave away 30 copies of Octavia Butler's novel Parable of the Sower (see the SolSeed Book Program).
  • Finally, we rounded out the year with a third, much smaller official gathering, the Longest Night Festival Open Space at Brandon and Shelley's home in Portland. With the theme questions of “Who are we becoming? What are we doing next?” we got into exciting discussions of concrete plans for everything from a SolSeed Eco-Village, to Keith Lofstrom's paper-thin server satellites, to local food production like what Mickki Langston is working on in Denver. The event ended on December 21st with a festive Winter Solstice party.

Longest Night Festival circle.jpg

Where we are now

Sitting by the river after Sol 2009.jpg

This is how we're doing on the action items for 2009 from the One-Page Plan:

  • Publish children's book -- Brandon
o Text complete
o Several pages of art by Kevin Fitzpatrick complete
o Kevin continues to work on illustrations as his busy schedule permits
o Next steps: finish the art and then self-publish the book
  • Finish “Pick a Future” video -- Ben
o Rough draft complete
o Next steps: tweak a bit and finish credits
o Longer term goal: get permission to use certain copyrighted material (especially the music), so we can distribute it more freely
o 6 conventions listed
o Next step: sign up for NorWesCon

Stay tuned for the next update: Where We're Going!

Thanks for reading!
Ben Sibelman

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