Open Mic Concert

1. Open Mic Concert -Ryan Devir and Connor Gavin

1.1. What

Our action is to put on a concert (an open mic) in the first floor lounge area at the IES Barcelona Center for students and faculty. This concert would include musical acts and art presentations. In between acts, groups from our sustainability class will give a brief presentation describing their project and how it will help to make IES Barcelona more sustainable. Through the concert and the group presentations, we will have focused on three main principles: care for the earth, care for the self, and community building. These are some of the main ideas behind permaculture. If you go to the roots of the word permaculture, you get "permanent" and "culture." That is exactly the goal of permaculture: to make cultures last longer. So there is a very strong connection with the concept of sustainability ("the ability to be sustained"). The two basically have the same end goal, just with different names.

1.1.1. Similar actions form previous semesters

There have not been actions in previous semesters similar to ours. However, we did look closely at how past groups have advertised their projects, with special attention on how they cut down on waste or made sure their use of materials was done in a sustainable way.

1.1.2. SWOT Analysis


  • Brings a sense of community to IES Abroad Barcelona
    • provides a flatform for faculty and students to interact outside of the classroom in a fun environment
  • Creates a stronger awareness to what sustainable projects are going on in IES and offers information on how to get involved
  • Creates a relaxed environment. Not just a break for the students but for the faculty as well.
  • Give students a place to show their talents


  • Amount of time provided for concert
  • Location for concert
    • small, lack of seating
  • Lack of equipment
  • Someone would need to take responsibility for planning it next year


  • People may want to join the sustainability club
    • people will want to get involved in the projects presented by the students in the sustainability class
    • Inspire people to get more involved in IES and let their voices be heard.
    • Students have a stronger sense of self-worth by presenting their talent/art to their peers.
    • Keeps the Sustainability club organized


  • People not seeing the connection between concert and sustainability
  • Problems with equipment/sound
  • IES not being able to provide a date and space for the concert to take place
  • Lack of attendence due to other commitments

1.1.3. Feedback loops

Reinforcing Loop: The action starts with a concert. This would lead to an increase in positive emotions, followed by a sense of community of the same effect. When there is a unified feeling among a group of people, they are more likely to get involved. With an increase in involement there is an equal effect of awareness in what's going around IES (including Sustainability). This then leads to the creation of events similar to this concert and/or students ressurrecting the Sustainability Club.
Balancing Loop: If there is lack of attendance due to other committments, weather, sound/equipment problems this would create an opposite effect, decreasing the sense of unity, willingness to get involved, awareness in IES, and eventually would make it unlikely for events such as this to happen in the future.

1.1.4. Advertising

Advertising for this action is simple. A major factor is getting a visual out there to the IES community. This is done through flyers, which will be liberally posted throughout each floor, and will provide the proper information on when, where, and what the event entails. Another means of advertising is through word of mouth. By talking to your classmates in each class, you can get the word out by directly speaking to those who would potentially be interested. A third means of advertising is by writing posts on the IES Barcelona Facebook Page. Supply all of the information that you can on this page because everyone who is a part of IES will be notified and will be able to be informed. After the concert, this is a great place to upload videos for people to see and share all over Facebook. The final means of advertising is through creating surveys. Create a survey through compiling a list of questions from your group and others in your class, and then submit the survey to Jane Ewart, who will then email it to the IES community.

Image ies open mic flyer.pdf

1.2. Why this action makes things more sustainable?

The three principles of Permaculture are: care for the earth, care for the self, and sharing the surplus. With this concert, we are primarily focusing on caring for the self. Through music, art, and comedy, positive emotions are evoked, which create a stress-free and motivated environment. Music, art, and comedy are all about bringing people togther through related experience, which bring down the walls that can divide people from different socio-economic and cultural backgrounds. The other aspect of Permaculture that we are addressing is care for the earth. We are doing this through the presentations that will be given by other members of the class, who will discuss and make aware of their sustainability projects. People will be in a right state of mind to be open and hopefully motivated to start their own projects, either at IES or their own communities.

  • Change in Attitudes
  • Long term effects

Permaculture Logo:
(All rights reserved by www.permacultureprinciples.com)

1.2.1. Potential Benefits

Music and art provide an escape from the stresses of school and living in a new envrionment. This could potentially bring about a change in attitude among students to get more involved in what is going on around IES Barcelona. Our action would be easy to re-create each semester due to the fact that students and faculty want to be involved in a fun, community building event such as this, and there is limited equipment and preparation needed to put on the event. Other benefits are outlined in our SWOT analysis.

1.2.2. Potential Costs

There is virtually no money needed to put on this event. IES Barcelona already has a microphone and PA system, and the space/seating needed to put on the concert. Anything worth doing takes at least some time; the only area in which a lot of time would be spent is in communicating with the IES administration to get the project approved and to pick a date. With advertising, there is also limited time required. There are several students and faculty that have musical instruments to offer, but a risk/cost would arise in future semesters if instruments were not available and we needed to buy them.

1.3. How

The only thing needed from IES Barcelona is to provide space and a specific date for the concert to take place. The first step to start this project is getting the "ok" from the administration for the concert to take place as soon as possible (beginning of the semester). This way, there is ample time for creating awareness and interest of the event. To create this awareness, flyers and sign up sheets need to be designed and placed in strategic places around the Center. Once the list of acts is completed, a meeting with all participants should be held a few days before the event. This meeting will better structure the flow of the concert and get everything on the same page with how the event will run.

1.3.1. "Cradle to Cradle" design

The only waste that will come from this project is the paper used for the flyers. To ensure that this is done in a sustainable way with a (somewhat) cradle-to-cradle design, we will only print on one side of the flyer so that when we recycle the paper teachers or students can use the other side for printing non-important documents. This is not in fact an exact, or pure "cradle to cradle" design because the paper is being downcycled. The paper cannot be used again in exactly its original state, but in this case downcycling was better than just using completely new paper for the flyers. After looking at past projects, we saw that several groups did this, such as "Trash to Treasure -Advertising" from spring of 2011.

1.3.2. Questions for the unified survey

Do you play a musical instrument, or have a talent that you would like to share?
Would you be interested in either performing or attending an open mic concert in the IES first floor lounge?
Do you think this event will help bring more of a sense of community to IES Barcelona?
Do you think this will have a positive impact on the IES program?
Does music and or art motivate you to get involved in your community?
How important is it for you to live in a sustainable environment?
Is this something you think would be valuable for IES to do every semester?
Do you think this would be a good venue for students to share what they are working on to improve sustainability at IES Barcelona?
Would you be interested in learning what other students are doing to improve sustainability?

1.3.3. Analysis of the results in the survey

We created a unified survey for the class with several questions from each group that gave them to us. We used limesurvey, a free and open source survey tool, to conduct the survey.

Here is a link to the admins page of the survey: http://esso350.limequery.com/admin
If one would like to view the survey, the results, or make changes to it and use in the future, the username is ESSO350survey and the password is: sustainability.

Here is also an excel spreadsheet with the results of our survey (as of Dec. 6, 2011):
Image sustainabilitysurvey.xls

1.3.4. Incentives

Most people enjoy music, so the concert itself is the primary incentive. Due to the IES administration delaying the approval of this project and that the venue they gave us is the first floor lounge, we were not able to add incentives for people to come such as food or drinks at the concert. There is a strong incentive for other groups in our class to come to the concert because we are providing them an opportunity to share their ideas with the IES community and to get people interested as well as immediate feedback.

1.3.5. Relationship with the "Sustainability Club" (SC)

As of now, the Sustainability Club is not functioning as it should; however, our event creates an opportunity for it to become more coordinated and organized. Presents the opportunity for new members.

1.3.6. How will this action be sustained when you are not here?

As our concert is a single event, as opposed to an ongoing project, it is very easy for it to happen again each semester. A student in this class next semester would be able to make sure the concert happens again very easily; however, he or she might have some of the same difficulties that we had in getting the IES administration to approve the event in a timely fashion. Therefore, it would be best if IES were to mention the event during one of the 3 days of orientation.

1.3.7. Who will do what

This action could easily be done by one person; however the two of us worked together as a group in planning the event and talking to various IES administration people. In following semesters, one student could focus on the advertising of the event (flyers and sign up sheets), while the other student talks with the IES administration to coordinate the "when, where, and how" of the event. Another important role for someone is to coordinate the instruments/equipment needed to put on the concert. The primary administrator to contact is Betsey Tufano to "ok" the project. Jane Ewart is the administrator who can help in getting the word out through emailing all of the students. For advertising, speak with Cat at the front desk to discuss the best places to put the flyers around the IES center.

1.3.8. Comparison to similar actions form previous semesters

See section 1.1.1. above

1.3.9. Document format

We wrote all of our action report directly onto the class website, which indeed is Free Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS). For the survey we created, we used LimeSurvey, which is a free and opensource survey software tool. This is better than using something like Survey Monkey that would restrict future students from being able to access our survey and results. We also saved our advertisement flyer as a pdf and in OpenOffice, so students next year can use/update our flyer.

We chose "attribution, share-alike, non commercial" as our copyright license. We would like the original work to be attributed to us, but would also like for others to have the opportunity to add and adapt our work to a way in which they see fit, as long as they do not use it for commercial purposes.

1.4. Time-sheet / Chronogram

Week One

  • Contact Betsey Tufano immediately to set up a meeting to discuss event.

Week Two

  • Meet with Betsey to establish the date, time, and location that the concert will take place.
  • Once date is set, make flyers/sign up sheets.
  • Speak with Caterina at the front desk to discuss where to put the flyers.

Week Three

  • Send email to Jane Ewart asking to forward all information regarding the event to all IES students.
  • Mention the concert in classes and with friends to further promote the concert by word of mouth.
  • Figure out who has what instruments to offer and if additional instruments are needed. If instruments are needed contact the Director, Cesar Alegre, to discuss if IES purchasing a cheap instrument( guitar) is an option.

Week Four

  • Contact students who are interested in performing and set up a meeting to discuss the format of the event
  • Hold meeting with performers.
  • Contact other students in sustainability class and see who is interested in presenting their project during the short intermissions of the concert.

Week of Concert

  • Make sure microphone/sound is available and functional
  • Prepare opening statement concerning the purpose of the concert

Day of Concert

  • Go out of your way to tell classmates and everyone at IES about concert one final time
  • An hour before concert, set up microphone and seating
  • Hold Concert
  • After concert, organize room back to the way you found it and return all equipment borrowed from IES

Day After Concert

  • Send thank you email to Betsey, Jane, and Cesar for their help.

http://sustainability.seeds4c.org/Trash+to+Treasure+-+Advertisement&structure=2011a+Spring+Actions Megan Bernstein, Stephanie Eastlake, Jenny Schaye

Permaculture Institute

[http://Vosper, Nicole. "National & International Links | Wild Heart Permaculture." Wild Heart Permaculture | Creating Edible, Medicinal & Productive Landscapes. Web. <http://www.wildheartpermaculture.co.uk/?page_id=526>.|Wild Heart Permaculture]

1.6. Annexes

Image ies open mic flyer.pdf

1.7. Students involved in this action

Both Ryan Devir and Connor Gavin participated equally in this action. James Hootsmans also contributed as the assistant host of the Open Mic Concert.

Page last modified on Monday 03 of November, 2014 19:15:36