NGO Name Bleg

Novel #3 is in the development stages. This one is science fiction. Specifically, eco-espionage, with secret societies fighting over who controls the Earth’s dwindling resources. I need a name for our heroine’s group, a NGO dedicated to helping find sustainable, creative answers to social, environmental and resource problems in developing and developed nations. Sort of an umbrella name that handles a wide range of innovative technology ideas like One Laptop Per Child, Open Web access, building solar and wind farms, setting up micro businesses and generally spreading Do It Yourselfism around the world. The members are mostly Open Source advocates, technophiles and other happy mutants. Sort of a JLA made up, not of aliens and supermen, but geeks with a shared vision of saving the world through cooperation and creativity. What I’m going for is Cory Doctorow, in his red cape and goggles, bloging from his balloon. Action girl scientists using samurai swords to find a cure for cancer. Like Doctors Without Boarders or the Red Cross, only more bad ass and with much cooler gadgets.

Any ideas for what I should call this group?

Full credit will be given of course, plus a signed copy of my current novel!

5 thoughts on “NGO Name Bleg”

  1. The problem is that there already are about 1000 such organizations for real and they have already taken all the descriptive NGO sounding names. So i might need to go with something metaphorical (that doesn’t sound like a church or missionary group) or an acronym.

  2. When in doubt on such things I always fall back on mythology as a source of inspiration, and it is both weird and familiar.

    You might want to look at the Roman Flamen for ideas. A leather flying helmet and wool cape isn’t much of a superhero costume, but it can be worked with, and they represented all of the various gods of Rome. Realistically the gods of Rome and Greece were really nothing more that personifications of the working of Nature, so there are no limits on the scope of activities.

    Remember secret societies can’t be too secret or no one with get the point.

  3. Well, the NGO wouldn’t be secret. And I was also thinking of folklore and mythology.

    My first idea was to go with Appleseed International, evoking both Johnny Appleseed, the DIY, American wanderer who spreads apple trees, which are both useful and themselves fraught with meaning, like the popular association with apples as the fruit from the tree of knowledge. But turns out there is a real NGO called Appleseed. They specialize in early childhood education.

    Then I was thinking of something to do with Prometheus, but that sends the wrong message, namely that helping others requires theft of a natural resource.

    I was also thinking of calling them the Dandelion League, which has a similar image to apple seeds, spreading knowledge that grows organically, even if it does sound a little hippieish. But then i remembered the name from Y: the last man, and as Elvira pointed out, it would weigh down the idea with too much allusion.

  4. Interesting that you bring up uncle Johnny. John Chapman was a many times great uncle of mine, which isn’t hard given that a lot of the families that first landed in Massachusetts moved West using the Mohawk River Valley of New York, many via the Erie Canal.

    The Chapmans were canal people, moving barges on the Canal into the 20th century and the men in the family were generally named David, John, or Samuel, which made genealogy a royal PITA. He was an great uncle of my great grandmother, nee Pearl Chapman, whose father was also named John. He got tired of leading mules and headed into what is Ohio today. [The Davids were the first-born and owned the boats and barges].

    Pomona would be the Roman “apple goddess” and is usually pictured with one or a cornucopia.

    Strawberries propagate by sending out runners from an original seed plant and establishing new plants as they move out when they encounter the right conditions.

  5. Fascinating stuff, Bryan. Johnny Appleseed may play a metaphorical role in the story, kind of how Yuri Gagarin does in my second book, as a sort of spirit guide for the main character.

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