Four times, I’ve had the luck to take an idea on the journey from the earliest spark of possibility to the practical responsibilities of organisational existence.
School of Everything was an internet startup which I co-founded in 2006, inspired by Ivan Illich’s Deschooling Society and the educational experiments of the 1960s.
In 2009, I founded Spacemakers, which grew from a meet-up group to an agency whose projects bring people together to reimagine the places where we live and work. Our first major project was the revival of Brixton Village indoor market, but the project I’m proudest of is the West Norwood Feast, a community-owned and run street-market. In 2012, I handed on the running of Spacemakers to a team led by Matt Weston.
Also in 2009, Paul Kingsnorth and I published Uncivilisation, the manifesto that started the Dark Mountain Project. This became the anchor of my work over the next ten years. In 2019, after fifteen books, five festivals and numerous other collaborations, I handed on my responsibilities to Charlotte Du Cann, Nick Hunt and colleagues who are taking Dark Mountain into its second decade.
In 2018, Anna Björkman and I set out on the slow process of creating a school called HOME: a gathering place and a learning community for those who are drawn to the work of regrowing a living culture.
The timeline below introduces many of the smaller and larger projects for which I have been responsible, within or alongside the work of these organisations.