It was June 2020, a time that I will never forget. I was living in Hollywood, CA and the world around me seemed to be falling apart. There were millions of people rioting in the streets, fires were destroying the little wildlife I could see, and the pandemic had become official just 3 months prior. As I sat in my apartment I did the only thing I really could to keep me sane which was look at my computer and learn about how we had gotten to this point as a society.
Prior to June 2020, I had been a social media entrepreneur, making money by building meme pages and helping influential people stand out amongst the rest on the internet. It was a fun job that I had taken on in 2011 and never looked back. Social media was a passion of mine because it was the perfect mixture of technology, psychology, sociology, and expressionism that I had never experienced prior to my first moments on Twitter. These meme pages I built were reaching billions of impressions each month and the month of June 2020 I had set my sights to using this tool as a means of helping the world around me.
I studied everything I could about the current state of American society and I kept finding myself down rabbit holes of information that inevitably lead me to learning that America had a consumption and production problem. We were consuming too much unhealthy food and too much unhealthy media on a very consistent basis. Our abuse of natural resources (like time, agriculture, and wildlife) was being reflected back to us as problems with social, nutritional, and educational resources.
I instantly knew that learning more about the problems our society was facing was for a reason and now it was time to find something that could be created as a solution to our cluster of problems.
That’s when I discovered “SolarPunk” which is a genre of art and literature that imagines what the world would look like if we were utopian instead dystopian.
The genre was relatively new, having just been established in 2007 and I saw an opportunity to make this genre our reality.
I used my social media presence to connect with teachers, nutritionists, farmers, humanitarians, climate activists, organizations, and anyone else who I felt related to the genre of SolarPunk.
It turns out there was a common thread between all the people I talked to, they all wanted to see a healthy and happy world that democratized nutritional plant based foods and quality educational resources. I felt a sense that this was very possible and it needed to begin as soon as possible.
Around this time I got a call from two of my good friends, Khoa and Jon, they had a property for me in downtown Los Angeles that was sandwiched in the middle of two historic parks. They told me I could move into the space to see what I could make out of it. That’s the day “SolarPunk Park” was born.
At this park there is a “makerspace” which is quite literally a space for a community to gather and make things. The property also has a massive yard on top of a hill that overlooks the entire Los Angeles skyline, the perfect place to farm fresh fruits and vegetables while enjoying the ambience of Los Angeles.
The goal is to take this space and turn it into the go to place to curate projects inside Los Angeles that empower both environmental and human health.
We are helping build out schools in the area which will teach people about gardening, eating healthy, and how to make the most out of their relationship with technology. Also, we have formed partnerships with urban farming projects around Southern California to help them develop their impact. Lastly, we have plans to clean up areas and install a butterfly garden on Radio Hill in Downtown Los Angeles. This also came to life offer the course of two months and we feel the momentum is going to pick up.
“SolarPunk” is a vision of our world between nature, technology, and communities; and it’s going to have to start somewhere. Why not start it at a SolarPunk Park? A safe space that provides a glimpse of nature in a dense urban area that also gives you access to resources and relationships that boost your wellbeing and nature’s life.
The cool thing about the park is it’s not only a peaceful place to heal yourself and the planet, it’s also a profitable business. At the park our team has such a vast amount of skill sets that can benefit any company, artist, or charity. Companies and artists are already starting to make donations to SolarPunk Park where they receive services from us that benefit their business while their money goes to helping the environment and LA’s culture. We aim to construct different SolarPunk Parks around the world that can empower many different communities and the earth as a whole.