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Re: [ba-unrev-talk] [Fwd: World Wide Democracy Network Newsletter 02]

Fascinating concept. If we had a project, I'd rate this a high
priority, if only to gather use cases, motivation, and an
eventual testing ground for the project.    (01)

Henry K van Eyken wrote:    (02)

> I wonder what this forum thinks about associating - and in what manner
> -ourselves (i.e. Bootstrap AND/OR Fleabyte) with the newly formed,
> London-based organization that calls itself the World Wide Democracy
> Network,
> www.wwdemocracy.org
> On first sight, the organization appears to be non-partisan -
> otherwise
> I wouldn't even consider bringing this up. I do believe it a good
> thing
> for small, grassroot organizations to team up.
> How well are the principals of this organization known in the U.K. and
> internationally, etc.
> You may be interested that from the Fleabyte end we are in touch with
> an
> organization called Global Agoras,
> http://www.globalagoras.org/
> The development is slow here because of "understaffing." Might some
> people on this forum be interested in forming a committee to look at
> the
> issue of locating, evaluating and co-operating with like-minded
> organizations in a way that they become complementary. Etc.
> Henry
>    ----------------------------------------------------------------
> Subject: World Wide Democracy Network Newsletter 02
> Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2002 20:12:06 +0100
> From: John Turnbull <jt@wwdemocracy.org>
> To: undisclosed-recipients:;
>   1. Introduction
>   2. WWDN news
>   3. Getting the WWDN up and running
>   4. WWDN’s WSF 2003 Proposal: a summary of the WWDN’s proposal to run
>      a series of workshops (entitled ‘Liberating Democratic Systems’)
>      at the next World Social Forum (Porto Alegre, Brazil, January
>      2003).
> The World Wide Democracy Network (WWDN, www.wwdemocracy.org ) has been
> set up to link people in a process of mutual learning.
> Many recognise that we are facing a set of complex and urgent global
> problems, such as widespread inequality, environmental degradation and
> societal breakdown. Such problems cannot be solved within the existing
> ‘democratic’ regimes because their design has evolved to achieve a
> totally different purpose - that of unsustainable economic growth
> coupled with high levels of inequality. It follows that we need to
> rethink our ideas of democracy and citizenship; if we are to build a
> just and sustainable future, we need a new paradigm of democracy.
> To borrow from Abraham Lincoln, we need to advance from what we
> currently have:
> Government
> OF      - the people
> BY      - interchangeable sets of political professionals
> FOR    - the pursuit of economic growth through transnational
> corporate capitalism
> To:
> Government
> OF    - the people
> BY    - thinking, acting and learning together
> FOR  - the co-creation of just and sustainable societies
> Through the WWDN we will explore how to apply to political processes
> the insights of soft-systems thinking and complexity theory developed
> in other fields. These are of fundamental significance in bringing
> about change. It is these insights that teach us that our task is
> essentially one of mutual learning.
> For more information on the history and purpose of the WWDN, please
> see WWDN Newsletter No1, March 2002 .
> To become a WWDN Co-learner and take part in our online discussions
> (available soon) please contact us here , remembering to include your
> name in the body of the message. (Other details, such as address,
> occupation etc. would be welcome, but are not essential.)
> Alternatively, visit our website at www.wwdemocracy.org
> Co-learners
> 55 people have signed up to become WWDN co-learners. The WWDN’s main
> aim in 2002 is to establish contacts with people and organisations
> interested in developing viable strategies for political change at all
> levels from local to global. If you would like to join us please press
> ‘reply’ (making sure not to reply to all) and type ‘co-learner’ in the
> subject line, or visit our website at www.wwdemocracy.org .
> Network Associate
> John Turnbull has been appointed Network Associate for the WWDN.
> Formerly a researcher with a firm of management consultants, John will
> be responsible for the day-to-day administration of the network,
> including managing the contacts database, moderating the discussion
> forum and editing the quarterly newsletter.
> We have spent the last couple of months thinking about how we want the
> Network to function, acting on advice about software and technical
> issues, and learning what works for us and what doesn't. So far, we
> have a new design for the website, and soon we will be unveiling the
> WWDN discussion forum. We will also be migrating to the Linux
> operating system, one of the inspirations for the WWDN’s open-source
> approach.
> The response to our request for participants has been very
> encouraging. Our 55 co-learners are from a wide range of backgrounds,
> including economics, systems thinking and consultancy. However, this
> kind of background is by no means a requirement - the WWDN is open to
> anybody who is interested in developing viable strategies for
> political change and working towards a more just and sustainable
> future. (See above for instructions on registering).
> Our intention is to make the WWDN accessible to as many people as we
> can. This means publishing our site and our newsletters in as many
> languages as possible. If anybody is interested in undertaking
> translation work (on a voluntary basis), I would be very keen to hear
> from you.
> John Turnbull (jt@wwdemocracy.org )
> This is a summary of the proposal for a programme of events we are
> hoping to have considered for the next World Social Forum. The
> proposal is very ambitious and there is no guarantee that it will be
> accepted in full; however, it gives a good indication of the direction
> the WWDN is taking.
> Summary
> In his closing words to the second World Social Forum (WSF), held in
> Porto Alegre, Brazil in February 2002, the Nobel prize-winning poet
> Jose Saramago issued a challenge:
> "Everything in this world is discussed, from literature to ecology,
> from expanding galaxies to the greenhouse effect, from waste treatment
> to traffic congestion. Yet the democratic system goes undiscussed, as
> if it were a given, definitively acquired and untouchable by nature
> until the end of time.
> "Well, unless I am mistaken ... among so many other necessary or
> indispensable discussions, there is an urgent need to foster worldwide
> debate on democracy and the causes of its decline…"
> The main blockages to radical change, he implied, stem from the
> in-built systemic defects of our so-called democratic systems.
> WWDN proposes that the third WSF, to be held again in Porto Alegre in
> January 2003, responds to Saramago’s challenge through a programme of
> co-learning designed to enable the participants to explore and define:
>    * precisely why it is that the current systems of democracy are
>      defective - what is wrong with their design and purposes; and
>    * what are the essential components of an alternative democratic
>      system capable of meeting the needs of human societies and of the
>      whole human family in the 21st Century? What, for example, is the
>      nature of the relationship between democratic leadership and
>      people power? And how, in practical terms, can such democracies
>      be created?
> On the basis of a shared understanding on these and related issues,
> WSF 2003 could launch a global dialogue with two interlocking
> dimensions: a theoretical dimension concerned with the development of
> coherent models of alternative systems of democracy; and a practical
> dimension based on the experience of the Participative Budget
> processes in over 100 cities in Brazil and South America, and
> especially in the city of Porto Alegre itself.
> To sum up: the intended outcome of the programme is to respond to Jose
> Saramago's challenge by initiating a purposeful global dialogue aimed
> at increasing our shared understanding of what needs to be done to
> remedy the systemic defects of today's democracies.
> "Democracy and democratic education are founded on faith in men, on
> the belief that they not only can, but should, discuss the problems of
> their country, their continent, their world, their work, the problems
> of democracy itself."
> (Paulo Freire, formerly Director of Education for the city of Sao
> Paulo, Brazil, Education: the Practice of Freedom Writers and Readers
> Co-operative1974.)
> To read the complete proposal, please visit www.wwdemocracy.org (the
> '2002 Programme' section).
> -----------------------------------------------------------------------
> We are sending you this edition of the WWDN newsletter either because
> you have had contact with the WWDN in the past, or because we believe
> you would be interested in the WWDN's work.
> If you wish to be removed from the WWDN mailing list, please reply to
> this message with 'STOP' in the subject field.
> We apologise if you have received multiple copies of this newsletter.
> Please let us know if this happens.
>    (03)