Vegan Month

When I told friends I was going to try a vegan diet for February, the response was often:

Signing up for Vegan Month however, is about much more than wearing flares and cutting out eggs and sausages.

The brainchild of fellow Awesome Foundation Board Member Xavier Shay, Vegan Month is an immersive course which utilises small-scale communities, social media and mini-tasks to involve and educate its participants.

Weekly Vegan Dinners: Week 1, Soul Mama's St Kilda.

I managed to grab Xavier for his take on the program after dinner this week…

For more information, hit www.vegan-month.com

Follow Feb #veganmonth adventurers on Twitter:

Got Awesome?

Got an awesome idea? Yeah you do!

Need help getting it up?

Enter the Awesome Foundation; a monthly grant of $1000 awarded to people doing something awesome, no strings attached.

Sprouting roots in Boston a year and a half ago, the foundation works by distributing monthly grants of $1000 self-funded by local groups of ten micro-trustees to ‘awesome projects and their creators’.

Awesomeness? What does an awesome idea look like?

How about a hip-hop word count? HOLLA!

Giant hammock? Check.

Do you like robotic lamps? Yes please.

If previous projects are an indicator, awesomeness is not limited to any one industry or purpose; from community farming initiatives to hip hop linguistic tools, a diverse array of projects got a nod from the Foundation this year.

Most recently, the Berlin chapter announced their first winner to build a sleigh track for the whole community, a “Wilde Schlittenfahrt”, a wild downhill sledge ride.  HOLY AWESOME!

Wilde Schlittenfahrt aka Wild sled ride – Awesome Foundation Berlin grantee Konrad explains his idea from Henrik Moltke on Vimeo.

Boston’s concept has rapidly grown wings with an international alliance of chapters committed to ‘sustaining and promoting the interest of Awesomeness’ across the globe. Next stop, Melbourne.

I’m pumped to be joining the Awesome Foundation trustees on the Melbourne adventure, who knows what 12 awesome projects will be supported in a year’s time?

Outside Melbourne, The Awesome Foundation chapters can be found in Berlin, Boston, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Ottawa, Providence, San Francisco, and Washington, DC.

Make sure your awesome idea is put up for consideration and apply. Chances are, there is an Awesome Foundation near you.

FAQ – The Awesome Foundation.

Keep updated on The Awesome Foundation Melbourne Twitter with @awesomemelb & their trustees.

The subconscious education of public taste

I was in Paris a couple of weeks ago and was lucky enough to spot a guy mid ‘paste up’ – in the process of posting art – while hanging out at Centre Pompidou.

It just so happens I’d bumped into Eric Maréchal, the founder of a global art project,  Street Art Without Borders, which connects artists with volunteer ‘pasters’, through the power of social media.

Eric @ work

The idea is simple, using Flickr, Eric  finds artists who he admires, contacts them and offers to paste their work up in whatever city he is in.  They send him the works, he pastes them and posts pictures of it back up on to Flickr.

“The fascinating part of that work is also the exchange with the artist, their story, their unique message to the world.”

Many of the artists, he tells me, have never done any street art before.

Artists that traditionally work on canvas or other mediums, find a new way to express themselves and reach a different audience.

Eric, who goes by the name of ‘urbanhearts‘ online, showed me a work by a Chinese artist who he discovered on Flickr.  It was the first time she had done street art, and experimented with local newspapers to paint on, which aside from being easy to post, look incredible.

If you believe that street art has the power to improve well-being, then you’d agree this is one project using social media for good.

To tear the street away from the grey and dreary monotony of neat rows of buildings; to throw a firework of colours into its midst, joy radiating outwards, to convert walls and basements into surfaces to be decorated, and from this wind-exposed museum to deduce that which reveals a race’s personality, and at the same time, the subconsicious education of public taste.

– Preface to the Jules Cheret (France’s first street poster artist) exhibition catalogue at the Theatre d’Application, 1889 in Paris.

Paris 1889 – Jules Cheret                      Paris 2010 – Zhe155

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