Hi, my name is Lisa, and I am OSE’s blogging assistant. Marcin recruited me to help with the blog, and my goal is to fill in the gaps to bring to you more of the many developments that are happening at Open Source Ecology.
Ian Midgley, OSE veteran and videographer for the “Christmas Gift to the World” (2011), has been working for the past three years on a documentary featuring Open Source Ecology. The Spark is a film about what drives people to change the world around them in a significant way and about the transformation from being a passive observer to an active participant in the world. Ultimately, it speaks to what all of us can accomplish together. The film follows Ian’s journey across the country, meeting change-makers like Marcin Jakubowski as he transforms OSE from a group of dreamers to a world-class organization and Nat Turner of Our School at Blair Grocery, who is bringing urban farming education to the youth of the hurricane-wracked Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans.
The film’s first trailer, profiling the two very different projects, led to a result Ian wasn’t expecting. “All of a sudden,” Ian recalls, “Nat Turner in New Orleans was interested in machines and Open Source Ecology, and Marcin was, like, ‘Oh that would be great if we could have some of the kids come up here and learn about building machines.'”
So now the next step in the film is to bring these two powerful projects together! On July 13th, 2013, Open Source Ecology and The Spark team are going to complete the first one-day build of the open source LifeTrac tractor. In an epic convergence, OSE veterans and new power players will come together with Nat Turner and his students from Our School at Blair Grocery to make this happen on-site at Factor e Farm. After the build, the tractor will be donated to Our School at Blair Grocery, making it possible for them to realize their vision of expanding urban farming across the empty lots of the Lower Ninth Ward. Ian sees this collaboration as “an example of how sustainability projects all around the country and all around the world can network and share resources to build stronger projects.”
We need your help to make this happen! Please visit The Spark website and make a tax-free contribution to this initiative. Email this post to everyone who may be interested and share it online through social media. It is entirely Ian’s initiative to fund The Spark, including the tractor itself, entirely with support from the community. He needs to raise an additional $13,200 by June 15th. Large or small, every donation helps. If you can contribute $1000 or more, we invite you to join us at Factor e Farm for the build and to be in the film!
In making The Spark, Ian finds that his own role as filmmaker has been transformed: “By being the bridge between Open Source Ecology and Our School at Blair Grocery, I become a participant in the world around me, not just an observer behind the camera…. Making the film has changed the direction of my life, too.” Watching the cross-pollination happening between OSE and Our School at Blair Grocery has Ian envisioning how to further inspire and facilitate collaborative projects.
What will you do? Great endeavors always begin with The Spark that changes each of us and brings us together. Become an active participant and help to make this amazing convergence happen.