WHAT IS KICKSTARTER?
I just love it when technology empowers us to make genuine change in the world. As we all know, funding is dwindling or practically non-existent for the arts, education and even small business enterprises. What is the best way to generate interest and solicit financial support for the passions in our lives? Well, we have all seen how something goes "viral" and spreads around the globe on the Internet in seconds like a video of a baby laughing or scenes of the wrath of mother nature as she makes herself heard during a natural disaster (just search YouTube and you can find thousands of examples). Well this same viral principle can apply to fundraising and Kickstarter is the beacon of hope in this changing landscape of how we secure the essential funding for an important project. Now a contribution of only $1 can really make a huge difference when social media spreads the word to millions of people around the globe in a matter of seconds. This is the world that we live in today. I encourage you to check out Kickstarter today to see the amazing creative genius behind the thousands of projects on the drawing boards of the world.
Kickstarter is focused on creative projects. It is a great way for artists, filmmakers, musicians, designers, writers, illustrators, explorers, curators, performers, and others to bring their projects, events and dreams to life. The word "project" is just as important as "creative" in defining what works on Kickstarter. A project is something finite with a clear beginning and end. Someone can be held accountable to the framework of a project - a project was either completed or it wasn't - and there are definable expectations that everyone can agree to. This is imperative for every Kickstarter project. Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires or no money changes hands.
KICKSTARTER & SAFECAST: Radiation Detection Hardware Network in Japan
Since the tragic events of March 11 in Northern Japan, the world has been humbled and amazed by the sheer power and awesome force of mother nature. The Japanese people live each and every day with the cultural notion of hakanasa which embodies the essence of evanescence or fragility of life. Everything can disappear like mist or vapor in the flash on an instant. This is why the viewing of the cherry blossoms and the fall foliage is so important to the Japanese people as the pilgrimages showcase the blossoms and leaves as they fall at the moment of their greatest beauty. It is a gentle reminder that we are so fragile and fleeting. The Japanese have encountered natural disasters like earthquakes and tsunamis for centuries and no doubt they will happen again and recover.
What is unique about the events of March 11 is the man made nuclear disaster at Fukushima that followed the earthquake and tsunami. We have seen through the tragic events at Three Mile Island and Chernobyl that there is so much we do not know about the fallout of nuclear radiation, as the true impact on people and the environment is not known for years. Nuclear power counts for almost 30% of electricity production in Japan, so it is an important and critical part of the country's energy plan.
While reporting on the recovery efforts in Japan, I could never get a grip on the real facts regarding the nuclear disaster. Conflicting reports from a variety of governmental and non-governmental organizations had me spinning at every turn. My goal and passion has been to get people to consider travelling to Japan again, but with so much uncertainty regarding the ongoing nuclear crisis at Fukushima, it will take quite some time before people consider Japan as a safe destination.
When I found the Safecast Project on Kickstarter, I was immediately drawn to its purpose and goals and felt it would be a wonderful way to get the actual facts about radiation in Japan. I encourage you to review the following video to see the Safecast Project for yourself. You will also see how Kickstarter is truly empowering individuals to follow and fund creativity around the globe.