Re: [globalvillages] Working on a speech for Brussels/Paul Prueitt
- Dear Franz, Mark, and All,Very exciting news, and thanks so much for sharing it with us! I am passing this along to Holistic Helping, in part because of the Euopean-African links being built there (referring to Mark's ideas), and also because Shahrez Khan of "Faith in Europe" is with us there, and in fact has just posted abt "Faith in Europe Day", so the timing is excellent for a discussion related to "connecting Europe".I love the nutritional focus too (attention: "MyFoodStory" participants!), as well as that on "health", which of course can be viewed from many perspectives: physical, emotional, psychological, spiritual. The concept and principles of the Medicine Wheel (something near and dear to the hearts of Franz, myself, Paul P, and perhaps others) come to mind in this regard: healing and growth via hubs and spokes, unity and diversity, centering and decentralization, oneness and individuality.Fractals are along the same lines: this is both a concept of physics (science and the physical world) and of spirit (art, creativity, the intangibles of human life, our connection to all other things in the universe, linkages and dis/integration), the two being themselves linked, like Yin and Yang.The video-bridges ideas and plans being discussed will surely benefit from these discussions and activities, and once again the linkages between Europe and Africa--and all other places where we might build bridges (USA, Latin America, and India/Asia come to mind)--are present for exploration.Paul, Andrius, Franz, all: I think we might have a glass-bead game afoot! I do hope to pick up our discussion of this past fall in that regard, and apologies for taking so long to do so (though perhaps the ground is more fertile now).With blessings and "Brussels sproutings" to all, Janet
From: Mark Roest
Sent: May 9, 2007 1:17 AM
Subject: Re: [globalvillages] Working on a speech for Brussels
Franz Nahrada wrote:
The European Commission is organising the conference "Bridging the
Broadband Gap: Benefits of broadband for rural areas and less developed
regions", which will take place on 14th and 15th of May 2007 in Brussels,
http://ec.europa. eu/information_ society/events/ broadband_ gap_2007/ index_en. htm
The event will investigate how increasing access to affordable broadband
services and the strategic use of ICT can support regional and local
development, ease infrastructure and geographical handicaps and make these
areas more attractive to business and individuals alike.
I have been invited to address the plenary "Connecting Europe: challenges
ahead for territorial cohesion and rural development" on May 14 and make a
"A radical vision of the European advantage: villages and small towns."
http://ec.europa. eu/information_ society/events/ broadband_ gap_2007/ programme/ index_en. htm
The event, which foresees the participation of Commissioners Reding
(Information Society & Media), Fischer Boels (Agriculture and Rural
Development) , Hübner (Regional Policy) and Kroes (Competition) represents
a unique opportunity to bring together for the first time very different
communities from different background and areas of responsibility. Its aim
is to increase the synergy among the policy domains of information
society, regional policy, rural development and state aid legislation, and
to initiate a process of exchange of good practices from across the EU.
Next to the Conference sessions, the event incorporates an exhibition of
broadband projects that constitute good practice.
Dont miss to browse this amzing collection:
http://ec.europa. eu/information_ society/istevent /broadband_ gap_2007/ cf/itemlist. cfm?type= Exhib
The exhibition will be evaluated by the conference participants. The first
three projects with the highest score will be announced at the conference
as the best European broadband projects for 2007...only projects that have
been financed either through full public funding or public-private
partnerships (PPPs) will be considered..
* Each speaker is invited to make a presentation of a maximum of 10
minutes. There will also be an opportunity for further interventions
during the Q&A component of the session.
so here is my abstract
Franz Nahrada: "A radical vision of the European advantage: villages and
1. The proposition of this speech is that the European natural and
cultural heritage consisting of landscapes, villages and small towns is
the main factor that puts Europe in the most favorable position among all
2. The beauty and sustainability of this European advantage is rooted in 2
* the fractality in which urban functions have been miniaturized and
adopted to the size and the specifics of the remotest regions, maintaining
a continuum and equilibrum between the urban and the rural.
* the vitality in which human settlement patterns have made use of and
were embedded in an intensive dialogue with nature.
3. The industrial revolution has to a certain extent disrupted, but also
intensified the relation between the urban and the rural. It brought about
heavy urbanisation, but it also created homogeneous infrastructures and
improved means of communication. The city seemed to be the eventual winner
in the race of competition for people and resources, rural areas seemed to
become agonized and in need to be subsidized. This was true until recently
things changed dramatically when we saw the emergence of successful rural
regions and at the same time regions of industrial decline.
4. Major technological, economical and political trends are not only the
roots but continue to support those new developments. The rural systems of
fractal relations between landscapes, villages and small towns is apt to
assimilate the imminent changes in the best possible way:
* The shift towards renewable resources.
* The shift towards miniaturized and much more intelligent (=
multipurpose) systems of production.
* The emergence of dedicated local economic systems balancing the
limits of competition.
* The increased potentials of global cooperation, like the Open Source
* A new focus on health and quality of life.
* A new focus on values and cultural creativity at least in some
segments of the population calling for manifestation.
5. So the scene is set for a broadband strategy that links to the systemic
potential of the areas it connects, rather then seeing it just as an
ultrafast stream of bits. We need to think about
* reinventing the rural habitat (= the village, the small town and its
hinterland) so it can facilitate people with urban needs and skills and
fulfill the promise of the changes mentioned before.
* starting an education revolution around local education providers (=
places of access, encounter and learning) backed up by networks of
knowledge and information provision, due to the fact that the new
technological and economical guidelines require much more knowledge and
insight than any previous system.
* Understand the fundamental differences between rural and urban areas
in terns of competition versus co-operation. In rural areas, a few people
are charged with many assigments, and the quality of their services is
depending on the degree of cooperation between them.
Examples will be given as time allows.
I would appreciate if you send me compelling images, thoughts and similar
to my private email adress. Of course if you want to discuss things
publically on this list this is also appreciated. Please note that the
speech is not eurocentristic, but aimed to motivate Europe in a new way.
You have written very well. I would add that because of what you have observed, Europe has the additional opportunity to both teach and learn from Africa, which also has a strong combination of rural and urban settings. Yoruba people spent time on their farms and time in the cities each year -- and I have been told of one ancestral farm that fed and clothed 100 people per acre through a form of intensive gardening called heap gardening, that uses 3-foot high mounds with a different combination of varieties on each.
The fractal principle as you describe it is an important insight, and could form the core of an open, mutual form of teaching in which people learn from examples, identify the important aspects of the services provided, and then explore the possibilities for recreating services at each scale, sustainably, in their particular environments.
Then this information can be fed into the Digital Earth portal that will be created after the 5th. International Symposium for Digital Earth (www.isde5.org), coming June 5-9 at U.C. Berkeley. (Join us! -- or check out Bioneers' Internet coverage!) That way everyone in a similar environment can try it out, adapt it, etc. -- another form of fractal behavior, that starts to have an effect like throwing a handful of gravel on a pond -- the waves interact with each other.