E+SM: Month One
When we launched the Evolver Social Movement a month ago, the Reality Sandwich/Evolver crew took a collective step into uncharted territory. For three years, we modeled our efforts on the independent media companies of the past that had contributed to major cultural shifts, like the Village Voice, Grove Press, and City Lights Books. A financial crisis forced us to reexamine our efforts and see them through fresh eyes. Listening to our community, we came to realize that perhaps our most striking achievement has been the flowering of an emerging social movement, a new cultural force that groks how consciousness expansion is necessary for meaningful societal change. This has been made possible by hundreds of volunteers -- writers, video producers, event organizers, online evangelists, grassroots conveners, and more. In so many ways, Reality Sandwich and Evolver are the expression of a community -- that means you! -- activated and organized to speak its voice so it can be heard. Over the years, we developed a unique structure with a small paid professional team that facilitates and polishes the efforts of a vast network that donates its time, all of us united by a shared vision of global transformation -- and an awareness that if we don't have fun while making it happen, what's the point?
We launched the Evolver Social Movement so the community could directly support this work. With enough paying members, Reality Sandwich and Evolver would weather this financial crisis and land on firm footing, ready to expand this movement. Our goal is 2,000 members, paying a suggested contribution of $10 a month. (Where does the money go, you ask? Click here.) But how many people would be ready to step up, and pay for content and events they can get for free? By offering membership for a contribute-what-you-can price, how much would folks actually pay?
After one month, we're off to a solid start. About 400 people have signed up for E+SM membership, with more joining each day. On average, they contribute $8.50 a month.
These numbers are particularly encouraging because many of the people who the RS/E+ crew knows and relies on -- friends, family, lovers, allies, accomplices of all sizes and shapes (you know who you are!) -- have yet to get around to joining. That's a good number of people. Once they come on, and they will, that goal of 2,000 members won't be too far to reach. We may not get there by April 30, as we originally hoped. But by June 30, that goal is doable -- so we're revising our public deadline, and will continue to focus on signing up a core group of E+SM members through that date.
But participation in this movement isn't limited to opening your wallet. Come out to the Evolver Spores, now in 35 cities, and help organize one where you live. Post blogs on Evolver.net. Join our social network evangelist corps to spread the transformational message to the hungry masses (email jennifer (at) evolver (dot) net for more info). Suggest stories and be part of the team of RS news writers.
This is your movement. Together we make this sandwich real.
Image, "bonk" by pwbaker on Flickr courtesy of Creative Commons Licensing.Tweet