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If I Had Ten Million Dollars

Here’s what I’d invest in:

Digital Publishing  - New platforms that offer immersive media experiences for literary fiction lovers

The literary fiction part is due to my own personal interests (and my fear of the death of imaginative work in a dumbed down world) – but this model could be applied to all fiction and non-fiction. The innovation and technology put into gaming could be applied to merging documentary, non-fiction writing, photojournalism as well as literature, independent cinema, the best in illustration, cinematography, music composition to create rich multi-lateral access to imagination, knowledge and story. Hell it could work for low culture too, that’s the low hanging fruit after all.

Pinterest Retail

I read on Fast Company that this already exists as The Fancy so I signed up – but Pinterest still gets my vote because it builds context with such fluidity as a visualization board for all kinds of planning and creativity. By placing objects or experiences that would lead to acquisition next to the the stuff of life that thankfully does not – plants, a cityscape, a curled up cat – buying becomes more of an act of careful consideration than blind consumption. Organic self-directed retail. Facilitated by a platform that takes the whole spectrum of your life and imagination into account.

Farm-to-Table Fast Food

A farm fresh menu with crops chosen by ease and season. The company would work in cooperation with various local producers. It would mimic the fast food experience in some useful and familiar ways but act as a teaching tool for change in the food system. Done right, it could be replicated anywhere (along the sidelines of the football field? On a corporate campus or at a university? In lower income or subsidized housing estates?) I haven’t worked out the kinks, but I’d invest in this. Jamie? Where are you?

Open Education and Other New Education Business Models

Browsing articles on the rise of  homeschooling, statistics in online learning, and the movement against traditional degree programs, nothing on the horizon is due for such a complete overhaul as education. I’m appalled by the idea of the 40,000 dollar Manhattan preschool. (Nobody wins.) Nonetheless, I think progressive dynamic and creative education is invaluable. I look back to my fondness for Montessori and Bennington (no grades) and the New School (essays instead of tests) and know this approach, and ones that incorporate working in a natural environment, is applicable to the future. I’d love to sign on to a new model of education which balances real world social interaction and problem solving with democratic access to the best possible learning tools from top educators.

Micro-Manufacturing

Skip the middleman. Think. Plan. Make. Sell. I love the 3D printer and I can’t wait until prototypes can be passed onto small factories that can afford to make small batches putting the designer / maker / entrepreneur in the drivers seat. A mini version of this idea exists in Spoonflower.

Data-Mining For Good: Customer Service 3.0

Ignoring the spook factor of privacy concerns, I’d defer to someone else on that one – if you could know enough about your customer to serve them as well as they expect to be served, remembered, listened to, customized for, well I find that very exciting. Innovations in customer experience that really put the customer first could extend to healthcare and safety, travel, home buying, and finance. It could be a good thing put in the right hands. -Chauncey Zalkin

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Back to Native American Values: Take a look at Native American Women

When Show Love spent a few days last week at Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture (home of Blue Hill restaurant deliciousness) as the official videographers of the Young Farmer’s Conference, we spoke to 3 Native Americans who had come from 3 tribes, all working with the Food Corps an initiative to teach kids about healthy food. They came from three tribes: the White Mountain Apache, the Santa Domingo Pueblo, and the Hopi, all in the Southwest. I spoke to them at length and was incredibly moved by their work to instill Native American values in the youths of their tribes and teach sustainable farming – working with and not against nature as they’ve done for thousands of years (and which it seems, we’re just learning). The time feels really ripe to bring the U.S. back full circle to its original values that we so desperately need today. I went back to Women Make Movies site and found this series on promotion through the end of December:

“Native: Through the Eyes of Indigenous Women” includes

‘TOXIC TRESPASS, which covers environmental racism impacting native communities,  CLUB NATIVE and MOHAWK GIRLS, two coming of age identity films by the acclaimed Mohawk director, Tracey Deer;  the urgent and heartbreaking FINDING DAWN on the human rights crisis of aboriginal femicide; the spirited Southwestern artists’ film THE DESERT IS NO LADY, and a provocative cultural look called NAVAJO TALKING PICTURE.’

Check it out here

and read about the White Mountain Apache, the Santa Domingo Pueblo, and the Hopi tribe.

*Image from the film Finding Dawn.

Here are some more pictures from our time at the Young Farmers Conference. To learn more about Show Love, social content for lovable companies, read our press release here.

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Maryam-Keshavarz-Circumstance

Women Make Films – Love in Tehran – Circumstance Trailer

 

A peak into contemporary, swiftly changing Tehran – a first time feature film by NY-based filmmaker Maryam Keshavarz (follow her at @newyorktehran)

Circumstance won the 2011 Sundance Audience Award – see the trailer for this captivating story of two teenage girls bursting with curiosity, lust, and passion and the ensuing clash between generations.

for more info, go to the website Marakesh Films

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Friday Diary July 15 – I am eleven documentary

NOT KIDS SAY THE DARNEDEST THINGS: GENEVIEVE BAILEY DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER

Genevieve Bailey‘s documentary I Am Eleven
quote from one kid in the trailer: “love is when you feel great affection for another human being.”

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phoebehartleydoc

Documentary Series: “Extraordinary” Women

“To commemorate the centenary of International Women’s Day, Australian filmmaker Phoebe Hartley has launched an online documentary series celebrating extraordinary women. EXTRAORDINARY consists of eight projected episodes, with the pilot live now on a dedicated website, and the remainder to be uploaded regularly in the coming months. The videos profile women from a broad range of backgrounds, each one a cinematic snapshot of the contemporary female experience.”

EXTRAORDINARY EPISODE 1: AMY from Phoebe Hartley on Vimeo.

via lostateminor

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Friday Diary: News from Across the Arts, Design, & Entrepreneurship – A WWM Roundup

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It’s been a busy month and I haven’t been updating the site so here I’ve decided to wrap up the important news in creativity and leadership that may have been missed.

1) Fast Company named the 10 Most Creative Women in Business for 2010.  They include already very famous people like Stella McCartney and Nora Ephron and more obscure behind-the-scenes movers and shakers, the kind that are near and dear to WWM heart like game designer Jane McGonigal who said “My goal for the next 10 years is to make it as easy to save the world in real life as it is in online games.” Now that piques my interest. I’ll definitely buy her book when it comes out.  And with a name like Padmasree Warrior, how can you lose;  Cisco’s Chief Technology Officer is leading the way to getting business on board with her right on target message that says “video content and cloud computing (is a platform for collaboration” that needs to be addressed. And now. Bonnie Hammer‘s SyFy channel is firmly planted in the future as well and she’s been making all the right moves. Of course they’re all worth mentioning. I’ll add the very photogenic Neri Oxman “whose work attempts to establish new forms of experimental design and novel processes of material practice at the interface of design, computer science, material engineering and ecology.” I wrote about her before at some point. She was on last year’s list. She does seem a little bit unreal.  I wish I could see her exhibit in Boston before it disappears but I’m sure there will be more.

2) On the lighter side, from Australia I’m digging Anthea and Cass Somas’ online shop Collection of Cool. Do you know any other great online shops? Do the little ones ever press on through to greatness and profitability? Would love to hear your suggestions on this front.

3) Grain’s purses inspired by Guatemalan women weavers. Their site explains: “Founded in 2007 at the Rhode Island School of Design, Grain is a collaborative of design thinkers with the shared vision of a more sustainable future.” Just my kind of project. Lovely bags as well.

4) Kate Gilmore’s “Walk the Walk” art installation in Bryant Park. What a fresh everyday urban detail to art upon.  I’m always perplexed by the lack of urban intelligence in certain cities. I’ve observed a lot of getting out of other people’s way in London for example and in Paris, how rushing headlong into someone is completely normal, without a word of apology or even a look of defiance. Human barrier to my path? What human barrier? Boom.  In New York, you have to walk on the street with the cars down Canal street for example in order to get anywhere. And everywhere in the world, its the tourists that create frustration just standing in the middle of the sidewalk obliviously taking pictures and strolling in slow motion. This walking, stopping, dodging, pushing through, and holding back is part of the stress, pleasure and pulse of living in a city.  It’s worth this kind of look and then some.

5) This exhibit – Art by the Yard: Women Design Mid-Century Britain at the Textile Museum. “Three women designers were pivotal in this artistic revolution: Lucienne Day (1917- 2010), Jacqueline Groag (1903-1985) and Marian Mahler (1911-1983).”

6) Women are Heroes, which I wrote about before What Women Make dot com started, debuted at Cannes last week. Juxtapoz reviews.

7) “Women without Men” by Shirin Neshat which explores gender in Islam opened in New York last week . I’ve also written about S.N. at some point on WWM. here is the review by the NYTimes.

And that it for now. Enjoy the week!

Chauncey

Image from article “Swedish/German designer Katrin Greiling plumbs Arab traditions in her furniture designs” via  Fast Company

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Full of Grace: Questions Raised by Vogue Documentary “September Issue”

1947 Vogue, one that I own, still wrapped in its plastic, somewhere in storage.

Half a review of the documentary “September Issue.” The other half a review of how differently I see things now from 15 years ago.

I wrote my thesis on Vogue magazine.  Up there in that old Vogue library on the top floor of the former Condé Nast building, I lived and dreamed in the pages of Horst P Horst and Man Ray’s dramatic lighting, in the whimsical pithy fashion prose of Diana Vreeland with her face painting and pony fantasyland. From Edna Woolman Chase’s days of the corset to WWII fabric shortages, from the New Look to Grace Mirabella’s power suit, I was fascinated.

But just as Anna Wintour said in the tedious bedraggled documentary, September Issue, some are not let in. But far from making me envious and mournful of all those lost years not spent at Vogue, I was ultimately empowered by fate. I thought about all of the broken hearts and broken spirits of the young girls who went there full of dreams and came out beaten and diminished and possibly anorexic and I wondered, ‘what do you do with that?’

If a girl has any sense (but who does at 21? And why should she?), she’d never get wrapped up in the first place. She pursues her dream whatever it may be, undaunted. Hopefully it’s something noble, helping mankind, that sort of thing, but if not noble, something personal, something that takes discipline, dedication, some measure of purity of intent.

Now that we’ve opened up a whole new platform for people to create and be heard without any golden gates barring entry, what will become of Vogue’s primacy?  Or maybe we should be looking at the real monster these days -  the ghastly tasteless celebrity circus with its gobs of drooping collagen-implanted lips and tight foreheads with forced squirrel eyes.  That whole ordeal makes Vogue look like Glenda the Good Witch — or maybe Hollywood and Us magazine are so vulgar and absurd that it makes you yearn for a high priestess arbiter of taste again, the kind they had in the old days, the kind that, well, it seems Grace Coddington carries with her in her disappointed expression looking out over the Tuileries on a grey Paris day. ‘Maybe I’m just a romantic’ she muses, and you feel sad for her, all those lovely frocks and dreams on glossy pages and for what?  Surely there is something more she can do with it all. If she couldn’t then, she can now. Create a book of all the fantasies in her head without Anna’s veto power. Or costume a ballet or an opera like Chanel, Picasso or Cocteau. Or move to a new medium and have an exhibit of her own work, her own vision, without the dress price tags. Write a book… It’s ironic that her face in that scene, the only one that resonated for me, reminds me of all the women and girls out there I want to promote, applaud, and support. A spirit that needs saving.

There’s something lost and something gained in every generation. I’d take autonomy and freedom of expression any day. Let the curators and editors find their artists and let the artists find their curators and editors among the millions of profiles and networks and shouting voices out there, politics and pecking order be damned.

-Chauncey Zalkin

Here’s the TRAILER:

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Trailer: Documentary Explores What It Means To Be A Woman Now

Flying: Confessions of a Free Woman, a documentary by Jennifer Fox (TRAILER)

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