Address to students for Jan 16th 2019

This is the spread sheet that is associated with the Civis Mundi plan for addressing social and environmental problems over 25 years.

First off, I am not a specialist in environmental or social issues. My background is in manufacturing and more recently in poultry incubation as a research and development Director. I ask that you keep that in mind.

About 30 years ago I decided to look at the problem of our inability to resolve both social and environmental injustice. I set a goal of 1 year in which to do this. Somehow after 30 years I am still at it.

First I looked at political parties including both business interest parties and people interest parties, corporations, NGOs, activist groups, the education system, communications, democracy itself etc.

It didn’t take long to see that all of these fail us for a variety of reasons. The reasons we fail are many but I believe that most can be overcome with concentrated people power.

I next started to create a long list of all of the problems that I found as I watched the news, read the paper, or scanned the internet. I also read every book that I could find at the library. I won’t say that I found them all by any means, but I had enough so that I could divide them into categories. I searched for headings and found that by combining I could whittle it down to about 26.


I went through the list and put them into the 26 categories. Some categories had a large number of issues whereas others had few but as I do not profess to be all-knowing, I left this open so that others could refine the lists.


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


I thought that we obviously needed to have a long range program to resolve such a large number of issues so I chose 25 years as an optimistic time frame.


If we look at the categories as being 26 and the program as being 25 years into the future we need to compress everything into 650 separate and defined problems.


Next I looked into how many NGOs and activist groups were trying their best to resolve all of these problems. I found that Wikipedia suggests that there are 10,000,000 NGOS both great and small with about 1.5 M in the USA. There are undoubtedly many more activist groups.


If we decide that 26 categories is the number we need then we could address one every 2 weeks for the next 25 years. More frequently would be hard to manage and going every 4 weeks would take 50 years to address everything.


I’m using plastic here as an example, as I see it a major problem. I have a list of the major problems with plastic on my site under Plastic.

The first global petition on PLASTIC might look something like this: 

Directed To: The governments of all 193 (more or less) countries of earth. 

“As concerned citizens of this planet, we urge you, our political representatives, to immediately ban the food industry’s use of plastic identification stickers from fruit and vegetables grown, packaged, imported and distributed within all countries on Earth. Clear and effective action is needed immediately to reduce the flow of plastic waste from our collective landfills, water-ways and food chain and the subsequent harmful effects of such stickers — (the list of problems created by plastic would be added to support the demand) ” – Of course the first item proposed need not be fruit and vegetable stickers – it could be microbeads, coffee cup covers, coat hangers, egg cartons or drinking straws. The important thing is to get a start. (And to start with something that is easy to support – annoys many people – could easily be substituted with other materials. Not to mention THE inevitable backlash) Remember – we would also be relatively unknown and need to grow quickly


If we want to reduce all PLASTIC concerns to the fewest number possible, there needs to be some combining. I will again continue to use plastic to develop a (rough draft) sample 25 year list.

  1. YEAR ONE – labels on fruit and vegetables plus Plastic straws,
  2. Plastic microbeads
  3. Plastic netting as on garlic, onions, potato bags, wine bottle sleeves etc.
  4. Plastic fillers in food packaging plus the elimination of plastic signage
  5. Plastic inserts in bottles plus plastic seals in beer and beverage caps.
  6. The elimination of plastic in all toy manufacturing (as we now tackle a complete industry)
  7. The elimination of plastic in the snack food industry
  8. The laundry and cleaning products industry
  9. The appliance industry
  10. The elimination of plastic in the fast food industry
  11. The indoor and outdoor furniture industry
  12. The beverage industry
  13. The health care industry
  14. The stationary industry
  15. The apparel industry (manufacturing and packaging)
  16. The shoe industry
  17. The plumbing and electrical industry
  18. The automotive industry
  19. The waste collection and recycle industry
  20. The throwaway products industry
  21. The aviation industry
  22. The building industry
  23. The eyewear industry
  24. All other industries using plastic.
  25. other


Every group doing their own thing; Raising money, recruiting, emailing, direct mailing, demonstrating, organizing, petitioning, writing letters, phoning politicians, boycotting, etc. – in every community, state, nation etc. but no one taking their PRIMARY issue to potentially of all the planets people (who have access to social media) and then delivering the resultant demand-petition to every legislative assembly on the planet.


It is very important that everyone on the planet knows what is being planned for action – everyone must be forewarned


I am currently using this email tag line to explain the concept – CIVIS MUNDI Recommending an entirely new approach to resolving social and environmental challenges

If I may quote Greta Thunberg here; as she is saying what I have been saying for some time.

One – “Imagine what we could all do together if we really wanted to”

Two- “real power belongs to the people

What is proposed at CIVIS MUNDI is a single social media site where we put all of the issues to the world’s people one by one, until we have addressed all 650 problems in a logical sequence.

End of part one

If there are any Engineering students here they might give me their thoughts of 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 – In the following I may repeat some of the steps I mentioned earlier.

  • 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. (This generally is a problem that should go away once they see the benefits of cooperating while they give up nothing)
  • 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. (there will be one year to decide the next issue after the first is offered for consideration.)
  • 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. (E.g. STOP = save this our planet, and actual stop signs could be used as a place to hang ribbons which identify our movement anywhere on the planet.)
  • Choose a name for the movement – something in Latin would be nice as it should have few adversaries.
  • Choose a logo and a colour theme to rally under – I will suggest the colour 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 colour. (Cap, kerchief, ribbon, sock, etc. – one pair of socks for two people works for me)
  • Consider promotional ideas –e.g. Membership cards, (Use humour to some effect – Eg ?) Stickers for cars and mailboxes, ribbons on street signs, paint on tree trunks etc.
  • This link is from my old site – 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 unaware of our concerns, demands and our timetable. (i.e. 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. Done
  • 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. Note E petitions are now Ok in Canada
  • 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 centres, 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 whenever possible as growth is paramount
  • Cultivate relationships with philanthropic individuals and celebrities as money and media attention are helpful.
  • Remember that seniors could very well want to participate with funding and promotion. Remind them that they made the mess w ae in.
  • Consider crowdsourcing for funds
  • Many issues can be cross referenced –IE Plastic chocks, clogs, leaches, suffocates, kills fish, and notably the albatross etc., so they can be cross referenced to TOXINS, WATER RESOURCES, SPECIES, FOOD, HEALTH, FISHING/WALING AND WASTE/RECYCLE


Most E petitions I have read, would not meet the criteria for this movement — Browse petitions

Remember the whole idea is to have symposium to see if this can lead to a youth driven movement

In closing, our present approach is like ants attacking a Sherman tank. It is not a “fair fight” like David and Goliath where David at least has a chance. We need to get millions of ants inside the tank where our numbers can effectively stop the seemingly unstoppable.

Sincerely Matthew R Foster -Civis Mundi Sum

Maybe mention that Canada eliminated lead in water pipes in Canada but it took the Montreal Protocol to ban Freon worldwide.

Dissidents are seen as a threat to power and this will be no different

Translations of WORLD CITIZEN here

Categories and list of problems here

Spread sheet for 650 issues over 25 years

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