Rachel Weidinger

Founder, Upwell

Rachel Weidinger

Rachel Weidinger is an artist and community organizer, who makes to illustrate what is possible. Her medium is social forms. Significant past works include Upwell (2011-2015), We Are Very Hungry (2010-2012), Scrap Eden (2006-2008) and Scrap House (2005).

In 2011, Rachel founded Upwell. Over the 3.5 years of Upwell's existence, she went on to become it's Executive Director of this nonprofit PR firm. Upwell's clients were movements. The ocean was our first client. Rachel led the development and evolution of Upwell's innovative big listening practices, coupling this big data approach with the resiliency-increasing tactic of campaigning across a distributed network. The project worked on a daily basis to both massively aggregate power for movements, and immediately redistribute that power through networks. Upwell's work was grounded in both offline community organizing and online community management. We developed and tested models to measurably increase online attention to issues. In the Spring of 2014, Upwell began a test to track issues in our U.S. democracy, and undertook research to baseline the African elephant conversation. Upwell concluded operations in March 2015.

Previously, Rachel was at TechSoup Global where she provided marketing leadership for TechSoup Global, and their earned-revenue-driven, tech-capacity-building Global Network of partners in 36 countries. She has also worked with social enterprises including the Nonprofit Technology Network, Common Knowledge, the Black Rock Arts Foundation, SF Environment, Copia, and the Xtracycle Foundation.

Rachel will enter the MFA program at the California College of the Arts, in the Social Practice Workshop, in the fall of 2015. She rather likes learning, and has a B.Phil. in Interdisciplinary Studies from Miami University's Western College Program, and completed the coursework for a masters in Arts Policy and Administration at Ohio State University. The latter she often describes as an MBA for people who run cultural organizations, and she focused on earned revenue to weather funding challenges. Completing the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center's 14 week Business Planning Intensive upped her biz plan writing skills immeasurably.

Rachel paints words, and does not fear complexity.

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