The Toolbox and United Diversity – Taking part in the Great Turning.
United Diversity is a recently re-formed cooperative based in the UK. It’s the outcome of a great story of blood, sweat, tears, perseverance, enthusiasm, vision and passion.
The cooperative’s prospective members include a performing arts festival called Cloud Cuckoo Land, Permanent Cultures, a Permaculture based teaching collective, Upcycle, offering festival waste recycling solutions and Brake the Cycle which has the catchy strap line “Free wheeling to alternative ways of living through adventure.” For a full list of projects and their websites please go here.
In their own way all these parts of United Diversity are contributing to The Great Turning. This is a story of our time beautifully explained in Chris Johnstone’s book Active Hope.
In the story of the Great Turning,
what’s catching on is commitment to act for the sake of life on Earth
as well as the vision, courage, and solidarity to do so. -
Active Hope, p. 27
It’s a story that fills us all with power, positivity and presence. But story I do not mean a work of fiction, but rather a way of making sense of what is going on in the world around us.
Involving the emergence of new and creative human responses,
it is about the epochal transition from
an industrial society committed to economic growth to a life-sustaining society
committed to the healing and recovery of our world.
We call this story the Great Turning.
- Active Hope, p.5
In Active Hope Chris goes on to explain that there are two other stories unfolding at the same time. One is that of ‘Business as Usual’ and the other is ‘The Great Unravelling’. These stories are also ways of making sense of the world. Their titles give away the central plot. The important thing is that…
…there is no point in arguing about which of these stories is “right.”
All three are happening.
The question is which one we want to put our energy behind.
- Active Hope, p.5
The Toolbox (www.thetoolbox.coop) has been created to spread and share the story of the Great Turning through coaching and workshops. The Toolbox is a peer to peer coaching and workshop experience designed to serve people like yourself. People who are already taking part in the Great Turning in their own way. People who, I think, are brave, inspirational and I would like to work with.
Regular coaching conversations and the occasional workshop offer participants a professional, dynamic a resilient coaching relationship. Coaching helps you find clarity, and motivation, direction, enthusiasm and insight.
Coaching is an immensely powerful tool. It has changed my life profoundly. It has become something of a sacred space for me in which I can open, share, be vulnerable and truthful. A key element through a strong transformational period in my life.
As Deepa Awal explains, coaching creates space for internal shifts, changing perspectives and expanded world views. These conversations can ‘change us in a fundamental way, open up new possibilities, generate insight, shift a long-held emotion, change a belief, and, above all, connect us to something bigger than our individual selves.’ (http://www.newfieldnetwork.com)
There are a few coaching places with The Toolbox this February. Please e-mail me at email@example.com for more information regarding this opportunity and to arrange an initial free conversation.
Greetings to you all. I hope everybody is happy and well. Do you actually receive these e-mails? I’m not just sending them out into the ether…
If possible please respond.
Give me some news, where are you? What are you doing? What would be your dream come true?
Anywho… We’ve done it!! Yippeeeee!!!!! Its been a while coming but the Official 2013 Upcycle Shambala Music Video is here:
Its been an adventure to get this video ready but it was well worth it. We’re really happy with the outcome and would appreciate it if you can spread and share far and wide.
Also huge appreciation goes out to FORMIDABLE VEGETABLE SOUND SYSTEM for letting us use their song.
Sweet. Thats it for now. Enjoy the video and spread it as you can over the t’internet.
Allrighty!? Greetings huge fan base.
We hope you’ve had an excellent summer. What did you get up to? What are the lasting memories? What did you learn and who did you fall in love with?
Here are some highs and lows from Upcycle over the summer of 2013 and a brief look toward to the winter and onto the summer 2014.
The Campsite Clean-Up Carnival that we hosted at Shambala. Bumping into masshy-feeling drug munchers on Monday morning and singing songs with our Ukulele and recycled band to encourage them to pick up their waste!
Sorting through the rubbish at Cock and Bull accompanied by Flo the Goat with her uncanny ability to pinpoint and consume the organic material.
Taking part in the final fine pick at Cloud Cuckoo Land – a highly enjoyable experience recognising the quality of the work we had achieved and the impact we had had on the farm to keep it so spotless.
Getting caught in the rain in Mud-Alley at Cock and Bull festival and having soaking feet while slipping around in the mud carrying hugs sacks of smelly rubbish.
Not having sufficient volunteers at Smugglers Festival so Mira had to work incredibly hard, mostly by herself and one or two others.
Leaving Shambala knowing it’ll be another year until a festival of that quality occurs again.
Winter 2013 (October 2013 – March 2014)
Exciting plans are looming. We are looking to consolidate the progress made over the years with Upcycle. We’ve developed an awesome system of waste management ensuring the highest possible composting, reuse or recycling rates (above 80% by volume at Cloud Cuckoo Land this year) combined with the optimal festival going experience for our volunteers.
This needs to continue. We will be seeking our UK’s most conscientious, small (below 1000) and ecologically minded festivals with the aim of providing them with our services.
Together with MoreBins we want to develop the equipment we’ve used and create signage that is informative and engaging.
We will continue to develop and research into ideas and solutions for ecologically and conscientious festivals and events.
We are currently looking to recruit for the following voluntary positions over the winter:
PR and Funding Champion
If you’re interested then send me an e-mail (chris(at)up-cycle.org.uk) and I can send you over more info. These will be voluntary posts unless you can find funding yourself.
And for the Summer of 2014.
We are already excited about the next Cloud Cuckoo Land – set to form a new precedent for small festival culture world wide. And also the possibility of working at Shambala 2014 is getting us jumping around the bedrooms and bin bags.
We will earn more money to ensure our work can continue while being transparent with all you about how this money is spent.
We will take on more small festivals and encourage this culture to thrive in the harmonious and creative direction we are all hoping for.
We are also looking to recruit for various positions this coming summer. These will involve a ‘Festival Manager’ role who will be the Eco-Ranger in charge on site at each event. We also need volunteers to step up to a ‘Shift Supervisor’ role so that we can ensure the quality of work and experience is not diminished.
Fantastic, that is it for now. Thanks for reading. More news is coming. Please spread the word that we’re looking to recruit if you have a friend who you think will be interested.
Much love to you all,
Chris and all the Team.
Oh Yes! Shambala here we come. We’ve been busy making plans here at Upcycle.
The idea goes something like this –>
We’ll be making recycled instruments over the weekend and walking around the campsite and introducing ourselves to the festival goers.
Then on Monday when all are packing down and going home we’ll be jazzing around the campsite merrily singing this song..
Awesome! We love this and are super excited.
While singing and dancing with our newly created instruments we’ll be helping campers clean up after themselves. Angelic.
The mission is to keep the campsite beautiful and clean.
Lets see how many festival goers are humming this little number on their way home clutching a piece of ‘waste’..
For us the Festival Season is about to get under way. We’ve not started our tour yet but its nearly upon us. Heres to one final shout out to any budding Eco-Rangers out there. We have spaces reaming at these three Festivals:
Cock and Bull Festival — 25th – 29th July
Cloud Cuckoo Land — 31st July – 6th August
Smugglers Festival – 29th August – 2nd September
Working as an Eco-Ranger gives you a unique opportunity to experience UK festival culture at its best. We have an awesome core team, and we’ll be building on last year’s experience. Its a great time to join in, get your hands dirty and work to inspire a truly loving attitude towards our world.
We’re low on applications this year, I’m not sure why, but any help in spreading the message would be much appreciated. Please use facebook (www.facebook.com/upcycle.org.uk), our website (www.up-cycle.org.uk) and twitter (@upcycleuk) as much as you can to spread the word.
Excellent. Thanks for your help in advance and I hope to see many of you over the summer.
YES YEEES! Summer is here and Upcycle is hitting the road.
We’ve been working our little socks off at the ground breaking Building Man event this last May. We’ve focused on transforming a Mountain of Rubbish into a series of tire walls, seating areas, some crazy paving and a stair case. Its been brilliant work and we feel we’re learning a great deal.
Massive Respect to Marcus and Joe for creating such an inspirational experience. The story will be told for many years to come. Please see the website here: www.buildingman.org
In other news we’ve had our Indiegogo Funding Bid out for a few weeks now and the money is coming in… but extremely slowly. We appreciate that money is not easy for anybody at the moment so here is the alternative to sending us your dinero.
Volunteer for us!
Show your Love and Support for Upcycle by becoming an Eco-Ranger. On the 6th June we’re joining forces with ReJuice to put on a food waste banquet in east London and if you and your friends are around we’re looking for volunteers.
So that Saturday 8th June in Hackney Wick at one of London’s most creative dining experiences. Please get in touch with me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Holly (email@example.com) if you’re interested. Here is the facebook invite.
And below is the call our for the summer tour. Please forward this part onto your buddies and spread the word. Places are filling up and teams are taking shape….
Inspire your Summer – Become an Eco-Ranger with Upcycle.
Upcycle are recruiting a crack team of Volunteers for their up and coming festival tour. Known as Eco-Rangers Upcycle volunteers are a powerful, moral and creative force spreading across the UK festival scene.
The aim of Upcycle is to:
to create a small festival culture in the UK that is ecologically harmonious,
where festival goers understand and participate fully in the onsite waste management system,
and where the environment is left more beautiful than before the festival.
As an Eco-Ranger you will be granted Free Entry to your chosen festival, two meals per day and the opportunity to work in an dynamic and creative festival project.
You will be responsible for the setup, stocking and running of a Free Shop, together we will also create and implement a successful recycling policy for our event. You will work three 6 hour shifts over a festival weekend.
Our current festival tour:
Cock and Bull Festival — 25th – 29th July
Cloud Cuckoo Land — 31st July – 6th August
Shambala — 22nd – 26th August
Smugglers Festival – 29th August – 2nd September
At each event we will have a team of between 15 and 20 volunteers. Applications are open but will close at the end of May. Tell your buddies, phone your friends. This is an opportunity not to be missed.
Pleas see here for all the info you need: http://www.up-cycle.org.uk/volunteer_with_us/apply/
Much Love and Respect to you all,
Yours, Chris (firstname.lastname@example.org)
I hope this finds you all super well. Two exciting projects we would like to give the big ones to this week.
Firstly the fantastic Break the Cycle.
Congratulations! 21 fearless travellers recently completed the legendary Land’s End to John O’Groats cycle ride. Camping in snow, swimming in freezing rivers and braving sand storms. What an adventure it was. And as if the 1000 mile bike ride wasn’t enough they’ve also been raising money for Building Man…
and Secondly: Building Man
The cycle ride is a fundraiser for the innovative Building Man project that will be happening at Bodenahm Manor during May. We’re onsite from the 2nd to the 25th May and are looking for volunteers to help create this event.
All the information is on the website.
And please remember our volunteer applications are open for Upcycle’s summer tour. Please see here for more information. We’ll close applications at the end of May so not long left. Places are filling up fast so get yer applications in…
Much Love to you all.
Yes Yes. Us again. Forgot to pu this in the last post but we’ve just launched our funding bid for this summer. Please see our Indigogo bid below and support us if you can.
Big T’ing -
Eco-Ranger applications are open!!
We’re ready to open applications for Eco-Ranger positions this coming summer.
As you’re one the mailing list you get this information exclusively. We will also be promoting via facebook and twitter so ensure you get your applications in as soon as possible.
Currently THE UPCYCLE SUMMER TOUR OF 2013 looks like this…
Building Man Festival 2 – 27th May
Cock and Bull – 25 – 29 July
Cloud Cuckoo Land - 31st July – 6th August
Shambala (unconfirmed) – 22nd – 26th August
Smugglers Festival - 29th August – 2nd September
We’re excited. Very excited. This summer promises to be wonderful. Building on our success from last year we are looking forward to providing a high quality team of Eco-Rangers to all our events.
Please see this section of our website for all the information you need and e-mail email@example.com if you have any questions.
Much Love and Respect,
Chris and Becks x
March – welcome. And over here in Ibiza its officially Spring. We’ve been eating foraged spinach and are going swimming this afternoon. Ah. Life is tough.
Please see the video below. This is the most recent work from Maxi Dugnani, creator of the now famous Upcycle at Shambala film. What do you think? Do we want him back this year for some more video making…?
The summer is looking good good good. We’ll let you know as soon as we do when our tour is finalised and applications are open. Here is a sneak preview:
Cloud Cuckoo Land, Cock and Bull, Buddha Field, Pugshole, Shambala….
If you’r around in London on the 23rd March then please come to this event
Swing Dancing, Food, lots of friendly peole and good good vibes.
A massive shout out for the fantastic OTESHA project. They’re rolling out their summer cycle tours. More information is below – this is a life changing opportunity not to be missed.
SADDLE UP AND CHANGE THE WORLD
We are currently creating teams for an epic adventure, cycling across the UK in summer 2013 – and we want YOU! Inspiring 1000s of young people at schools and festivals with Otesha’s world-changing workshops, you’ll spread the word on how everyone can make the world a greener, fairer place – in particular exploring how our food can be made more planet-friendly and people-friendly.
I would also really recommend a browse of our FAQs before applying…
Our Eco-Ranger-Ranger is doing a fantastic job getting everybody excited about Upcycle before the spring starts. Here is a little piece from Becks herself.
Hey there Upcyclers!
Becks here, your new Eco-Ranger-Ranger (yes that is an official title!). Just wanted to say hi and let you all know how excited I am to be joining the Upcycle team after a brilliant time at parties and festivals last year. I’ll be working with Chris recruiting and organizing all you lovely volunteers and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible so we can concentrate on having masses of fun and getting the Upcycle message out there. It may only be March, but the days are already getting lighter, and the summer of festivals will be upon us before you know it.
We’ll be opening applications and releasing Upcycle tour details soon so watch this space and get involved!
I had a fantastic time with the Upcycle crew at Sunrise last year, the site of the invention of the legendary PonBrella (umbrella/poncho, here stylishly modeled by me inside the Upcycle TetraPackShack), and the Water Bottle Poi. No doubt this summer such paltry offerings will be dwarfed by the towering creative genius you guys have to bring to the table- can’t wait for the applications!
In the meantime, I’m running an event on Saturday the 16th March in Peckham called Balloonatic- the first of a monthly series of balloon, face paint and dress-up funky mayhem. See the facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/events/166317403516400/ . It’d be great to have an Upcycle Free Shop there so if any volunteers are interested in helping out and having some silly fun get in touch… Otherwise, see you in the summer!
p.s. – Read this … http://sacred-economics.com/
Did you ever see Chris Akabusi depressed in February? No! Exactly. You know why, because he has a PMA – Positive Mental Attitude.
Here is some positivity and love intended to get us all a little excited about life in general.
Cloud Cuckoo Land is confirmed for the weekend 2,3,4 August.
and Cock and Bull is on the 26,27,28 July.
Please save the dates!
Applications for Eco-Rangers will be out soon. Very excitingly (great word) we’ve recruited an Eco-Ranger-Ranger – think Chuck Norris / Tinker Bell – Her name is Becks and we’ll give her a proper intro next blog. For now this’ll give you the idea.
No more turning up five minutes late for shifts then hey!?
In other news we have some ideas for projects you might like to support. Firstly our friend Fergus Drennan is launching a brilliant challenge – One year on foraged food only. Mark Boyle has written beautifully about this project:
Fergus Drennan is aiming to live for an entire year solely (100%) on Wild food, which even for someone with his extraordinary foraging experience, is quite the daunting task. Because this is, quite literally, the unexplored territory of our age, Fergus could really do with the help and support of the wider community. Not only will his experiences help lay the psychic groundwork for a new way of being in the world, his findings may help us navigate our path forward with a greater depth of knowledge and understanding. Is it possible? How best can we utilise Wild food all year round? How does it effect him personally and socially? What are the ecological implications? If you can help support this work financially, you can contribute via this crowdfunding page we've set-up for it (feel free to share on social networks etc): http://www.indiegogo.com/one-year-total-wild-food If you want to support it in any other way you can, you can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Two awesome opportunities to build skills and feel good about the future:
Course: Woodwork construction course:
Building an outdoor kitchen at Jamie’s Farm
Dates: 8th to 14th April
Permaculture Design Certificate course in London starting on 2 February. This is the full 72-hour accredited course and will take place over 7 weekends at venues in North and East London.
And a final plug for a book that may well be the most important, life changing book you ever read. Written by Mark Boyle The Moneyless Manifesto is a work of our time. Please please read it…
Greetings from sunny Ibiza. I hope it makes you feel warm and cozy; here is a little update of activities from the Mediterranean.
TeTra – the tiny creative community I am living in – is going from strength to strength. We’ve had our first two official meetings! Called ‘un reunion’ out here in Spanish, I assume as nothing seems to get done.
We’ve started hosting events on Mondays and Tuesdays.
Monday (5pm) is a creative workshop followed by a meeting of the Northern Ibiza Coop. This weeks workshop involves poetic and informative mapping of Ibiza. Hosted by the fantastic Liz – check out her work here. She is INCREDIBLE!
Then on Tuesday starting at 8pm we’ve got Secret Cinema (yes, I’ve completely ripped off the name from the UK but nobody’s heard of Secret Cinema here..). Sano is our resident Maestro Artist, he selects the films from his repertoir and we don’t need to tell anybody what film we’re watching – hence Secret Cinema.
We’re slightly excited, and a little bit proud, with the invite only tickets we’ve created.
As for me personally I’ll be heading back to the UK in the middle of February to get the summer of Upcycle work properly planned. Official applications will be open soon but in the mean time please let me know if you’re interested to volunteer for the Building Man event we’re taking part in during May (2 – 27).
We’re looking for volunteers for both bank holiday weekends.
And lastly… check out this awesome blog on the website www.housekeeping.org.
Sweet. Peace and Love, Chris x