Welcome to The Dead Horses Project: “Focused on things that don’t work…and replacing them with things that do work, for the common good of all.”
From Dead Horses
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Can this site really make a difference for the planet?
It will make more of a difference than doing nothing. That’s our story and we’re stickin’ to it!
We already know about all these problems…so what’s the big deal?
The big deal is that “knowing about things” intellectually, and “taking positive action” are entirely different. The site wants to motivate individuals and communities to take positive action and reward those who make positive tangible impact for the planet.
This is a wiki-based site and many people could contribute and modify a Dead Horse entry. How then do the judges decide who gets credit for an entry?
Major credit will be given to the first person who made the posting, according the records maintained by the site. Judges will also take into consideration significant subsequent edits or additions that substantially enhance or improve the entry. The judges’ decisions will be considered final in all cases. See Judging Criteria.
What about multiple projects that address the same or over-lapping issues?
We expect this will happen. When it does, the judges will assess which projects made the most significant tangible impact to address the specific Dead Horse issue and will make their awards based on the stated criteria. It’s quite possible for several projects to share an award if they are deemed to be equal in impact.
Where and when will the first Annual Dead Horses Awards Ceremony be held?
www.deadhorses.org is now conducting a search for a suitable awards ceremony venue. Communities, towns, cities and venues that would like to be considered for the honor of hosting the first Annual Dead Horse Awards event should contact: email@example.com Given the considerable media exposure we plan for this event, and the potential economic benefits accruing to local communities, we encourage applications from any suitable community or venue on the planet.
Regarding the timing, we anticipate the first awards event will be held in the Spring of 2009, allowing a full year of entries to be evaluated. More information will be released as it becomes available.
What is the structure of the Dead Horses Project?
The current structure of the Dead Horses Project is “under development” and working towards establishment as a not-for-profit foundation. To achieve this end, the founders and the advisory board are in process of raising funds and creating appropriate legal structures to support the long term success of the project. Anyone interested in contributing time or funding to our project is very welcome to contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org Prior to the finalization of our status, we will operate as a website, providing content and inviting participation from interested parties. Any advertising revenues will be used to support the operation and improvement of the site.
Why are you launching the Dead Horse Project before your structure and status have been finalized?
Like many new projects, Dead Horses has to begin somewhere. It now exists as an invitation to participate in creating new possibilities for our planet. Our view is that, the sooner we launch the site, the sooner we will attract people to participate and better funding to operate…so why not! Our goal is to be “formally” established within the next 90 days and we will work hard to achieve that and expect it will not be a problem.
Why do you give your address as “Earth” and refer to yourself as an “Earth-based organization?”
We consider that the Dead Horses Project is open to all residents of Earth, without regard to nationality, religion, race or social status. In our observation, the notion of “nationality” often creates artificial barriers between Earth residents, though we recognize some the organizational and administrative advantages of breaking our planet into various chunks. We are not aiming at any controversy; we simply want to identify ourselves with the well being of all residents of Earth, for the common good of all. We also notice that “Dead Horses” are found in every corner of the planet and want to communicate that as well!
Is the Dead Horse Project some kind of cult?
Ha-ha-ha! That’s a good one! No it is not. In fact, most “cults” would qualify as Dead Horses because they do not encourage individual creativity and thinking. There are many on our planet all too-willing to let others do the thinking for them and to follow blindly leaders who are as clueless as they are themselves. We don’t think that’s good for the planet. Our goal is fundamentally to wake people up to the realities and impact of our learning failures, to “think again” and start taking positive action to make a difference.” As such, we will always be a community of thoughtful, positive individuals who refuse to become “cynical and resigned” in spite of the mind-numbing influence of the media-driven social narratives that currently mesmerize many of our fellows into believing that “little is possible.” Above all, we believe in the creation of more possibility for our planet, via creative thinking and positive action.
Isn’t the whole notion of “Dead Horses” kind of negative and dark….or even depressing?
It depends on your perspective, doesn’t it? A Dead Horse posting is geared to creating awareness of a particular dysfunction that is afflicting the planet and the human condition. By highlighting the dysfunction and getting clear about its nature, its history, its causes and possible solutions, even ridiculing it, it then becomes much easier to switch the direction of the focus from the “problem” to “the solution.”
But why not just start with the solution? Isn’t that more positive?
In our observation, Earth people have been conditioned to focus more on “problems” than on solutions. Dead Horses are persistent areas of dysfunction that “everyone knows about” but inspite of this, people keep doing the same things anyway! Isn’t that ludicrous! Of course it is, yet it keeps happening. By creating an “expanding catalogue of Earthly dysfunction” Dead Horses is setting the stage for action to address the dysfunction so that things can actually change for the better.
The mission of www,deadhorses.org is to motivate and inspire those of us that are not ready to “give up” and become victims but would prefer to get busy on some solutions: The Noble Steeds we can proudly ride towards a better future for the planet. By linking your project to a Dead Horse posting you are making a public declaration of your intention to make a difference! How cool is that! It will absolutely clear that the reason your project exists is to replace things that don’t work, with things that have a chance of working. So, now that you’re clear…just go ahead and make a difference for the planet.
But what if my project fails? Then what?
One of the core assumptions of the Dead Horses Project is that “there is no failure, there is only feedback.” In our view, the very notion of “failure” is just another Dead Horse! The concept of “failure” is only an assessment (by whom?) that “there is no possible way to proceed, so the only course available is to declare defeat and “give up.” In fact, the whole history of real human progress is a history full of examples of people who simply refused to admit “failure” into their vocabulary. When something didn’t work, they simply became more curious and started looking for alternatives. This is known as “flexibility.”
Possibly the best example is Thomas Edison: he didn’t think he was “failing” when over 900+ experiments didn’t result in a working light bulb. He simply said to himself “now I know 900+ things that don’t work, so I must be getting closer to the solution!” If you have ever been grateful for electric light, you can notice that you have it because one person refused to believe in the notion of “failure.” So if you project doesn’t work at first, try something else. Keep going!
Questions by Corporate Sponsors
How do I get involved in the Noble Steeds Social Engagement Awards?
In almost any way that makes sense to you. Here are some examples:
- Identify a Dead Horse (or post your own!) on this site and register your willingness to sponsor related projects that are linked to the Dead Horse.
- Make clear what kind of support you are offering to winners: cash, products, or other tangible resources) and the estimated value of your support.
- Encourage your employees or stakeholders to make a Dead Horse listing and / or create a Dead Horse project and register on this site.
When you have registered your commitment, your company logo will be placed as an icon on the Project Page that you are sponsoring. When people click the icon they will see what support is being offered should their project receive a Noble Steeds Social Engagement Award.
Potentially, individuals and communities may create many projects linked to your Dead Horse, increasing the scope of impact that you are creating with your sponsorship. The more the merrier.
I am convinced by this project! What should I do if I want to sponsor it?
Thank you in advance for your sponsorship! Please send the name of your company or organization, contact information and the project(s) you would like to sponsor to email@example.com. Our personnel will contact you shortly.
If a project that my corporation sponsors wins a Noble Steed Social Engagement Award, how will the awards be distributed?
When a project you have sponsored wins an award, The Dead Horse Project will make a public announcement of the awards, jointly with your organization, at the Annual Noble Steeds Social Engagement Awards ceremony. Then we would like you to take direct responsibility for distributing the awarded resources to the project owners in a way that works best for your organization. We hope you will provide tangible evidence that the awards have been distributed by providing us with letters, photos, videos that will serve to verify that you followed through. We will of course make these visible on our site. The Dead Horse Project cannot be involved in handling funds and distributing awarded resources, due to the complexities and resources that would be involved. Far better we feel for your organization to take this responsibility in the manner which works best for you.
What are the advantages of using The Dead Horses Project as a vehicle for responsible Social Engagement?
Great question! There are many advantages, including:
- The ability to choose from a wide range of worthy projects that fit well with your own corporate / business strategies.
- The ability to use this platform to generate your own projects any time you wish and attract individuals and communities that have a passion for addressing the same issues.
- The ability to have complete discretion regarding the type and amount of resource you wish to provide and to distribute the resources in ways that are most workable for you.
- In addition to publicity and awareness generated by The Dead Horses Project, your corporation can also apply whatever resources you wish to draw attention to your sponsorship and increase grass roots momentum in support of the project.
- Also, all official winners of a Noble Steeds Social Engagement Award will be permanently posted on the Dead Horses site in the “Noble Steeds Hall of Fame” for all to see. Winners and their sponsors can link to this page from their own sites and enjoy the satisfaction of a job well done. And why not?
Over time, we expect the Noble Steeds Social Engagement Awards to become very prestigious and that prestige will also accrue to the benefit of corporate sponsors. Due to the strict success criteria established by the Dead Horses Project, only projects that succeed in producing the most positive tangible impact for the planet will make it to the Winner’s Circle and earn a place in the Noble Steeds Hall of Fame. You can be there in the Winner’s Circle with the prize winners by making positive tangible commitments at the outset---provide the encouragement that will fan the flames of passionate involvement by individuals and communities.
In short you have everything to gain and nothing to lose. Just imagine the possibilities.
How will the winners be decided?
Winning projects are selected by the Dead Horse Project Advisory Board members who also serve as judges. Advisory Board members are selected from a wide variety of interests and occupations on the basis of their passion for making a difference on the planet. Judges will vote based on a point system using the Judging Criteria posted on this site. See: Judging Criteria for the Noble Steeds Social Engagement Awards. Decisions of the judges will be final and the judging process will be monitored by an independent body to ensure fairness.
Is The Dead Horses Project open to suggestions and input from potential sponsors?
Absolutely! We want to keep improving this platform to make it increasingly responsive and effective and we welcome all input and suggestions from interested sponsors, communities and individuals. Send your suggestions to: firstname.lastname@example.org and will do our very best to incorporate workable ideas into our process.
What happens if we sponsor a project and it doesn’t win an award?
Well that’s possible, isn’t it? That still leaves you with a wide range of options:
There is nothing that prevents you from going ahead and distributing resources to a project that you feel is worthy of your support. Just go ahead and do it! And why not? We do encourage you to honor the principle of only awarding resources to projects that have already demonstrated positive tangible impact. That’s the spirit of Noble Steeds that we want to encourage and maintain: proactive initiative and resourcefulness to get into action now regardless of available resources.
And, you won’t be able to claim the prestige of an official Noble Steed Social Engagement Award, but so what? We will still be glad to celebrate your support on our site and hope that in future, because of your support, your chosen project will be able to go on and win an actual Noble Steeds Award.
Alternatively, you can also decide to raise the stakes, increasing your offer of resources for the next year, and we will post this announcement on our site.
Or you may choose to select other or additional projects that you feel are worthy of your sponsorship support. It’s really up to you and your organization.
Whatever you do, your specific commitment of support will be visible for all to see for the entire year of the competition. You get credit for taking a stand in support of a Dead Horse project whether the project wins an official award or not. And why not?
So what’s the main “value add” of The Dead Horses Project?
We are independent and in principle, we take no position on what type of projects should or should not be created. That’s up the imagination, creativity and passion of the project originators and their sponsors. However, we do make sure that all projects and postings match our high standards of acceptability: we will never allow any project that is of a negative, violent, hateful or abusive nature to exist on our site. We want to eliminate Dead Horses, not foster them!
Projects that seek to engender attacks, violence or other negative tactics will not be maintained on our site. All projects must be focused on positive change by providing new alternatives, not simply creating social conflict.
We support only projects that are positive in nature and focus on constructive dialogue and peaceful means of achieving change.
In addition, we believe that our approach will encourage a wide range of Dead Horses to be identified and in turn stimulate a wide range of projects to address them. Given the immense possibilities created by all the emerging Social Engagement tools on the internet, we hope to be a catalyst for using these in positive, creative and constructive ways.
We see The Dead Horses Project as a long-term initiative to generate sustainable Social Engagement projects that will encourage individuals and communities to use their brains in positive ways to effect real change.
In this way, sponsors will have the ability to “cherry pick” projects that they find attractive and project organizers will have a platform to make their best case for corporate sponsorship support.