Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thinking outside the box

crossposted from

I like to approach projects from an "outside the box" (boy, thats an overused term) point of view. When I mentioned the "Seeding the City" to a friend who works with green roofs, he questioned the value of planting such a small plot of greenery - how is that going to have any real affect on the Urban Heat Island Effect?

May answer, "Each individual module may have a negligible affect, but what would hundreds of modules spread across the city do to both our environment, our awareness and our social fabric?"

When you consider the potential of the project, creating potentially enough greenery on rooftops to recreate a Central Park in the sky? Now it gets interesting.

I have also been considering how to raise money for the project outside of the "normal" channels (i.e. grants). A couple of things have come up recently which I am investigating:

  • is a tipping point model for fundraising and social action. Get enough people to commit to something, and then it can happen. I posted the project on there with enough funds to launch the project, its a pretty high price, so we will see how close I get, but it does allow many people to be involved at a small level - it is a further exploration of microfinancing.

  • Another idea is to exchange money for experience or special commodities from the project, this is based on the model of The funding is given up front and then the funders are invited to participate in interesting ways throughout the project.

  • Finally, my own thought of allowing people to "sponsor" grm's throughout the city. Pay $50 and you would sponsor a grm in your choice of one of the neighborhoods. This wouldn't be on your own roof, but would include your sponsorship information on the signage and website.

So, does anyone have any thoughts on any of this? Are there ways you would want to participate financially? Would you give a small amount for nothing in return or prefer a larger amount and a unique experience or commodity (if so what would that experience or commodity be?) or would you prefer to know that your funds are directed at a specific piece of action?

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