If you are encountering YES! for the first time you may have noticed something different in these pages. Even if you have been a reader since our beginning in 1996, you may wonder what goes on behind the scenes. Here are some of the questions we are often asked.
Q: How do you choose your topics?
We start with the fact that we face some enormous challenges - from global warming, to the growing split between the haves and have-nots, to the superficiality of consumer society. But instead of being one more voice saying "no" to these trends, we look for the new approaches that are bubbling up in all parts of the world, in all sectors. We feature stories we can all say "yes!" to - stories of communities supporting local farmers, citizens reclaiming city neighborhoods, green businesses, and breakthroughs in learning to live in peace with one another and the Earth.
If you can't imagine a better world, the chances are you won't get one. YES! supports those working toward real change and provides ideas, resources, and connections.
The shift in society that we explore in YES! cuts across movements and specialties. That is why you find such diverse topics - a weaving of the practical work and the visions of an emerging way of life that could help sustain the Earth's web of life, while supporting each of us as we reach for our full potential.
Q: Why don't you have any advertisements?
We think of you, the readers of YES!, as our colleagues and friends in an adventure that centers on re-imagining the world, not as customers whose attention we sell to advertisers.
We also value our independence; we are not beholden to advertisers or corporate sponsors, but rather to you - our readers, subscribers, and supporters.
It's true that subscriptions pay only part of the costs of publishing YES! We keep our costs low, and many of you donate money and give gift subscriptions. Our "Sustainers," "Friends," and members of our "Founders' Circle" provide critical financial support, as do a few foundations. So far, we've been able to thrive within this "gift economy."
Q: Who publishes YES!?
YES! is published by the Positive Futures Network, a nonprofit organization formed to encourage people's active engagement in creating a more just, sustainable, and compassionate world. The PFN board of directors and editorial advisors, a diverse group of committed visionaries and activists, provide advice and guidance, and area representatives and partner organizations help get the word out about YES!
If you visit our Bainbridge Island offices, you'll find staff, interns, and volunteers doing research, sorting mail, entering subscription orders, planning our next issue, and writing articles. It's hard work and a labor of love - you hear a lot of laughter here.
Write us and let us know how we can best serve you - and tell us if you have more questions!
Sarah Ruth van Gelder