We-topia, Burning Man-style.
I was fortunate enough to be asked by the six founders of Burning Man to join their inaugural non-profit Board a dozen years ago.
And, beyond the mammoth responsibility of moving the for-profit event into a non-profit entity, I was one of the lead Board members who helped acquire and create a management plan for the 3,800-acre Fly Ranch property not far from the parched Black Rock Desert. This is a wetland, while Black Rock is dry land. It is only accessible through tours that are offered.
I’m freshly back from visiting Fly Ranch and getting to know three of the teams who’ve been selected in the Land Art Generator Initiative design challenge. The LAGI Challenge invites artists, designers, and social entrepreneurs to propose and, if they’re one of the ten finalists, prototype their regenerative concept on this land. You can read more about it in this Yahoo News article.
I loved my conversations with two young MIT professors, Zhicheng Xu and Mengqi Moon, who designed the winning project, Lodgers: Serendipity in the Fly Ranch Wilderness. Instead of creating a human-centric design, they focused on migratory birds and other wildlife in terms of whom they were serving. This got me very excited about how we’ll be incorporating regenerative design in our MEA communities. I found it so enriching interacting with these Millennial visionaries. There were five generations represented amongst the fifty of us who were at Fly Ranch. Here’s a video that gives you a sense of the competition and how the utopian vision focused on the value of collaborative design.
And I’ll finish with my personal video of Little House on the Prairie, better known to Burners as Baba Yaga, which is currently at Fly Ranch but has been on the playa at Burning Man before.