Regional Network Forum 2021

Burning Man

Regional Network Forum

5-6 June 2021

After a year of cancelled Regional Events, prototyping COVID-safe interactive art experiences and pandemic-related isolation, this forum is a regathering and potential jumping off point for community leaders. Its goal: re-inspire engagement in Burning Man culture beyond Black Rock City and strengthen the cultural connections between regional communities. Explore the Forum theme Emerging, Wayfinding, Igniting here. Reconnect with peers over the exchange of ideas, art, and performance to find our way in the new normal. Re-ignite inspiration through discussion of how our local gatherings, spaces and projects can be more inclusive, environmentally sustainable and meaningfully connected.  

The forum is designed to be globally inclusive for engagement across all time zones. You may wish to plan your participation in all of the forum or a portion that is most convenient for you:

June 5, 10am – 2pm PDT // 6pm – 10pm GMT  Opening Plenary and Breakout Sessions

June 5, 2pm – 5pm PDT //  10pm – June 6, 2am GMT  Drop-in social spaces and meet ups

June 5, 5pm – 9pm PDT //  June 6, 10am – 2pm AEST  Continuing Plenary, Breakout Sessions, and Closing Remarks

Installation from “Public Display of Awareness” series by Olivia Steele. Photo by Philippe Glade, 2017.

2021 Burning Man Regional Network Forum Workshop Descriptions

We’re excited to share the content for the 2021 Regional Network Forum. Here’s just some of what’s coming your way:

  • Interactive discussions on preparing psychologically to re-gather, creating inclusive and environmentally sustainable spaces and events, the value of developing codes of conduct and processes built from them to support healthy communities, learning from others who are already burning on the other side of the pandemic, what it means to be a Burner today and more!
  • An virtual Center Camp space to meet and connect with other community leaders
  • An online community platform for co-learning, connecting, and continuing discussion of community topics

Register now for access links to join!  Registration will remain open throughout the forum.


A Musical Intervention

Performer: Jurgis Didžiulis 

Reflecting on Where We Have Come From

Speakers: Burning Man Regional Network’s Iris Yee, $teven Ra$pa, Tara Fischer “Mockingbird” (Seattle Regional Contact), Monique Schiess (Cape Town Regional Contact), Dale Albanese (Taiwan Regional Contact), Makiko Oshita “Makibee” (Japan Regional Contact)

We’ll look at where we’ve come from over the course of the last year, recognizing the creative ingenuity of Burners in a year of great challenges.

Where Are We Going: What Does it Mean to Be a Burner in 2021?

Speakers: David Koren “not that dave” (FIGMENT Project), Marlon Williams (Living Cities), Monique Schiess (AfrikaBurn), Kevin Rowell (Blissfits Retirement Village), Athena Demos (BRCvr), Marty Bortz (Common Arts Victoria)

Individually and collectively, we are not the same Burners we were just a year ago. When we are always in an evolving state of becoming, what does it mean to be a Burner in 2021?

Opportunities for Art and Collaborative Learning

Speakers: Kye Horton (Burning Man Art), Hive’s Karen Jacobs, Simone Torrey


Cultural Mutation: Harmful or Renewing?
Host: $teven Ra$pa (Burning Man Regional Network)
Speakers: Diana Monsberger (The Borderland), Katharine Hagg “MokKa” (Burner Embassy Berlin), Colette Crespin (Burning Man Virtual Experiences, Kindling)

How do we welcome positive mutations and scale Burning Man culture in a healthy way without diluting the culture TOO much? Do we even care so long as we have some kind of “positive” cultural shift in the wider world? When can such mutations serve the world better and when do things go too far and we lose what we love? What can we as a community do about it? 

Igniting Inclusion: Community Efforts to Increase Accessibility
Host:  Aaron Muszalski “Slim” (Burning Wish, he/him)
Speakers: ClemClem (Nowhere, she+he), Dani L. Moore “Rat Lady” (Mobility Camp, she/her), Chris Hainsworth (Blind Burners, he/him), Stan Lawson (he/him)

Radical Inclusion is the first of the Ten Principles. But what is inclusion without accessibility? And what practical steps can the average Burner take to improve the accessibility of their events, camps, and community spaces?

Learning from Codes of Conduct and Consent Committees
Host: Tiya Coleman (Meta Regional Conflict Support Sub-committee)

Speakers: KreveTTe (Geraldine Bonnard from Nowhere), Corprew Reed “Zeitgeist” (Virtual Event Support Team Rangers), Carly Nix (Firefly Arts Collective)

Creating codes of conduct and participant agreements set behavioral expectations for maintaining a healthy, functioning community. Learn about the value of creating a code of conduct and how groups like consent committees form and develop processes to uphold community behavioral standards and manage conflict. 

Preparing to Re-gather in a Changed World
Host: Kathleen Hoffman (Sacramento Regional Contact)
Speakers: Yasin Choudry, M.D. (Burning Man Crisis Intervention Team), Verity Owers “Vee” (Dust 2 Dust)

Understand how the pandemic has impacted us psychologically, explore strategies to help prepare for re-entry into the world, and discuss what we might need to consider as we begin planning a return to community organization and the creation of gatherings. 

Going on a Regional R.I.D.E.: Radical Inclusion, Diversity and Equity in Network
Host: Iris Yee (Burning Man Regional Network)
Speakers: Lorraine Tanner (AfrikaBurn)

What does radical inclusion, diversity, and equity (R.I.D.E.) mean to you? What does it look like in your regional community? Let’s explore experiences that different communities are having around these topics and ways that they are fostering inclusion through their Regional Events and beyond. 

I Love Burners, But I Hate Burners: Moderating Our Social Media Spaces

Hosts: Hive Labs’ Shirley Tipton, Craig Lindahl (xLion)

Much of our communication with our community takes place over social media. Sometimes it helps us stay meaningfully connected while other times it invites challenging behavior. Get in on the discussion about best practices for how to manage online conversations that balance the tension between radical inclusion and civic responsibility.

Burning on the Other Side of the Pandemic

Host: Justin McGhee (Sydney Regional Contact)

Speakers: Kiwiburn’s Andy Justice “Money Daddy”, Julia Damrow “Flying Squirrel”, Andy Sondalini “Firecracker”, Dale Albanese (Taiwan Regional Contact), Elaine Kang (Shanghai Regional Contact), Dragon Burn’s Francesca Valsecchi, Lalo López

All the world is in different stages of emerging and re-opening. As we look toward a return to in person gatherings, learn from early emergers and their events held over the last year about the challenges, opportunities and rewards of re-gathering together in person on the other side of the pandemic.

Ruining More Lives Faster: How do We Build a Better Regional Network?

Host: Kay Morrison (Burning Man Project Board Member, Meta Regional Contact)     

Many have jokingly said, “Burning Man ruined my life.” If that is true, the Regional Network is equally to blame for drastic life changes and personal transformations. How might we build a better Regional Network, scaling something that has cultural integrity and stability, while also being welcoming and easily accessible to newbies? Join this group discussion to explore how we might build a healthier, interconnected, scalable and joyfully effective global network. 

Sustainability is Fun(damental) for A Healthy Future

Host: Francesca Valsecchi (Dragon Burn)

Speakers: Jo Roberts (Red Earth Ecology) and Stephen Chun “Ladies and Gentle Man” (Burning Man Project Sustainability)

Learn how some regional communities are creating greener, regenerative solutions at their events and prototyping solutions for our personal and environmental well-being. Join the discussion to identify obstacles to greening our events and how to address them with actionable change.

Kickstarting Civic Initiatives

Hosts: BWB Chapter Leads Molly Harpel, Patrick Noder 

Have you ever wondered how to kickstart a civic impact project in your town? The Burners Without Borders Network is made up of Burners who activate civic impact projects in communities around the world. Join BWB leaders from Portland, Seattle, and Sacramento to talk about projects and initiatives that activate local energy and bring community together to come up with important solutions to community issues. 


Drop into our
Virtual Center Camp
for social networking,
meet-ups and film screenings


Host or join an
Immediacy Session
offered by forum participants
for forum participants


Buzz over to
Burning Man Hive
to explore more Burner community conversation topics
or take an online course about Burning Man art and history, Radical Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity (R.I.D.E.),
or volunteer leadership.