The Rotator: Interview #1 with Willi Paul - by Eckhart Beatty, 02/27/09
The Rotator:
An interview with Willi Paul, on the Landing of

Written By: Eckhart Beatty
February 27, 2009, Oakland, CA is a collaboration to work network. It's a think tank, a virtual water cooler meet-up, and a place to share and refine ideas about sustainability. The community is driven by artists, musicians, writers and inventors. Rather than launch the new site, its creator and members want to 'land' it. a new self-described "innovation network" is landing on earth. According to its architect and founder, Willi Paul, who conceived this community last year, it makes collaboration and resources available for innovators, artists, inventors, ands writers, more so than other social networking sites. Does it have peers?

Yes, there are other social networks with a Green focus. I am a member of, and Transition United States. All three are nice reflections of our mission but do not have the same member base or innovation mandate. We're not a Facebook or a Myspace, rather an innovation network, a collaboration and action network.

What Can You Do in

At, you can upload and find green and innovative ideas, companies and people. You can show off your work, test an idea, start a discussion, and seek-out partners for projects and start-ups. And you can learn about, promote and develop new sustainable products and services. Members can take part in an art happening, research deep into the site's data base and sit-in on the Event Circle, the bi-weekly presenters forum.

What about other social networking venues? What role will they play?

We set up a "transfer zone" to invite the creative community there to I also started innovation groups at (one of our sponsors) and on

What about Twitter? Tweet, tweet. Facebook?

Hmmm- I don't have an itch to Twitter; it's weird. I have a FaceBook site but the audience is not who we are inviting to collaborate with at

Set to launch from outer or inner space, yes a new kind of space, PlanetShifter will officially begin serving its community on March 3, 2009; readying now to meet you at your own orbit, it is gearing up for prime-time.

In our vision crazy start-up ecosystem, a launch or landing is never completed. It's just one baby in a series of baby steps.

Seems a bit "out there"? According to founder and executive producer Willi Paul, "the site welcomes visitors and new members by way of a satellite called The Rotator, representing an orbiting space community. From its perspective, The Rotator and its occupants see the earth as an integrated, living organism.

The Rotator was designed by San Francisco graphic artist Andrea Fuenzalida from Native American dream catchers. We like the sci-fi look and feel. The ship will be utilized for future events and instruction.

Is this for kids?

Yes, we have no age requirements and welcome all ideas and visions for a green planet. Children and their teachers can utilize the gallery opportunity, database and Event Circle for lesson plans right now.

As a collaborate venue and perhaps a virtual collaborative crucible of sorts, participants are encouraged to partake in an art "happenings," members can sit-in an art forum or swap images. Can be conducive to bartering or sale of products and services, as well?

Yes, we see bartering as a viable way to exchange goods and services. U-Exchange ( is a player in this new sector. is implementing the next version of its open source innovation platform which will include the opportunity to trade or sell creative work, a contractor job exchange and private collaboration spaces, virtual "whiteboards", for innovation where members can share a secure virtual meeting space, to turn ideas into action. Coccinella ( is an example and a possible partner.

What is the Vision Map ( page for, called the "Creative Cycle?"

It gives members a guide to developing an idea and where to integrate other members. We believe that collaboration needs this type of process or structure to succeed in a timely manner. is a partner with, a network of scientists. Why?

Right. Gregory Cruikshank, President at, was an early link trader and supporter of ours. He has a similar vision and we hope to help support his work moving forward.

Who are your initial business affiliations?

We selected Gaiam (which owns Real Goods Trading and runs the annual iconic Solfest in Hopland, CA) which offers a wide spectrum of sustainably derived products, and, with six recommended titles, including The Sustainability Revolution, Toolbox for Sustainable City Living, Sustainability by Design, and the Triple Bottom Line.

About Willi Paul

Willi Paul is a writer, artist and innovator. A Sustainability Program Design Consultant, based in Oakland, California. He also serves as Director of Sustainability for, and is the featured columnist for He is writing a novella for kids about life after oil in northern California called "AOL GreenLoc, CA." He invented the precursor to the online community called the electronic charrette in 1996. His ePortfolio is at