JUST IMAGINE

JUST IMAGINE

Preamble

There are 10,000,000 million NGOs according to Wikipedia and probably many more activist groups than that. There being that many is not the problem, the problem is that they collectively have no single platform where their demands can be taken to an international audience of all 193 nations in an orderly fashion.

Just imagine that there was a social media site dedicated to social and environmental issues; assume again that this new upstart simply asked these groups, and concerned individuals, to provide a list of their concerns. These would then be separated into 26 categories (more or less)

Next through consensus, the list would be prioritized so that they could be spread out over 25 years into the future.

As an example of this I will use the category of PLASTIC. Let’s assume again that we have gathered all the problems which range from, plastic straws to microbeads to complete industries like toy manufacturing to plastic fish nets or construction materials. We now have a list that needs to be prioritized. As we are still a small upstart movement we might put microbeads as our number-one priority. It is something that most agree is a problem and should easily gather public support for a ban.

To illustrate how this would work, think of it as Avaaz on steroids. BUT rather than gathering support and sending it off to a single legislature, we would send it off to every legislative body in all 193 nations. In effect we would demand a ban which would make it illegal to make, sell or profit in any way from microbeads anywhere.

After two weeks we would go to another category and do it all over again until we have addressed one issue in each and every category.

If all of PLASTIC groups told their member about our collective effort they would hopefully tell their members to support it. This alone could be millions of supporters all waiting and wanting to have their voice heard. If all NGOs and groups did the same as their issue was due for action, the movement would no longer be just and upstart.

Part 1

So, if we need to empower the meek and the weak people who have little or no voice in what is happening, what would such a movement of empowerment look like? Well, as a former Director of R and D, I can be pretty sure that it would start with determining the full scope of the problem and then discarding all of the things that don’t work; then we can make a preliminary plan to resolve the problem. In my varied career choices, I have had numerous projects that needed a plan and this is no different; installing a porcelain enameling plant with virtually no experience in the process; moving a few manufactured product lines between facilities or working on a project where we recorded sounds from under a broody mother hen and then replayed the sounds in an incubator to improve hatchability of chicken eggs – they all had to have a plan. (And yes, chick embryos do communicate with the mother hen through the shell and viscera)

If we consider using a Gant Chart to set our goals and timetable, we might start with the following considerations initially and refine them as we gained input from the vast libraries of knowledge and research available in a million or more NGOs data bases –

  • Define the problem and the objectives.
  • List all of the elements of the problem (In our case it is social and environmental issues that negatively affect all of earth’s people in all 193 nations.)
  • Separate the issues into distinct categories (not to exceed 26 if possible)
  • Reserve one category for issues that arise unexpectedly or are hard to categorize.
  • Contact all related NGOs and activist groups and include their concerns. (comparable to herding cats perhaps, but necessary)
  • Using the consensus of all, prioritize the issues in each and every category.
  • Establish criteria (a few simple rules) for the inclusion of issues, as it is easy to be distracted by emotion and forgo logic. Perhaps something like these renderings- — Does this action benefit the welfare of the planet, and does this action undo or prevent an injustice against all humankind?
  • Select one issue from each category to be the one which will start the program (It will by necessity be something minor and easy to defend as we garner support. (Take baby steps as we learn how to walk – remember that initially it will be easier to eliminate the manufacture of plastic straws than to eliminate the manufacturing of all toys in plastic )
  • Be prepared to update the list of issues as groups and individuals offer more issues for consideration and inclusion.
  • Be determined to give each category equal weight within the plan as my concerns will be different from yours and others.
  • Develop a social media site dedicated to the movement’s objectives. (like saving the planet for human habitation)
  • Define a mission statement which is simple to understand and readily translatable. (I have ideas but I will try to refrain from using them here.)
  • Choose a name for the movement – something in Latin would be nice as it should have few adversaries.
  • Choose a logo and a color theme to rally under – I will suggest color of terra cotta as it means burnt earth and that seems to be appropriate
  • Consider the promotion of visibility for supporters – Like putting on a uniform E.G. displaying something in the chosen color. (Cap, kerchief, ribbon, sock, etc. – one pair of socks for two people works for me)
  • Consider promotional ideas –e.g. Membership cards, (Use humor to some effect) Stickers for cars and mailboxes, ribbons on street signs, paint on tree trunks etc.
  • Consider having a register where supporters and members can show their commitment to the cause and get their “regimental number” (maybe include the county code of members as part of the id.)
  • Publish a full list of the movement’s objectives, as no one should be unawares of our concerns, demands and our timetable. (Put the whole world on notice)
  • Make rules regarding civil disobedience (Mischief will be necessary as it always is in such efforts)
  • Prepare a translation for the movement name in all languages to show the international aspect.
  • Consider how translations of the objectives will be handled. (kind of like the UN site)
  • Consider just how the initial issues will be put to the membership for consideration.
  • Consider whether we are gathering names either for petitions or to make actual demands of our government representatives – demands with consequences
  • Consider how we can take our demands directly to our government representatives all at the same time. (Not to a single legislative body but to all 193 legislative bodies at the same time)
  • Prepare for backlash, ridicule, opposition and SLAPP lawsuits. (Strategic lawsuit against public participation)
  • Consider how frequently an issue will be presented for consideration – I suggest we consider once each two week period so that all categories can address one issue per year.
  • Allow members to choose the categories that concern them personally so they need not be subjected to issues which do not concern them
  • Consider how the name, objectives and logo might be used in other ways e.g. political party names, awards programs, product endorsement (not recommended) drop in centers, seniors groups, TV network, TED talks, Wikipedia page, a foundation, etc.
  • Consider a membership “medal” made from a bit of the most precious material of all – a bit of fired earth.
  • Garner media attention
  • Cultivate relationships with philanthropic individuals and celebrities as money and media attention are helpful.

Part 2

If this humble message reaches an audience, I would ask for serious evaluation of the principles and process so that it can be refined and made acceptable to a wide segment of 193 societies. It needs a lot of input and refining but I think it will be worth the effort.

Sincerely Matthew R Foster

Appendix

Here are the 26 categories as a place to start debate. (Needs refining)

  1. Air quality, 2. Democracy/Voting, 3. Drugs, 4. Energy, 5. Farming/Forestry, 6. Fishing/Whaling,7. Food, 8. Genetic engineering, 9. Health, 10. Human Rights, 11. Information & Education, 12. Land/Soil Degradation, 13. Mining, 14. Institutions, 15. Nuclear Issues, 16. People’s Commons/natural resources, 17. Plastic Dangers, 18. Population, 19. Species (or biodiversity), 20. Toxins, 21. Trade and Labor, 22. Transportation, 23. Waste/Recycle, 24. Water Resources, 25. Open category, 26. Open Category

Taliban/Cancervative Ideology

 

There was an article in the paper today about the Taliban. As I read it I came to the conclusion that their radical ideology is pretty much the same as that of our Conservative Party – or as I call the “Cancer”vative Party for obvious reasons. (It seeks to destroy every structure of our society even if it dies itself in the process)

The Taliban is anti-Christian and anti-Jewish but the Big Cs are increasingly Islamophobia and more than willing to advertise the fact. One should remember that atrocities in Germany started by the promoting of hatred for the way some German citizens dressed in public places.

So what else is comparable? In point form I offer the following; with a few at the end that are exclusively Big C ideology:

Objective of gaining and retaining power at all costs

Anti-science

Anti-Darwin

Pro-religious dogma

Anti-women rights

Anti-environment

Blatant Homophobia

Anti-family planning

Anti-peacekeeping

Pro-disenfranchising voters

Anti-labour

Anti-union

Anti-public broadcasting

Divisive politics

GLOBAL CHORUS

GLOBAL CHORUS

There is a book out called Global Chorus (365 Voices on the future of the planet) The contributors include Jane Goodall, David Suzuki, Archbishop Tutu, Stephen Harkins, the Dalai Lama and Matthew Foster. (That last one is me) There is also a web site where you can see the full list of contributors and the instructions for contributors. Just search for Global Chorus if you want more info.

When I first heard of this idea, I thought ‘now here is an important work – perhaps the most important work of our time. If only we can take the collective ideas and move them into some sort of long range plan we might actually make some concrete inroads on social and environmental issues.’

One by one, I have been slowly going through the articles and trying to reduce each contribution into its basic message. There is a contribution for each day of the year – So far I have read through to the end of March. Here are my condensations

  • There is an urgency that we do something.
  • We need to get people involved.
  • We have the knowledge.
  • The barrier to success is political and economic.
  • We need to correct the failings in our democracy.
  • We need to educate politicians.
  • We need to get by on less.
  • We all share in the problem.
  • We have the technology to get organized.
  • We need to work together.
  • There is futility in working alone.
  • We need to reduce our expectations.
  • Education of people is the key.
  • We need to admit to ourselves that there is a problem.
  • Big business is the problem.
  • Fossil Fuel is the problem.
  • We need to work locally.
  • We have to create global citizens.
  • We need to create political will.
  • We need to stand together. 

My contribution is placed at Oct 25th and reads as follows

The people and planet have many dire problems. We must accept that there is only one key with which to effectively tackle these problems. We have given the scientists, corporations, politicians, and the UN, the opportunity at resolving the global social/ecological crisis; now it is the people’s turn to step directly into the process in a more effective way.
From the Rio Earth Summit/1992, until now, we’ve seen little meaningful progress. We must ultimately react more quickly and resolutely.
We know the issues; we have unlimited knowledge accumulated within several million NGO data bases; we have the means and knowhow to communicate globally; we know the power of social media.
We are fragmented and all trying to be heard in our various political systems which are unfortunately highly influenced by powerful international market forces and are unreceptive to our concerns. It is indeed a bad situation in which the whole world shares, but it is not hopeless. Collectively we can propose and significantly influence meaningful changes if we can simply get organized into a cohesive, worldwide movement and —
• Develop a social media site dedicated solely to social/environmental issues.
• Incorporate multi-language capabilities to communicate with the world.
• Categorize all social/ecological issues into manageable groups (26 Max)
• Prioritize the issues in each category through debate and consensus and put them into a 20/25 year plan.
• Use the new site, and/or allied sites, to put the issues to the world`s people for approval in a logical format with a consistent approach. (I.e. One issue in each category every two weeks equals the addressing of 26 separate issues per year)
• Forward the duly considered petition, with the names of the signatories, concurrently to the legislatures of all nations, as this is a crucial worldwide emergency that affects everything.
• Require every category unreservedly to have equal weight and equal opportunity to put its particular issues to the public for debate and consideration each year in its turn.
• Accept that time is our unforgiving enemy.

If I can condense my contribution into a few words it would be – “A long range plan to address all 26 categories of problems”

All proceeds from the book go to charity.

 

Information and Knowledge

Right to “unbiased” information and knowledge

“He who knows nothing is closer to the truth than he whose mind is filled with falsehoods and errors.” Thomas Jefferson

All of the solutions to all of our problems hinges on this one category. Knowledge is indeed power and there is an element of society that fears our gaining knowledge and correcting the flaws in information distribution and democracy.  Matt Foster – Civis Mundi Sum

Preamble Considerations

Public funded radio and TV, freedom of speech, right to full disclosure, artificial news, exposing “False Flag” operations, academic freedom, unattainable higher education, concentration of media in too few hands, net neutrality, Media oligopoly, freedom of the press and editorial independence, limit news diversity and reduce news quality, access to research, freedom from propaganda and dogma, the print-media, broadcasting & film industries, adequate coverage of the 26 relevant issues as identified on this site and others, education vs entertainment, appropriate funding, accountability and transparency,analyze and scrutinize the policy and politics of a nation, demonizing of by special interests, vehicle for public debate and opinion, freedom from foreign influence,

Issues that could be prioritized into a 25 year plan (would you like to take on this category?)

  • Introduce ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?
  • Stop ?

 The first global petition might look something like this:

Directed To: The governments of all 190 (plus) countries of earth.

“As concerned citizens of this planet, we urge you, our political representatives, to set up an independent body to administer public broadcasting and to ensure that such government has no direct control of policy, salaries or working conditions ” – Of course the first item for consideration need not be as shown. It is however important that we get a start.

Video links by others (What are you suggestions?)

None found yet

Groups reporting on this category (what are your suggestions?)

Wikipedia article http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership

Friends of CBC http://www.friends.ca/

Leadnow http://www.leadnow.ca/

 

It would help if you supported some of these groups