Movie: Reversing the Mississippi

What happens with a guru in creating affordable physical technology for farming meets a guru in creating social connections for youth to teach them farming?

I have been waiting to find out since I first saw the trailer for Reversing the Mississippi in June of 2015. Thanks to Ian Midgley, the film premiered on the PBS World Channel website with the TV series ‘America ReFramed’ on April 12, 2016 and can now be watched here (watch the trailer here).

Reversing the Mississippi is a documentary of the meeting of two people and two worlds. Marcin Jakubowski of Open Source Ecology is a master of using an open source approach to physical technology — working on developing the 50 machines needed for civilization and making those plans available to everyone. But, Marcin could use some help with his people skills.

Nat Turner, on the other hand, works in the 9th Ward in New Orleans, post-Hurricane Katrina and is a master of using a variety of social technology to teach young people to farm in the heart of those now-abandoned lots. But, with a tractor they could be so much more productive.

A match made in heaven? Just raising the question and watching this example is a wonderful frame for a multitude of questions that arise when trying to thrive on one planet in a time of diminishing resources.

The film hints at the synergies possible in this collaboration and also provides a realistic perspective on how such collaboration works, or doesn’t work, in the real world.

The film thus echoes a theme that is probably critical for one planet thriving — finding a synergistic collaboration between social and physical technologies, a project being worked on in intentional communities around the world, including Tamera and Hummingbird.

Both of these folks are pioneers doing something for our world with grit, determination, and passion. Thriving on one planet requires people with the audacity to try for the almost impossible, like reversing the Mississippi. Thanks to Ian for bringing this to all of us.

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