The Next US
The Next US is a journey into the heart of America to find those who are thriving while supporting high standards of community, sustainability, ecology, and cultural evolution.
Episode 1: The Beginning
The Next US is the story of a new America, told from the road in a journey to find everyday genius. We will interview and profile the smart people with integrity, passion, and American can-do spirit. These are folks who are not only successful entrepreneurs: they bring something new to the table with innovations that are rooted in community, sustainability, green design, and a vision for America that can be a model for the world.
Episode 2: The Rogue Creamery
The Rogue Creamery makes some of the best cheese in the world. It was started in 1935 and has provided meaningful work and a sense of community to many in the Rogue River Valley in Oregon ever since. But it nearly went under, until two guys with the right mix of business smarts, integrity, and passion took it over, keeping all the employees and the founder’s son and master cheese maker onboard. Bringing the traditions of the past into the 21st century, the Rogue Creamery is a true success. Meet the people behind this great story.
Episode 4: Evergreen Federal Bank
It’s hard for the people at Evergreen Federal not to sound like a commercial when they tell you that they’re doing far more for their community than just being a bank. But we found that they really do put their money where their mouth is.
Episode 7: Same Cafe
Same, but different. Same as in, “So All May Eat”, Brad and Libby Birky’s amazing restaurant thrives almost completely on the donations from its customers. Featuring a four star menu with no prices, Same Cafe offers wonderful meals for those less fortunate and it’s paid for by those whom Lady Luck has smiled upon. A perfect system in an imperfect world, Same Cafe is all about open door, open source, and open heart.
‘The Next US’ Mobile Film Project Uncovering Stories of Economic Reinvention in America
Filmmakers on the road in the U.S. seeking people who are ‘inventing the future’
October 21, 2009
ON THE ROAD IN THE U.S. – The Next US, a yearlong mobile film project aimed at recording stories of economic reinvention in America, is finding and profiling people around the country who are helping forge the next U.S. economy. The project is capturing this resurgent America in short, three- to five-minute films for immediate broadcast at TheNextUs.com, YouTube and elsewhere.
David Mackenzie and Susan Perkins, co-founders of Everyday Wonder Productions, the company they own and under whose banner The Next US project was born, began their trip on July 5, 2009 from Ashland, OR and have been on the road in their RV ever since.
They hope to raise awareness to the efforts of people who are following their dreams and finding success, but in ways that are ethical, sustainable and responsible to the community and the environment.
“We knew there were Americans out there who were taking risks, pursuing their passions, reinventing themselves or their businesses and were making it work,” said Mackenzie. “We felt compelled to find those people, tell their stories and share them with the country in order to present some inspiration and good news in a time seemingly bereft of such stories.”
Mackenzie and Perkins are currently funding the project themselves, but are relying on donations along the way to help keep them on the road. They are also offering sponsorship opportunities as they continue their travels to the largest cities and smallest towns throughout the U.S.
“The spirit of design, manufacturing and invention is alive in America in places you might not expect,” Perkins said. “The people we’re meeting are prospering, making money, but most importantly modeling the ‘can-do’ spirit that is needed right now. These short films inject the audience with the knowledge that others are finding a way through these difficult times.”
Mackenzie, a Canadian who’s lived in the U.S. for 22 years, and Perkins, an American whose roots go back to the Mayflower, formed Everyday Wonder six years ago. They combine more than 30 years of production experience. Their unique approach to design and production has earned them a spectrum of national and international clients such as Vogue, Texas Instruments, Girl Scouts of America and British Columbia Health Care.