Learn here more about projects and web links, collected from sites that cover a wide range of online communities around the globe.
Born out of our passion for fashion and our love for spirituality and metaphysics, TEOSOPHY is the first spiritual fashion brand. TEOSOPHY is a contemporary fashion label, whose styles and aesthetics are inspired from various spiritual schools, beliefs, traditions or philosophies, and then get “translated” into edgy, “spiritual” collections for both men and women.
TEOSOPHY's mission is to make fashion a “vehicle” for people to turn inwards (or upwards!) and explore their spiritual needs, and we aspire to become the world’s expert in spiritual fashion, spreading our philosophy on a global scale.
The National Young Farmers’ Coalition is a network comprised by groups of young farmers who focus on sustainable growth in the US; it is a private initiative that attempts to create a network of information and support for the young people who try to do agricultural work in various areas around the country. Besides this web site, another participant in the same network is Greenhorns which we present elsewhere.
In the web site visitors can read about the organization’s goals and find information about several sponsored programs with similar aims. There is a special section with news, press releases and exhibitions by the foundation as well as a section with links to organizations that help young farmers, classified by state. The most interesting section though is the blog which hosts articles by tens of the network’s members laying out their experiences from their newfound activity as well as the problems they face while trying to adjust to their new role.
Wwoof is an international network promoting the participation of volunteers in organic farms. It was created in 1971 in the UK and its initial name was “Working weekends on organic farms”, hence the origin of the acronym. Its founder was working as a secretary in London and was looking for a way to provide the city’s people with outlets in the country and in the meanwhile to promote the movement of organic farming; this is how the idea was born and it was first implemented with the hosting of four people in a bio-farm in Sussex but with time volunteers started participating for periods of time longer than a weekend and some of them ended up staying in the farms for years. The model’s development brings it very close to the model of volunteer vacation since the interested land-owners offer food and shelter to volunteers working in their fields.
The web site is basically a directory of various actions of this kind that are happening in 99 countries all over the world. Every local institution has its own web site which functions autonomously and has a different visual presentation; this means that there is no set rule about how each organization operates. In the local web sites, interested visitors can find varied pertinent information such as the procedures needed for visas etc. as well as information about each country’s particular characteristics.
The term ‘transition network” is used to describe communities that try to support a more environment-friendly way of life with their main focus the minimization of carbon emissions and the development of a stable economic environment. Founder of this ideal was Bill Mollison with his 1988 book “Permaculture: A designer’s value”; although the basic goals are the same, each participating community is free to choose the way it will reach them and in some cases even alternative currencies have been issued.
In contrast to other similarly-goaled actions that, because of their amateurish status have a rather limited online presence, the particular web site contains an impressive volume of information. There is a news section where several items are been added even in the course of a single day, a monthly newsletter, blogs that are been updated by members of the network, a directory with all the communities that collaborate all over the world, educational material for those who want to adopt the movement’s principles and a big library with resources, texts, audio-visual material, research papers, studies and everything else pertinent to sustainable growth.
Food Project is an American network trying to educate children in land cultivation and at the same time to inform them about principles like ecological agriculture, sustainable growth, respect for the environment and so on. The children participate in cultivating the land and in gathering produce, attend creative workshops, collaborate with organizations that fight undernourishment and help in distributing the produce to local communities. The educational programs last for six weeks, they are organized every summer and they are open to children aged 14 to 17 years; the network itself was created in 2001 and each year more than 100 children are educated in its programs while thousands of volunteers participate at the cultivation and the maintenance of the fields.
In the web site, interested parties can find information about the organization’s goals and activities, express their will to participate or simply donate to The Food Project. The produce grown in the organization’s farms are available for sale in open-air markets so as to support the local communities but on the web site visitors can find books about agriculture, many of which are freely available for downloading and a newsletter with the organization’s news.
RuckusRoots is a nonprofit organization combining art with activism in an effort to teach young people an alternative way to express themselves and to support the movement of eco-activism. Through installations that combine art with activism and music, RuckusRoots encourages the development of ecological awareness to young people educating them in a way of life that promotes sustainability. According to the organization’s founders, creativity is underestimated in modern societies and it shouldn’t be since this is the medium through which innovation is accomplished; to reverse this tendency, RuckusRoots is using art as an educational tool.
In the web site we can see the organization’s collaborations with various cultural institutions as well as a section with the organization’s projects containing information and audio-visual material about each one of them; this material demonstrates the varied installations RuckusRoots creates like for example the “bike-bash” where bicycle owners participate in work groups to visually transform their bicycles. Visitors can also find information about how to participate in the organization’s actions or about how to donate to its cause.
Time banks are a model of social work according to which all jobs are equally important for a society: whether someone is a doctor, a lawyer or a plumber, their work has the same weight for the community in which they function. Based on this principle, one hour or work in the context of a particular community can be equate to an exchangeable unit and thus be used as a medium replacing money; this way members of said community can exchange goods and services without paying or receiving any money –they just use their personal labor and help increase voluntary offerings.
65hours is a web site aiming to create a network of work as an exchangeable commodity. After users create their profiles (this is done for free) they can register the skills they are interested in volunteering and after that, they can search for services offered as an exchange. This being an international network, it is obvious that more offers are for the rendering of services than for actual jobs that demand a physical presence; an exception to this will be places where the local network has several members as is the case with Great Britain, a country that pioneered this practice.
Wooloo is a web site for artists who want to offer open invitations for contests, exhibitions or various other events to other artists. It was created in 2002 by a group of Danish artists and in the ten years of its operation it has amassed information about more than 22,000 projects that have been hosted there. It also organizes off line actions which aim to help artists participate in social issues like, for example, the intervention in the 2009 United Nations’ climate change summit in Copenhagen.
Interested artists can create a profile in the site and upload works representative of their style, biographical information, exhibitions in which they have participated and contact information. After that, they can search for open invitations for various events or actions which the site promotes –the search can be performed using various criteria such as the subject or the kind of the event and for every such event general and contact information is available while the searcher is also able to see which other artists from the site have expressed an interest to participate in the same event.
ArtFacts is a web site for people who work as modern art professionals –art consultants, curators, collectors etc.- and they are interested in statistics, prices of works of art, artists’ biographies, auctions’ catalogues and so on. This web site has developed a special algorithm which classifies artists according to the value of their works in the market and the success of their exhibitions and also offers a graphic visualization of their career’s development.
The services offered are on a subscription basis with subscriptions starting at 200 euro per year for non-professionals and reaching 800 euro for professionals who can upload high resolution images; this is mostly a service for galleries that want to promote particular artists. A mark for ArtFacts’ specialization is that the clickthrough rate in the advertisements it hosts goes up to 15%, a percentage almost a hundred times the Internet’s average.
Eyebeam is a nonprofit organization founded in 1997 in New York City and aiming to promote digital art works to the general public and explore new forms of creativity that incorporate a strong element of technology. In the fifteen years it is operating it has established itself as one of the top places for artistic expression and hosting of digital art and it has extended its activities to educational programs for young people, promotional services for up-and-coming artists, organizing of symposia and operation of creative workshops. The center is hosted in an industrial building of 16,145 square feet in Chelsea and it has a permanent collaboration with more than twenty artists.
In Eyebeam’s web site visitors can find an archive with all the events that have been organized there from 2002 until today while also available is a section with running projects which are carried out by the artists permanently collaborating with the center; each project is hosted in a different web site which allows it to function semi-autonomously from the main one. This section also includes a separate archive with all the projects that have been carried out since 2002.