Bear Kittay: Build Community like a Social Alchemist


Life is a Festival 017:

Bear Kittay (Good Money)

Bear Kittay is an entrepreneur, political organizer, musician and was once the Global Ambassador for Burning Man. He also led the acquisition of Fly Ranch for the Burning Man organization. He is currently co-founder of Good Money, a new online banking platform owned by the people in service of the planet. Bear considers himself a Social Alchemist, weaving together disparate communities around the world. 

On on the podcast we discuss how building a community is different than leveraging a network. We talk about creating small intentional communities and how they are kept together through ritual and ceremony. We consider the dark side of creating communities of common interests and clustering values. We finish up the podcast with an exclusive of Bear and Wavy’s new track “Clarity.”

Community is a process, not a place. 




  • 6 mins: What is a Social Alchemist?

  • 9 mins: The unique gifts of different Burning Man regional events

  • 13 mins: When I met Bear and he took me to Fly Ranch

  • 15 mins: How Bear and I both got sent away to therapeutic boarding schools

  • 18 mins: Bear’s background as a political organizer with “music for Democracy” and

  • 21 mins: How Bear went to work for Burning Man to get a PhD in Post-Capitalism

  • 27 mins: How online social infrastructure was built for the purpose of extractive capitalism

  • 32 mins: The Fly Ranch vision of a physical location for the global community of Burning Man

  • 38 mins: Building community vs leveraging networks

  • 42 mins: How intentional communities stay together through shared ritual

  • 48 mins: The dark side of communities, clustering and filter bubbles

  • 53 mins: Community is a process, not a place

  • 58 mins: Good Money and creating alternatives to extractive capitalism

  • 105 mins: What brings Bear back to creating music

  • 108 mins: Bear’s best advice for budding social alchemists

  • 110 mins: Bear shares his original track: Clarity

Special thanks to my rad producer Ari Andersen (Host of the Millennials Don’t Suck Podcast)

My multi-disciplinary design partner Andy McErlean

And the most delightful dj atish for the truly festive theme song: “Peculiar Colors” [Manjumasi]