Blog Archives

September is Bringing Permaculture & Symbiosis!

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I might be skipping the Burn but to avoid any FOMO I’ll be attending TWO awesome festivals in September! It’ll be my first time at the North American Permaculture Convergence in Hopland in mid September and then on to Symbiosis Gathering for some righteous end of summer celebrations! If you haven’t heard of Symbiosis it’s kind of like Lightning in a Bottle’s flair blended with the deep, intentional aspect of Lucidity …and all taking place on a beautiful reservoir filled with art boats and swim up stages and installations! ALL HAIL GLORIOUS WATER!

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The Aware Project and Psychedelic Advocacy

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TONIGHT, on the west side! I’m super proud of Ashley Booth​ of The Aware Project and her team of psychedelic advocates for putting on these unique and thought provoking events. In time they’ll be seen as important catalysts for increasing public understanding around what is still a taboo subject for many. Psychedelics have had a hugely positive impact on my life and allowed me to see things about myself and the world around me from new angles, providing both objective insight and increased awareness. I’m glad this conversation is beginning to be able to be held in the open, thanks to people like Ashley. Out of the closets and into the streets!!

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Design, Technology & Entrepreneurship: Mindshare Finds a Regular Home at Cross Campus

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Cross Campus, which has emerged as a prominent player in the Los Angeles shared workspace arena, has officially brought in Mindshare LA (led by Founder Dougie Campbell, second to the President’s left) as experience consultant and event producer. As part of his role, Dougie will continue to host events across a growing network of Cross Campus locations as well as giving input on the launch of new campus locations.

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Science Meets Design Under the Manhattan Bridge

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If the 20s were all about parties, the 30s are so far all about soirées. Don’t get me wrong, I still love a good hedonistic gathering, devoid of anything other than youthful celebration, but as I enter the second year of my 30s I crave a little more substantive return on my time and energy expenditure.

Enter the soirée. More than just a motley mish-mash of bobbing heads and grinding bodies, I’ve begun to take pride in organizing, smaller, more intimate gatherings. Whether it’s bringing together a few people that you think should meet, or creating a focused theme, it brings me great excitement to consider all of the possible serendipity that can emerge from the unpredictable encounters.

And so, as is customary on my NYC trips, I planned to organize a little soirée. This time I wanted to focus on making some good east coast connections for Syyn Labs, and so my favorite social roboticist and fellow Syyner, Heather Knight, introduced me to a Canadian data viz expert called Jer Thorpe. Jer is in town for a few months on business and rents a large, beautiful loft in Dumbo. More importantly he is a social character and was more than happy to host an informal, Sunday night soirée themed around ‘Science Meets Design’.

With only a day or two notice, we collectively invited around 20 interesting characters for cheese and wine at Jer’s warehouse space. As we entered the building, 4 people covered in paint exploded through the door, yelling “Paint fight on the roof!”. We slid past the dripping nut cases and deeper into the building, down corridors that faintly smelled like garbage while admiring the rugged, not-quite-legal charm that only a gritty warehouse like this can possess.

Jer led us into his loft which had an unparalleled view of the east river, and as people gathered, there were more than a few people who no one knew.

“Kevin invited us!” They said and then as an answer to our confused look: “You know, Kevin Balktick from unit 500. This is his place, right?”

And so it seemed like they’d ended up in the wrong place but as it turned out, the next door neighbor was having a party too. And guess what, it was a bunch of event engineers and creative types celebrating a recent project called the Lost Horizon Night Market that included installations inside a bunch of parked box cars. So we just opened our doors and combined our parties and everyone left with a whole bunch of new friends.

Aaah, the joy of the unpredictable, alive and well in NYC!

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Syyn Labs Presents: A Night of Syyn

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Syyn Labs invites you to join us at our new warehouse space near downtown LA for a night of interactive art, DJs and VJs. We’ll be going from 9pm until late – drinks provided. More details at http://syyn.eventbrite.com.


$10-$15 RSVP here… // ABSOLUTELY NO TICKETS AT THE DOOR // REGISTRATION REVEALS LOCATION



Invite your friends via our Facebook event and we hope to see you here on the 6th!

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Moving Out of the Brewery Arts District

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This was the view from the balcony at my loft near downtown LA. I sat on that rickety metal balcony innumerable times having countless discussions on infinitely diverse topics. I moved there in 2006 and in the last five years it has been a great part of my life. After all, it is where the first Mindshare LA took place, creating the seed for almost all of my Los Angeles existence. The building itself occupies a very special location – in the SW corner of the Brewery Arts Distict – a 500 strong community of creative and colorful characters that have coexisted there since the ’70s. On the west side is the 5 freeway, with hundreds of thousands of people zipping by each day. To the south, tons of cargo being unloaded from trucks and loaded on to trains and vice versa. Night and day these giant behemoths would clank together and rev their engines – like a tumultuous sea of industry. The the east is the central Los Angeles UPS shipping depot, routing who knows how many packages every day. And to the north, main street, which takes you right down to downtown.   
As if all the surrounding energy isn’t enough, I occupied the top floor of the Edison #3 Electrical Company Building from 1880. (pictured below -my loft has the arched balcony windows). So if it wasn’t already enough to feel the energy flowing all around you, and through this historic building, then just ask yourself: “So Edison walked these floors? Just what the hell have I done today?!
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The 1st Syyn Tavern Unleashes Interactive Joy on Santa Monica!

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The first Syyn Tavern event was met with excited reviews and successful installations from David Guttman, Brent Bushnell and Eric Gradman – as well as the beginning of a great partnership with Matt Davis of Headtron. Lets play again soon!

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Mindshare then SF for Christmas, Vipassana for New Years!

After an fantastic holiday Mindshare.LA (see pics), I went up to San Francisco for Christmas with the sweet mother! Soon after Christmas I attended my 3rd Vipassana retreat in North Fork, CA. It was yet again a superb experience and very tranquil way to enter the new year.. In fact I was asleep well before midnight 😉 More details notes to follow..

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Mindshare Continues to Grow

Mindshare is well into it’s second year, gathering close to 400 attendees monthly at it’s 5th venue, and is beginning to become a full time endeavor. We’re currently incorporating as a non-profit entity and will soon be creating a membership model. We have some big plans for Mindshare’s future, although I still occasionally dip back into web project management when I need some salary buffering 😉 The other project that is exciting me is Mindshare Labs; our interactive installations continue to attract attention and engage audiences around the country, from LA to NYC. We may even get our own gallery space soon! You can join our mailing lists here. Of course all work and no play makes Dougie a sad boy – so last month I, together with my fellow Epicureans, slipped off for a little adventure to the Eureka dunes of Death Valley. Bring on the summer!

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