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Merri Creek meets its match while Sydney calls last straw

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]urners donned their flamboyant finest and kicked some trash-ass at Melbourne’s Merri Creek on May 9 as Kamp Kraken led another initiative to move Burner life beyond the Paddock.

Around 60 people donned gloves, gumboots and garbage bag and rocked up throughout the afternoon to wade through the muck of Merri Creek and remove rubbish. Wheeliebin beats (thanks BBB!) and tea and bicki treats fuelled the intrepid trash troops.

And the strangest thing found? A case half full of sweet potatoes and the desiccated body of a fox. Awards were given for the weirdest finds and best costumes, but the biggest reward was a satisfying 45 big bags of rubbish, 15 bags of recyclables and assorted hard rubbish collected. 

There are plans to make Merri again, so stay in the loop by liking the Kamp Kraken page.

Meanwhile, Sydney’s Beneficient Burners Beneficent Burners are currently looking for volunteers to help get cafes and pubs involved with Plastic Free July.

They’re encouraging cafes to give a discount to people who bring a reusable coffee cup, and for pubs to only hand out straws when they are specifically requested.

If you’d like to ask your local café, or take on a whole street, contact Shelby Ann to get hold of some posters. They also have a script for what to say when approaching the cafe and pubs.

For more info, contact Shelby Ann chinochai@gmail.com  or join the Beneficent Burners’ Facebook group. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Photography, film and media rego now open

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]R[/bra_dropcaps]egistration to photograph, film or publish about Burning Seed opens is now open. At Burning Seed, our approach to media, photography and filming is different from standard festivals, so check whether you need to register too. We also give a brief outline of your rights as a participant sans camera. 

Pics, flicks and articles for publication

If you are planning to take photographs or film for anything beyond sharing with friends and family – and that includes websites, gallery showings, traditional and digital media – then you need to seek and be granted written permission.

If you are planning to write and publish an article in a newspaper, newsletter, magazine or an online publication, you will also need to register with us too. If you are blogging for personal reasons but including photos, then we ask that you register for the photography.

At Burning Seed, we are seeking to create a radically self-expressive space where people can openly be or do anything. There is therefore a greater need at our Burn to maintain the integrity and safety of the space and its people – and for participants to know and trust that this is happening.

And that means we like to keep an eye on the media, photographers and filmmakers – professional, semi-professional and amateur. With the size of our event still intimate, we also set a limit on the number of film projects each year. That includes any remote aerial devices that film.

Maintaining the integrity of this space also means that consent should be your middle name when photographing or filming at Burning Seed. Wherever possible, check in with the subject of your camera’s desire, either before or after the shot, to see if they’re Ok with being captured.

Consent wristbands will also be available for participants to wear and to let you know at a glance whether they want to be in the frame — read more here.

And last but not least, there are no media passes. In a participatory community such as ours, you’re part of it too. So, yes, you must buy a ticket.

Burningseed

Pics, flicks and articles for friends and family

For your average participant who just wants to share their memories with friends and family, we still have three words for you: consent, consent, consent

Whether you’re a newcomer or not, you might not know what is acceptable until you ask. By asking, you’ll eliminate confusion and foster a tighter, safer community where people know their boundaries are protected and respected. In a world where people are pushing the envelope of their own self-expression (or perhaps wanting to explore somebody else’s :)), such freedom is only assured by knowing you are safe to do so.

Remember: photographs might seem like a good idea at the time but radical self-expression can look quite different out of its natural habitat and splashed all round Facebook for employers, family members and others to see. Not everyone wants to blend their Burner life with their default world – some people need or want to keep these lives separate. So don’t out a Burner by taking that photo or video without checking in with them!

If you’re blogging, we ask that you keep us in the loop by sending a link to media@burningseed.com

Participants

And for the participant without a camera? You have the right to ask a photographer or videographer at any time not to take a picture of you and to ask them to delete it if they do.

Removable, brightly coloured silicone consent wristbands are also available for you to wear: they are a quick and easy way to let all photographers and filmmakers know that you don’t want to be filmed or photographed for the whole of the event or just the times or days that you don’t want to be captured on film.

 

 

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Consent wristbands: shorthand for no pics or flicks

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]W[/bra_dropcaps]e’re introducing optional consent wristbands to help participants and photographers/filmmakers alike navigate the sometimes tricky task of seeking and giving consent around photographs and videos at Burning Seed.

Wanna just let it all hang out — literally, figuratively, hell any way you want at the Burn? Don’t want to worry about being photographed or having to police whether someone is snapping you without having that all-important “ is it OK” conversation? Are you just having one of those days when you don’t want to be the object of somebody else’s art?

Or are you a photographer, filmmaker or videographer who scratches their head over this whole asking-consent-questions stuff ‘cause the magic is in the moment of capturing that shot?

The consent bracelets are designed to help all of you. These are brightly coloured, removable silicon wristbands with “NO PHOTOS OR VIDEOS” written on them. They will allow participants to easily signal when they don’t want to be captured on film, and it will give photographers, filmmakers and videographers a clearer sign of whether someone definitely doesn’t want to be photographed or filmed. #respecttheband

But that doesn’t mean we want you stop talking to each other either.

We still encourage you all to have that consent conversation wherever possible (before or after the pic) — especially if someone is not wearing a bracelet and in the middle of a private moment, exposed and/or vulnerable position, naked or any other situation that may require checking in.

A consent bracelet is an automatic red light to not photograph or film the person in question. But a blank wrist is not an automatic green light to film or photograph: check in whenever possible.

Wristbands will be available at the event entrance and also at Red Earth Info.

 

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First-timer friction: the winter of Burner discontent

Written by Jayman

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]W[/bra_dropcaps]ith winter upon us and Burning Seed less than four months away, spare a thought for the Principles left out in the cold — and the potential participants.

Over the coming months, there will be lots of potential newbies/Burgins/potential participants asking questions. To some of us, these questions might seem like commonsense or basic information that people could find themselves with a bit of research (I hear the radical choir sing “radical self-reliance!!!”)

Well, here is the thing. Apparently there is more than one Principle. At last count there are nine more and some regional events have introduced 2-3 more.

The Ten Principles are learned, seen in action and experienced. Throwing one Principle at people in isolation is not the Burner way. In everything we do, we should be trying to express as many Principles in an interaction with another human being as possible.

We are building a Community, not a radicalised, exclusive hipster enclave. The very purpose of a Burn event is to prove that there is another way and take back those learnings to the outside world and transform it. We are the Revolution, by making a new world a better world.

So, the next time you pull radical self-reliance out of your back pocket (‘cause it is likely one of the main two you have ready at hand), spare a thought for the other neglected Principles this winter. The Principles work all together, not in isolation.

A considerate response is a Gift of information. In the Immediacy of a sensible answer you are helping to alleviate the fear and uncertainty that a new burner might be experiencing as they make a crucial decision (either consciously or unconsciously) to join our Community.

And in answering even the simplest of questions with your beautiful and amazing Radical Self Expression in a way that does not inhibit the rights and liberties of the recipient shows Radical Inclusion and Civic Responsibility at its best.

Participate in ALL the 10 Principles to embrace new Burners.

For those newbies looking for a place to call home at Seed, Jayman runs the Orphanage Theme Camp. It’s a great way to experience the participation, gifting and community that is so integral to Seed. You can find them here.

Orphanage 2014

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Rangers just got hotter

Rangers costuform

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]T[/bra_dropcaps]hose super-heroes and super-heroines of Seed are back and sexier than ever. Rejoice in the orange glory of our Rangers new ‘Costuforms’. High visibility – check. High swag – check. UV50+ protective – check. Flame retardant – check. Yes! You read that right – EFFING FLAME RETARDANT!!

From the recruitment team at Outpost Oodnawoopwoop:

The Red Earth Rangers are regular Burners who take their Civic Responsibility seriously and Gift their time by walking the weird in Orange. Rangers are regular Participants – like YOU – just with a two-way radio and some training about who to ask for on the other end of it.

We roam in pairs and serve in a guardianship role as the eyes and ears of the community and help to keep participants safe. We are occasionally also called upon to act as an objective voice of reason and assist participants in resolving conflicts and situations that they can’t handle themselves.

Rangers also play a critical role in managing the perimeter for the Effigy and Temple burns, and are the first point-of-contact in the event of fire or medical situations. Presence of mind (ie sobriety) and an ability to keep a cool head in an intense situation are the only prerequisites.

It’s a cruisy, fun, engaging, and [mostly] laid-back gig that is a great way to meet people and see parts of Red Earth City that you otherwise might not. It’s also leads to getting more hugs of appreciation than you ever thought possible!

Even if you’re a first-time Burner, you can join the hi-vis ranks of the Rangers this year at Burning Seed! Ranger operations run for the duration of the event and operate 24-hours. Training sessions will be held pre-event in both Sydney and Melbourne in September, as well as on site at the event.

Wanna sign up as a Ranger? Check our recent Community Crewsday call out or sign up under the Participate tab on the Burning Seed website.

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The art of flamin’ success

Flame Effect class 2015

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]H[/bra_dropcaps]ow do you know when you’ve built a spectacularly flame-worthy piece of art? Its postscript includes flashing blue lights and shiny red engines checking out what you’ve done.

And that’s exactly what happened at the Flame Effects for Artists course, run on May 23/24 by the new not-for Profit arts organisation Flame Effects Australia and attended by 40 Burners and general fire nuts from all over the country.

At the end of the two-day workshop at Footscray Makers Lab, the Melbourne Fire Shamans class of 2015 had gathered around to see their graduation project in action.

Built for a hodge podge of metal bits dragged in students, the “Eye of Sauron” or (Free the Nipple) let off a mighty roar of flames when the first person hit the control box button (also built by the students). A quick succession of button pushers means there were many very very happy little pyros roaring and phwoaring for 45 mins or so.

Sated and bathing in post-flame coital bliss, students were quietly milling around when the fire engine lights appeared down the side of the street. Woopsie!

But all’s well that ended well, and the engines departed again after a brief chat with key organisers, including Dave X and Propaniac who came out from Burning Man to run the course.

Dave X has been the Fire Art Safety Team manager for all fire art on playa for the more than 10 years and Propaniac is both part of FAST  and the Chief Inspector for the Nevada Board for the Regulation of Liquefied Petroleum Gas.

They also shared pics and tips to drive home the safety message: no safety third here. Creating flame effects and fire art = magic and fun for everyone. Carelessness and fried body parts = not the best look or way to make friends.Aka two shit-hot, experienced fire artists, who spent the first day leading students through valves and hoses and density and pressure and gas and and…

After a day full of nuts & bolts, the second day involved splitting the 40 students in three groups: one to build the electronic control box, one to create and plumb the accumulator (the bit that emits those short sharp bursts of gas for the flame effect) and the third to fabricate the structure.

Check out the pics below to see what the class created, and stay tuned to see a burst of flame effect art at Burning Seed this year. 

11268966_1582735608682750_3206299117859061717_n10423934_1582734628682848_8502637210821146906_nFlame effect lets lose

All in day’s (ok, two days’) work: fabrication team builds….control box team takes everyone through the to do list…and thar she blows!

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It takes a community to build a forest

Written by Ash Blackwell

Mr wattle you will do just fine

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]N[/bra_dropcaps]ew friendships were made, ties between the local community and Seed community were strengthened and a whole lot of good dirty fun took place at the recent Red Earth Ecology biodiversity planting in Matong.

On Saturday May 2, around 30 people from all over the east coast and the Riverina came together for a weekend to plant a forest.

There was music, dancing and a whole lot of planting and watering of native plants. Not to mention Jo’s amazing home-cooked cakes and slices.

Best of all, the weekend gave the local community a chance to interact and learn more about the kind of people that get involved in Burning Seed.

I think they’re almost convinced that we aren’t a cult, and the contribution to the local environment is starting to get around.

The Red Earth Ecology project was established as part of Burning Seed’s ‘Leave No Trace’ principle.

Burning Seed is held at the Matong State Forest, and while we can pick up our litter, we cannot completely remove our impact on the forest. The Red Earth Ecology team work to develop and implement projects that leave a net positive impact on the local ecology.

Over the last two years, the team has worked with local property owners to extend and develop tree corridors on sections of their land. One of the risk factors for small birds and animals is the fragmentation of their habitat. By helping to establish corridors of local plant species, we provide food and shelter for local insects, birds and other species.

Last year we worked with local Burning Seed participant Brian Jones to extend and enrich a tree corridor on his property adjacent to the Ganmain State Forest. Unfortunately Brian Jones fell quite ill late last year (We wish him continued progress on his journey back to good health).

This year, local plant whisperer Jo Roberts reached out to other Burners in the area, who would be happy to facilitate a planting project. Dave and Sonja Currie stepped up to help and offer their property, which is just down the road from Brian.

A big green thank you to all who came and all who contributed. And a very big thanks to Jo, Maddock, Dave and Sonja who made it all possible.

                       diggin them in it takes a team to build a forrest

                       Nikki the kookaburra whisperer plants and peace

Red Earth Ecology strikes again: (clockwise from top left) diggin’ this project, the gang’s all here, Nikki the Kookaburra whisperer, peace and plants. Pics: Madeline Fountain

6157

Are Your Ears Burning? They Will Be…

RER

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]D[/bra_dropcaps]o you have a ‘great face for radio’? Do your vocal chords sound like you regularly bathe them in honey? Are you a blooming or budding producer/presenter/DJ or weatherperson looking for a big break at Red Earth City? Then pin back your ears and read on…

Literally born from the vibrating ashes of the Burn, Red Earth Radio at last year’s Seed looked more like a concept (and/or a place to get fast food) than a radio station.

Since then, we’ve built a community and a following, we’ve created a 24/7 stream at www.bmaradio.net, and we’ve connected with Burner communities around the antipodes to bring the sound of not-silence to anyone with an ear to spare.

Now? We. Need. You. Red Earth Radio will be back – bigger, louder, and (with any luck) legal!  Slots for shows during Seed are flying off the shelves people so if you wanna get your creative juices into Burners’ ears LIVE this year you better be quick and let us know.

NEWSFLASH: Attention Burners! As part of your Burning Seed survival kit this year, please bring a small transistor radio capable of AM/FM reception!

Can you make sounds with your mouth or any other instrument? We want you. Can you make the weather forecast sound like foreplay? We want you. Can you mix sick trax n beats? We want you. Can you keep on talking even when silence threatens to creep over you like an enveloping darkness? Yep, we want you too.

We’ll have more than 120 hours of LIVE airtime over the course of Burning Seed and it is all yours to fill as you bloody well like. We’re also keen on hearing from community members with radio/broadcasting experience — god knows, we need you!!

If you wanna get involved — either with content or to help us crew this joint, don’t hang about. Content providers, we can even host your shit on our 24/7 shiz  www.bmaradio.net right now.

Music, spoken word, whatevs, just send us MP3 128kbps or lossless prerecorded files. Send your files to redearthradio@gmail.com and make sure it’s CLEARLY LABELLED as spoken word, songs, DJ set, animal noises etc.

In the email please include a brief description of the content and if your content contains ADULT themes or LANGUAGE. Keep it clean, k? There will be NO ADVERTISING (unless it’s fictional). Be guided by the 10 Principles people!

This is your shot. This is your opportunity! Don’t eat Mom’s spaghetti!

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Thinking Theme Camp? Top tips from your camp compatriots

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]s[/bra_dropcaps]o you’re planning your first Burning Seed adventure  — or your next one — and you’re looking at the July 1 deadline for Theme Camp application, and thinking: Theme Camps are cool. I’ll start one. How hard can it be? But if you have the juice and want to set it loose, consider all the options first — there are alternatives to setting up a new Theme Camp.

Theme Camps truly are the (soya) meat and potatoes of a Burn. They create the landscape for our city, they are the 10 Principles of a Burn brought to life, and without them Seed would be less… well, just less.

In the words of the great ObiBob of Ashram Galactica (Burning Man)*:

“The best theme camps aren’t born fully fledged, but evolve towards optimum by learning from interactions and challenges. Do something that grabs people off the street and starts some interaction; not just a one-way service (from you) or a challenge (to them).”

He’s right. It’s all about a shared, participatory, consensual, creative experience. And Burning Seed has seen an exponential explosion in Theme Camps over a relatively short time, from around 10 in 2010 to around 50 in 2014. It’s testament to the creative confidence we have in our community, but here’s a controversial question — do we need so many, or any more?

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Unicorn wrangler and Theme Camp Team co-lead, Jayman

Our very own Theme Camp Co-Lead and part-time unicorn wrangler Jayman says collaboration and/or participation with existing camps is a great way for people, particularly first-timers and/or those looking to dip a toe in the Theme Camp waters, to make the best use of resources.

Running a theme camp for a week is harder work than it seems,” he says. “Why not join forces to create one awesome camp, rather than have lots of small camps operating infrequently with few people?

Daryl, Chairman and President of the Mint Country Club (MCC) agrees. Set realistic goals and know what you’re capable of — if you overstretch yourself and your resources you’ll just end up with a really stressful week, not a joyous one,” he says.

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Mint Country Club’s very own mo man, Daryl Paulger. Gin gin!

MCC is a great example of how to do it right. It’s up there jostling for position among the Seed Theme Camp Titans like Trash Mansion and Bean Bag Babylon (BBB). MCC was first seen on the Paddock in 2012 and has seen steady growth over the last few years. The Camp is literally powered by Gin, mint (the herb), mint (the colour), some solar panels, the infinite energy of Daryl and Di Paulger and their crew of Minty marvels. 

Daryl says it’s literally ALL ABOUT THE 10 PRINCIPLES PEOPLE. “For instance, make sure anyone coming to help you with the camp is firstable to take care of themselves (ie radical self-reliance)… like it’s great to get help but if that person needs pegs to put their tent up or gaffer tape for their shade structure, it’s just going to drain your resources.”

You don’t have to get it right first time, says Jayman: “Subject to our sound guidelines, you don’t need to be an official theme camp the first time around. But whether you’re official or unofficial, make sure you list your events and happenings in the What Where When (WWW).”[bra_border_divider top=’10’ bottom=’10’]

So here’s some tips for would-be Theme Campers whether you’re official, unofficial or just plain off the grid:

  1. The What Where When (WWW) is Seed’s sixth sense. If you build it, they won’t come — unless they can see, smell, hear, taste or touch you. Or read about you in the WWW.

  2. Lighting, lighting, lighting – and more lighting. Help make your city beautiful and sparkly and colourful and flashy. And it’s also good for keeping people safe.

  3. You don’t have to have a massively loud sound-system that literally makes people’s internal (maybe external) organs vibrate. Theme Camps come in all shapes and sizes.

  4. Avoid MOOP – we leave no trace. Make sure you have systems in place to make that happen and to educate your camp and participants.

  5. You don’t need to start from scratch – Check out Adopt a Burgin to join an existing camp. Look at ways of helping out. Run events in Theme Camp spaces or at Centre Camp.

  6. If you have an idea and you really must run with it, throw the idea out there – there’s bound to be others inspired by your idea and keen to get involved. The Theme Camp Facebook page is a good forum for throwing around your ideas with camp compatriots while the state groups will be full of other keen beans.

  7. Think about innovative use of our space at Red Earth City.  Sunset Island literally happened like that – a eureka moment in 2013 for a Burner watching the sun go down over an empty space.

  8. Avoid unicorns. At all costs.

Want to learn more about Theme Camps? Check the Burning Seed website or visit the Theme Camps Facebook page. If you’re planning to organise a Theme Camp this year check our helpful set-up guide. We’d love to hear your thoughts about Theme Camps at Seed — share your comments!

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Prez’s pilgrimage to new Burn horizons

[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]S[/bra_dropcaps]eed’s event coodinator — our beloved Prez — recently jetted off to seek new Burn horizons, taking her crustie Burner butt and her eagle event-manager eye to this year’s AfrikaBurn and Blazing Swan. Her mission? Seek, explore, make copious notes and bring it all back to make Seed even more successful.

Written by Shaye Harty

I had decided to take the whole of April off and just BURN IT UP by heading to both Blazing Swan in Western Australia (1-7 April), where I worked the gate, and AfrikaBurn (27 April- 3 May).

As an 11-year burner, I have seen and done a lot in the community. So, these days I am always seeking out adventures in Burnlandia that don’t fit in my usual status quo. AfrikaBurn has been on my Burn list since I heard about its inception not long after I started burning. And this year everything just fell into place.

I met Travis, the AfrikaBurn Minister of Propaganda, and his wife Abi, the organisation’s Financial Controller, at Burning Man last year when I was working for the Burning Man Project. We hit it off straight away, and they helped facilitate my trip over to South Africa, which BTW is insanely gorgeous and still feels quite wild.

I told the AfrikaBurn organisation that I would be happy to work with the operations team as I wanted to learn as much as I could about the nine-year-old, 10,000-person strong gathering out in the Tankwa Karoo desert, about five hours from beautiful Cape Town and down the most infamous of tyre-eating roads.

Check out more Prez pics here As it happened, the Event Operations Manager that I wanted to intern with resigned before the event, and the AfrikaBurn team asked if I was game to fill her shoes on site. It was the best decision I could have made, because I gained so much insight and knowledge of how better to run Burning Seed, both at our current population and beyond as we grow to larger numbers.

By going to both Swan and AfrikaBurn, I experienced the best of both worlds: to see behind the scenes of an event only in its second year and 1400 people, and to see behind the scenes of an older, more-established event.

They were both equally fascinating, but not without their own set of production problems, all of which is important for us at Burning Seed to learn and grow from.

Personally, going to two events on both sides of the spectrum was such a joy to experience. Every participant loved each Burn, and that is what makes running an event like Burning Seed, Blazing Swan and AfrikaBurn worthwhile.

We do this for YOU, you fabulous burner you! And the best part about it for ME, is that I get to call this professional development and pretty much burn year round.  Burn Bright!

Some lessons for Seed

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Blazing Swan

  • A solid community crew base is a must: Blazing Swan has a passionate core of people putting on the event, but they are working too hard when they could have a lot more help from the community.[bra_divider height=’10’]And while Seed’s own passionate core has expanded, we need to ensure that we also maintain and build our core and community crew so the event can grow.[bra_divider height=’10’]
  • Location location location: The Blazing Swan site is epic: picturesque, only four hours from Perth and supported by the local Shire and community. It can expand exponentially if it is well managed and supported with good infrastructure.[bra_divider height=’10’] Seed needs to get the most out of our current site by continuing to build on our relationships with the local community and developing our infrastructure. But we also need to keep looking for a great new site to accommodate our growth.
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AfrikaBurn

  • Communication is vital: Managing the logistics of a 10,000-strong event can only happen if there is a well-functioning radio network, as well as documented procedures that are easy to follow if someone fills a position that they have never done before.[bra_divider height=’10’]At Seed, we’re making inroads with protocols, procedures and documentation but there is still more road to go.[bra_divider height=’10’]
  • Signage for all services should be big and bright: There should be no question about how to find what you’re looking for. Need medical?  There should be a big, bright red cross that you can see from all the way across the event.  Need information?  Need Ice?  [bra_divider height=’10’]All of these services are located in the Centre Camp area, and while it is easily located on a map, you wouldn’t believe how many people asked me where these things were. The same applies to signs leading to the event from the desolate dirt roads of the desert.[bra_divider height=’10’]Seed’s onsite and street signage could learn a lot from this.[bra_divider height=’10’]
  • Establish resolution processes: Working with a large team means that everybody isn’t always going to agree, so there needs to be ways to come to agreement quickly and without much conflict. [bra_divider height=’10’]The person who led meetings was trained in conflict resolution and proper meeting protocol and wasn’t part of the logistic team. This was a great way to guide everyone to resolution in difficult discussions.[bra_divider height=’10’] Seed’s lead community organisers have developed good meeting processes and ways to work together, which means we don’t have as many conflicts to resolve.
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