By Shawn Parr 4 minute Read I met Alex Bogusky at the FearLess Cottage earlier this year and discovered that we have a number of things in common: we share a deep interest in climate change, the food system, and early-stage venture investing. Alex, his wife Anna and friends Rob Schuham and John Bielenberg have launched a new social entrepreneurship platform called COMMON that is part incubator and part creative community that enables collaboration to find better solutions to pressing social problems. Midlife decisions are a major source of interest for many, myself included, and I had a few questions for Alex about the path he choose. You were at the very top of your game, you could have taken the easy road and the money—why did you get off the train and carve out a new path?
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Alissa Walker One thinks wrong and one is all about thinking fearlessly. So it was really only a matter of time before they started working together. Yesterday, Bielenberg and Bogusky announced COMMON , part business incubator, part creative community that they say can foster a "new brand of capitalism. Now the duo has teamed with Bielenberg, who started the global design collective Project M , creators of PieLab , Buy a Meter , and design interventions from Iceland to Detroit.
Like Project M, which gathers small groups of design thinkers for intense bursts of problem solving, COMMON will bring together people who can rapidly prototype solutions for social problems. Projects will be treated and conceived as small startups in publicly-facing "out-cubators" not "in"-cubators, get it? Inspired by the Bamboo Bike Studio in Brooklyn, the bikes use fast-growing bamboo as the primary material in sustainable, sturdy rides. The project was initially created to bring affordable transportation and employment opportunities to rural areas of Greensboro, Alabama.
But Bielenberg says to stay tuned for some interesting developments.
TED present new film about Alex Bogusky COMMON project
From fearlessrevolution. Can capitalism and social good co-exist? It calls itself a "new capitalist brand" built on "transitioning from competitive advantage to collaborative advantage. In some sort of Don-Draper-gone-good move, he set out to build The FearLess Cottage in his adopted hometown of Boulder, Colorado — a hub for entrepreneurs, activists and artists, fueled partly by his celebrated creative genius and partly, it seems, by the guilt of having been incredibly good for incredibly long at propagating conspicuous consumption.
We Are Common
Common is to host at an event in Boulder, Colo. One such way is the event on Friday, called the Common Pitch, borrowing a term from the ad industry. The event, to be held at the Boulder Theater, will give each of the 10 entrepreneurs — finalists in a competition — five minutes to make his or her case for financial and moral support for his or her idea. The ideas are eclectic. Bogusky wrote in an e-mail he sent on Monday encouraging attendance at Common Pitch.