The future lurched a bit closer this week: EVOKE Agents had their pick of real-world events to test their skills. I’m currently in the U.S., and I have only to pick up a paper to read about ruptured water mains challenging the water security of large cities; tornadoes challenging the resilience of small towns; floods challenging the resilience of big cities; oil spills challenging the resilience of entire regions. In Europe, volcanic ash continues to disrupt commerce and tourism; the euro’s monetary crisis deepens; a headline in The Economist asks, “What Happened to 100 Million Baby Girls?” The UN calls for urgent action to head off a food crisis in Niger threatening up to 8 million people. China releases data showing it’s now increasing its energy consumption per unit of GDP growth, reversing its previous progress.
EVOKE’s ninth challenge is networking in a crisis. LEARN: Agent Teresa R is a hero for her first-person account of contracting malaria and the constraints of fear. Agent Chris Ke Sihai , a hero already, adds his experiences from when SARS arose in Taiwan. Agent Jeremy Laird Hogg is a hero for his insights about using text messages both to gather information and to prevent panic. LEARN AND ACT: Agent Miaomiao Huang is a hero for putting her lessons from the Wenchuan earthquake to work in her earthquake preparedness dark site. ACT: Agent Margie Alsbrook, already a hero, calls attention to the issue of maintaining best information in crisis dark sites, so that they will be fully ready if crisis strikes. IMAGINE: Agent tasneem alloo is a hero for her step-by-step vision of successful community action if a killer flu appears in Zambia.
The eighth challenge is to preserve indigenous knowledge. Agent Pradip Dey is a hero for his up-to-the-moment reporting on the situation and stakes for indigenous knowledge, a report that resonated with many agents. Agent Paul Allison is a hero for connecting local knowledge to global problems, starting with students gathering very local knowledge in a park in Queens NY. Agent Thinkwell Ndhlovu is a hero for recording what he knows about the sacred rocks in the Matopo Hills. And Agent Paul Holze is a hero for his question: what if indigenous knowledge is actually subverting the truth?
Special recognitions: the Agent Collective at Chengyuan High School are heroes for their enthusiastic approach to the Missions; check out their work! Agent John D. Boyden is a hero for his steady, positive encouragement of other players and good works. And
Agent sunnydupree is a hero, period.
EVOKE’s seventh challenge: creating urban resilience. Agent Thys van der Veer is a hero for focusing us on the planning principles for the new mobility city. EVOKE’s sixth challenge: gender equality. Agent Edoardo Simone Paluan is a hero for posting this graph about the extent of gender inequality.
EVOKE’s fourth challenge: secure clean water. Agent Vivian Volirakis is a hero for finding Carry5, an organization that not only walks a mile in the shoes of others, but carries water while doing it. Second challenge: food supply. Agent Gilford T Hapanyengwi is a hero for imagining vividly what sacrifices the unthinking pursuit of secure food might cause.
And don’t forget that if you want to pursue that great idea, EVOKE encourages Evokations.
Finally, to all you agents who are working on your missions, and on changing the world by changing yourselves, EVOKE’s hat is off to you. I see real courage going on, and real dedication to change. You are forging a fantastic legacy by May 12. New agents – there is a Rest Stop for you! Check in there if you’re wondering what to do, want to say “Hello EVOKE!” or just need a lift. And Agent Gabriel Martin is a hero for creating it for you (and so is Agent Buffy B for (among other things) helping Gabriel keep the WELCOME sign lit and the coffee fresh). – Calida, for Ronald, Mita, Ken, Simon, Josh, Nathaniel, Chelsea and the rest of the EVOKE team