Easily one of the most recognizable entries to grace One Spark, The Big One (Entry #837) features multiple large-scale structures throughout the Creator Zone. Artist Susan Natale created “Sparky,” a 20-foot tall air puppet at the corner of Laura & Monroe streets. Brett Waller’s wire car, “Spirit of ’76,” rests in front of the Times-Union Center. Sharla Valeski structure “Ego” in the main lobby of the Times-Union Center and “Sgt. Quakers,” the giant yellow duckie in the pool at Hemming Plaza by Jenny Hager’s UNF Enliven Spaces class are also included as is “How Davy Crockett Conquered Cowford” in Hemming Plaza by Drew Hunter of Sally Corp.
Jessica Boone Cherok told the One Spark Speaker Series audience, “Facebook isn’t your friend.” In her talk of the same name, Cherok, a privacy advocate, described how Facebook shares user information on the Internet. “The knowledge gap is wide,” she explained. “The law has not caught-up with technology.”
Cherok is hardcore about her online privacy. She said she was so sick of her grandmother tagging her in embarrassing photos on Facebook that she deleted her. “They’re not secrets,” Cherok explained. “They’re just not things that I want the whole world to know.”
In 2012, Facebook purchased Instagram, a social media app largely known for its hipster demographic. “They’re like a crazy ex-girlfriend who’s always checking up on us,” Cherok said of Mark Zuckerberg’s creation. “Did you know that every year, the Federal Trade Commission files complaints against Facebook for deceptive privacy practices?”
“This generation will never lose track of anyone ever,” Cherok said. “Facebook is going to put Ancestry.com out of business.”
Cherok said that privacy responsibilities also lie with the user. “You can turn off cookies in your browser,” she advised. “You need to have an awareness of what people can see. You can control some of this to a certain extent.”
Saturday evening, Jacksonville-native Willie Jackson was the last to take the stage for One Spark’s Speaker Series. With his parents sitting in the audience, Jackson addressed the crowd with his talk “Against the Grain: Unconventional lessons for modern artists.”
An artist, engineer, marketer and writer, Jackson runs support for W3 Total Cache, a Wordpress plug-in. He currently lives in New York, but said he’ll soon be relocating to Boston. He’s advised several best-selling authors, entrepreneurs, consumer goods companies and start-ups.
“It starts with you,” Jackson said. “The journey outward and the journey forward is really a journey inward.”
According to Jackson, everyone has greatness inside of him or her. It’s up to the individual to find it and go after their dreams. “There aren’t any shortcuts,” he warned. “You have to learn the difference between important versus urgent. You need to decide what your non-negotiables are.”
Jackson said it’s important for any dream-seeker to have a little bit of delusion and keep an outlandish viewpoint on what they want to get done. You don’t have to necessarily tell anyone what it is. It’s just important to reach so high that it seems like an insane goal.
“For you to win, some people have to lose,” Jackson told the audience. “That’s the nature of winning – someone has to lose.”
More words of wisdom can be found on Jackson’s blog, “Marketing & Gummi Bears,” at williejackson.com.
Traveling all the way from Jerusalem, Israel, scholar Dan Marom brought his talk “The Crowdfunding Revolution: How to raise venture capital using social media” to the One Spark Speaker Series. “A crowd can make a difference,” Marom told the audience. “Technology can make a difference.”
It was obvious where Marom was going with this; crowd plus technology equals crowdfunding. But before the days of laptops and smartphones, people were crowdfunding in a whole different way. The Statue of Liberty was built using funds from the public who chose to support the project.
Soccer clubs in Europe are owned by their fans – similar to the Green Bay Packers in the U.S., a team owned by its community. President Obama’s second presidential election was successful due to crowdfunding done through his website.
Another success story is the Pebble. Tagged as “the first watch built for the 21st century,” the Pebble team raised over $10 million using Kickstarter.
Marom is a consultant for Massolution, a company based on crowdsourcing solutions for enterprises. In a recent study, Massolution reported that in 2012, North America raised over $1.6 billion through crowdfunding. Europe raised $945 million.
According to Marom, there are four types of crowdfunding; donation-based for philanthropy and sponsorship, reward-based for non-monetary rewards, equity-based that includes revenue and profit-sharing models for financial return, and lending-based including person-to-person and person-to-business lending.
“I am a true believer in the power of crowds,” Marom reiterated.
As CEO of RocketHub, one of the largest crowdfunding platforms, Brian Meece brought his “Crowdfunding Success Pattern” talk to the One Spark Speaker Series on Saturday afternoon.
“It’s really a new spin on an old idea,” Meece told the crowd of entities like National Public Radio (NPR) and Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) that have been using crowdfunding for decades. The formula is small contributions multiplied by lots of people equals creative success.
According to Meece, there are three pillars of crowdfunding: project, network and goods. You must have all three in order to succeed. The first important step is to share the why of what you do. Tell your story. People are more apt to support a project that speaks to their emotions.
The next step is to talk to your people. “Crowdfunding is built around networks,” Meece said. “Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.” Turn to those closest to you and ask for support. Once you’ve exhausted your inner circle, then you can reach out to other in your social capital – email list, Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
Finally, sell the goods. This can mean an invention, an idea or something tangible. Make the journey to completing “the goods” memorable. Maybe you want to make a jazz album. Appeal to anyone who would want to support your musical endeavors.
According to Meece, your checklist should include the following:
• Financial goal
• Time frame
• Written description
And your game plan should look something like this:
• Win first followers
• Build dialogue
• Spiral out
• Tell the story
• Meet the press
• Finish strong
Learn more about Brian Meece and his company RocketHub at rockethub.com.
A relatively new addition to the Jacksonville arts and cultural scene, Jacksonville Dance Theatre, founded in January, has 12 performances scheduled for the 2013 season. Managing Director Katie McCaughan and others set-up camp in MOCA’s lobby to help garner support of their first season, which happens to be unfunded. “One of our biggest visions is to be located downtown,” McCaughan says of JDT’s entry #319. “This has been a great event – I love feeling the energy of downtown.”
Mechanical engineer Brian Major has invented a bicycle that doesn’t pedal for you but pedals with you.
Major is trying to change transportation by powering automobiles with the sun and wind through his Colibris Alternative Vehicles.
“It is like a bionic extension of you,” he said.
His invention will help people trying to climb a hill on a bicycle by sensing that person is having a hard time. The computer will kick in and do the rest of the work, said Barry Major, the creator’s father.
While riding a bike with a heavy wind, the computer will sense the rider pushing harder, and the battery will kick in, he said.
Major knows a woman who rides over the Main Street Bridge everyday and has to get off her bike and walk the rest of the way. This invention will help her a lot, he said.
Major invented the bike so the computer inside the wheels will sense when the rider is having to strain to pedal.
The computer can detect when the rider is struggling, Major said. Users can program the bike to do 80 percent of the work while they do the remaining 20 percent, he said.
As a former mayor of Pittsburgh, Tom Murphy knows a lot about urban development and finding innovative solutions to complex problems.
During his time in office, Murphy took a deteriorating industrial city and transformed it into a technology hub. This, he said, was possible for any city – as long as the people who live there want it bad enough.
A senior resident fellow for Urban Development at the Urban Land Institute (ULI), Murphy specializes in public policy, retail/urban entertainment, transportation/infrastructure, housing, real estate, finance and environmental issues.
For his talk, “The Changing Rules of Community,” Murphy spoke about how the rules are changing and communities need to understand what will help them succeed in the 21st century.
“It’s a remarkable thing that you’re doing,” Murphy told the crowd in reference to One Spark. “You’re empowering yourselves. Wouldn’t you want to see this creativity, innovation and hustle and bustle every day?”
According to Murphy, there are five converging forces cities need to think about such as globalization, climate change, technology innovation, infrastructure needs and demographics. And, he said, it will be the millenials (ages 18 through 35) who will help change cities around America.
“This is a remarkable example of how you bring the forces together to create a 21st century city,” Murphy remarked of One Spark and Jacksonville. “Every city has a choice of what it wants to be. Don’t lose the spark.”
An Atlanta-based performing artist, writer and director, Doc Waller proved a high-energy and highly entertaining addition to the One Spark Speaker Series. Friday afternoon found Waller on stage for his “Bottle Up & Explode” talk.
Described as “thoughts on packaging our inspirations and idiosyncrasies into effective, daily weaponry,” Waller opened by telling the audience how mockingbirds are badass and the emcee of the animal kingdom. Not sure where he was going with his comment, Waller wowed the crowd with a 10-minute spoken word monologue.
“You can soak up the inspiration now or wait for it to come around the bend,” said Waller. “Vision is what we’re all about. It’s why we’re all here.”
A self-described “taste tester” who swallows every experience, Waller reminded audience members to take it all in – every facet of One Spark. “Are you getting what you came for? Are you processing the process?” he asked.
Waller talked about his background and how each life event inspired him or stifled his inspiration. An Air Force veteran, Waller started a non-profit in Eastern Alabama to bring the arts to underserved individuals. After about five years, he said he hit a wall and quit.
“I bottled these things [experiences] up and then exploded,” Waller said of his inspiration being stifled while running the non-profit. “You should take something away from everything.”
According to Waller, there are multiple steps to this process. The first being, “Morning Glory,” which basically means people should slow their day down – even if that just means taking a moment in the morning to reflect before starting the day.
The second step to Waller’s process is “Stream of Consciousness.” “There’s not one person in this room who should not be a writer,” he told the audience. This step is meant for people to write down their ideas, inspiration or whatever they take from an experience.
Another step to the process is …
A zombie film that takes place during the Civil Rights era, Velvet Road is filmmaker L. Gustavo Cooper’s One Spark entry #318. Located in the MOCA lobby, Cooper hopes to garner support and funding to make the short into a full-length feature. When asked how the event has been going for his entry, Cooper says, “Some people have been really enthusiastic and some have been weary that it’s a zombie film. But once I describe the story and that it takes place during the Civil Rights era, they get excited.” Velvet Road will be shown Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Underbelly.