Life is change – be open and vulnerable!

Hello internet,

Sparkling Science has been in a transition period lately and to make things clear I want to tell you the whole story. Having a blog is something that’s totally new for me so this feels just slightly awkward.. I do however believe in being open and embrace your own vulnerability. In fact, in my case, being open is essential for my survival, to be a bit radical. I passionately believe we should all embrace each others differences, share our deepest dreams and allow ourselves to be openly vulnerable. I read recently in a book that getting lost will help you find yourself!

Me trying to figure out wtf I’m doing with my life

So here is the story so far. It is not the exact straight path as you will see. If you don’t want to read the whole story just scroll down to the next picture.

The seed for Sparkling Science started in my dorm during the spring of 2009 when I was studying as an exchange student in Madrid. At the time, watching A LOT of TED-talks, a deep desire was growing in me wanting to not only become inspired alone by my computer but actually get out there in the world and put all this valuable knowledge into practice. I remember the exact day when the seed of entrepreneurship was planted in my mind after having watched about 5 TED-talks in a row that was all amazingly fascinating and made me completely awestruck for weeks.

From the beginning Sparkling Science was a dangerously abstract vision, or hallucination some would call it. However there has always been a thread connected to my belief in the importance to spread science and loose yourself in the awe and wonder that the world of science can infuse in people.

Why I say this vision was a dangerous one is because it is always dangerous to think/start “too” big because you might get stuck in a dream that’s not connected to reality. I think most of us has experienced this but we rarely talk about it. I’ve had an advantage though, that is my extreme need to feel connected (I’m a lonely child) and the only way to achieve this is to be totally open with your ideas and dreams. So this is what I’ve done during the years on this amazing and sometimes frightening journey of trying to figure out what I want to do, what I’m good at and how I’m supposed to make a living out of all this, which is what entrepreneurship is all about.

So, during the last 2 1/2 years more or less I have been in pursuit of a model that would work to actually put this vision into practice, and believe me, it has been HARD!! I could write a novel about this but here is roughly how the journey has played out. I’ve tried to be as honest and open as possible. As you can see it is not a very straight path!

April 2009 – A seed was planted in my brain, by watching too much TED. First attempt, while still being a student was that Sparkling Science (by then called the Open String project) would be a crowdsourced science magazine. This turned out more to be an hallucination rather than an achievable vision.

April 2009 – January 2011 – The seed dwells in the back of my head while continuing my studies and beginning to think about topics for my master thesis

April 2011 – September 2011 – Founding Sparkling Science as a company and writing my master thesis Communicating Science. In parallel with this I’m pursuing Sparkling Science as a platform (spending a lot of money building it) to enhance the connection between research and media through matchmaking questions from journalists with the right researchers. This is basically what it boiled down to: click here to see the video

September 2011 – April 2012 - Working with public Universities and institutions trying to have them buy into my platform. In parallell I realized I needed a personal real world platform that would increase my own legitimacy and help me reach out to the right people. That’s when I started to become involved in organizing TEDx-events. Had my first one in february 2012, then went to TEDxSummit in april in Doha / Qatar. Now organizing TEDxStockholm with 15 other people

Me with fellow organizers at TEDxSummit

April 2012 – October 2012 - Starting over, realizing that the first approach had become too difficult to pursue. I apply for TEDGlobal and get accepted. After this the rest is history. Sparkling Science is now about communicating science, not as a sole means to an end, but as a consequence of applying it in a DIY context and working to expand the DIY / Maker / hackerspace movement that are already doing science in an informal setting and sometimes even more effectively.

May 2012 – September 2012 - Per, Emil & Abhinit working on Sparkling Science as a platform for DIY Science & innovation, facilitating inter-hackerspace collaboration through the the creation and community-based curation of hackerspace-in-a-box – our attempt to solve the problem we’re facing of starting a hackerspace.

Us trying to figure things out after a workshop with an overwhelming amount of feedback

Now – Transition phase: Adding Calle Erlandsson as a web-developer to the team if we can find the money to pay him. I’m looking inwards and trying to reconnect with the same gut-feeling that got me started in the first place.

WHY am I doing this, apart from the grand vision of changing the world (that we all have)??

What’s life for you?

I realized that I’m really doing this to help myself become and especially FEEL more creative because I have found out that I love the feeling of making something interactive with my hands and watch it work together with other people, AND I have noticed that, in fact, everyone loves this feeling. I think this urge to feel creative again has something to do with my dad viewing himself as the least practical and creative person in the world, and me going to the most theoretical engineering program you could imagine :) But part of being creative is also understanding how things work and for that you have to be curious. In a way I now view Sparkling Science as the community around these creative boxes, where creativity meets curiosity, and instead of trying to communicate science through a “push-mentality” I’d like to see it more as pulling people into creativity and curiosity by playing on the innate creative spirit that all humans are able to feel.

So really the question I’m trying to answer is: What does it take for people to reconnect with this FEELING and start to ACT ON IT?

I’m ending with our latest illustration of the box where me and our illustrator Amilcar have tried to paint the FEELING of creativity as an inclusive space where anyone can just hop in. This is also how we imagine the box to be in real life.

Thank you for reading this! I enjoyed writing it.

/Carl B

hackerspace-in-a-box – our “final” product after 2 1/2 years of thinking, still under development!

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