Dear Evolver community,
We have reached a critical juncture in the life of this project, and need your support in order to continue. As many of you know, it has become extremely difficult to find funding for independent media that offers an alternative perspective on the world. In the US and many places abroad, corporations dominate the mainstream media, controlling mass consciousness and turning ideas into meaningless sound bites. We believe it is imperative that real alternatives exist. Through Reality Sandwich, we have created such an alternative, featuring a selection of content seen nowhere else, some of it quite radical. Through Evolver.net, we created a tangible way for our community to find each other and build a movement together.
For the last three years, we have published Reality Sandwich and Evolver.net on a shoestring budget. Advertising revenues have dried up on the web, while most investors seek investments that will bring about a quick high-yield return. Finally, we have reached a point where we can no longer pay our basic costs or minimal salaries for our team and infrastructure. Ironically, this has happened at a time when the value of what we are doing has only become more clear. We are seeing local Evolver groups popping up all over the US and abroad, while the more established ones continue to attract larger audiences to their monthly events.
To overcome our society's current blockages, we believe there needs to be a vibrant alternative media as well as a network of communities who are building a conscious, sustainable culture that includes practical solutions to today's problems. We created the Evolver Social Movement, as well as our web magazine Reality Sandwich and our social network, Evolver.net, to help accomplish this. Now we need your help in order to survive.
Please become a charter member of the Evolver Social Movement and support our ongoing initiatives: Evolver.net, Reality Sandwich, and the Evolver Regionals, with over 30 chapters currently in operation both in the US and abroad. We are asking for contributions of $10 a month, but would appreciate whatever you can afford. With community support, we will work with you to build a new model of interdependent media, and spread the seeds of an alternative culture as wide as we possibly can.
We know that many of you will have questions about what our plan is and how we intend to carry it out. This is explained in some detail on our page for joining the Evolver Social Movement, which is reproduced below. Jonathan Talat Phillips and I will also be fielding your questions on a free conference call open to anyone in the community, next Wednesday night, at 9 pm EST.
If what we are doing with Evolver and Reality Sandwich matters to you and has value for you, please join the Evolver Social Movement and make a small monthly contribution.
We look forward to building this movement with you. (More below)
Reasons to Join the Evolver Social Movement
When you join the Evolver Social Movement, you contribute directly to a transparent organization that combines visionary principles with practical solutions. We spread the seeds of an alternative culture, one devoted to rebalancing the human relationship with the earth and making a world that works for everyone.
Evolver is a mission-driven company that supports the emergence of a new planetary culture based on ecological values, creative collaboration, and conscious evolution. We're now launching the Evolver SocialMovement (E+SM). As a member, you help us publish Reality Sandwich, the leading web magazine for consciousness culture, and develop Evolver.net, the social network that brings our community together. E+SM also coordinates the 30 Regional Evolver groups that meet together each month, with many more coming soon.
With your help, Evolver will grow into a movement capable of influencing debate on important issues of the moment, such as climate change, corporate overreach, the war on drugs, economic disparity, renewable energy, preservation of wilderness, and much more. It's our world to change, and we are reaching out to you now, because without your immediate assistance, this project will not continue.
Please support E+SM by becoming a member. We are asking for contributions of $10 per month. If you can contribute more, please do so; if less, we understand. (After signing up, you can cancel at any time through your RS account
page.) Evolver has reached a turning point. The radical nature of this project makes it difficult to attract traditional forms of investment,grants or sponsorship. We believe we provide a crucial social utility and a much-needed alternative at a time of corporate media dominance.
What we now propose is a new compact with our community, a new model of "interdependent media." Your membership will allow us to continue our operations, give voice to the ideas and issues that you care about, and develop the larger movement able to turn idealist visions into practical solutions. In return, we will listen to your voice and put our memberships' best ideas into immediate action.
Our goal is to sign up 2,000 E+SM members by April 30.Please ensure that Evolver and Reality Sandwich have a vital future by joining now.
What We Do
Through Evolver, people who want to build an alternative culture connect with each other, share their knowledge and resources, and collaborate on projects that are models for change that others may follow. YourE+SM membership supports our current initiatives:
Reality Sandwich: The leading web magazine for transformative culture reaches more than 100,000 readers each month from around the globe. New articles, videos, and news items are published daily, and are available for free. Your membership will cover our basic expenses, allow us to develop new content and features, produce multimedia (including news and interview shows), and promote RS content to the world so consciousness-expanding memes and stories reach an increasingly wide audience.
Evolver.net: Our social network for conscious collaboration enables our international community to express itself, find one another, share news, plan events, and work together on projects. Participation is free. By becoming a paying member, you help Evolver.net add new features that will make the site more user friendly - make it competitive with Facebook, Ning, and other popular social networking sites - and assist in empowering this growing network.
Evolver Regionals: The Evolver Social Movement currently has over 30 regional chapters that produce themed events, called Evolver Spores, every month. The Spores bring communities together, educate people on new perspectives and critical issues, and facilitate the sharing of local resources. Regionals have already organized Evolver-themed festivals, permaculture gardens, community spaces, and other projects. Your contributions will help us develop Spores in new locales, and to fund projects and initiatives undertaken by Regional groups.
Media and Event Production: Evolver publishes books in partnership with Tarcher/Penguin, and produces teleseminars, which we call Evolver Intensives. Last year we produced two remarkable Reality Sandwich retreats in south central Utah at the Boulder Mountain Guest Ranch, and we plan more large events and retreats in the future. Your contributions will help to build these programs so they can reach more people and become healthy revenue streams to support Evolver's ongoing operations. With membership dues we will create scholarships for people who can't afford tickets and plane fare.
Beyond these existing initiatives, member support will be used to develop new projects:
Complementary Currency and Evolver Exchange: Future plans for Evolver.net include building a platform for alternative exchanges, time-shares, and barter arrangements, as well as an Evolver Exchange, for Evolvers to share their goods and services with the community.
Evolver Festivals and Conferences: Evolver will bring together inspirational writers, thought leaders and creative impresarios at live events, festivals and conferences. For those who cannot attend, Evolver will broadcast panels and workshops out to the community, and far beyond.
Partnerships: We will increase collaborations with organizations involved in the protection of the Amazon jungle, the rainforest of Guatemala, and other threatened bioregions, as well as with institutions like the Buckminster Fuller Institute, Burners without Borders, Institute of Noetic Sciences, Dr. Stanislav Grof's Transpersonal Training Institute, MAPS, the Beckley Foundation, and more.
Community Projects: As E+SM grows, a percentage of revenues will be put toward projects that gain the most impassioned support from the Evolver community, which will have the opportunity to vote and comment on what it would like to see manifest.
Peace2012: In Conjunction with EarthDance, Evolver supports Peace2012, an initiative to create a synchronized world peace meditation on December, 21, 2012, the last day of a 5,125-year Mayan Long Count Calendar. Scientific studies have shown that prayer and meditation have measurable effects, increasing resonance and coherence. A globally synchronized peace meditation – whether on December 21, 2012, or at another time – could bring about a new level of coherence for our evolving planetary consciousness.
E+SM members will be invited to participate in monthly calls with Reality Sandwich writers and community leaders where you can ask questions and engage your favorite transformational provocateur in dialogue. You can join periodic conference calls with the Evolver team to discuss what we're doing and what is coming up next. And you will receive discounts to events and Evolver Intensives teleseminars.
Evolver's achievements are largely due to the active participation of hundreds of dedicated volunteers around the globe. The coming together of this community has been Evolver's most inspiring success, and it sets us apart from other media companies or not-for-profit efforts, offering a tremendous opportunity to innovate a new model of " interdependent media."
With the launch of E+SM, we will engage the community we servein a deliberate and thoughtful dialog, keeping it informed, maintaining transparent operations, responding to suggestions and feedback, and collaborating on future projects. Everyone who has ever taken part in Evolver has "invested" in this project and is a stakeholder. As part of an ongoing experiment to create a new kind of socially responsible company, and to provide a model for others to follow, we are committed to increasing community involvement in our operations as we grow in the future.
Beyond monetary contributions, we are also interested in other ways you would like to engage in the movement. We will create a system that will allow people to participate as members by contributing their ideas, skills, energy, and time — giving their gift in the best way possible for them. While E+SM actively seeks paying members to sustain and intensify the range of our activities, both Evolver.net and Reality Sandwich will remain available to everyone free of cost.
We live at a time of accelerating change, increasing threat,and extraordinary opportunity. Currently, mainstream media and social networks tend to keep their viewers and users distracted and detached. Rather than alienate people further,the Evolver Social Movement seeks to reconnect people to their local communities and their native earth, and rebuild the basic trust necessary for society to function. We intend to use the extraordinary capacities of our communications networks to get people away from their computers and back in the world, collaborating to bring about the more beautiful and peaceful world we deserve to attain.
We hope you will be inspired by what is possible here, and contribute generously to the Evolver Social Movement, a conscious community that reflects your values and your ideals.