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Thank You for A Great First Five Years! Alex Steffen

For the last five years, Worldchanging has been the leader in solutions-based journalism about sustainability and social innovation. Our approach has incorporated elements of a blog, a magazine and an online community, but one thread has woven all these elements together: helping people understand the tools we have for solving the planet's most pressing problems.

In that time, we've both explored big picture ideas and covered thousands of discrete innovations. Sometimes, we've been the first publication to cover them; other times, we've simply blogged and contextualized others' coverage of good ideas. Not infrequently, we've presented our own ideas for how we might better tackle big problems.

Here's some of what we've done: We've built a very large community of smart and innovative readers (according to Nielsen Online, we're the second largest sustainability site on the web) while publishing almost 9,000 articles -- journalism and essays that have won us the Utne Independent Press Award, the Green Prize for Sustainable Literature and numerous nominations including Webbies for Best Magazine and Best Blog, and Bloggies for Best Writing and Best Group Blog. Our best-selling book, Worldchanging: A User's Guide to the 21st Century (published November 2006) received hundreds of reviews, the vast majority of them glowing; has become iconic (thanks in no small measure to Stefan Sagmeister's awesome design); and has already been published in French and German (translations into a number of other languages are planned as well). We've also actively participated in the public debate around sustainability. Many of the leading thinkers in sustainability have shared original ideas on our site. We've given hundreds of media interviews and presented talks at many of the most influential sustainability and design events in the world. Finally, we've done our best to help our allies, from raising money for good causes to providing "attention philanthropy" to a ton of emerging projects and rising leaders. We're told we've often made a real difference.

Not too bad for a scrappy little non-profit with no institutional backers.

Although the budgets have been lean and the hours have been long, it's been a wonderful way to work. We've had the privilege of learning in public about unmapped and exciting ideas and emerging possibilities. We've sat at the middle of one hub of a global network of all you worldchanging explorers, heard your reports from the field and visited your labs and camps and conferences. We've gotten the chance to read draft manuscripts, hold prototypes, attend premieres and argue late into the night about how best to save the planet. We've made great friends and thrown great parties. Speaking for myself, if there's a better job in the world, I can't imagine what it looks like.

Now we're setting out in some new directions. We think the next year will be the most exciting, dramatic and high-impact yet in our history. We hope you'll be a part of it.

Thank you for helping to make something extraordinary happen.

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