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A live documentary series about reimagining the world of tomorrow, in order to rebuild the world today.
A three-part series about reimagining the world of tomorrow, in order to build that world today.
A three-part series about reimagining the world of tomorrow, in order to build that world today.
575 backers pledged $77,253 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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THE EVENTS

I want to invite you on an adventure.

I believe it’s literally true that we can’t build what we can’t imagine. The fact that we haven’t compellingly imagined a thriving, dynamic, sustainable world is a major reason we don’t already live in one.

Our challenges are epic. If building a better world seems out of our reach, then we need to become people who can reach farther. We extend that reach by embracing bigger visions. To become people capable of doing heroic things together, we have to envision a heroic future. That’s the mission: finding that heroic future, and the paths we take to get there.

Come imagine that future with me. Join me for the filming of a remarkable three-part "live documentary," The Heroic Future.

THE SERIES

The Heroic Future will run three nights—September 20th, 21st and 22nd. Each of these performances will be presented in an intimate venue to a live audience in the Bay Area, and filmed and recorded for those who can’t be there in person. Whether you’re in the room, watching the videos at home or listening to the recordings, you’ll be part of creating something special and powerful: a new way of looking at the future.

Each 90-minute show mixes stage presentation, film and photography, visual design, sound, music and lighting to tell a powerful story of where we are, where we need to go, and the kind of stories that might guide us through the planetary crisis we face.

THE VISION

Each show will each ask a critical question:

When are we?

What can we do?

and

Who do we choose to become?

The first night we’ll answer the question, “When are we?” Most of us now know where we are. We get that we live on an astonishing world, but that our Earth has limits. What fewer of us understand is that we live at the moment when our ability to ignore those limits has come to its end, and for the rest of our lives we’re going to be working to reshape a global society of ten billion people to fit within a small world, while fixing the damage done by the 20th century. Is success for humanity still possible? We’ll discover that it is, but that every successful future now demands heroic change.

On the second night we’ll ask, “What can we do?” We’ll explore our power to change, and discover just how heroic that power can be. We’ll range across the landscape of disruptive solutions we can now find all around us. We’ll come to see that while the challenges of our moment are huge, what we most lack are not the tools to build a better world, but the visions to guide our building.

The third night we ask “Who do we choose to become?” We look at the stories about the future that surround us, and see the need for new stories that illuminate the world we want for our children. Then we embark on the adventure of imagining the heroic future humanity needs.

In short, when I take the stage, I will give you what 25 years of travels, research, and hard thinking have shown me about the world and its future. This is the best work I’ve ever done.

THE IMPACT

If you know my past work, it won’t surprise you to learn that we plan to make these evenings the launch of a broader effort to engage the public in heroic futurism. There’s no time to waste. In the next year, I want to reach at least one million people and help them connect with a simple truth: if we can learn to imagine it, we can figure out how to build it... and imagining it is a job for us all. Picture smart, creative people everywhere starting to envision the world we need to build. Your support can help make that picture a reality.

THE STRETCH GOALS

What is our first stretch goal? If we hit our stretch goal of $100,000, we'll be able to do more with the filming itself. We’ll be able to add more cameras and better lighting, spruce up the stage design, and edit the result into three beautiful videos that are not just compelling, but a true pleasure to watch.

If we hit our super-stretch goal of $150,000, we'll work with talented editors to produce a broadcast-quality feature length documentary, distilling the highlights of the series into a single powerful film for widespread distribution.


WHO IS ALEX STEFFEN?

Alex speaks on the sustainable future of cities at the TED conference.
Alex speaks on the sustainable future of cities at the TED conference.

I'm Alex Steffen, "one of the world's leading voices on sustainability and the future of the planet” (Vancouver Sun). In 2013-2014, I was Planetary Futurist in Residence at the renowned design and innovation firm IDEO. My acclaimed 2012 book Carbon Zero: Imagining cities that can save the planet is an exploration of the kinds of available design, technological and policy innovations that can transform our cities into low-carbon engines of prosperity. From 2003-2010, I ran the pioneering sustainability and social innovation project Worldchanging, and edited the two best-selling Worldchanging books. I've given over 500 talks at conferences, major universities and leading companies around the world (including my two TED talks, which have both been watched by more than a million people).

 You can watch my TED Global talk on the future of cities here.

Risks and challenges

Having done one successful Kickstarter project before (and run a bunch of other creative projects), I've learned the value in planning carefully and budgeting enough time and money to do a good job. There's always the risk of something technical going awry, or the possibility that forces out of our control require us to reschedule one or more of the evenings. We hope that nothing goes wrong, but if anything does we plan to be fully transparent and problem-solve to make the project great anyway.

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FAQ

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    SUPPORTER

    We'll send you a fun postcard, give you early notice when the audio recordings are available, and thank you on our website!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    TEAM FUTURE

    You'll be one of the first to see the shows on video! Be part of the experience, wherever you are on the planet. You'll also get the audio recordings, a postcard, and our thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    TEAM FUTURE: LIVE TICKET

    Experience all three of the shows live! You'll also get early access to the video, the audio recordings, a postcard, and our thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    TEAM FUTURE: DOUBLE TICKET

    Bring a friend! Receive 2 tickets to experience all three of the shows live. You'll also get early access to the videos, the audio recordings, a postcard, and our thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    THE HEROIC CHAT

    It's your hour with Alex. Enjoy a one-on-one Skype conversation about life, the future, how to make a worldchanging difference...or whatever you'd like to discuss.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    TEAM FUTURE: HERO TICKET

    Your name on stage! We’ll thank you by name at the events and in the audio recordings and videos. You'll receive 2 tickets to experience all three of the shows live, early access to the videos, the audio recordings, a postcard, and our thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $850 or more About $850

    TEAM FUTURE: CURATOR

    Gather a party for this adventure! Receive 10 tickets to experience all three of the shows live. You'll also get early access to the videos, the audio recordings, a postcard, and our thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    MY DINNER WITH ALEX

    An intimate dinner, for you and a guest, with Alex Steffen. Gather around the table to share stories, inspiration and sustainable food. We’ll also thank you by name at the events and in the audio recordings and videos. You'll receive 2 tickets to experience all three of the shows live, early access to the videos, the audio recordings, a postcard, and our thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    THE HEROIC SCHOLARSHIP FUND

    Set aside 25 tickets for worldchanging (yet underfunded) people to experience these shows live! You'll also get early access to the videos, the audio recordings, a postcard, and our thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    SHOW SPONSOR

    You'll be named as sponsor of one of the shows, with your logo prominently featured on that night's materials. We’ll also thank you by name at the events and in the audio recordings and videos. You'll receive 2 tickets to experience all three of the talks live, early access to the videos, the audio recordings, a postcard, and an enormous thanks on the website!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    SERIES SPONSOR

    You'll be named as a sponsor of the entire series, and your logo will be prominently featured on all series materials. We’ll also thank you by name at the events and in the audio recordings and videos. You'll receive 10 tickets to experience all three of the shows live, early access to the videos, the audio recordings, postcard, and a giant thanks on the website!

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Funding period

- (35 days)