SHARE Asheville: ‘Map Jam’ Part Deux

Map Jam Part Deux_Skinny


On Wednesday November 20th, community members and resiliency organizers in Asheville, NC will join together for Part 2 of the creation of a Map of what our city already has to offer from the Sharing/Collaboration/Commons perspective.  The intention will be to leave the evening with a completed (digital) map that can be accessed by all residents and those passing through who wish to support a local solidarity economy.

We will be adding additions to our list, recording all the necessary information about each location and making the map!

Wanna get involved?
Please bring a laptop or tablet if you can. Don’t worry if you can’t, we’ll have some extras on hand and will be breaking up into groups so not everyone needs to have one.
Please bring something to share for the pot luck and a list of organizations, businesses, resources and events that should go on our new map of Asheville.

P.S. If you can’t make it please include your ideas on the event page.

***Parking is best towards the bottom of Congress St. We only have parking on one side of the street and it is a constant negotiation with our neighbors…

Quick Note: At the first event we did a Brainstorm by sector and created a list of over 100 things to go on the MAP!
We also received some media attention from the Mountain Express: How well does Asheville share?
Finance – credit unions, public banks, microfinance and local investment, ongoing crowdfunding dinners (Sunday Soup), socially responsible investing firms, community currencies, slow money chapters
Production – energy coops, producer coops, community gardens, coworking spaces, urban farms, hacker spaces, maker spaces, art collectives, fab labs, computer kitchens, repair cafes
Land/housing – public parks, open space, community centers, housing coops, community land trusts, intentional communities, cohousing developments
Services – public libraries, carsharing pods, bikesharing stations, worker coops, community or cooperative healthcare, bike kitchens, childcare collectives, preschool coops, timebanks, education coops, free skools, community owned media, infoshops
Distribution – food coops, farmer’s markets, reuse stores, tool and seed libraries, barter markets, free stores, stationary free boxes and food pantries


Adapting to Climate Change: It’s Not About Giving Up, It’s About Getting Real

Conversations about how we’re going to get through the coming transformation force us to see the full scale of the problem.

In Fort Lauderdale, Fla., a girl displays future sea levels as projected by the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Change Compact. (Photo by / Flickr.)It was clear last year at election time that Seattle needed a new sea wall to replace the crumbling, worm-eaten infrastructure that has girded the waterfront since the early 20th century. “Do you want downtown Seattle to slide into motherf-cking Puget Sound during the next earthquake thanks to a towering wave of voter apathy?” wrote the editorial board of The Stranger. (The city’s alt-weekly is not known for demure language.) More than three-fourths of city voters said yes to a small increase in property taxes to fund the construction.

“When I started you couldn’t talk about it because it was considered giving up.”

But the whole thing raises tough questions: Any new road, bridge, or housing project, not just here but in every community, will endure or fail based on a set of future, more extreme climate conditions.

Today, President Obama issued an executive order that establishes a task force on “climate preparedness and resilience.” It directs federal agencies to begin dealing with the quandaries of planning for a world of bigger storms and rising seas. The order acknowledges that the impacts of climate change “are already affecting communities, natural resources, ecosystems, economies, and public health.”

These problems will only worsen. At this point, there’s no stopping climate change, not altogether. Even if the entire world today abandoned its cars for bicycles and replaced every coal plant with a field of solar panels, the planet would continue getting warmer because of the carbon dioxide we’ve already sent into the atmosphere. The world will still need to drastically rein in carbon emissions if it is going to avoid making the crisis far worse. But we will also need to learn how to live on a warmer planet.

The executive order represents a rapid shift in the approach to climate change, as events like Hurricane Sandy have made it obvious that we’re living in an era of weird weather. Until recent years, environmentalists and policymakers were eerily silent about adapting to climate change. “When I started you couldn’t talk about it,” says Lara Hansen, a scientist and expert on climate-change adaptation who serves on the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, “because it was considered giving up”—abandoning the idea that we could slow global warming.

But Hansen noticed something: When she did talk about adaptation with people like city planners and land managers, it transformed the whole conversation about climate change. “When people feel the effects of climate change where they live, they don’t need to see An Inconvenient Truth. They want to know what to do about it.”

It’s not a secret that low-lying parts of Florida, including Miami, could be underwater in a few decades.

Five years ago, she co-founded the organization EcoAdapt with a group of researchers and practitioners who were doing some of the earliest work in the country on climate-change adaptation.

Since then, leaders in the environmental movement have come around. Al Gore, in his own words, “used to argue many years ago that resources and effort put into adaptation would divert attention from the all-out push that is necessary to mitigate global warming and quickly build the political will to sharply reduce emissions of global warming pollution. I was wrong.”

In June, the Associated Press said governments around the world are now dealing with the repercussions of a warmer climate. Last month, the Society for Environmental Journalists’ quarterly publication suggested that the story of climate adaptation had hit a “tipping point.” It may be the next big beat for journalists, the group said.

That’s because lot of communities are already scrambling to cope with summers that are more often scorching, unprecedented flooding, drought, and myriad other symptoms of climate change, whether they call them that or not. “I can probably have a much more comfortable conversation about the dangers of drought with stakeholders in the central U.S. than I can about the impacts of climate change, of which drought might be one,” says Michael Hayes, director of the National Drought Mitigation Center, based in Lincoln, Neb. The 2012 drought—which looks extreme now but may be ordinary in the future, scientists say—cost the United States $14 billion, according to the group Taxpayers for Common Sense.

Other communities are proceeding with practical conversations about climate change, even when it’s politically contentious. It’s not a secret that low-lying parts of Florida, including Miami, could be underwater in a few decades, especially if nothing is done to protect them. But the state’s current governor, Rick Scott, denies the science on climate change and has signed a law that dismantles the Florida Energy and Climate Commission.

Yet several Florida communities and agencies have climate adaptation plans—some launched during the administration of the state’s previous governor, who took climate change more seriously . Four counties in southeast Florida, including Miami-Dade, are planning new flood maps and searching for road-building materials that better withstand heat spells through a collaboration called the Southeast Florida Regional Climate Compact.

This is only the beginning of discussions all of us will need to have about climate change. It will affect every decision—from whether a person chooses to buy a house next to the Seattle shoreline or in a city with very little water (like Las Vegas) to insurance rates, ski seasons, and the size of one’s grocery bills during a drought year.

What can ordinary people do (besides succumbing to a towering wave of apathy or despair)?

The California organization Bay Localize has developed one of the most effective tools for any ordinary citizen (or school, church, or other institution) wanting to start a local conversation about climate change: The Community Resilience Toolkit. It’s focused on the Bay Area, but the issues it covers are relevant anywhere. They ask questions that force you to reckon with the place you live, such as where you get water, energy, and food. But they also work on dealing with poverty and other problems that make people more vulnerable during a crisis. Another resource, Transition U.S. is primarily focused on concerns about peak oil—but their strategies also touch on the “shocks” of climate change.

These small and local steps will never replace badly needed international carbon-emissions-fighting policies. But conversations on adapting aren’t about giving up—they’re about moving forward, confronting what’s real, and waking people up to the enormous transitions we’ll need to make in our lives and in the places we live.


This article was written for YES! Magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas with practical actions.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License.
Madeline Ostrander

Madeline Ostrander is YES! Magazine‘s senior editor. Her website is:

SHARE Asheville featured in Shareable’s international “Map Jam” round-up

We Gathered, We Mapped, We Shared: a #MapJam Follow-Up

For two weeks in October, people all over the world gathered to make maps. Thanks to these map jams, 55 cities from Rome and Asheville, to Melbourne, Paris, Austin, Santa Cruz, Barcelona and many more now have public maps of sharing services that exist locally. As a whole, we have the beginnings of a global sharing map.

This is important because sharing services aren’t always easy to find. Big businesses make their presence well-known through an incessant barrage of advertising, but the shared stuff sometimes flies below the radar. The goal of these map jams is to put these things on the radar; to shine a light on all of the things that build local resilience, strengthen communities, and advance the sharing movement.

Some of the maps, including the ones for Paris and Austin are densely-packed with pins, reflecting a local culture that is already engaged in the sharing economy. Others, such as the Arab Countries map, are sparsely pinned but are incredibly inspiring as they illustrate an emerging sharing economy.

Parks, libraries, coworking spaces and credit unions were commonly-mapped features, but each map also has pins that reflect the area’s distinct culture. Here, a handful of map jam hosts share the details of their jams; what form they took, how they went, what they plan to do with the maps, tips for future map jams and any big picture takeaways they might have had.

Darren Sharp – Melbourne, Australia
The map jam team in Melbourne utilized CrowdSpot, a local Melbourne mapping startup to create its map (the map will soon be migrated to Google Maps). Held in the depo8 coworking space in Prahran, a suburb of Melbourne, the map jam was attended by 20 people who mapped coworking spaces, housing co-ops, second-hand stores, markets, car sharing services and collaborative consumption businesses.

With so many people participating, they were able to break down into smaller groups to focus energies. According to host Darren Sharp, this facilitated “lots of great discussion and networking amidst all the mapping activities.”

The mappers got off to a good start but only mapped a fraction of the sharing services in Melbourne. The next step, according to Sharp, is to share the map with the wider community and encourage the ongoing development of the project.

For future map jams he recommends setting aside at least three hours for the event and find creative ways to keep people focused on the task at hand as it’s easy making new friends and getting caught up in conversation. He suggested holding annual map jams to bring the community together again, add new sharing services, and refresh existing or out of date ones.

“I think map jams are a great opportunity to make the invisible visible and help local communities connect the dots in their city,” he says. “As the map starts to take shape it becomes a powerful reminder of the strength and breadth of the sharing economy.”

Melbourne mappers working and socializing

Maya Pilgrim – Austin, Texas
Part of the Austin Sustainable Swap, the Austin map jam packed the pins onto its map. The team, described by host Maya Pilgrim as a “mighty team of four with a ton of local knowledge and commitment to building sharing communities,” included the organizer of the Austin Sustainable Swap, an organizer of the Austin Time Bank, and the founder of CommonSpark.

The mappers were surprised, after breaking Austin down by sector, how many things they had to pin. Three hours wasn’t enough time to finish.

“It turned out great, but its definitely a work in process,” says Pilgrim. And as communities evolve and grow, it always will be.”

There are plans to post the map and share the map around the community.

Making new connections was, for Pilgrim, the best part about the map jam. “It’s always revitalizing,” she says, “to meet other engaged individuals with similar passions and interests and an investment in working towards a more just and supportive community.”

Austin’s got a lot of sharing going on!

Simone Cicero – Rome, Italy
The Rome map jam was organized by Ouishare Italy and held at SPQwoRk, a local coworking space. It consisted of six people working, as well as some visitors. Taking place on a warm October Saturday at a cozy location, the event lasted three hours which, according to host Simone Cicero, was just the right the time to chat and think about more future projects and the future of OuiShare Italy, while they were mapping.

The group had some difficulties importing existing databases (for things such as bike- and car-sharing spots) and is looking for automating scripts to do the job. They also got into a discussion about whether to add strong, politically-oriented initiatives: the knowledge commons, the occupied Teatro Valle and occupied spaces with a prominent social/collaborative mission. In the end, they decided to map some of them.

Ouishare Italy is going to use the map as a foundation for more mapping efforts. They’ll try to embed existing datasets (“This is a topic,” says Cicero, “that should be featured on Shareable: How to import existing sharing datasets into city sharing maps.) There’s also talk of moving off Google maps to a more independent map system.

For Cicero, the best thing about the map jam was helping with Shareable’s global initiative and spending an afternoon together. “I think Shareable now has the duty,” he says, “to move forward with this mapping initiative.”

The Rome mapping team. Photos by Nicoletta Valdisteno

Ahmad Sufian Bayram – Arab Countries
While most of the map jams were in-person, the Arab Countries map was created by a virtual team that spanned numerous locales including Syria, Egypt, Iraq, Algeria, Lebanon, Dubai, Palestine and Morocco. Hosted by Ahmad Sufian Bayram, a OuiShare connector, the event served to draw attention to the sharing initiatives emerging in the area.

“It was an online event, because the sharing economy still new in the Arab world,” says Bayram, “and we don’t have a lot of sharing initiatives in the region to host an event for each city.”

They mapped crowdfunding and crowdsourcing initiatives, bike and car sharing, hackerspaces and coworking spaces. Bayram was surprised by how many coworking spaces they found saying that the number was not a lot when compared with the US or Europe, but that it was larger than he expected. They chose not to map public parks and libraries because they have a lot so they’ll be added later.

Bayram published the map on his blog, to various Facebook groups and in a magazine for entrepreneurs. His advice for future map jams: announce it earlier to allow mappers more time to gather information so that they can spend the event pinning rather than researching.

He says the best thing about the map jam is the worldwide collaborative effort.

“What I really loved,” he says, “was that it was an international movement, where every sharing economy supporter hosts his or her local event and becomes part of the bigger map that shows the sharing initiatives of the whole world.”

The Arab Counties map shows an emerging sharing economy

Tom Llewellyn – Ashville, North Carolina
In Asheville, North Carolina, the map jam marked the unofficial launch of Share Asheville, a project of the REAL Cooperative, a “collaborative project of Activists and Educators working to advise new organizers, educate in creative ways, coordinate and collaborate on actions.”

From the looks of it, the Asheville map jam may have been the coziest event, with mappers tucked in among books, musical instruments and warm lights. And the map jam was covered by Mountain Xpress, the local weekly newspaper.

One of the larger map jams, the event had 20 people and they mapped more than 100 resources and services. There are still more things to map, though, and a team plans to continue the process.

“As many options, as many opportunities there are to bring people together, and to collaborate and share, not just resources, but also knowledge and history,” Llewellyn told a reporter, “… that kind of sharing, collaborating and community-supporting is important for regenerating a city, a culture, a region and a nation.”

The Asheville map will be published on the Share Asheville site shortly.

The Asheville map jam was cozy but 20 people came out to map!

David Weingartner – Germany
The map jam in Germany covered six cities: Munich, Karlsruhe, Cologne, Wuppertal, Hamburg and Berlin. Part of OuiShare’s DeTour, which was a leg on the OuiShare Europe Tour, the map jam wasn’t limited to one event, but stretched throughout different stops on the tour. This allowed people with local knowledge of the different cities to add to the map.

“Depending on the number of people that attended the events,” says OuiShare connector David Weingartner, “we had sometimes more and sometimes less input. Mostly people approached the map jam stand and added data as soon as their mind stumbled upon something they could map in their city.”

According to Weingartner, the things mapped reflected the attendees of any particular event.

“When our events were mostly visited by startups and entrepreneurs from the sharing economy,” he says, “the map reflected this. At other events we had more of a grassroots audience of local activities, so then we had more dots on the map with for example urban gardens, repair-cafés and the like.”

As a whole, they mapped a broad spectrum of things like FabLabs, carsharing initiatives, public parks, community supported agriculture projects, second hand shops, coworking spaces and urban gardens.

The plan was to map all the cities on one map in different layers, but they found that Google Maps restricts how many layers you can have so each city now has a different map. The team is looking for a solution to put the data they have into an open-source map which can reflect all that they’ve mapped on a country scale. They’re open to suggestions and help with this.

There was a lot of enthusiasm around the project and the plan now is to hand the maps over to the local communities to add to it, use it and adapt it to their needs.

Some initiatives have said that they will import maps they already may have, embed it on their websites and spread it to make it accessible to as many people as possible. The map jam team was also approached by people with similar ideas and approaches for mapping their cities.

“We will find a way,” says Weingartner, “to put the efforts together and synergize. As a future vision,” he continues, “it would be great to see an aggregated world map going beyond the borders of cities and countries.”

The map jam in Germany traveled to several cities as part of OuiShare’s Europe Tour

Cat Johnson – Santa Cruz, California
In Santa Cruz, I hosted a map jam at Cruzioworks, one of our local coworking spaces. We had six people researching and mapping what has proven to be an ever-growing list of collaborative, open stuff.

After the ice-breaking technical difficulties, we pinned farmers’ markets, libraries, parks, cohousing projects, coworking spaces and the bike church. We also mapped a repair cafe, toy-lending libraries, community centers, Little Free Libraries, community gardens, the Resource Center for Nonviolence and more. Our list grew far beyond what we originally came up with and continues to be a work in progress. The map has been updated regularly and as one participant said, “I know there’s more!”

We also came up with a bunch of organizations and events, including Santa Cruz Open Streets, our local TimeBank and the Guerrilla Drive-In, that don’t have set locations. For these, we started a separate directory that may be added to a website at some point.

My big takeaway from the map jam is a renewed sense that we are far more knowledgeable and informed as a group than we are as individuals. Every participant knew of something for the map that the others didn’t. It was a great lesson in the power of collaboration. When I posted the map to Facebook, the first response was an out-of-town friend saying, “Cool! My friend just moved there and would love this. Well done.” To which I responded, “Nice! That’s exactly why we did it.”

The Santa Cruz team busy brainstorming and mapping

Get Involved:


Top photo of the Santa Cruz, Ca. map. Follow @CatJohnson on Twitter and Facebook

REAL Cooperative is Booking 2014 Events!

Real Cooperative is excited to announce that we are now available to book events for 2014! Contact Tom Llewellyn for more information.

This Spring the Hemp History Week College Roadshow will be heading back out on the road for the second annual national tour.  This installment will once again feature the Hemp Hut (Interactive Hemp Education Showcase) along with a Film Screening: “Bring it Home” and a Keynote Presentation by David Piller (2011 Hemp Activist of the Year).   We are currently seeking universities across the nation to host a tour stop and will also be available to present at community centers, theaters and other venues.

The Conscious Carnival Midway is also available for booking on the west coast this Spring and nationally throughout the rest of the year.  The Conscious Carnival Midway tour will feature:  6 Classic Carnival Games with an ‘Eco Twist’ (Toss Out Fossil Fuels, Up A Creek, Recycle Swish, Seeds For Life, EcoOpolis, GMO Freak Show) and performances from the Ballyhoo Carny Crew and the Big Tadoo Puppet Crew.  The Conscious Carnival was the main attraction of the Sustainable Living Roadshow and has been a part of countless events from coast to coast since 2005.

Members of the REAL Cooperative are also available to give presentations and lead workshops about the following subjects:

Hemp, GMOs, Story Based Activism, Outcome based Organizing, Playful Activism, Sharing/Cooperative Economy, GE Trees, Conscious Touring, How to Start a Tool Library and much, much more!

REAL Cooperative is also open to collaboration and contracting with other groups and organizations.  Do you need support from an experienced cooperative of educators, activists and organizers?  We can work with you directly or connect you to our national network of leaders.

Fishy Food Cars Announce 6,000 Mile Tri-Coastal Tour

November 1, 2013

CONTACT: Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671

Fishy Food Cars Announce 6,000 Mile Tri-Coastal Tour

Journey from Seattle to New York for GMO Labeling Begins November 7

WASHINGTON, DC – On November 7, GMO labeling activists will set out on a cross-country 6,083-mile journey from Seattle to New York City for the “Are We Eating Fishy Food? Tri-Coastal Tour.” The tour features five mutant GMO art cars fitted with 300 pound roof-mounted sculptures that call attention to the need for labeling genetically engineered (GMO) food. The tour begins two days after the world learns if voters in Washington state approved I-522 requiring labels for food that has been genetically engineered.

The food democracy activists hope their second cross country tour will further activate Americans on the need for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to label GMO food as is done in 64 other countries. A video with highlights from the first cross-country tour can be found at along with background on each of the art cars.

“The Fishy Food art car fleet’s cross-country swim from Seattle to New York will get people talking about the importance of GMO labeling,” says David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, whose company supported the creation of the art cars.

The first tour visited thirteen states and nine state capitals in August in a 3,300-mile journey from Washington, DC, home of the fishy food cars, to Seattle to support Yes on 522 campaign. The new Tri-Coastal Tour will follow a complete schedule and can be found at

“People want healthier food than what GMO food has to offer,” says Rica Madrid, coordinator of the Are We Eating Fishy Food? Tour. “You can measure the impact these educational vehicles have by the reaction and excitement they generate and the large number of shares we see in social media,” says Madrid.

Since 2011 citizen activism has pushed for information about what’s in our food. That year, the Right to Know March for GMO labeling walked 313 miles from Brooklyn, NY to the gates of the White House in Washington, DC to demand President Obama act on his promise to label GMO food.

Genetic Engineering means more herbicide. Chemical companies genetically engineer DNA from bacteria into food crops to either produce or tolerate the chemicals they sell. No long-term independent safety studies have been performed on adverse health effects of GMO eating GMOs. Overuse of pesticide creates resistant superweeds and superbugs, which leads to increased chemical application. Now chemical companies like Monsanto and Dow are engineering resistance in food crops to much more toxic weed killers like Dicamba and 2,4 D, the main ingredient in Agent Orange.

Currently 64 countries—EU nations, China, Russia, Japan, Brazil, and South Africa included—require labeling of GMOs; US consumers can currently only rely on voluntary labeling to determine whether food products have been altered through genetic engineering.

Origins of the FishyFood Cars

The first car in the Fishy Food fleet was “Poppy,” aka the Fishy Corn Car. Created in September 2011 by César Maxit and the DC51 Artist Collective, Fishy Corn accompanied the Right2Know March, as a support vehicle carrying leaflets, organic snacks and water as it raised awareness with marchers. Fishy Corn then went to Monsanto headquarters in Creve Coeur, Missouri for the 2012 annual shareholder meeting with activist Adam Eidinger. He parked the car on the agribusiness giant’s campus and debated Monsanto’s CEO Hugh Grant on GMO labeling during the meeting. A secret video of the encounter went viral online shortly afterwards.

In January 2013, Maxit began building four more mutant cars using extensive volunteer labor from the Washington, DC artist community. Since then, Fishy Sugar Beet aka “Rooty,” Fishy Apple aka “Goldie,” Fishy Soybean aka “Soja Girl,” and, most recently, Fishy Tomato aka “K-Sup” have driven across America. Collectively, the cars have been driven over 120,000 miles.

Members of the media are encouraged to embed with the Are We Eating Fishy Food? fleet for some or all of the tour. Contact Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671 or to make arrangements.

More information at

Note: REAL Cooperative members Ben and Isabel will be on this tour.