The Conversation: Update

May is approaching and, with it, the launch date.  Micah and I have been spending lots of time researching potential interviewees and, one by one, we've been sending out the emails.  This has been the most intimidating and difficult part of the project thus far, but The Conversation seems to have a certain resonance right now: with only a few exceptions, all of our emails have met positive responses.  We're excited about this.  The Conversation will only be as good as our participants and we are lucky to have a tremendously diverse group of thinkers on board.  When I last posted we had:

Colin Camerer - neuroeconomist at the California Institute of Technology
Jan Lundberg - oil industry analyst and eco-activist
Douglas Rushkoff - documentary producer and author, Life, Inc., Program or Be Programmed
Laura Musikanski - co-founder, The Happiness Initiative

Since then, we've gotten confirmation from:

Lisa Petrides - founder of Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education
Paul Glover - community organizer, founder of Ithaca Hours, the longest used local currency in the US
Eduardo Kac - bio/tech/unclassifiable artist
Joseph Tainter - anthropologist, historian, author, The Collapse of Complex Societies 
Michael Keenan - president, The Seasteading Institute
Alexander Rose, executive director, The Long Now Foundation
Lawrence Torcello, philosopher at the Rochester Institute of Technology
Ethan Zuckerman, director, Center for Civic Media at MIT
Max More, president, Alcor Life Extension Foundation
Rev. John Fife, co-founder, Sanctuary movement, No More Deaths
Daniel Suarez, author Daemon
Andrew Keen, author Cult of the Amateur and Digital Vertigo
John Lewis, professor emeritus of planetary science at the University of Arizona, author Mining the Sky
Richard Saul Wurman, architect, designer, founder of the TED Conference and WWW Conference
John Zerzan, anti-civilization theorist, author Twilight of the Machines, Elements of Refusal

I have a lot of letters yet to write and I will, no doubt, be researching and emailing from the road.  That said, the beginning of the trip is taking shape and, ready or not, The Conversation is going to be real next week.  In the meantime, we'll be getting our official website in order and preparing to launch our Kickstarter campaign.  We're shooting for $12k, which is at once a skeleton budget and a dauntingly huge number.  If we go over budget, I may be able to afford legal campgrounds and pay the web team.  But if we wash up under budget, well, we will see if I can run a motorcycle on oatmeal.  With a KLR, that's not inconceivable.

More updates and a Kickstarter link soon.