I can’t believe that only seven months have passed since Coalition of the Willing was released. A lot has happened since then. The Guardian got things off to a flying start by posting the film on their environment page. Since then, Coalition of the Willing has won the Grand Jury Award at the Hampton International Film Festival (2010) and the Waverley Award for Best Environmental Short at FlickerFest in Sydney (2011). It was shortlisted for the 2010 Vimeo film awards (out of 6500 entries), and has been nominated for a Brit Insurance Design Award, the so-called ‘Oscars of the design world’. The Design Award is hosted by the Design Museum, in the heart of London on the banks of the jolly Thames. Coalition of the Willing will screen at the Design Museum through February and March 2011. If you are in London, why not check it out? You could stage a flash mob viewing event.
The latter part of 2010 was an intense period of brainstorming, crowdsourcing, and collaboration for members of Coalition of the Willing. A volunteer team in Hamburg set up this blog, we started a translations wiki, and sought to broaden our community through two online MovementCamps. We launched http://cotw.cc, a community MediWiki and routing portal into the Coalition, and started using BetterMeans as a workflow management system.
We haven’t saved the world – not yet. But we haven’t been idle. We have been preparing a launching pad and landing space for the ultimate Coalition of the Willing, a global human swarm. There is much to do and a great way to go. But the pieces are coming together. We hope that you’ll continue to follow us and even help us out as we connect the dots through 2011 and prepare something truly awesome for 2012.
One thing that distinguishes Coalition of the Willing from other online networks is our open approach to leadership. We believe in emergent leadership. Swarms take shape through emergent leadership, as people step up to pursue common goals independently and collectively. Most of the things that we’ve achieved thus far have been achieved by emergent leaders – extraordinary individuals who saw an opportunity in helping build the Coalition and went for it. In many cases, people have contributed for no other reason than the fact that they believed in the Coalition itself. People have wanted to help create the Coalition of the Willing and be part of it.
I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the incredible people who have contributed to Coalition of the Willing to this point, and helped to make it what it is.
Let’s start with the film. Coalition of the Willing was an enormous production directed single-handedly by Simon Robson on zero budget. It involved twenty top international animation teams, totaling seventy seven people, all of whom worked on a pro bono basis. Collaborators included Adam Gault and Stefanie Augustine, Bran Dougherty-Johnson, Cassiano Prado, Mario de Toledo-Sader, Dave Baum, Decoy, Dom Del Torto, Dylan White and Andy Hague, Echolab, Foreign Office, Andreas Gebhardt, James Wignall, Betterment Bureau (Loyalkaspar), Sehsucht (Mate Steinforth), Mighty Nice, Parasol Island, Thiago Maia, World Leaders, Yum Yum London, Cristobal Infante, Ladyverd, Arctic Stock Images, Tim Dillon, Eggplant Digital, Marotori, Richard Das, Ademar Varela/Mind Bike, Kester Hynds, and Fernando Valente. Please let me know if I’ve left anyone out. You can find out about this extraordinary team of people on the film website. Clapham Road Studios donated Simon a workspace and a lighting rig to shoot the film. Gavin Little (aka Echolab) put together an incredible soundtrack that literally makes the film. Tim Dillon designed the beautiful film website, and put it together with the help of an interactive team including Eggplant Digital in Beijing.
This was the team that made the film and launched it. First generation coalitioners, so to speak. The second generation burst into being with the film release. People were writing to us from all over the world. They said: ‘How can I be part of this?’ Jörn Hendrik Ast was the first to step up. Jörn Hendrik is one of those incredible people who steps into your life and changes things for the better. He put together the blog that you are reading with help from the mighty Dirk Brünsicke.
Tausend Dank, guys. Without you, nothing.
About the same time, Michael Maranda from Chicago, Illinois, got in touch to say that he’d like to help evolve the project. Michael consults on movement building and info-strategies for the social benefit sector when he’s not wrestling with his kids. Michael and I were exploring ideas when Chris Watkins from Appropedia made contact. Things started to build from there. We put together http://cotw.cc – a platform and evolving resource – developed by Chris with assistance from Jason Smithson. On October 10, 2010, Michael and I MCed the first of two Movement Camps, which took place on a bespoke Drupal platform designed by Michael, with livestream and IRC links.
The 10/10/10 Movement Camp was an exhilarating experiment and a genuine socio-technological innovation (with all the bugs and hiccups this entails). It worked because a bunch of people believed that the way to change the world is to change the way that we work and collaborate online. I recommend that you check out the clips in this post from the first event. Inspiring, inspiring stuff. Thank you Micheal Maranda, Suresh Fernando, Fernanda Ibarra, Dan-Eric Archer, Jason Smithson, Marius Bauer, Gabe Stern, Chris Cook, Ken Dabkowski, and everyone else involved in the MovementCamp experience.
Meanwhile, I was trying to corral a swarm of translation talent. As soon as the film came out, people were asking: ‘Where are the translations?’ Translations, we thought? Er… hadn’t thought of that. Ladyverd came to our rescue with French, German, and Spanish translations. Working on open source principles, we set up a translations wiki and asked if our community could help us. The response was amazing. We currently have translations in ten languages: French, German, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Chinese, Serbian, Greek, and Romanian, with more coming in. Thank you Diogo Louro, Cesare Carli, Max Izmailov, Bill Gouveros, Roxi Tamba, Daniel Hires, Pamela Maguigad, Roso Lazaro, Tamara Tosic, Norberto Ritter, and the man known only as Mauro. You guys rock.
Translators – I salute you! You guys are heroes! I’d especially like to thank Vicky Mohieddeen from Electric Shadows, who translated and subtitled Coalition of the Willing into modern Chinese, and Carissa Welton from Greening the Beige, who organized a Beijing screening of the film on October 10 as part of the day of action.
Most of the translations will be appearing on the film website soon – stay tuned. In the meantime, check out all the good work done on the translations wiki. You’ll find the names of the contributors on the respective translation pages.
Recently we’ve started doing subtitling work on dotSUB. This is an amazing service that enables people to quickly and easily add subtitles to online films. All you need to do is register, then follow the simple instructions on ‘Translate/Transcribe’. We have Russian and Italian translations up there already, with more to follow.
No round of thanks would be complete without big ups to the team who keep the fire alive on the Coalition Google Group. Michael Maranda, Paul Horan, Pamela McClean, Ben Brownell, Mark Roest, Fabio Barone, Darren Hill, George Mockray, Suresh Fernando, Chris Watkins, all of you – it is you who have kept this going and kept my mind wide open! If anyone out there is interested in riding the wave of contemporary possibility – I urge you to sign up to the group and join us.
This is what we’ve been doing for the last six months. What do we have coming up?
Joe Solomon, social media coordinator for 350.org, had plenty of inspiring things to say at the 10/10/10 MovementCamp. He hit the nail right on the head when he argued that what the global climate action movement needs today is a common ‘map’ that would enable groups and organizations to coordinate their projects and function as a swarm.
We couldn’t agree more. Interoperability is the key to next-generation climate action. This is a topic that we’ll be focusing on in 2011.