#70: Former Corrections Officer

Listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the audio player below.

In this episode, I speak with a former corrections officer, a woman who requested anonymity because correctional facilities are sensitive about granting interviews. And even though my interview subject has now moved on to a new job, she doesn’t want any trouble.

What she does want is to share her story: the job turned out to be quite different from what she had imagined based on various TV shows, and she sees some value in adding a real-world perspective to the mix.

#69: Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller, Creators of the Buy Nothing Project

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In this episode, I speak with Liesl Clark (left) and Rebecca Rockefeller (right), co-founders of the Buy Nothing Project, a social movement focused on the development of hyper-local gift economies.

Clark and Rockefeller don’t make a living from their work on the Buy Nothing Project, but it does require heaps of their time. When we sat down to talk last weekend (amidst the chirping of both birds and childrensorry about that), they explained what inspired them to launch the Buy Nothing movement and why exactly it’s catching fire.

About The Buy Nothing Project: The Buy Nothing Project began as an experimental, hyper-local gift economy on Bainbridge Island, Washington. In just a few months, it has become a bona fide social movement, involving more than 4,000 members in 23 chapters around the country. Using specially-created Facebook groups, Buy Nothing members follow these simple rules: “Post anything you’d like to give away, lend, or share amongst neighbors. Ask for anything you’d like to receive for free or borrow. Keep it legal. Keep it civil. No buying or selling, no trades or bartering…we’re strictly a gift economy.”

Photos: courtesy of Liesl Clark and Rebecca Rockefeller.

Also: thank you to Chris Walton for recording this conversation. I hesitate to credit him since the sound quality is totally not his fault, but the fact is: his help was critical. With the kids milling around (a first for the podcast), I’d probably have forgotten to hit ‘record.’ 

#68: Ali Ganjavian, Co-founder of Studio Banana

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Described by its creators as “neither a pillow nor a cushion, nor a bed, nor a garment, but a bit of each at the same time,” the OSTRICHPILLOW® is a “micro environment in which to take a warm and comfortable power nap.” And ever since I clapped eyes on this photo of the pillow in action, I wanted to learn more about the brains behind it: who has made it their work to think of this thing? And why? And let me be clear: I say “this thing” with love in my heart. In fact, I love the OSTRICHPILLOW® so much that I’m buying one to give away to a randomly-selected Work Stew essayist. (If you want your name to be in the drawing but have not yet written an essay of your own, there’s still time: the winner will be chosen on November 15, 2013. For details on how to submit an essay to the site, check out the FAQ or find me on Facebook.)

About Ali Ganjavian: Ali Ganjavian is the co-founder, with his best friend and professional partner Key Portilla Kawamura, of Studio Banana, an award-winning, multidisciplinary creative platform that has developed a wide range of projects, including the OSTRICHPILLOW®.

Ganjavian has a Masters in Architecture from the Royal College of Art in London.

Photo credits: both images were shot by Alonso Herranz. All rights belong to Studio Banana Things.