Farewell WorldChanging  

Posted by Big Gav

WorldChanging has announced they are closing up after 7 interesting years. I don't think the site was ever quite the same after Jamais Cascio departed, but for years it was one of the best places to go on the internet - Thank You for Seven Years of Worldchanging.

We have some news.

Seven years ago, Alex Steffen and Jamais Cascio started Worldchanging with the intention of providing access to the tools, models and ideas for building a better future. They wanted to push the concept that solutions-based thinking could transform the debates about sustainability and social innovation. With a scrawny little blog, a brilliant crew of fellow travelers and a lot of moxie, an initial group of us set out to change how people think about (and prepare for) the future.

Since then, Worldchanging has published almost 12,000 essays, articles, blog posts and "quick changes." We've put out a bestselling book (which has been translated into French, German and other languages). We've had roughly eight million unique readers, and reached tens of millions more with our ideas through talks, interviews in the media and so on. We've had a major impact on the debate, introducing a whole bunch of new ideas and moving forward some entirely new discussions. Many Worldchanging writers have become leading voices in important planetary conversations. We've coined a number of phrases, not least the idea of bright green environmentalism. We've won awards, earned critical acclaim and, if our mail is to be believed, offered some optimism and inspiration to a number of bright, idealistic people.

But all things change, and so it happens with Worldchanging. The organization is taking steps to close its doors and dissolve as a 501c3 nonprofit organization by the end of 2010. It is our goal to see the archive of work here maintained, though the form of that archive is still uncertain.

Why is this happening? Worldchanging readers were generous over the years and an important part of our ongoing operations, but we were never able to secure major foundation support, so Worldchanging relied most heavily on income generated from Alex Steffen’s speaking engagements (Alex gave more than 400 talks over the past five years) and the Worldchanging book. The strenuous travel schedule it takes to deliver that many talks, though, was unsustainable, both personally for Alex and in terms of the impact it had on Worldchanging’s ability to develop new work. It was clear we needed a new model if we were going to stay in operation.

Early this year a new board was brought on to reshape the organization and pursue a more traditional nonprofit development model (based more on grants, gifts and major fundraising drives), with many new board members recruited in just the last few months to help us re-imagine operations and launch these new plans. Unfortunately, despite everyone’s best efforts (and a successful October event), funding ran out before such a transformation could happen. Given the financial realities we faced, the board and staff have agreed that it is time to bring Worldchanging to a close as gracefully as possible.


I hope they at least archive their site...

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