The San Francisco office strives to be a comfortable, safe, inspirational place where folks come together to do the many things necessary to bring Burning Man to Black Rock City, and beyond. The San Francisco Office is home to year-round support staff and volunteers, a place where artists work on projects, and a space to socialize and celebrate accomplishments. It is also the closest thing we have to a Burning Man museum, with its continually rejuvenated collection of artwork, artifacts, and photos from past events.
In 2006 the SF office hosted several community and staff-oriented events. The Fire Conclave conducted its rehearsals in the parking area – truly an exciting and spectacular sight. The facility also hosted the annual holiday Spark Club, a volunteer recognition and appreciation event. The San Francisco Office also opened its doors for the first pre-event Artists’ Reception, an open house for artists hosted by the Black Rock Arts Foundation. Several key staff orientation, training, and planning meetings for staff and volunteers were held in 2006. These occasions are an important way for Burning Man to communicate improvements in the way we do things to volunteers and staff, new and veteran. This year training sessions included time management, problem solving, and managing volunteers.
In 2006 Conexus Cathedral was able to experiment with prototypes and practice building their lovely structure right here in the San Francisco Office parking lot one Saturday afternoon.
Burners Without Borders edited a documentary film about their experiences in Mississippi and Louisiana after hurricane Katrina at the San Francisco Office in 2006.
Another important function of the San Francisco Office is “Transpo,” the transportation of items needed by key departments, and for the Man platform construction, from the San Francisco Office to Black Rock City. In 2006 three Transpos were loaded and transported from the office to Black Rock City, carrying over 30 tons of material, requiring seven large cargo haulers (regrettably, one caught fire en route, at Donner’s pass).
Key goals for 2006 were eliminating waste (including reducing the physical stuff that seems to accumulate), reducing spending on materials and supplies, and automating manual tasks through better use of the Black Rock City extranet and other technology. In order to accomplish these goals we recycled obsolete electronics, took more than a ton of “obtainium” (the stuff that mysteriously appears at our doorstep) to the dump, leveraged an existing extranet tool for tracking the myriad requests for maintenance, supplies, and suggestions, and began replacing less “green” or “sustainable” products with more “green” or “sustainable” products.
The key goal for the coming year is to continue to make the office more “green” and “sustainable,” as is consistent with this year’s Burning Man theme.
In the end, the San Francisco Office success is best measured by how little we are noticed because when things are operating well for staff, volunteers, and artists and they are able to perform their functions seamlessly, our job is a job well done.