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Future of Seed: Community Consultation Report

 

In case you hadn’t heard, we have spent the last year discussing a new legal structure to run Burning Seed. This has included lots of conversations about what is most important to you for this new entity. The restructure committee has now finished its work (well, this part of its work anyway), and has produced a report discussing all that stuff.

So here it is folks – the final report, jam packed with your views and opinions.

CLICK HERE TO READ THE ANCIENT FUTURE COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT REPORT

The report includes all of the things that happened over the last 14 months – what we did, what we heard, what happens from here. It also includes all the data, our findings, and analysis. Also, look how pretty it is (thanks Vanessa)!

The Restructure Committee has made 11 (really great) recommendations (well, we think they’re great). These are about what entity is best, what will be in the entity’s constitution, membership, and how to facilitate these conversations in the future..

We gave the report to the Red Earth City directors for response on 12 August 2018.

From here, the Restructure Committee will begin to draft a new constitution for the entity, and will work on other related documents (these are outlined in more detail in the report). We will also be running a Q&A session at Seed. This will happen at 3pm on Saturday at Centre Camp.

We will also be sending out a draft version of the new entity’s constitution for comment in the next few months.If you want to stay in the loop please sign up to our email list on our info page (scroll down for sign up).

As always, if you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please email futureofseed@burningseed.com.

This report is the outcome of the countless hours put in by volunteers across the Burning Seed community. The Burning Seed Restructure committee would like to give great thanks to all contributors to the community engagement process. You’ve put us in a really great position to build this new entity thing.

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Constitution Building & the Future of Seed

 

We need your help! Get involved in our Restructure Committee as we continue into the ‘Constitution Building Phase’.

When you hear the words ‘Burning Seed’, what springs to mind? Is it governance structures? Legal entities? Committees? …. No?

Well believe it or not, there’s a team of people behind Burning Seed that *absolutely love* a good organisational spreadsheet or project plan, and they’re needing your assistance.

The Restructure Sub-Committee has spent the last year meeting, developing and delivering a Community Consultation Process (final report coming next month!). We are now looking at drafting a constitution for the new entity that will oversee Seed, and need some helpful hands!

Are you good at governance? Or at understanding the ins and outs of constitution building?  Passionate about change management? Do you know a lot about not-for-profits?

If so, then you can help the Restructure Sub-Committee work through the next phases to create the Future of Burning Seed including;

  • Selection of legal entity type (either a co-operative, company limited by guarantee, or incorporated association)
  • Constitution development
  • Developing a memorandum of understanding between Red Earth City and the new entity
  • Electing of founding board of directors

You can read the full position description here. We know positions descriptions can sound dry, but this is a real opportunity to be involved in how Seed looks for years and years to come.  Once you’ve read the position description and decided that you’re interested in joining the team, you can register here.  Registration closes Sunday August 26th. Interviews with the current Restructure Committee members will be hosted the following week.

For more information on what the Future of Seed process has looked like so far and who else is on the committee check out our info page.

 

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Welcome to… The Watershed

The beautiful brains behind Splash Mansion are set to revolutionize the way Theme Camps manage their water on the Paddock... Trash Mansionite Professor Johnny Breakwell is not just a pretty face. That brilliant mind of his has been working overtime on ways to:

  1. make it wetter down there on the Paddock,
  2. help Theme Camps Leave No Trace AND
  3. give back to the local community in Matong and surrounds!

Making a Splash
In 2013 he created Splash Mansion: “It got me out from behind the bar at Trash”, says Johnny, “and for the cost of an hour or two each day it meant we got showers, kept cool and had some awesome fun.

“Splash grew bigger in 2014/15 and we ended up doing daily water runs - it made me think about how much water we were going through, not just our camp but others too,” he says.

Then at Seed in 2015 Johnny met Rowan Kos and these two legends got talking about water. Rowan suggested the idea of setting up a collective group of Theme Camps to better manage the supply of water to camps at Seed.

The Watershed
Skip to 2016 and welcome to the fruit of that conversation…. The Watershed.

This by burners, for burners, not for profit collective comprises a willing coalition on a mission to mutually obtain and distribute quality water to Theme Camps at the lowest possible price.

“This is a fantastic social enterprise,” says Johnny. “The Watershed is facilitating the purchase of a bulk amount of water for Theme Camps - something like 20,000 litres - from farmers local to the Burning Seed site at Matong.

“The farmers will donate their time and use their water licenses to sell us the water, and any profits they make after their costs are covered will go to support the local school in Ganmain.

“These little schools make a big difference in the community - any dollars we can raise make a big difference to these kids,” he says.

How it Works
Johnny says The Watershed is owned by Theme Camps that join the collective as members.

“The members are currently Splash, Sunset Island, Trash Mansion, Dirty Birds, Detox, Casbah and The Brink.

“These and potentially other Member Theme Camps will pay in advance for a water cube of 1000 litres - the cube will be delivered to them on site during set-up, and a water tanker will come by and fill it up. The empty cube will be picked up from the camp at the end of the event.

“The Watershed will bring a lot more drinking water into Theme Camps and also make a serious environmental impact on site - for instance by minimising waste packaging from water containers - no more taking empty cartons full of air home - and reducing the number of journeys needed for water runs during the event.

“But there are many other benefits - if Theme Camps know they’ll have water delivered on site they’ll have more cargo space for Theme Arts and it also gives them scope to gift more drinking water and nautical activities.

“Importantly - this is NOT about free water on the Paddock. The Watershed is only working with member Theme Camps, not individual participants. Everyone outside our Member Theme Camps will still be required to bring the necessary amount of water they need to survive for the week. This is just about providing

Making the Infrastructure Pozible
Johnny says that with stronger interest from other Theme Camps, funding is now needed to buy the water container infrastructure.

“Without some initial funding the Watershed may have to limit further memberships and have less impact than we might do in this first year.

The Watershed is running a pozible campaign right now to help cover some of these upfront costs for basic infrastructure.

“Each one of the 1000L water cubes we’ll use for distribution of the water to Theme Camps will cost about $80 to $100 and the Watershed crew will also need radios and cleaning products to sanitize the cubes,” says Johnny.

“We’re offering some sweet water-based perks for anyone who wants to donate from $1 to $10 or more - and every dollar counts to help us get this fantastic project off the ground," says Johnny.

Find out more about The Watershed or go visit the Possible campaign and donate!

 

Screen Shot 2016-05-22 at 5.08.29 PM

Find out more about The Watershed

Prof. Johnny Breakwell: it's vitally important to stay fully hydrated on the Paddock... (photo: Andy Flint)

Watershed

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The Ritual of Burning Seed?

Credi: Noma Kim Photography

Burning Seed – it’s a pretty magical place for sure.. but is it a religious experience? A new ritual? (photo: Noma Kim Photography)

by Dokktor Wonderlust

I was fortunate enough to experience Seed 2015 as a ‘burgin’. I am by trade an anthropologist and a couple of days into the experience, a veteran of five years asked for my professional opinion.

My answer was that participation in ritual is an essential part of being human.  As the established rituals of the default world lose their meaning and cease to offer us the sense of community they may once have, new rituals like Burning Seed are needed to reflect the values of our changing world.

Language, Religion and Ritual

My experience of Burning Seed brought to mind the work of Roy Rappaport, an anthropologist who spent his career studying ritual in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere.

Rappaport says that language is what makes us human, it allows us to conceptualize things beyond our physical existence and therefore reflect on the nature of our own existence – it facilitates our consciousness.

The human mind has endless capacity to imagine, an our minds are open to infinite possibilities – heaven and hell, angels and demons, wookies and even unicorns (if we must).

However, this same ability allows us to lie and deceive. So how can anyone, much less a society, know what to believe and what to reject? This is a moral question, and Rappaport argues that the answer humans came up with was religion, and the rituals that accompany it.

Ritual is a Community Experience

Ritual prevents language from descending into meaninglessness because unlike mere words, the performance of ritual is considered trustworthy. This is because the meaning of ritual is not determined by one individual performer but, rather, by the participating culture at large – that sounds a bit like Burning Seed to me.

Rappaport argues that ritual is necessary in order to allow one to transcend individuality and participate in communitas – ‘the revelation of the hidden oneness of all things’ – which is beyond the grasp of any one individual and beyond what can be expressed in words.

The Ten Principles 

Burning Seed is not one person, and in performing the ritual of Burning Seed we create a society guided by the our cultural fundamentals – the Ten Principles. These are the values that guide the society of Red Earth City.

Another world is possible. In my fluorescent-lit hub of daily wage slavery it is easy to lose sight of this. In the performance of the ritual of Burning Seed we create a more desirable society.

So, in answer to my friend’s question, humans need ritual and as the established rituals of Christianity and Capitalism cease to reflect our values or serve our needs new rituals must be invented. I believe Burning Seed is one of these…

—-

What do you think? Want to find out more? Go LIKE our Official Burning Seed Facebook Page or take a trip around the website and let us have your thoughts… 🙂

 

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Call to care action — Matong Burner needs our support

10997176_782903998446092_4429033221212887762_o[bra_dropcaps style=’dropcap2′]B[/bra_dropcaps]rian Jones is a much-loved Matong local and Burner who has been an enthusiastic and vital support person for Seed, donating his time, heavy machinery and good will from the get go! Now he needs our support too.

At the start of this year, Brian developed Guillain-Barre syndrome, a very rare auto-immune reaction following a throat infection, which causes rapid paralysis. Within a week he went from working 14-hour days on the farm to not being able to walk at all, nor use his hands. With daily physio the recovery time is between six months to two years on average.

Brian has been at Wagga Wagga Base Hospital since the new year, first in intensive care and now the rehab unit. He is recovering at a best-case scenario pace, and his mental and emotional health are strong. He’s focused, determined and positive. Even so, he is likely to be in hospital for several more months, re-learning how to walk.

Let’s help him to stay positive and feel connected to our community. If you can find some spare time, please send Brian a letter, card, drawing, distraction, words of encouragement, or something else that you can think of. Thanks!

The Address:

Brian Jones
Wagga Wagga Base Hospital
Rehab Unit
PO Box 159
Wagga Wagga
NSW 2650

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Town Halls: building our local communities

Sydney and Melbourne have kicked off regular Town Hall meetings, with the first Sydney one held on November 12 and Melbourne meeting on November 13. Both cities plan to hold these meetings quarterly.

The Town Halls and our exploration of online tools are part of an ongoing dedication to providing more opportunities for a little more conversation and a lot more action within the community! These platforms are not just aimed at the Burning Seed event, but are a springboard for moving beyond the Paddock, building our local communities and creating other Burner initiatives.

Sydney Town Hall
The two regional contacts Jayman and Neilo led the Town Hall with three main objectives:

    • Demystify and create clarity between a Burning Man local community and events such as Burning Seed/Blazing Swan.
    • Explain how the proposed changes to the Australian original legal entity are seeking to align with this.
    • Discuss how to own your Sydney Burning Man community.

You can read the notes here Sydney Burning Man Community Town Hall[bra_divider height=’10’]Melbourne Town Hall

Rather than setting an agenda, the two Regional Contact hosts, Jodi York and Justin Mcghee, came to the meeting with cards and markers so that participants could write down topics they wished to discuss.  Some of these were specifically related to Burning Seed, but efforts were made to ground the discussion in the Melbourne community.  Discussion topics included:

    • cultivating a consent and LNT culture at our events — our culture is very precious to us, and protecting it is *everyone’s* responsibility
    • the relationship between Melbourne Burner Community, Burning Seed, Red Earth City pty ltd, and Burning Man Australia (which remains confusing to many participants)
    • identifying financial priorities of the Melbourne community, including possible local art grants and collaborating with like-minded events like Figment
    • creating space for new projects like Burners without Borders and other innovations —get in touch with your RC or with Burning Man Australia, put in a proposal for things you’d like to see, and we’ll see how we can support you!
    • supporting our friends in Tasmania (who now have a dedicated FB page!)
    • sourcing information on and participating in the ongoing conversation about the future of Burning Man in Australia.
Pic by Onur Ka