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about the luck of seven

on 07 july 2007, noneck noel (aka noel a. hidalgo) will depart new york city for a journey around the world to learn from you. affably named "on the luck of seven" or "luck of seven." this is an open-source journey documenting free culture, social innovators and global change.

for seven months, i will stand on the seven contents, dive into the seven oceans, and contemplate seven topics of freedom. while on the way, i will document the journey through stories, photos and videos. this is not my story, this is our story. though your hospitably, donations, projects, connections and friends, our stories will merge into one.

as i wander the earth, my broad shoulders will bear seven topics of freedom: free culture; free and open-source software communities; couchsurfers, bloggers, fellow travelers and vloggers; agents of progressive social change; barcamp, coworking and meetups; happenstance, and climate change. all work will be produced under a creative commons license. all-in-all, this 21st century anthropological view of the personalities in physical / digital world we cohabit will always be freely available.

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the topics

This is a 21st century journey to the intersection of digital and organic communities. Communicating through a digital medium that has no borders, I want to share with you how this new world interacts.

  • Free culture. After a half-century of broadcast communications dictating the common perspective, people are now reconnecting—one-on-one, peer-to-peer, node-to-node—and proving that traditional copyright and patent restrictions need to be reformed to promote creativity.
  • Free and open-source software. Software should be a tool, like a shovel. With zero distribution cost, global, boundless open-source communities are competing in a world of co-opetition.
  • Couchsurfers and bloggers. People—from those who blog their souls to those who reserve their couch for strangers—are using technology to augment real-world relationships and bring modernism back to our post-modern world.
  • Barcamps, unconferences, meetups, and coworking. The online digi-world uses physical ad-hoc meetings to socialize, share, and advance ideas.
  • Agents of progressive social change. Inventors and concept peddlers—though not always leaders—change the way we think about the world through technology.
  • The environment. When we outsource jobs, we outsource pollution, waste, and other negative impacts of consumerism; we need to continue to use technology to educate the public on the true footprint of the products we use and lifestyles we choose.
  • Happenstance. Receiving a random e-mail, discovering a flickr profile, stumble-surfing across a facebook page, connecting in a café—the world grows smaller with every person we meet, and there is an art to discovering their stories.”

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project partners

  • Transitions Online - http://www.tol.cz - founded in 1999, this Czech non-profit was founded to replace it's print predecessor, transitions magazine. TOL works within the vast post-communist region of eastern europe to help young, up-and-coming journalist to take advantage of electronic communications for journalism.
  • Mobile Active - http://mobileactive.org - MobileActive is a global network of people, tools, projects, and resources focused on the use of mobile phones for activism, campaigns, and civic engagement. Mobile Active focuses in on four principles.
    1. expand access to knowledge, ideas and experience about the use of mobile technology
    2. reduce learning costs for civil society organizations
    3. accelerate the use of effective tactics in campaigns
    4. provide a comprehensive platform for building partnerships, and for facilitating access to technology and funding
  • Michael David Vineyards - http://www.lodivineyards.com/ - home to the award winning seven deadly zins and seven heavenly chards. Michael~David Vineyards produces seven brands of distinctive wines for each of your varied whimsical desires. Michael and David Phillips represent the fifth generation of growers in Lodi, and things are changing. With 350 acres of premium wine grapes, there is plenty of room for experimentation and innovation. The vineyards are irrigated by the Mokelumne River, which carries crystal-clear water from the Sierra Nevada Mountains, depositing minerals into the rich soils upon which the grapes thrive. Though not certified organic, Michael~David Vineyards strives to use all natural methods including integrated pest management, beneficial insects for pest control, trellising, leaf pulling and natural mined sulfur for mildew control.

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as for fundraising, once i reach my travel budget of USD $7,777, i will donate 75% of profits to non-profit communities that exemplify the luck of seven. (25% each)

  • Not an Alternative - http://www.notanalternative.net - a little over a year ago, i was exposed to a wonderful community of artists, political organizers, freelance workers and free thinkers. not an alternative & the change you want to see gallery calls a modest williamsburg store front home. daily you can come joining us for coworking brooklyn or for monthly salons and performances. as not an alternative looks to expand their offering, i am donating 25% of this projects profits.

    located in williamsburg, brooklyn and home to brooklyn's coworking, Not an Alternative functions as a collaborative office, props production, public relation, and cultural production company. in 2007, Not an Alternative will launch a television channel dedicated to highlighting the modern political strife through a comical and entertaining lens.
  • Drupal Association - http://association.drupal.org - since 2004, i have found myself immersed within a socially astute and technology savvy community who understand the importance of peer to peer communication and dialogue. world renown as one of the best content management systems, late last year, the drupal community established a non-profit to help guide and oversee the drupal project. as one of the new york city organizers and evangelists, i am donating 25% of profits.

    as a hobbyist, dries buytaert, tinkered with building an open-source content management system. in 2003, his CMS was selected to be the back bone of the Howard Dean presidential campaign and afterward became the default CMS for politically minded and socially active organizations. the drupal association manages the infrastructure, funding and promotion of the community driving project. (donate)
  • Couchsurfing - http://couchsurfing.com - imagine a world where you can travel the globe and have a buddy in every town. imagine, a traveler coming into your home and together you learn from each other. now imagine, these connections stemming from a social networking site. in spite of what most read or watch on television, there is a vast network of free spirits who have no problem opening their doors and allowing fellow travelers to share their home. as an avid host and supporter of couchsurfing, i am donating 25% of profits.

    CouchSurfing is not about the furniture, not just about finding free accommodations around the world; it's about making connections worldwide. We make the world a better place by opening our homes, our hearts, and our lives. We open our minds and welcome the knowledge that cultural exchange makes available. We create deep and meaningful connections that cross oceans, continents and cultures. CouchSurfing wants to change not only the way we travel, but how we relate to the world! (donate)

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about me

my life started the 24th of May in 1978 to two US Air Force officers. my father describes the day as if it was yesterday. in the scheme of things, no time has passed. Over the years and through countless moves, i matured into a politically active, scooter riding, gentrifying hipster living in the Kingdom of Slackers most call North Brooklyn. unlike most or maybe more like the rest, i have tried to do new and interesting things to change the world. on my path, i have loved, laughed and lost.

through the jobs, half-technical / half-political, i have found my self in a whole new world. grounded in our inherent biology, we are quickly staring at a future where there are no borders. like it or not our organic lives are dependent on our digital participation. i feel blessed to have an opportunity to explore these new intersections, highways and footpaths.

while our future is unknown, change is a constant. in the spirt of the original scouting oath i took on the road to becoming an eagle scout, i will always honor the promise to do my best, to fulfill my duties to earth and all residents, and to help others at all times.

noneck noel is a freelance business and lifestyle consultant, blogger and citizen journalist. his reporting outlets include http://luckofseven.com/, a 21 century anthropology travel project documenting free culture, social innovators and global change; noneck.org, which focuses on the future of media, cities and culture; and Coworking, which takes a look at the future of freelance office collectives. infrequently, you can find his posts at onnyturf.com, on new york city political and art events; personaldemocracy.com which addresses the impact of technology on politics, and his photos have been printed in the new york post, scoot quarterly, and scootering international.

as an advocate of peer-to-peer communication, noneck has been influential in setting up collaborative office environments for nyc freelancers (coworking). from presenting to organizing, you can find him organizing and consulting on numerous grassroots empowered conversations - salzburg seminar on new networks, the lift conference in geneva, barcamp, drupalcamps, rootscamps, the pdf unconference and countless meetups.

his former political clients include john kerry for president, new york state senate minority leaders office, cam kerry for massachusetts secretary of state, the new york state democratic senatorial campaign committee, state senator josé m. serrano, new york state senator andrea stewart-cousins, the assemble for rights nyc campaign, and norman siegel for nyc public advocate. he was a technology coordinator for the 2004 democratic national convention.