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avatar for Kipchoge Spencer

Kipchoge Spencer

Nevada City, CA
Kipchoge is a career-hopping musician, adventurer, activist and entrepreneur. His current project, a startup called Take2, makes activism more satisfying and engaging so people do it more often.

Take2 is like Kickstarter for movement building. Client organizations (and individuals) build campaigns, and their supporters pledge minutes or votes rather than money. Different pledge actions have different time commitments (e.g. 5 min to make a call, 15 to write a letter to the editor, 2 hours to visit a city councillor, etc), and supporters can make deeper commitments knowing that they won’t be called upon to follow through unless the threshold has been met whereby the organizer thinks the campaign has a better than 50/50 chance of victory.

The idea is that I’m uninspired to spend even a minute on a petition to save the whales if I’m pretty sure it won’t work, whereas I’d gladly devote half a day of my time and skills to it if I thought it would. It also works for voting (e.g. take2.org/campaigns/bernietakesnevada), where the campaigner enlists infrequent voters to commit to go to the polls if at least x number of others do the same. Take2's 6 areas of focus are:

Climate Change
Racial Justice
Internet Freedom
Rebooting Democracy
Economic Fairness
Gender Equality

In 2007, Kipchoge launched the Pleasant Revolution, a 5,000-mile self-supported bicycling rock and roll tour with his band, the Ginger Ninjas, to and through Mexico. Under his leadership, the group showed that it’s possible for a whole band to travel and play internationally with a negligible environmental footprint.

Previously, he founded Xtracycle, the company that spawned the modern American cargo bike movement, and Worldbike, a non-profit that works to bring load-carrying bikes to people who need them most but can least afford them. Throughout this period, he was leading international whitewater trips for Bio Bio Expeditions and pursuing his musical career.

As lead singer of the Ginger Ninjas, he has created a unique alt-folkrock sound that has captivated hip-hoppers, rednecks, skateboard groms, hippies and yoga moms in a single song, on sketchy street corners and stages of grandiose festivals, leading his merry band on several more self-supported bicycle tours to new corners of the world.

He continues to work from within and outside mainstream American culture to change attitudes about biking and promoting values-aligned lifestyle, and
has shown up in Outside Magazine, MTV, the NY Times, the WSJ, NPR, Utne Reader, Yes Magazine, and the 2012 feature film Stuck on Earth: the Ginger Ninjas Ride Mexico.