mindsprout media blog

mindsprout media blog

Mindsprout is a hothouse for new ideas, projects and programs that are planted into community based organizations. Mindsprout seeks to create innovative programs to inspire community driven change and sustainable growth.

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A Hikers Guide to The Desert

April 19, 2011

Wherever you are right now, drive 14 miles. Depending on the direction you’re coming from, you’ll either turn right or left at the fourth unmarked dirt road. Follow this road until it forks. Turn and drive toward the sun — east or west, depending on the time of day.

After a sufficient amount of time, pull over and park your vehicle under the big juniper tree — the one with the illegal fire ring, shotgun shells and beer cans under it. Be careful so that the glass shards don’t puncture your Go-Lite neoprene shoes. After parking, fiddling with your gear and checking the nifty compass on your key ring that doubles as a faux carabineer (strong enough to hold the weight of, well, your keys), it’s time to hit the trail. Drop into the first wash on your right and follow the coyote tracks. After two hours of brisk power hiking — or 30 minutes meandering — you will come to a large, red rock that is distinguishable from the other large, red rocks by its largeness and redness. Admire it and continue on.

Soon, you will cross an extraneous road. And another one. And then another goddamn road. Curse it, piss on it … and then get used to it. There are many more. Next, when the wind shifts direction, so should you. (And remember, keep drinking water! This is the desert, after all, and there are many more roads to piss on.) Next, ascend — all the way to the top! — the sand-slide that forces you to take three steps back for every half-step forward.

However, if you hit the pristine, untrammeled, untouched area, you’ve gone too far. Stop and go forward in time.

Finally, after hours, days — and sometimes years — of this, after cursing the author, after asking repeatedly, “Are we there yet?”, you take off your Oakleys, open your eyes and realize, holy crap!, you’ve always been there. The whole time you’ve been waiting to get to the money spot that’s worthy of bragging rights and interminable slideshows, you’ve been surrounded by expanses of redrock, fine coral sands, pungent sage, inviting potholes, forgotten drainages full of remnants of the past, canyon wren song and the dizzying swoops of swallows. The first Indian paintbrush of the year is blazing at your feet, and the most beautiful cloudscape that no atlas can map is above your head.

In your search for that one brushstroke of Eden, you missed the whole damned canvas full of paradise.

Now that you’ve reached your destination, don’t retrace your steps to the car — in fact, think about abandoning that hulk of metal — but instead find a way to make a loop or a zigzag or a geometric shape we don’t yet have a name for. Thank the author for your enlightenment. Send money. Repeat as necessary.

Regular contributor Jen Jackson’s last piece for the Gazette was “Hope is the Things with Feathers,” which appeared in #172. She lives in Moab.



Visions of Inspiration: Garrett Smith

March 28, 2011

“I am so inspired by what I find in my own backyard. I have traveled searching for beauty—and I have found many special places all around the globe—but every time I come home I am reminded that beauty is found where you are.”

Garrett, you are a true visionary, idealist, dreamer and love. Your passion for the world around is reflected in the images you left with us.  Thank you for your spirit of adventure, capturing the beauty of simplicity and the love for your friends and family on shared the adventures. You touched our souls and left pixels of love and wonder for the world…we will miss you, my friend. photo by mPortanda


outside magazine best towns 2008: Ogden, UT

March 21, 2011

Ogden, Utah 25th Street nightlife
Ogden’s 25th Street nightlife (courtesy, Out of Bounds Creative)

Pop. 81,000
Median age: 29
Med. household income: $36,500
Med. home value: $114,700
Avg. commute: 22 mins.
Largest employers: IRS, McKay-Dee Hospital, Weber School District, Autoliv, Weber State U. 

Read more on visiting Ogden.

THE REVIVAL: A hundred years ago, this Utah outpost—45 minutes north of Salt Lake, in the foothills of the Wasatch—was a hopping railroad junction. But after the diesel engine and I-15 came through, in the ’50s and ’60s, Ogden faded into anonymity as a blue-collar manufacturing burg with gobs of overlooked natural assets.

Soon after 38-year-old mayor Matthew Godfrey took office, in 2000, he hatched a mad plan: Transform Ogden into the adventure-sports capital of America. “Boulder pales in comparison to what we have,” says Godfrey, who took an “If you build it, they will come” approach and green-lighted the construction of two kayak parks (the Class III–IV Ogden and Weber rivers flow through town); a paved trail network; and a rec center complete with climbing wall, vertical wind tunnel, and standing surf wave. Soon after, ski-brand giant Amer moved its HQ to town, along with 20 other outdoor-gear makers. Next up: a year-round, holographic ice tower (the brainchild of climbing legend and Ogden native Jeff Lowe), aquatic centers, and a velodrome. For now, Ogden is unpretentious and adrenalinized. And, unlike in Boulder, you can still nab a midcentury brick bungalow right in town for less than 200 grand.

THE LIFE: When more than nine inches of snow hits the mountains, Ogden rings the “powder bell” and locals hightail it to uncrowded Snowbasin, 20 minutes away. Come summer, mountain bikers hammer the Shoreline Trail’s 20 miles of foothill singletrack. The Bingham Cyclery‘s café/bakery, on the Ogden River, is the rendezvous point for a.m. caffeine and weekend rides.

“Don’t tell too many people about it.”



the future of publishing

March 14, 2011

the hatch collective

March 11, 2011

the hatch collective

“It’s a gathering of the oddities, untapped talent that is fueled by passion and desire. Creative Innovation.”

–Hunter Metcalf, Founder of The Hatch Collective


Life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them. So go out and starting creating. Live your dream. Wear your passion” — Attend The Hatch Collective events as often as possible.

–The Holstee Manifesto

Launching soon. stay close for updated information


prAna: natural power initiative

March 11, 2011

In 2005, we launched our Natural Power Initiative. This initiative committed us to engaging in business practices that would lower our Greenhouse Gas emissions and accelerate the development of a renewable energy economy. For this initiative we began measuring our energy use, improving our energy efficiency and “greening” the electricity we did use through the use of renewable energy certificates (RECs). In addition, as part of this initiative we also worked to raise awareness among our customers, partners, and industry peers of the importance of minimizing energy use and the benefits of wind power and other forms of renewable energy.

carbon nation

March 11, 2011

carbon nation is a documentary movie about climate change SOLUTIONS. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don’t buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how SOLUTIONS to climate change also address other social, economic and national security issues. You’ll meet a host of entertaining and endearing characters along the way.

Narrated by Bill Kurtis, the cast includes: Richard Branson (CEO, Virgin Group), Thomas L. Friedman (The New York Times), Former CIA Director James Woolsey, Van Jones (Founder, Green For All), Col. Dan Nolan, U.S. Army (Ret), Bernie Karl (Geothermal pioneer from Alaska), Denis Hayes (Founder of Earth Day), Cliff Etheredge (West Texas wind pioneer), and more climate change pioneers.


March 11, 2011

The Elements of Content Strategy

March 10, 2011

“This brief, brilliant treatise is the guidebook the industry has clamored for.”
— Jeffrey Zeldman


Content strategy is the web’s hottest new thing. But where did it come from? Why does it matter? And what does the content renaissance mean for you? This brief guide explores content strategy’s roots, and quickly and expertly demonstrates not only how it’s done, but how you can do it well. A compelling read for both experienced content strategists and those making the transition from other fields.

press pause play

March 8, 2011

The creative landscape is changing. Some talk about a revolution. Others talk about a natural evolution. These changes affect everything. From creation to distribution, from artist to consumer.

A new generation of global creators and artists are emerging, equipped with other points of reference and other tools. The teachers arenʼt certified schools anymore – itʼs web sites, discussion forums and a “learn by doing” – mentality. We see the children of a digital age, unspoiled or uneducated depending on who you ask. Collaboration over hierarchy, digital over analog – a change in the way we produce, distribute and consume creative works.

PressPausePlay is the first film to capture this new ecosystem. We meet the creatives at the frontier of production, the technical enablers of collaboration and distribution, the artists, the pop stars, the film makers, the business men, the visionaries and the ones left behind. Itʼs a story from the smallest molecule to the largest corporation. Itʼs a snapshot of today, but at the same time predictions of a near future.

Weʼre not creating a documentary in the classical sense of shaky cameras, bad lighting and unbearable sound. Although we have a small budget, we got big aspirations. The film will in itself be a proof of the evolution story weʼre telling, shot in digital 4K and finished at the end of 2010. Ready for both the big (cinema) and the small (mobile) screen. We will release rough edits and interviews as well as the final film free for anyone to use, broadcast and distribute. PressPausePlay will be an observation, a testimony and a tribute.

Stay tuned every week and follow the production until the final release in the beginning of 2011.