One of Green Map System's 2010 goals is to explore new ways to support the sustainable community development activities of our organization and network. We have always nurtured a spark of social innovation, but our inclusion of social entrepreneurship allows us to directly address a variety of challenges as our economy changes and our need for sustainable resources grows.
Important skills development – community organizing, critical assessment, sustainability communications, production and marketing – are strengthened through the Green Mapmaking process. All of these skills support new green jobs and ECOnomic development, too. We’re putting these skills to work ourselves to help build local capacity for sustainable living.
Green Map System is developing new ways to apply our years of non-profit and networking experience. GreenMap.org/consulting explores the services we offer to agencies, universities, companies, and educational and youth organizations, both to support local Green Map projects and to consult on other kinds of community-engaged sustainability efforts. Involved in a CSR program? Building 'community capital'? Developing a collaborative community program? We can help you!
Recognition for this new focus is also coming from academic circles. This month Bala Mulloth received his PhD for his "Diversity in Contemporary Entrepreneurship" research and dissertation which has a strong focus on our work (further described on the blog linked below). Our Director is a nominee for the World Technology Awards in the category of Social Entrepreneurship – awards will be announced on December 1. In a myriad of ways, the link between Green Mapmaking and community entrepreneurs is growing stronger than ever.
Green Maps have always promoted green jobs throughout the community by highlighting a wide diversity of enterprises, organizations, schools and projects that incorporate sustainability into their missions and activities. Thus, Green Map System truly is a decentralized marketing service for the 'hometown environment', supporting economic development and delivering added value to over 700 cities and towns in 55 countries. This important added value has been underscored by the Open Green Map, which now offers upwards of 15,000 green sites in desktop, mobile, iPhone and widget formats (note that we are presenting the platform at the NYC NetSquared Meetup on December 6 – details are linked below).
We are planning a deeper investment in the green economy. In 2011, we will begin researching how Green Mapmakers have turned mapmaking into a viable livelihood, documenting their methodologies and generating a global discussion. Our goals are to develop and highlight exciting, enterprising resources and to mentor new network members.
Today, you can invest in this mutual-support initiative by making a tax-deductible donation to Green Map System online at Global Giving. Contact us anytime (info [at] greenmap [dot] org or +1 212 674 1631) with your ideas and sponsorship offers. Our success in making this much-needed shift will leverage local green economies in hometowns near and far.
Join us in responding to a diversity of needs with a real hand up! Thank you from everyone at Green Map System, and our best wishes for a wonderful holiday season 2010!
We have reached a new milestone: Over 700 Green Map projects have registered at GreenMap.org/join! We are excited about being part of the green scene in communities from Jersey City NJ to Lake Tisza Hungary to Stellenbosch South Africa!
Each project uses our tools and models in their own way. Our job at Green Map System is to anticipate needs, respond to assessments and continually improve our websites and other mapmaking resources. Our new navigation feature - drop menus - is one outward manifestation of our summer’s work in the digital realm. As you explore Open Green Map’s 13,000 sites, you’ll notice that the interface is now available in a seventh language, Chinese. Explore some of the platform's 140 maps and you’ll find many have hundreds of sites!
Knowledge of local resources is critical to each individual and community, and maintaining the Open Green Map platform and expanding its reach are ongoing efforts. Your donations to us through Global Giving make all the difference. Your site suggestions and other contributions to these interactive Green Maps are greatly valued as well!
Linked below, find a fresh article about the Open Green Map and Drupal, the open source technology behind our acclaimed platform by Thomas Turnbull, our former Lead Developer and current Board Member. Continually advising us and pitching in, Tom helped make mobile access to the platform's data possible from any mobile phone – click GreenMap.org to find 'what's green nearby'! You can also get the free Green Map iPhone App (we are seeking a sponsor for version 2 - contact us for details).
Images include scenes from our Summer Virtual Internship Final Exchange - special thanks to visiting Green Mapmakers from San Francisco and Austin, who helped critique the Green Maps completed by students from 6 universities. We'd also like to thank Gottfried Haider, our volunteer from Austria who contributed much 'outside the box' thinking to our work this season, as well as great photos! Having Max Goldstein from Stockholm and Tushar Gogis, social entrepreneur, involved in our planning meetings were also much appreciated.
Chance Encounters with Green Sites
What happens when people on the street don’t have a Green Map or access to our mobile website? Visually compelling Markers posted on green sites will help everyone make the connection to local environment and green living resources.
We’ll be conducting our first test of Green Map Site Markers in NYC as part of the Art in Odd Places festival. Watch for them on 14th Street in Manhattan from Oct 1-10. We’ll be collecting feedback from event-goers and people who just happen to be on the street. You can take part during that time by clicking GreenMap.org/aiop.
And on the final day of the festival (10/10/10), please join us for our own contribution to 350.org's Global Work Party. We’re holding an Icon Design Studio, open to the entire community. Help us create new symbols to highlight climate impacts and local adaptations that will become part of the lexicon used by Green Map projects worldwide.
Join this open Green Map Icon design event on Sunday October 10 from 1 to 4 pm at the 14th Street Y, located at 344 East 14th near 1st Ave. Share your ideas about symbols that could be added to our current set (download at GreenMap.org/icons) that makes every Green Map exciting and easy to use.Thanks to the 14th Street Y, Art in Odd Places, refreshment donors Angelica Kitchen and all the designers and the sites where our test Markers will appear.
Following the festival, more Green Map Icon design sessions will be announced in this newsletter, in our tweets (follow us at @GreenMap), on our Facebook (facebook.com/greenmap) page, etc.
More Places to See Green Maps
Michigan’s Finlandia University is hosting “Green Maps of the World: Charting a Sustainable Future” exhibit from September 20 – October 16. This exhibit will showcase the local Keneenaw Peninsula Green Map and nearly 100 other editions created around the world. Green Map's Director Wendy Brawer will be on hand for both the exhibit opening and to meet with students and the university's sustainability program.
Around the same time, a unique series of wetlands Green Maps will be on view at the 2010 EXPO in Shanghai. As seen in this article, these maps were created by 30 university teams working with WWF China! Find out more about our work in China by perusing the progress report connected to our other Global Giving project, linked below.
Many thanks to all involved in supporting our work this season. We look forward to hearing from you!
As a supporter of Green Map System, you may not have realized you are also helping to support a wonderful internship program that bolsters leadership for a sustainable future.
At our New York office, we welcome students from all corners of the world to volunteer with us. Each receives training related to their own field of study. International policy, planning, food and nutrition, design and education are in the current ‘class’ of interns. As you can see in our blog at GreenMap.org/news, between 15 and 20 interns undertake a variety of tasks as they are exposed to sustainability in action! Whether it’s creating new mapmaking resources or assessing the impacts of Green Map projects in over 670 communities, each gains important communications, technology, organizing and management skills that make a positive contribution to their community and profession. As shown below, visitors like Philip Todres from Cape Town South Africa's Green Map project often visit and share directly with interns and our staff to benefit ongoing development.
We have also begun our summer ‘semi-virtual internship’ program for 2010. This special program helps us assist a larger group of student Green Mapmakers. Starting with a two-day training, each student works independently on a theme, campus or neighborhood Green Map. As seen at at the link below, each participant blogs weekly about their progress, and meets with our program coordinator, Celine Teo Ying Zhen, as needed. There’s a midpoint meet-up in July and in August, an exchange of completed Green Maps and lessons learned by this cohort of students from six universities. We’ll also invite the 2009 participants who have continued to develop their Green Maps all year! You are welcome to the exchange – watch the blog for details.
2009 was the first time we held the ‘semi-virtual internship’ and we have improved the process for 2010. We appreciate having the support of Con Edison for this New York-based project, but hope that you will contribute generously as we aim to share the process and outcomes more broadly, creating resources that will help Green Map projects around the world, hosting their own versions of this program. Of course, we'll incorporate the outcomes of related programs, such as the 4BsHive, a network of European Green Mapmakers who are involving a diverse group of adult learners in a European Union-funded exchange mapping program (shown in the attached photo in Budapest's technology lab).
Our ongoing in-house interns as well as those who take part in summer programs and trainings give so much to the global Green Map program. Your donation is a big THANK YOU to their thoughtful efforts to make the world a better place for all of us.
Help us extend a hand to far more youth, life-long learners and other dedicated Green Mapmakers who love their home places!
As our thanks to you – we invite you to visit GreenMap.org/widgets (linked below) and find out how to add our great content to your website or blog. It's easy and you'll be showcasing Green Maps, green sites, photos and more that help spread the word about the global Green Map program!
Our best wishes for a green and healthy summer!
The award-winning Green Map movement has joined the mobile revolution! Two great resources for green living debuted in February - a mobile website designed for all internet-enabled cellphones and the Green Map iPhone App!
Ideal for locals and tourists alike, both feature "What's Green Nearby?™" a handy tool for connecting with green resources on the go. The iPhone App includes 10 additional sections, delivering an insightful view into this global movement through its engaging Green Maps, videos, photos, blog, and more. In keeping with Green Map System's mission of inclusive participation in sustainable communities, this dual launch is designed to serve a broad diversity of mobile phone users at no cost.
Access the mobile website: Simply type GreenMap.org into any phone's browser. An array of green living resources pops up, arranged by those nearest to your location. Click any site for details, and then, click the address to plot the site on your phone's built-in map. Or, type in a city you plan to visit. Navigate with your phone's buttons and connect with nature, culture and sustainability sites directly. Today on the beta version, you can explore 9000 sites. In the future, you will be able to interact and contribute your own viewpoints, images and more.
Get the Green Map iPhone App: Search for Green Map in the Apple Store or click GreenMap.org/app. Version 1.0 delivers a view of this dynamic locally-led global sustainability movement unlike any you have ever seen before.
"Richly illustrated with expressive, locally-designed Green Maps, background on the Green Map movement and its impacts, media reports and news all come into view so users can directly explore the remarkable people, places and outcomes of the Green Map movement", noted Wendy Brawer, Founding Director. "Our design team utilized AppMakr to develop the iPhone app in less than a month, and members of our Board pitched in to create the mobile website. With the help of sponsoring companies, foundations and individual donors, we'll be building richer versions and continually improving exploration and interaction, contributing much to community well-being and the future we all share."
We invited our Global Giving supporters to be among the first to use these new tools and we welcome your feedback.
During the App's first week, it was downloaded in 21 countries, an indication of global interest in green living. Articles appeared in Treehugger, the Daily Green, Download Squad, 3R Living, and other places. A new feature was added - the ability to explore the sites by the Green Map Icon! Click Take Green Map With You at http://GreenMap.org for updates and more about our first mobile tools.
At Green Map System, we've started planning yet another way for people to discover the green sites with an on site marker system that requires no technology, not even a map! Watch for news on this and other resources for youth, community and civic Green Mapmaking – and our sincere thanks for all you do to help us support dynamic locally-led Green Map projects worldwide.
It's been quite an exciting season at Green Map System!
We were very pleased with the generous response you made towards our participation in the Give More – Get More Campaign. A total of $7,390 was raised, including Global Giving's match and bonuses from our Board. Early in the new year, we will draw prizes, as promised, and contact the winners. Your support is very important to over 625 communities worldwide with registered Green Map projects, and helps us build a sustainable future together.
December was especially meaningful to me, as Green Map's director. I went to Copenhagen for the United Nations climate conference COP 15! I've created a series of blog posts, starting at GreenMap.org/cop15 about events there with Green Mapmakers from Denmark, Sweden, Indonesia and Taiwan. It was a great opportunity to develop movement-wide plans for the decade ahead and meet people who will initiate new Green Map projects and partnerships.
Today, people everywhere are seeking meaningful ways to address climate change, overcome a lack of government vision and restore hope for a healthier and greener future. With your donation to Green Map System, we can offer millions of people a new opportunity to create a sustainable future, starting right in their own hometown.
We have offered this opportunity for nearly 15 years – what makes it different now?
First of all, 2009 was a remarkably effective year for us. One key indicator: the number of newly registered projects surged 35% - now another 119 communities, from Sao Paulo Brazil to Edinburgh UK to Dalian China to Oakland California - have Green Maps in progress!
Our technology took a giant step forward in 2009. Through the launch of our Open Green Map platform, we have made it so much easier to publish, share and explore Green Maps. Each of the 7,300 sites mapped to date is ready for your viewpoints, assessments and images. Now, the Open Green Map is even available on your mobile phone! We'll be announcing this breakthrough in January but you can give it a whirl today by clicking GreenMap.org on any internet-enabled phone.
We want to help you make the world a better place, too!
Our world is a beautiful place. Join us in telling its story from your place in the world, and help everyone see it that way!
Best wishes for a sustainable start to the New Year and new decade from everyone at Green Map System!
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Founding Director & Secretary