Welcome to Burning Man’s first-ever Philosophical Center Symposium at the historic Esalen Center in Big Sur, California. This co-learning event will bring together 100 original thinkers, community innovators, and creative leaders from the Burning Man world and beyond for three days of deep discussion around art, money, generosity, and the future of creative communities.

Each time Burning Man has evolved, it has faced new challenges.  Today, in the year of it’s 30th anniversary, we must address two important and closely related opportunities.

The rapid expansion of our global community demands that we develop innovative strategies for supporting that growth in an effective and sustainable way. At the same time, our purchase of the Fly Ranch property in Nevada puts us in the position, for the first time, of applying the lessons we have learned in temporary placemaking to sustainable year-round work in a fixed location.

Connected to both are issues of art and economics on a global scale, as the rapid growth of our community raises a vital question: is a life devoted to creative action and guided by the 10 Principles sustainable in the modern world?

The Symposium at Esalen, organized by Burning Man’s Philosophical Center, is a chance to gather scholars and practitioners from our community, along with experts and activists whose work we admire, to engage deeply with these issues.

These will not be policy-making discussions. Rather, our intention is to explore what is possible, how issues should best be framed, and identify opportunities for individuals and affiliated groups to engage in ways that further our shared work in the world. To begin a conversation that our community can gradually join, use, and engage with in practical ways.