Dear rn, Below we have a draft plan - "ESTABLISHING A WORLD WIDE NETWORK TO FACILITATE CHANGE" - from Marguerite M Hampton of the Turtle Island Institute. Some of you may wish to respond to Marguerite, and I'm sure she would appreciate feedback, suggestions, offers of help, link-ups to like-minded people, etc. As usual, I'm torn between praising all such initiatives as 'part of the solution', and critquing them for having what I see as blind spots. In this case, I'll do both at once - posting it to the list being my form of praise. My critque follows the proposal. rkm btw> If you are interested in joining Turtle Island's 'FixGov' list, _don't do that via the web page - instead send a message directly to: <•••@••.••• >. If you sign up via the e-groups web page, you will be agreeing to indemnify e-groups against lawsuits regarding the content of your messages. If they decide to defend some suit with an expensive legal effort, you get the bill and you have no control over the process. -imho ============================================================================ To: •••@••.••• Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2000 17:06:56 -0700 Subject: Establishing a World Wide Learning Network to Facilitate Change From: Marguerite M Hampton <•••@••.•••> To: Richard K. Moore We seem to have some common interests and I would like to invite you to join with us in our efforts if after reading the following you see value in doing so. (I have also introduced some of your writing into our List conversations, particularly the article on 'Escaping the Matrix') ---<snip>--- Here is a draft plan which if we could effectively implement would serve to coordinate a 'civil society' in such a manner as to peacefully replace mainstream society. If researcher Paul Ray's estimates of those he labels 'traditionalists' and 'creative culturists' along with the international group of 'integral culturists' are correct, then it really is only a matter of contacting and connecting people to a network in a meaningful way so as to enable and empower them in repudiating corporate culture. ====================================================== ESTABLISHING A WORLD WIDE NETWORK TO FACILITATE CHANGE As you may or may not know, the FixGov List of the Turtle Island Institute is currently involved in writing a book online. We are currently working on the first chapter which is concerned with questions regarding government today and whether or not our present forms of governance are adequate to address the concerns of our changing world. We are also concerned about the decline in our ecological systems, global warming, and with bringing about world peace. In considering more about what our book should encompass and the ideas we should convey, one of the most important is with regard to how our world is changing. Change is difficult for most of us to accomplish; we want to hang on to the tried and what we perceive to be as truth, but most of all we want to remain where we feel safe. Venturing out into the unknown holds many risks and fear of failure. Yet, because of our past and continuing actions, we have created great technological advances which, in turn, are rapidly changing the world around us. The world of 'Future Shock,' 'The Third Wave,' and the 'Power Shift' of which Alvin Toffler wrote is now engulfing us creating wave after wave of change. Change so profound and so encompassing as to be almost incomprehensible to the human mind, with most of us unable to keep up as distance becomes a faint idea and the world becomes a small Global Village where an email arrives in minutes on the other side of the Earth. At the same time we are confronted with massive changes brought about by technology, we are also confronted with changes in our natural world, brought about by these same technological advances, but which used inappropriately, now threaten the human race and its ability to survive here on Earth. Inappropriate use of technology now threatens our ecosystems balance and brings with it global warming and consequent global climate change. In using technology inappropriately, our life support systems have become weakened as we use up and live off of our 'natural capital' rather than the 'interest', i.e., renewable energy. Coupled with the growing human population boom, the Earth's systems simply are unable to support life in healthful ways as evidenced by the growing loss of biodiversity, fresh water, topsoil and forests. As a result of inappropriate use of technology today, people in supposedly developing countries are increasingly marginalized and one billion people are now without work and means of life support while another one hundred million people roam the Earth in seach of a better way of life causing the U.N. to call this the 'human crises of our day.' Many people are forced off of their lands through inappropriate land management practices like those that encourage the raising of grain and cutting of rain forests to feed cattle used for beef as food for the affluent. An appropriate use of the land would be to restore it so that food may be raised which directly feeds people. Yet relatively few even know or realize the effects which are impacting our society today. Mainstream society and its 'virtual world' seem interested only in perpetuating a world that knows little, as well as, shows little of the real world in which we live and depend upon for our life support system. How to enable and empower the 6 billion people on our Planet in making the changes necessary to our well-being and continued success in living here is the question of the day. It requires the implementation of a massive education program with which to both inform the populace and support them in making the required changes in lifestyle which will carry us into the future safely. It requires that we put "Earth First;" that is focusing on maintaining and restoring our life support systems in order that we may continue to "live" on Earth. Two documents which lay the basis of implementation are Agenda 21, an Earth Summit Strategy To Save Our Planet, and an accompanying document, The Earth Charter. While many organizations have been working on educational programs to accomplish change, the biggest challenge facing us is the distribution of education and information with which to bring everyone up-to-date on vital issues. The Turtle Island Institute in association with Tranet (Bill Ellis as founder and Director) and other individuals has come up with a plan to facilitate the distribution of information/education throughout the world and implement it as follows using Agenda 21, (which calls both for the proper management of ecosystems and the establishment of learning centers), and The Earth Charter as guidelines. The following is a rough outline of our plan. I. BIOREGIONS 1. Establish Bioregions throughout the world and encourage the people living in these bioregions to form a symbiotic relationship with the region in order to restore and maintain the balance of ecosystems worldwide. (For information on Bioregions see: http://www.planetdrum.org/ where the Planet Drum Foundation (Director - Peter Berg) has already formed a Bioregion Association and is involved in establishing Bioregions.) ( As an example of a Bioregion and symbiosis, let's use the rainforests in which indigenous people lived for centuries and which provided them with adequate life support. Until the advent of Anglo-Saxon thinking and the consequent logging and drilling for oil and the raising of beef cattle -- all things which use the 'natural capital of the region up at unsustainable rates, the natives of rainforest bioregions lived in them with the natives taking food and shelter from the system without disrupting it and, in return the rainforests provided the natives life support in adequate supply. ) A. Bioregions, initially formed by a volunteer Civil Sector and in accordance with the Bioregion Association formed by Planet Drum, can facilitate the protection and restoration of the bioregion and its ecosystems, and when established may form the basis for new governance of regions as global warming and accompanying global climate change bring pressure to bear on governments to govern more along the lines of preservation of natural systems than in the past. II. LEARNING CENTERS 2. Establish Learning Centers focused on sustainable development technology in local communities throughout Bioregions and linked to a BioRegional Center which serves to administer the BioRegion. A. The Learning Centers will either be constructed of, or retrofitted, using appropriate technology and will serve to leverage appropriate technology and sustainable development information and technology into the community at large. (1) These steps will promote the development of sustainable communities worldwide and can lead to the stabilization of migration as bioregions are restored and maintained by their inhabitants; thus bringing back to life again severely ecologically devasted regions. This also provides a means whereby all Bioregions may be maintained. III. VOLUNTEERS AND COMMUNITY HANDS-ON LEARNING 3. Learning Center development may be implemented through volunteers who donate their time and help raise funds to establish the centers in local communities worldwide. The first step may be to invite other volunteers concerned with maintaining the eco-nomic security of their region to one's home for a vegetarian potluck meal and discussing the ramificaitons of developing a sustainable community while providing for sustainable economic development opportunities within the Bioregion. Then taking the next steps toward planning and development of a Learning Center within the community. A. Learning Centers developed using natural materials, e.g., straw bale, cob, adobe, etc. constructed by community members and incorporating solar enegy, water recycling, composting, natural landscaping, etc., without the aid of commercial contractors, are excellent ways of bringing the community together in learning hands-on what sustainable development and appropriate technology are about. Already constructed facilities may be retrofitted using appropriate technology and serve also as Learning Centers and facilitate hands-on learning. Since the use of appropriate technology in the development of the Learning Centers requires the involvement of the local planning commission in approving the facility, it requires the government of the community to become involved with and experience appropriate technology and consider the ramifcations of application of appropriate technology and appropriate regional land use management in the bioregion as well. Planning commissions seem somehow to be the 'last to know' and require that the community itself, in most instances, become involved and 'introduce appropriate change' technology to government officials. The introduction of a Learning Center into the local community allows citizens to do this in an effective manner as it allows for the creation of a visual model to be constructed which other members of the community can use their senses to incorporate into their experience. Without visual models, the benefits of appropriate technology and other new ideas are difficult to convey. Positive visual and sensory experiences aid greatly in helping to facilitate change. In some instances, the Learning Centers will be developed as Ecotravel Lodges to which Ecopilgrims may travel to both learn and to aid other communities around the world in getting their projects started. IV. OTHER ORGANIZATIONS AND THEIR ROLE 4. There are already other NPO's that have great programs in place that can serve as educational modules in developing TII's planned Learning Centers. For example, The Natural Step: http://www.greenbiz.com/frame/1.cfm?targetsite=http://www.naturalstep.org "The Natural Step framework encourages dialogue and consensus-building, a key process of learning organizations. It is based on systems thinking, focusing on first-order principles at the beginning of cause effect relationships. It recognizes that what happens in one part of a system affects every other part, often in unexpected ways." and seems to reflect much of what we have discussed here with regard to sustainable development. A. There are also other organizations which may be interested in linking to our efforts and aiding in the development of Learning Centers internationally. For instance, there is a large network of people who choose to home school their youth. Many of those involved in this endeavor may be also interested in developing learning centers around which to network their efforts. In addition: The Straw Bale, Cob, Permaculture, Solar Energy, and other 'construction-related' organizations, concerned with appropriate technology and the dissemination of information and spread of sustainable development worldwide, may act as 'volunteers' to aid in facilitating the construction of Learning Centers worldwide. Other groups such as those concerned with vegetanarianism, forest preservation, ecotravel, energy conservation, etc. may also act as facilitators for the location and development of worldwide Learning Centers. The Green Party may be an ally in facilitating the development of Learning Centers. V. THE FIRST STEPS 5. Turtle Island Institute (TII) through its E-group FixGov, is currently writing a book online which will be used as an introduction to the Bioregion and Learning Center concept as a means of facilitating positive change. The book, tentatively entitled: "Learning to Surf on the Waves of Change, a Survival Guide for the Next Decade and Beyond" will outline the programs that will form the basic curriculum for the Learning Centers. The first chapter of the book focuses on ideas as to how governance might be formed that meets the needs of our changing world. Other chapters will as well as give an overview of changes that we are required to make in addressing ecosystems decline, global warming and climate change, and offer insights into globalization and its affects on environmental, social and economic justice issues. A. Once the book has been written it will form the basis for the production of documentary film and TV video-web programming which allow for visual presentation of materials in an easily assimilated manner and which may be translated into many languages and allow for worlwide dissemination of vital information/education in an easily assimilated manner though Learning Centers as well as via television and the internet. (1) The idea behind the book, which will be short and written in easy-to-read-form, will be utilized to introduce people to the concept of the BioRegions and Learning Centers and act as a stimulus for the discussion of issues related to sustainable development, e.g., food, agriculture, transportation, effective land management, etc. B. Turtle Island Institute will provide for an 'Association of Learning Centers' and act as an 'aggregating agent' through which to bring the different facets of this program together as well as to administer the program itself. For more about the Turtle Island Institute see our website at: http://www.tii-kokopellispirit.org C. Kokopelli Spirit is our web magazine through which TII would like to continue to disseminate online information with regard to Turtle Island Institute programs and our progress, etc. However, after putting up two issues of the magazine (and for which we received rave reviews) we found that the work involved was too much for myself and Joelle de Lespinois, a volunteer website and graphics designer. To continue, we need to engage volunteers to take on the responsibilities of gathering information and preparing the magazine for online publication on a regular basis. If you as an individual, or as a member of an organization would like to join with the Turtle Island Institute in helping to develop this worldwide program, or if you have questions, please contact: Marguerite Hampton via E-mail: •••@••.••• (Please do not 'Reply' to this E-mail as my message space here is limited.) If you have an interest in helping to write the book, please join our List at: http://www.egroups.com/group/fixgov We have accomplished a draft introduction to the Fix Gov Chapter of the book and will work to compare existing forms of government while at the same time proposing ideas for new forms of government. We also maintain a List: Alternate Culture through which we disseminate information relevant to the development of an Alternate Culture. http://www.egroups.com/group/alternateculture which you may join and stay linked for further updates as we make progress. ________________________________________ The time is critical. We must move forward immediately if we are to survive as the human race. Both our coral reefs and rainforests have about 20-25 years of life before they will be gone. As well it is projected that the rest of our ecological systems, on which we are dependent for life, will come crashing down on us in within the same time period, exclusive of global warming, and leave us in chaos with food and fresh water shortages worldwide. Thank you for your concern in this critical matter. marguerite Marguerite Hampton Executive Director - Turtle Island Institute •••@••.••• http://tii-kokopellispirit.org ======================================================= Dear Marguerite, I think you put forward some very good ideas. If you can set up a network of learning centers as you outline, that could be beneficial in ways even beyond what you suggest. The 'if' is a big one however, as the plan is a bit on the grandiose size. But solutions to our global problems _do require grandiose efforts, and yours may be one of those that succeeds. All the best to you. My own experience with grand projects (in the corporate world) has taught me a few tricks of the trade: (1) Do the project in phases. (2) Pursue multiple tracks in parallel. (3) Keep in mind the 80-20 rule. (4) Pursue synergy with existing efforts. In this terminology, your 'multiple tracks' include (1) the (excellent!) website, (2) the book, and (3) the centers. You are 'pursuing synergy' by sending your message to me (and presumably others), and by identifying like-minded efforts in your proposal. The '80-20 rule': "You can usually get 80% of the results you want with only 20% of the effort needed to accomplish 100% results." Let's apply this principle to your Phase 1 project - the book. Is there some 'Phase 0' project that could accomplish 80% of 'having-the-book' with only 20% of the effort required to 'complete-the-book'? Such a project might be, for example, to upgrade your website in an appropriate way... Why not seek out websites which already provide 80% of information you want in the book - and then write the _overview to your book embedded with links to the deeper information elsewhere? The effort of 'do-research' + 'write-overview-with-links' would be, I suggest, only 20% of 'write-whole-book'. The book project would follow, and the research wouldn't be wasted. --- Let's consider the synergy issue. I sense in your proposal just a hint of this attitude: "We in the West will teach the third world about sustainability". I imagine this thinking would lead you to seek out third-world locations where you could teach skills and introduce appropriate technologies. Your synergy would be mostly one-way - _from your project _to the needy locals. That is 'part-of-the-solution', but it does not necessarily maximize your potential synergy with the third-world. Let's consider another attitude toward the third world... "The third world already has plenty of expertise in sustainabile practices, and globalization is systematically and intentionally destroying those practices wherever they can be found." This line of thinking would lead one to seek out instead third-world locations where sustainable, or close-to-sustainable, practices were already being followed - and where those practices are being threatened by some 'development' project (a dam, a change in fishing rights, a privatization initiative, etc.). In this case, the 'outside contribution' needed would not be farming skills, but would include other things, like link-ups to appropriate NGO's and other groups which might be able to provide some kind of support... organizational, media access, financial, legal, lobbying, letter-writing , volunteer workers and witnesses, whatever. And in this case there may be more potential for synergy. Instead of trying to change the way people are doing things, which can be a difficult selling job - you are helping them continue in a successful way of doing things. You are reinforcing a wave of energy instead of trying to create a wave. Your third-world allies would be highly motivated - their livelihood depends on the project's success. And if a project does succeed, then I imagine those particualr allies would be eager to lend support and comradeship to your next choice of allies, again defending a sustainable community life style. This other line of thinking also leads to a 'world-wide-network' of 'learning-centers-to-facilitate-change', but a different kind of network and a different kind of learning. The learning here is about political empowerment and the network is about spreading that empowerment. --- Just some ideas, rkm ============================================================================ Richard K Moore Wexford, Ireland Citizens for a Democratic Renaissance email: •••@••.••• CDR website & list archives: http://cyberjournal.org content-searchable archive: http://members.xoom.com/centrexnews/ featured article: http://cyberjournal.org/cj/rkm/Whole_Earth_Review/Escaping_the_Matrix.shtml A community will evolve only when the people control their means of communication. -- Frantz Fanon Permission for non-commercial republishing hereby granted - BUT include and observe all restrictions, copyrights, credits, and notices - including this one. ============================================================================ .