David Pakman Announces Northampton Groundcrew; First Event: September 30 with Jesse Adams

We are circulating this announcement at the request of David Pakman:


Good news: something revolutionary and really fun is starting in Northampton. We’re using new community-building technology that helps participants/users get OFF their computers and actually engage with local politics and their city in positive, coordinated ways.

As part of the Northampton launch, which involves events in a number of categories, we’re starting with a series of unconventional public civic engagement and local politics events to get people more involved with town government and civic issues.

We’ll be hosting events on an ongoing basis, starting with an impromptu meeting with Jesse Adams on September 30th at 5pm, at a public location to be announced through the Groundcrew system on that Wednesday. You can sign up at http://www.grcr.org, or by sending a text message with “grcr” to 313131. If signing up through the website, you’ll want to check off the “Town and Community Engagement” channel, and of course any others that pique your interest!

Because we use text messaging to coordinate, we can make these events happen fast and spontaneously. People get alerted/invited to events, tasks, or assignments in their area of interest — and then head to it right away, if they’re available. Most things will happen in public spaces and all are free.

This is an exciting opportunity to be part of redefining what it means to live and participate in a community. It’s also exciting in that it redefines the local economy by making effective and efficient use of self-identified willing/available people who WANT to share time, resources, and skills, and generally participate in events or assignments that are local, useful, empowering, and valuable in different ways.

Please sign up right now. We also still have room for a few more organizers and events, so get in touch if you have a beautiful idea for Northampton. There’s some more information below.


Q. Who’s doing this?

I’m working with a company called “Citizen Logistics”. It’s a social business, which means that it exists to provide a social benefit, rather than just to make money. This company is all about using our mobile phone-based coordination software (called “Groundcrew”) to make the biggest difference we can in the world. We do this by selling it to some groups and by giving it away to others. For instance, we sell it to large progressive nonprofits (we just signed a deal with MoveOn.org in Australia!) and to college campuses who want to coordinate their volunteering, to newspapers who want to coordinate citizen journalists, and to stadium shows that want to coordinate the fans. We’re giving it for free to the community organizers of Northampton, and hope to do the same to community organizers around the world, city by city.

Q. What is your goal with the company and the software?

Our goal is to have enough organizers available that even small personal wishes can be organized immediately to come true, and that community and individual needs can be met rapidly by volunteers. This creates a new, voluntary economy, which we believe has better characteristics with regard to carbon footprints and quality of life than our current economic system. We hope to lead a movement in which nearly everything about our society is redesigned to be more fun and engaging. Finally, we are building a business with a strong enough financial model to deploy this technology and this new culture globally.

Q. Who else is working with you?

We have a small but growing paid staff and a large number of volunteers and advisors. Included are Joe Edelman, David Pakman, Noah Miller, Bob Lowry, Dana Wilde, Julia Handschuh, Alex Jarrett, Jason Sutter, and many others in Northampton and around the world. A special shout out to Dana, who came up with many of the ways of describing Groundcrew used in the letter above.

David Pakman
Managing Director / Vivid Edge Media Group
Host & Co-Producer / Midweek Politics Radio

See also:

News from Mary Serreze: “Mayoral Debate Oct 13 7pm NHS”
The 2009 Northampton Mayoral Debate, hosted by Valley Free Radio and Northampton Community Television, will be held at the Northampton High School Auditorium on Tuesday, October 13, 2009, at 7:00 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. Candidates and a three-member panel will be moderated by the David Pakman, producer of the nationally-syndicated Midweek Politics.

Video: Jesse Adams Campaign Kick-Off for City Council – Speeches with Text (6/26/09)