Liter of Light: Bringing Sustainable Light to Developing Communities

Back in 2011, we covered the organization Liter of Light and their mission to bring sustainable light to the Philippines by using plastic bottles. Now, three years later, it is amazing to see what has been accomplished and where the organization is going next.

While originally launched with a grant from the MyShelter foundation, the main proponent behind the movement has been social entrepreneur Illac Diaz. His approach is simple: instead of importing solar products to bring light, he develops the lights locally so that repairs and replacements become simple.

14,000 Square Foot warehouse becomes “FreeSpace” in San Francisco

FreeSpace 5

San Francisco has always been a city that has attracted the hearts of pioneers and the dreamers. From the Gold Rush to the tech booms, brilliant minds have floated to the “city by the bay.” In recent years though, it has become so popular with people that many of the older art districts that existed have become gentrified, apartments are hard to come by and it was recently named the most expensive city in the United States to live in, surpassing New York City.

Yet, with all the developments and excitements revolving around the city, there are still a good many creative spirits and innovation is sipped everyday on the streets. Mike Zuckerman, who is the director of sustainability for the Zen Compound, was able to secure a $1 month long lease on a 14,000 square foot warehouse in the middle of the city. The purpose of the lease is to have a month long experiment in civic hacking and bring anyone in the community of San Francisco together to participate in what is called “Freespace.”

CrowdVoice: Tracking Voices of Protest


Around the world people are fighting for their rights, protesting their oppressive governments, and uniting to take a stand. It’s inspirational to see stories like these and they give hope to people all over the planet. Now you can find them all in one place. CrowdVoice is a user-powered service that crowdsources information to track voices of protest from around the world. Instead of checking news, video and social networking sites for updates on the issues that matter to you, you can find it all in one place and subscribe to whichever categories you prefer. You can also add content to CrowdVoice and contribute to the Crowd by approving the submissions of others. Bill Liao, co-founder of says, “This is the purpose for which social media was truly born for.”

Made for TV: Television’s Most Excellent Roommates

We’ve all had our fair share of roommates. Having the right one can enhance your life tremendously, and account for hours and hours of ridiculous conversation and hilarious hijinks. Being stuck with the wrong roommate can turn your life into an awkward living hell, where the torment of not getting along, mixed with the continuous stream of passive aggressive notes about inconsequential things, will drive you to the brink of jumping straight off a bridge. Because of these polar extremes, roommates have always made great content for television.

Want to Join a Band of Sailing Sea Gypsies?

Have you ever wanted to build a sailboat and voyage on it with a bunch of people from around the world? Welcome to the Sea Gypsies! Since the summer of 2009, people from all over the world have assisted in the construction of a ship that will sail the seas upon completion. There have been volunteers coming from all parts of the world — Asia to America, Europe to Southern Africa — all converging on a collective located just north of Oslo, Norway.

A Family Tree of Creative Business Neighbors

When you work among nearly 70 creative businesses, individuals and organizations — from a BBC office to a playhouse and even a life drawing school — what do you do to introduce everyone? Create a beautiful infographic of course! Split recently produced a family tree of their very creative neighbors for the first ever Quarry Hill Social, an event designed to not only raise public awareness but also foster relationships between the many highly crafty and cultural businesses tucked into Quarry Hill in Leeds U.K.

Starwars Uncut: The Full Film Now Online!

Three years ago on a computer not so far away… a plan was hatched to create a completely open source version of Star Wars: A New Hope, using the members of the internet. Envisioned by Casey Pugh, that vision became Star Wars Uncut, a crowdsourced version of the cult-classic film created by fans around the internet. Casey invited them (and you) to create 15 seconds of the original movie, to be combined with other 15 second tributes into a full length internet extravaganza. The resulting film – Star Wars Uncut: Directors Cut.

Cowbird: A Beautiful New Way to Share Your Story

It seems like anything that world renowned storyteller Jonathan Harris touches we fall in love with… his newly launched project, Cowbird, looks to beautifully revolutionize the way we share stories online. Similar to a self-generated version of his Balloons for Bhutan, the brilliantly designed website aims to be “a community of storytellers, focused on deeper, longer-lasting, more personal storytelling than you’re likely to find anywhere else on the Web.”

How Collaborative Sharing Can Make You Money

During these unstable economic times many people are realizing that they have far more “stuff” in their life than they actually need or regularly use. This beautiful graphic from the forward thinking folks at Collaborative Fund, looks at the many ways we can take those items and share them with our community… even making good money on them in the process!

Interview: Zach Rapattoni, Ace of Cups Co-Founder

We’ve done a few posts on the ghost town of Cairo, Illinois, including a piece featuring Ace of Cups, a not-for-profit coffee shop that was trying to jolt some life back into the city. Sadly even the biggest hearts and best intentions couldn’t fuel an instant revival, yet the impact the cafe and its owners made was immense. They even helped Cairo become viral among the reddit community. We were fortunate enough to get an interview with Zach Rapattoni, one of the co-founders of Ace of Cups, who shared his experience with us, including the challenges of moving to the town, the local culture, and his thoughts on Project Cairo.