Benny Thompson

I am a talented hacker, tinkerer, maker, urban-farmer and engineer. I am not shy to build/grow anything…farms, web apps, mobile apps, electronics, tools, buildings, surfboards, composting systems, gardens, aquaponics systems, and well pretty much anything.  I have a superpower commonly pathologized as ADHD. I earned a Masters degree in Structural Engineering from UCSD, dropped out of the PhD program and was the founding engineer for Boardformula in 2010, Smartfin in 2013, and Dark Nectar Cooperative in 2018.

While my work has mostly involved technological innovation, I think technological advancement is mostly, like 99% detrimental to humanity.   I don’t want to be in a technological world.  I want to be in a world where all my time is spent with my kids, my partner, my community and my ecological community…where we grow food, cook, play together, are affectionate and fiercely show up to support each other.  It seems though our society has made doing these simple things quite inaccessible. We seem to have gotten ourselves in a situation where it’s hard to enjoy the most basic aspects of being human.  Even the human struggle is progressively losing dignity, and more and more looking like sedentary individuals, physically isolated, looking into a screen most of the day.  Struggle is a fundamental part of humanity and should be integrated into life such that it brings beauty, connection to community and nature, and meaning.  A large population of the world is being exploited, so that a small population can live a consuming unhealthy life.  And both groups are robbed of humanity.   I’m not okay with this.   So I’m dedicated, in heart, in body, in mind, to regenerating the vibrancy of our culture, to cultivating the connection of all life.

I believe growing food is essential to restoring our humanity.