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by Jay Fienberg

PlaNetwork conference, Real Virtual Communities, part 3

posted: Jun 7, 2003 8:57:28 PM

Blogging the PlaNetwork conference in San Francisco.

Teresa Collins and Marshall Lefferts are presenting. They work with Barbara Marx Hubbart, and have been associated with the Buckminster Fuller Institute.

Talking about conscious evolution. Hubbart asked one day: if this community realized its potential for conscious evolution, would people be interested? 200 or so people responded, and they needed to start building online tools to connect up and organize, plus use it as an educational program for others.

This is done as an online program, and also in small communities. People go through the process, then train to help others go through it. With the online version, global learning communities are forming around these ideas. Small communities are being inspired to connect up everywhere.

They also offer teleclasses where people all over the world come together with particular instructors. People who felt they were alone in thinking about these things realize that they are part of a global movement. They connect people with many different resources that people learn from.

Next, they are creating an online framework to help people apply the ideas they are learning about in the program. Launching new site in July, called Evolve. Shared purpose of cocreating a positive future together.

They are targeting leadership who can take these ideas to others. They will link up people with their trainers and also with wisdom from various sources like Buckminster Fuller.

Putting a system online to allow for people to post and search for organizations, projects, and services. Sectors are: art and culture, environment and infrastructure, health, relationships, food and water, and more, etc. And, they have a category for whole system design: those looking to integrate these different sectors.

They are working with various systems designers to evolve new tools.

Q & A

Asking to see more of how Evolve works. It is a database that you can use to look up lots of things, but they can't show it right now because it is in development.

Question about how is Evolve being developed. What are plans for ongoing development? How much initial content comes from the community? Answer: looking to get collaboration. Current development in Perl, and they are looking to get into open source development with it. Too expensive to do themselves. They aren't tech developers, and they want to collaborate and find how to best to integrate.

They are just seeding content from existing website. Then, they will invite it to grow.

Question about the Common Way, about moving forward over years. Seems like a lot of different starting places, are we making presumptions coming from the West or the North.

Answer (Sharif): those that created the problems may not create the solutions. People who have less are not necessarily stupid. We need to think in generational terms in order to search for the solutions.

Common Society movement was created on September 11, 2001. A year later, they had 50 organizers with the living room presentation. They are now up to 250. Their progress slowed when the organizers became demonstrators in the Iraq war. We have to create the circumstances where that kind of war is impossible, but can't necessary stop a war like that. We need to come into our power and be there for the long haul.

Their goal is to get to 5,000 organizers, but they probably won't reach it. Doesn't matter, they are in it for the long haul. Their oldest organizer is 94, she said she won't get to their step 2, but it is her gift to the next generation. Their youngest organizer is 9. She saw the mess and got it. She said by the time we get to step 2, she will be old enough to vote.

Question about how to get involved. Answer: give them your email address (they use Friendly Favors for their management of members). They will give you the orientation package, you get 10 people into your living room, and you take it from there.

Question: about green maps getting in schools. Answer (Wendy): hard to get things in schools now, with the standards. Works well in afterschool programs, church programs, etc. Creating activities that are adaptable to the classroom that can fit into standard curricula. They are doing things in PDF that teachers can work with. Teachers can integrate into lessons.

Kids created a map in NYC showing that trash dumps were going into low income neighborhoods. These maps got that stopped.

Sharif: mapping the world helps people realize the world belongs to them and not someone else.

A little back and forth about, whose publisher made some comments from the floor.

Sharif answering some questions about his Sri Lanka comments, refers to the Sarvodaya movement he works with.

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