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Allen GunnEdit

Notes from meeting with Allen Gunn, Executive Director, Aspiration, 2007-03-29 11AM, Aspiration offices, San Francisco CA

Frame itEdit

  • First thing: Frame it, set expectations
  • Not a panel, antiquated, form of control
  • Best events in the context of social change are those that flatten the roles
  • Emphasize peer sharing ethic, rather than an expertise culture
  • Everyone has expertise and knowledge that is valuable to share, and in the act of sharing, one gains capacity. Articulating what you know is the best way to learn – it’s in formulating speech that you synthesize and understand.


  • Festival of change
  • Your idea of making it party-like is brilliant. A huge party is a great idea, but what are the goals for that party?
    • Is it going to get drunk?
    • Strengthen ties between stakeholders who are passionate about working for positive social change?
    • It’s a celebration of life and potential for change
    • Punchline is your helping people to find an opportunity to plug in and be a part of that change
    • You’re helping people find skills and insight to give them the ability to work for the change they want to see and to be
    • You’re tapping into the artistic and musical creativity and joy that creates a mood that inspires understanding of what a more just and healthier world would feel like

Message to all participantsEdit

  • Come with an idea of what you might share as well as what you might gain
  • Not to hangout with your friends but to hang out with the friends that you have not yet met
  • Come with the hope that change is possible, and the knowledge that you’ll have an affirmation of that at the end of the day

How do you get thereEdit

Second-level goals Set it up so:

  • People share skills?
  • Discover allies around issues?
  • Have fun and feel closer?

The goals imply the event structure, facilitative model, venue


  • Hardest piece is finding the venue
    • Check out the Cupertino place – crowded – work with City of Cupertino
    • Find a private property? Plusses and minuses to private & public
    • A big flat open area, preferably with some trees
  • If outdoors, means smaller group sizes, outdoor discussions are not audible, and sound amplification is noise pollution
  • What is the geography, topology of your outdoor layout. E.g. Burning Man – chill out tent, skillshare bazaar, thematic areas, not controlled by orgs or individuals, but instead are collectively facilitated and populated. That’s when the cool stuff happens. Avoid anything pitch- or soapbox-like
    • Micro venues – vignettes – no booths
    • Music area, performance, jamming. Multicultural, music that gets people dancing, celebrating: salsa bands, African drums, music of empowerment
    • Skills area
    • Question area - how does that work?
    • Games area
    • Art area
    • Circes that form a large circle around a center space
  • Pick a headcount – my votes is not too big, 2-300
    • That drives venue selection and infrastructure
    • Less is more – getting lost in the noise risk of bigger event
    • Smaller – a series – start with a small one
    • A buzzkill to wait in line for 15 minutes to take a leak


  • Figure it out – find out how people bring food
  • Get food providers, x% of proceeds
  • Let participants bring their own food – a picnic; focus on beverages
  • Try to find ways to offload logistics to participants
  • No plastic bags, paper plates, everything compostable. Talk to Green Mary to have a zero waste event;

Next stepsEdit

  • Find someone who does this
    • e.g. outdoor music promoters – see who they are that would be willing to sit with you and give advice
    • you’re inspired by what they do, want to learn from what they know
    • not planning to make any money off of this, not competing with their events
    • Outreach – how to publicize – who will give free radio time, newspaper coverage, tv time
  • Logistics team –1 logistics person per 20 participants (you should not have any "day of" duties)

Darian Rodriguez HeymanEdit

Notes from meeting with Darian Rodriguez Heyman, Executive Director, Craigslist Foundation, 2007-03-29 230PM, CLF Offices, San Francisco CA

Keep it as simple as possibleEdit

  • Free
  • Bring your own food & drinks (with some extra to share)

Focus on production, promotion, and programmingEdit


Space, restrooms. sound system, power generation etc


  • Get promotional partners to spread the word, in addition to Craigslist Foundation, Idealist, Aspiration
  • We ask them to make a good faith effort to promote, we give them the materials, in exchange we list them as a promotional partner on our website


  • Fun games
  • Educational content
  • Make a schedule, bounce it off Darian, Liza, Ami, Gunner – e.g. 11AM – Introduction icebrakers, 1PM – Gunner speaks on Open Source for a Better World, 3PM – Thre-legged race, 8PM – Fireworks

Immediate: set date & venueEdit

  • Date : September/October 2007 Do it this year
  • Venue: Find the right park; Get reservation & permit


  • Name: Better World Festival, something that’s active
  • Come up with a one-sentence tagline
  • A one-page event description that will help people to contribute time, talent, equipment for free
    • This event is designed to celebrate, connect, and inspire people who are dedicated to bringing about positive and lasting change
  • CLF, Idealist, Aspiration logos at bottom
  • End with call to action – “if you have any questions or if you would like to support this event, please call or email me”

Other considerationsEdit

  • Green event – will cost $300-500 to keep event green
    • Options: Get an org to step up to be the greening funder; ask for $5 donations from participants; ask government environmental agencies to supply
  • Set up an evite

Member feedbackEdit

  • Doreen – picnic bag auction – to pay for the greening
  • Lynn
    • Hispanic U – parking’s just for 100
    • Tents – nonprofit oportunities, international, each with a facilitator
  • Gina - put it on organizing team to get facilitators for tents
  • Matt S. - Looks good to me! It would be great to hold the event in 2007. I like the name "Better World Festival." It will help tremendously with donations if we can get under someone's 501(c)3 umbrella. Who will be on the central planning committee?