How to Start a Spore
The Evolver Spores have been happening once a month for a year and since they began regional groups have sprung up in 40 cities across the globe. Many people have been asking how to start a Spore in their area. Well, this is how you do it! We hope you'll check it and consider joining the evolution.
Starting your own Spore is easy! Below you will find information about the Spores and the steps to hosting a successful event. You will also find the Regional Application Form below, which we ask every potential coordinator to fill out. It gives us an idea of what you're interested in, ideas you have for building your local transformational network, and even what your Evolver community will look like in the year 2020.
If you want to start an Evolver Spore in your area, send me an email at remi((at))evolver((dot))net. Viva la evolution!
EVOLVER SPORES INFORMATION
The grand vision of the Evolver network is a bold and daring one: to create an international alternate social structure of evolvers who share their talents, resources, wisdom, and passions in hopes of building a better, more equitable world. The monthly Spore gatherings are a key component in manifesting this dream.
What Is a Spore?
Spores can land anywhere, find the right spot, and quickly develop an aboveground and underground network that supports many types of life through symbiosis. Evolver Spores are monthly community meet-ups, creative salons, hubs of ecological activation, cultural incubation, and social inspiration. Evolver Spores bring people and groups together who share the ideal of a more beautiful, cooperative society, and help them find the collaborators and tools they need to realize their vision. Our goal is to facilitate a conversation around issues that the mainstream culture often ignores, that we consider important. We see value in getting our growing international Evolver community to synergize its intentions and synchronize its efforts across the network, coming together as one, at least for one night every month.
The Spores take place on the third Wednesday of every month. These cross-network “activations” are meant to bring various individuals, groups, and tribes together to connect, share information, and initiate collaborations. Each month has a different theme, from alternative economies to sustainable food practices, from holistic health to shamanic practices, from visionary art to media activism. The Spores are not specifically trying to start up individual projects (although we hope that happens down the road), but to create a space for diverse organizations in the conscious community to come together to inform us how to take action. Groups can range from bicycle co-ops and yoga studios to neighborhood gardens and urban homesteads to local currency groups and healing circles.
Structure of the Spore
Overall, the Spores are mixer nights that invite people to meet and engage in new ways. We recommend activities that get people mingling, socializing, and discussing topics in an organic manner. Make sure to schedule time for socializing.
Spores are generally comprised of three elements: the spiritual, theoretical, and practical. But don’t let the structure make it seem complicated. Simply getting people to gather at a coffee shop, living room, or yoga studio can be very powerful in creating community in your area, while connecting them with a larger network of fellow “Evolvers.”
The Spiritual: Many Spores will start with a meditation, chant, energy exercise, kirtan, workshop, or other ritual to kick off the night. We recommend that these aren’t too esoteric or “New Agey,” which might scare people off. It’s helpful to invite a teacher from a local yoga studio, Buddhist school, healing center, etc to do the opener, as it brings in another group from the community into the Evolver fold.
The Theoretical: Often we will have a short film screening related to the theme (10-20 minutes), followed by a group discussion. Then, there may be a speaker, or some type of presentation around the topic. For each Spore, we will brainstorm content on the regional coordinators list so you don’t have to do this yourself.
The Practical: This is how we take action in our local communities. This can be accomplished by inviting local groups related to the theme to give brief talks or presentations about what they are up to and how people can engage further. Sometimes, this can take the form of “lightning announcements” (1-2 minute announcements from the community), an activity, or tabling for groups. Make sure to ask organizations attending the Spore to bring their promotional material. You’re also welcome to have them co-sponsor or co-host the night. If you don’t have this, simply hosting an interactive discussion will work just fine.
Coordinating Committee: One secret to organizing these events is to start up your own coordinating committee, a group of friends or interested people, who want to help in hosting the Spores and invite more members to the group. WE HIGHLY RECOMMEND HAVING AT LEAST 2 OR MORE REGIONAL COORDINATORS, so that they can assist you in organizing, and take over if you aren’t are out of town for one of the Spores.
Outreach to Groups: We highly recommend inviting other organizations, groups, and tribes to participate in order to bring in a wider audience, and to start the important work of making your Evolver Regional an umbrella for local groups to come together. This is all about building up your local network. The Spores with lower turnouts have almost always been the ones that didn’t invite other groups to present or co-host that night.
Online Component: Make sure to announce what Evolver.net is at the Spore, and what your regional is doing locally. Let people know how they can get involved in helping you organize future Spores. Invite everyone to post their announcements, events, and thoughts in the topics section of your group page as a community bulleting board. It helps to give everyone the url (web address) of your regional page.
Email Sign-ups: For each event, we ask that regionals have an email sign-up sheet, which will be provided by Evolver.net. This is crucial in building up our network of Evolvers and improving attendance at your future events. We recommend having someone at the door collecting these emails, and make an announcement before the event begins, passing around the sign-up sheet on a clipboard.
Post Spore-Questionnaire: You will be given a Post-Spore Questionnaire. The questionnaire lets us see how things went, find themes people are interested in, learn what worked, and how to improve on our merry monthly gatherings. All the questionnaires will be compiled into a single document that will then be shared with the regional coordinators’ list.
Themes: Evolver HQ will try and make the themes available a few months in advance. This will allow the regionals time to contact related groups and organizations. Themes will be decided from suggestions from the regional coordinator list and current events.
Where: You can hold your Spore anywhere – bar, café community center, yoga studio, even your living room (if you’re just getting started). As your Spore grows, you may need to find a bigger space.
Cost: Suggested donations are recommended for the Spore, usually between $5-$10 to cover costs of the space, and to create a kitty to help pay for future Spores and other events.
Day of Event: The Spores are scheduled for the third Wednesday of every month but individual regionals can shift the date if need be to match up with an available location or local event.
Doing Our Own Thing: It’s recommended that each regional generally follow the Spore theme, but within that, you are invited to find films, speakers, organizations, workshop facilitators, etc that are of interest to your community. Feel free to be creative. Also, if there is a local event that would work as a Spore in itself, feel free to combine forces and do that. Just make sure to tell Jonathan as there may be ways to feature it differently on the site.
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