Binikou a local~global Human Powered School

by Turil Cronburg - Individual Grantee
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Binikou a local~global Human Powered School
Evokers at the Summit in DC last week!
Evokers at the Summit in DC last week!

I'm very excited to finally get started with the first real mission of Binikou, with the website and workshops, as soon as Global Giving sends us the donations you made to Binikou back in August, we'll be able to jump right in and do all the awesome stuff you want us to!

Peace, Love, Bicycles, and BINIKOU!


Kunchok's sculpture

Binikou's very first Human Powered Workshop happened this past weekend at the Somerville Public Library. It was a casual affair, with people wandering in to check out all the interesting things, and many people expressing a regret that they couldn't make it, due to being out of town (many families were getting in their last-weeks-before-school-starts vacations, and we at the beach, pond, or other highly enjoyable natural setting. :-)

We had a total of 6 adults and 3 kids explore Binikou ideas for two fun and intersting hours. Some of them had seen the posters or notices ahead of time, and planned to come, others happened to be at the library and thought Binikou sounded and looked fun, and were invited to come explore.

I introduced Binikou and our goals, and we explored several different solutions to getting healthy food into our diets by putting superfoods such as greens like kale, spinach, chard, wood sorrel, and mint into different foods, and taste tested smoothies made with human power (a hand cranked blender was, perhaps, the star of the show, with the kids very excited about using their abundance of physical energy to power the blender). And we brainstormed more ideas, including a collaborative solution of putting fresh mint leaves into jelly donuts, for mint jelly donuts!

And we explored how we might create simple, light-weight, portable structures for Binikou's traveling classrooms. And we discovered that having reconfigurable materials, somewhat like Tinkertoys or K'nex, would allow us to have either a very practical structure that served to keep people warm (in cold and/or wet weather), but could also create a more fanciful structure that served as an outlet for creative expression. So this is going to be one of Binikou's first missions when the official website, and wiki serving as the "encyclopedia of solutions", is live.

And that website? It will be ready for beta testing as soon as we get the funding that's already been graciously donated to Binikou through the Global Giving challenge. That money will be coming within a few weeks, I believe, and then Binikou will really become a global force of awesomeness!

For more updates, check out Binikou's blog. You can subscribe via email, or RSS feed to the blog there, and find out what exciting things we're up to on a regular basis, so you'll know when the wiki is up, and can start sharing ideas with the world, on how to get more great stuff into humans, and do more great things with the stuff that comes out of humans!

Yay for greens!  Heathiest food on the planet!
Yay for greens! Heathiest food on the planet!


our first Human Powered Workshop!
our first Human Powered Workshop!

Here's the outline for our first Human Powered Workshop, coming up on Saturday August 21st at the Somerville Public Library (in Massachusetts). Let me know if you have any simple, fun ideas for demonstrations to do during the workshop...

Binikou ~ The Human Powered Workshop

1. Who am I? I'm a teacher, artist, philosopher, and lover of all things that grow! I've been exploring what humans need to be really healthy - really, really, healthy, to the point of feeling exceptionally awesome about themselves and their world. I looked at lots of different kinds of science, including a man named Abraham Maslow, who also studied what humans need to be healthy and resourceful enough to be able to do great things. And what I came up with was that for people to be really, really healthy they need enough:

Input: Whole food Clean water Fresh air Warmth Light

Output: the freedom to express their body's excess solids, liquids, gases, and energy

And then they need to believe that their closest family members (like moms and dads and brothers and sisters and husbands and wives) are healthy.

And then they need to believe that their other friends and family are healthy.

And then they need to believe that the whole planet is healthy!

Which is why I started Binikou ~ the Human Powered School! Because when every human is healthy and full of awesome power, everyone else will be healthy and full of awesome power as well! Binikou is a brand new educational program that plans to have both local workshops and classes as well as a website online (and maybe some books, someday!) where people from all over the planet can share their simple ideas for helping people get more of their needs met, so that they can be healthy and awesome, too.

2. What can I do? I can offer you a place where you can let everyone see your most awesome self! I am the founder of Binikou, and I'm working hard to bring kids, teens, and adults from all over the world together to make a better world for everyone.

3. Who are you? Are you mostly a reporter? And innovator? A researcher? A professional? Or a wise leader?

Reporters ask everyone around them questions! How, why, what? Innovators work with others to come up with new ideas. Researchers study and test the work that's being done by others, to better understand what works and what doesn't work. Professionals integrate all their knowledge and skills and work within large teams on more complex and long term issues. Wise leaders look at the big picture and find value in everything they experience.

4. What can we do together? Share and explore ideas for helping people!

We'll spend a little bit just thinking about and sharing ideas we've heard about, tried, and just come up with for getting more whole food, clean water, fresh air, warmth, light, and for using the extra solids, liquids, gases, and energy that we need to get rid of in more beneficial ways. Then we'll test out some of the ideas people have already had!

OK, go!

A. Sharing ideas!

Especially: Warmth: How can we build a lightweight, portable shelter for holding future Binikou workshops even in cold and/or wet weather? Food: What are some yummy recipes for using living sprouted nuts and seeds? Water: How can we clean the water we can get from our environment - ponds, rivers, lakes, and the runoff from our roofs - so that we feel safe drinking it?

B. Testing ideas! Greens! Hand out Whole Foods food ranking cards showing the power of greens. and taste test some wild and cultivated greens. Human powered smoothies! Dynamo flashlights. Bicycles? Talk about gears. Why is a kids trike less useful than an adult bike? Why is a bike or trike more efficient than walking? Test this by taking 5 steps walking and five pedal pushes biking and see how far both take you. Any idea how much energy is used in a step vs. a pedal push? Solar Power! Dark colors absorb heat energy from the sun. Use a black container of water and a white one, and see which is warmer. Solar shower.

To kick off Binikou, we're offering a free Human Powered School workshop at The Somerville Public Library (Main Branch), on August 21st, from 2-4pm. It's open to kids, teens, and adults and will be a short introduction to what Binikou is all about - helping people get more high quality food, water, air, warmth, and light, and finding ways to use the extra solids, liquids, gases, and energy that comes out of humans to do more awesome things. There will be brainstorming for solutions, as well as testing out solutions that local people have already come up with. If you are local, please come! Bring questions, ideas, and solutions, too, if you want!

Next comes some collaboration with other groups in the area. Outreach to schools, afterschool groups, clubs, and a variety of community programs are where the action is! Binikou wants to encourage these organizations to create teams to research, design, and share their solutions with the world via Binikou's wiki.

And the wiki? It will happen as soon as there is enough funding to get a website fully hosted! Hopefully that will happen during this Challenge! :-) Once that it up, everyone will be welcome to add their solutions. And the forum should follow, so we can all talk about our ideas, ask for help, and answer questions about how to help humans get more good stuff into themselves, and how to use what comes out of humans for more good things.

And then, during September, Turil travels to Washington D.C., for the Evoke Summit with a dozen other winners from the Evoke game, where all sorts of amazing stuff will probably happen!

And finally, for updates on Binikou, and more information, as well as a detailed list of items needed for Binikou to be fully functional, and exceptionally successful, please check out the Binikou Blog. You can get to it at either, or

Peace, Love, Bicycles, and Binikou!



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Organization Information

Turil Cronburg - Individual Grantee

Location: Somerville, MA - USA
Turil Cronburg - Individual Grantee
Turil Cronburg
Project Leader:
Turil Cronburg
Somerville, MA United States

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