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Fw: span low [globalvillages] Let's work together at Social Agriculture

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  • Graham Douglas
    Apologies to these groups for copies not arriving previously as I was not a member then. Graham Douglas www.integrative-thinking.com ... From: Graham Douglas
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 26, 2006
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      Apologies to these groups for copies not arriving previously as I was not a member then.
       
      Graham Douglas
       
       
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, September 27, 2006 8:45 AM
      Subject: Re: span low [globalvillages] Let's work together at Social Agriculture

      Dear Group Members,
       
      Apropos my view about the need for some sort of written governance structure and joint venture contracts, the current exchange on Collaborative Networks and Memes at Value-Networks@... may be worth considering carefully while advancing this project and others. It is so easy for misunderstandings to arise, particularly when people do not know each other apart from virtually. Even with people in these groups it is noticeable those who have met each other, have similar predispositions, have had similar education and training or even come from the same country or continent have more of a common basis for communication than those without such connections. All may be independent thinkers but is this enough or even desirable?
       
      Our society functions on contracts - written and oral - and experience suggests simple written ones at the outset probably cause less trouble than complicated written ones and oral ones.
       
      Graham
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Tuesday, September 26, 2006 8:35 PM
      Subject: Re: span low [globalvillages] Let's work together at Social Agriculture

      Andrius, Steve,

      Actually my personal experiences in relation to agriculture are
      primarily limited to research. One notable asset is my link to George
      Chan who is a great storyteller and has many field experiences. He has
      despite his years been able to engage his network I feel in a unique and
      vibrant way. I have started to convey some of that in the blog i created
      to promote his work http://green. onevillage. tv

      I would suggest that a pattern language be created in terms of
      identifying the desire criteria of these agricultural systems including
      "interdependence" , "localization" , "traceability" and "collective social
      responsibility" and economic viability

      Also I would sugget posting materials on the web that discuss the
      project and the process.

      I would hope also that we not only tell interesting stories in relation
      to sustainable agriculture but also help to make these practices more
      viable and relevant within our network so that we can move ourselves
      towards actually living sustainable lifestyles rather than simply
      talking about them.

      My goals in participating in this project would include:

      1. On a practical level improving my own sustainability
      2. Developing additional funding opportunities for the IF&WMS
      sustainable agriculture project i am now working on
      3. Enabling the organization I am involved with (OVF) to further
      develop itself as consistent with its mission and vision.

      Jeff

      > Here's a few questions that I look to you especially for leadership:
      > A) What are the kinds of information that we should collect? What is
      relevant? Greg wants us to collect personal experiences and also
      objective information regarding the agricultural processes, but what
      might that mean concretely? and how might we organize that, especially
      given our values-crops- practices approach?
      > B) How do we collect and present information in a way that encourages
      people to investigate matters, contribute more observations, and makes
      things more verifiable? We don't want to allow people to manipulate our
      system, for example, by supplying misleading or false information to
      hurt competitors, and we don't want to have to police the system.
      > C) What are the ways that we might open up for people, especially
      customers, to take positive actions to support farmers rather than
      simply buy food and products that may have to be transported from far away.
      >
      > Andrius
      >
      > Andrius Kulikauskas
      > Minciu Sodas
      > http://www.ms. lt
      > ms@...
      > +370 (5) 264 5950
      > +370 (699) 30003
      > Vilnius, Lithuania
      >
      > Hi Andrius,
      >
      > In advance of our Skype call sometime this week, I offer the
      following for
      > your consideration:
      >
      > 1) As the name implies, Social Agriculture is about the relationship of
      > people to the production, processing, logistics, and utilization of food,
      > feed, fuel, fiber, flowers, and "farmaceuticals" (nutriceuticals) . These
      > six provide a topical framework for further, in-depth exploration.
      > 2) Agriculture for Social Justice focuses first on taking care of the
      > providers / producers, followed by responding to the needs of the local
      > communities in which they live, and, lastly, playing into global markets.
      > Current production agriculture practices do the opposite which makes them
      > unjust.
      > 3) The combination of Social Agriculture and Social Justice defines a
      > context in which local sustainability becomes a key value along with
      > environmental sensitivity, and regional / global scalability- -more fodder
      > for consideration.
      > 4) At the heart of what makes these three seemingly disparate goals-local
      > sustainability, environmental sensitivity, and regional / global
      > sensitivity- possible is directly tied to technology getting smaller,
      faster,
      > stronger, embedded, more integrated, and more intelligent with each
      passing
      > moment.
      > 5) Our challenge is to use some of these technological developments to
      > construct a forum and draw upon a set of processes / tools wherein people
      > can better understand conditions surrounding Social Agriculture and
      Social
      > Justice and possibilities for making a difference, agree to frameworks in
      > which they can determine actions to take that will make a difference, and
      > commit to initiate specific actions on a local level that give the
      > frameworks meaning and offer the opportunities for broader learning.
      If we
      > don't get this to the point of action on a local level then its value is
      > abstract and academic, at best, and severely limited in genuine
      helpfulness
      > on the ground (no pun intended!).
      > 6) One of the best motivators to encourage people to gain further
      > understanding, agreement, and commitment is to provide rational,
      relevant,
      > and repeatable metrics or indicators of progress / success that
      illustrate
      > agricultural practices are moving along a continuum of local to
      > environmental to global. In other words, having a standardized scoring
      > system that measures how well agricultural practices in an area are
      > supporting the producers, stabilizing communities, protecting the
      > environment, and offering surplus into regional / global markets will
      give
      > practitioners and advocates a way to articulate what they want to
      > accomplish, assess where they are now, and determine what they want
      to do to
      > move forward.
      > 7) It is at this juncture where having an easy-to-use, uncomplicated to
      > follow, and factual web interface for people in local communities
      possessing
      > all manner of technological know-how and confidence to utilize is
      essential.
      > Such websites / web pages would be setup for communities around the
      world in
      > a wide range of economic / political / social / cultural / geographic
      > realities so that participants can experience how to sustain locally and
      > scale globally while not exacting further damage to the environment
      and even
      > restoring many areas to their original and naturally productive
      conditions.
      > 8) There are business opportunities for people in localities worldwide to
      > setup and maintain these websites. Accuracy of postings and timeliness of
      > updates are critical to the effectiveness of these sites to honestly
      > represent the capacities, capabilities, and conditions in these local
      areas.
      > Since the network builds from the bottom up, the foundation for
      subsequent
      > expansion and scaling--rooted deeply in the sustainability of the
      individual
      > producer--must be secure before going further or people are put at risk.
      > 9) There are different "solutions" for the localization of agriculture in
      > each community. This creates even more business opportunities for
      those who
      > have knowledge in human-scale, community-based agriculture, integrated
      > farming and waste management systems, zero-emissions agricultural
      practices,
      > low-impact / high efficiency logistical systems, etc. AND can transfer /
      > apply that knowledge in a readily accessible manner. This aspect of
      > "solutions" in relationship to the previous points about knowing where
      > communities stand in their capabilities and capacities is crucial.
      Help is
      > defined by the recipient and to know what the recipient needs and respond
      > accordingly is the best way offer value and be useful.
      >
      > There is nothing radical and shocking in these nine points, but they
      do give
      > us a way to frame some of the discussion in the Yahoo! Groups and tie
      > together the various aspects of what you, Greg, and Kevin want to explore
      > and accomplish. Anyway, like I said at the outset we can talk about all
      > this when we Skype later this week.
      >
      > Safe travels and warm regards,
      >
      > Steve B.
      >
      >


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