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Linden Prize

Page history last edited by Steve 11 years, 1 month ago

Elements from the actual form for the Linden Prize:


Real Life Name:  Steve Mahaley

Second Life Name:  Cotton Thorne

Email:  acarson1@gmail.com


Project Title:  Peace Train

Abstract / Summary (limit 200 words): 

Peace Train is a non-profit organization that originated in Second Life in late 2007.  It was founded on a core principle that the venue of Second Life provided a unique opportunity to create experiences around issues related to peace-building for the grid-going populous.  The presence of educators, entertainers and volunteers from around the world allows Peace Train to do its work; building a global, interfaith, cross-cultural effort to create lasting peace through mobilizing dialogue, support and learning with real life peace organizations.


Our project is to continue our speaker series and expand PeaceFest 2010 to include real-life university students in the planning, development, marketing and execution of that capstone Peace Train event.  The Peace Train Charitable Trust is a federally recognized public charity in the United States (501 c 3).  We use a variety of technologies that enable us to create events that connect the virtual public with real world causes.


  • We are interfaith, and are not aligned with a particular religion or church
  • We are inclusive of all who aspire to make a positive change in the world, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, or culture



Project Description: Please describe your project in more detail. Be sure to include why you and your project should be considered for the Linden Prize.  (limit 600 words)


Our focus for the new year will be on continuing our speaker series and expanding our annual multi-day festival (PeaceFest) to include more RL organizations in that work. 


We are a core team of three 'engineers' who met on the grid in 2007.  We have never met in real life, which reflects the beauty and efficacy of Second Life - giving far-flung individuals a common meeting space and tools to collaboratively imagine that which has not been done before.  In 2007, we formed Peace Train, whose current membership is about 120.  The core team enjoys the contributions of a constellation of other contributors (perhaps a dozen or so) who share the vision for what we do, and donate their time, energy and talents to the project work.


Our project continues to be focused on helping small non-profits and peace-building organizations around the world.  To date, we have worked with organizations in Mexico, Uganda, Croatia, The United States, South Africa, Costa Rica, Ghana, Colombia, Rwanda and the UK.  The issues these organizations are taking on and work they do speak to the heart and mind, and represent an expansive view of peace-building through providing education to underserved populations, medical care to those in need including homes for orphaned infants, and infrastructure and economical opportunities for individuals and families uprooted by war, civil unrest or environmental issues. 


Our capstone event is called PeaceFest, and, following the creation of our group in 2007, we were among the first to create a multi-sim, multi-day festival of events for peace that benefitted a range of organizations.  PeaceFest 08, working solely within Second Life and advertised through a range of websites, featured nearly 100 live events and raised nearly US $3500 over the course of 4 days, and (we estimate) exposed some 10,000 avatars to a range of events related to the work the various organizations conduct. 


This year, in late July, we kicked off PeaceFest 09.   Money was raised and distributed to the Edith Benson Babies Home (for orphaned infants and toddlers - many HIV positive) in Durban, South Africa, the ZION Project for the rehabilitation of child soldiers (many from Uganda), and to the Escuela Project in Colombia South America (a project of Peace Direct, based in the UK) to provide education and employment opportunities to women.


For 2010, we plan to expand our capstone event (PeaceFest 2010) largely through increased efforts in advertising the event, and we plan to continue a speaker series that we conduct throughout the year.  The speaker series entails live interview events with speakers from around the world, using skype / streaming audio to reach people in remote locations and images shown in-world of the conditions in those locations.  We also support other peace-related events (e.g. The 16 Days of Activism, or the One Climate sim, recently) in-world by providing moderation, panelists and materials.


Why should we be selected for the prize?  We believe we are a great example of the promise of virtual worlds to create social good.  We are a fully virtual and volunteer team (BORN on the grid!), with no external funding, and we have touched RL peace organizations on nearly every continent.  We are small, and aspire to grow and continue our work, and the money would be welcome support in helping us achieve that growth.  We believe this aligns perfectly with your mission, and, as you’ll see in our links, reflects an innovative use of technology.


What would we do with the prize money?  We will put 100% of the money towards the continuation of our work. 


  • focus on small non-profits
  • global reach
  • multiple angles on peace (health care, poverty, human rights, etc.)
  • combining entertainment, education, discussions, art, performances
  • list of organizations we have benefitted
  • quotes from Zion and other orgs



Second Life Location (SLURL):  http://slurl.com/secondlife/Four%20Bridges%20Project/204/63/28


Project Dates:  Timeframe - Ongoing, Specific Time Period  - Ongoing


Biography of Creators: A short biography - may choose to use SL or RL biography.


Cotton Thorne:  Founder of Peace Train, and an educator in RL.  I work for a company in RL that designs and provides education to companies around the world.   It is through that work that I studied virtual worlds and immersive games as venues where new, powerful learning experiences could be designed.  After first exposure to SL in 2005, I started my professional existence on the grid as Ace Carson (wrote an article for CLO Magazine last May called a Second Look at Second Life).  In 2006, I created Cotton so I could explore the possibilities of non-profit work that was more of a pastime than anything, but which has now become a real passion.   I am the chair of the Peace Train Charitable Trust, our small non-profit that we formed after the initial success of PeaceFest 08, and spend nights and weekends collaborating with others to put together events.  I mostly take responsibility for the speaker series, and arranging and conducting the interviews with the good people of the many non-profits we work to support - and this work has been incredibly gratifying.  Having a skype-to-cellphone conversation with a woman in Rwanda (streamed in-world) while images of the work they are doing with children there are flashed for a crowd of avatars from around the globe is just amazing.

Siri Vita:   Board member of the Peace Train Charitable Trust and Operations Manager for the Four Bridges Project.   As a freelance creative/producer, I came to SL in 2007 to explore the possibilities inherent in the platform. It quickly became apparent that the global outreach potential of the medium was an extraordinary means by which to work toward positive change in the real world.  Within a matter of months I was collaborating with the founders of the Peace Train group to plan the first SL PeaceFest (PeaceFest ’08). Since then, I have utilized my production and project management background to bring such events as Imagine Fest, PeaceFest ’09, The Human Rights Festival, 16 Days of Activism Campaign Against Gender Violence and numerous rallies in support of the Iranian Protesters including the Global United4Iran rally.  I have been the source of Iranian protest information to the Amnesty International group and founded both the Sea of Green Group and Organizing for America in SL groups. My OFA activism has included 3 Health Care Reform Discussions as well as an Economic Recovery meeting.  I have found my SL activism to be extremely personally rewarding as it also allows a conduit for others who might ordinarily not have the opportunity to effect positive change, to become educated, feel empowered and contribute positively on the profound issues of our time.


Documentation URLs:

Important! Documentation of your project is one of the most critical components of a successful application. The URL can link to a blog, website, machinima or other media on the internet that provides meaningful documentation of your project. Please do not provide URLs that initiate downloads. See the FAQ for suggestions on how to document your project.

URL 1:  http://slpeacetrain.org (official site for the public charity - 501 c 3)

URL 2:  http://slpeacefest.wordpress.com (blog for the PeaceFest annual project)

URL 3:  http://peacetrain.pbworks.com (our project team wiki for planning and organization)

URL 4:



References:   You may add up to three (3) references for your project. These references must be entered as valid email addresses. See the FAQ for suggestions about references. They will receive an email from Linden Lab notifying them that you have asked them to provide a reference. You will not receive a confirmation that they have submitted their reference, and the content of that reference will remain private. We recommend that you contact the people you nominate to give a reference to insure they have submitted by the deadline.


Reference email 1:  David Powell?, Agie Govender?  Alex Nissen


Reference email 2:  Dorette Steenkamp?, Sammy Abbey?  Jenny Edwards


Reference email 3:  Jacqueline Uwimana?, Charles Tauber?  Gwenette Sinclair


Testimonials Optional: You may include up to three (3) valid email addresses of people who can provide testimonials about your project. They will receive an email from Linden Lab notifying them that you have asked them to provide a testimonial. You will not receive a confirmation that they have submitted their testimonial, and the content of that testimonial will remain private. We recommend that you contact the people you nominate to give a testimonial to insure they have submitted by the deadline.


Testimonial 1:  (Alanagh Recreant)?  Dorette Steenkamp


Testimonial 2:  Jon seattle?  Sammy Abbey


Testimonial 3:  Agie Govender? Amy Cross?  Prinny Anderson



Comments (1)

Steve said

at 9:01 am on Dec 28, 2009

any1 Gynoid, Ledoof Constantineau, Prinny Anderson

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