Worldchanging co-founder Alex Steffen has said that the "last decade was about imagining the solutions that could help us meet big planetary problems. This decade will be all about putting those solutions to work."
A lot of that imagining happened at Worldchanging, which closed its virtual doors last November. It was a huge loss, as the site inspired "readers around the world with stories of new tools, models and ideas for building a bright green future". Now, Architecture for Humanity (AFH) has completed the purchase of Worldchanging, with the intent of going beyond stories, going from "discussing Worldchanging ideas to helping people implement Worldchanging solutions."
A few years ago, Architecture for Humanity developed the Open Architecture Network (OAN) because of their " collective frustration in sharing ideas and trying to work together". It has grown into a robust method of exchanging ideas, collaborating, and managing projects, and now has 7,065 projects and 32,919 members. But the problems that need to be addressed go beyond just architecture, as AFH notes in their press release:
Design increasingly includes discussions of policy and planning, communication, social justice and science; issues that once fell outside the traditional bounds of architecture are now at the heart of professional practice. Bringing these two worlds together is a logical next step in sustainable development.
The new Worldchanging will offer the project management tools developed for the Open Architecture Network to the wider Worldchanging community; as part of the merger, the group is saying goodbye to the Open Architecture Network name, and will now operate both under the Worldchanging banner.
Alex Steffen says "This exciting new version of Worldchanging is set, I believe, to become the online epicenter of applied innovation."
I had the honour of participating in discussions over the summer with sixty other writers, contributors, stakeholders and supporters, every one of whom was excited by the prospect of the merger of the Open Architecture Network with Worldchanging. OAN has powerful tools; as Kate Stohr notes, "Worldchangers are thoughtful, intelligent, passionate, smart, educated and engaged people." That's a match made in heaven.
More at the Architecture For Humanity Press Release