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Re: Reflection on Worknets and Global Villages

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  • Andrius Kulikauskas
    Franz Nahrada, Thank you for your inspiring letter which includes: * the features the Worknets culture which you find essential * additional assumptions of the
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 5, 2009
      Franz Nahrada,

      Thank you for your inspiring letter which includes:
      * the features the Worknets culture which you find essential
      * additional assumptions of the Global Villages Network
      * intermediary goals
      * immediate goals

      I share your letter more broadly and encourage all of our Worknets leaders to lead us with similar letters.

      Franz, I also imagine that it might be good to describe global villages in terms of their "recurring activity" which is easy to ignore but is I think much more telling than physical structures which may lack life.

      Thank you, Franz!

      Andrius Kulikauskas
      Minciu Sodas



      Dear members of this list,

      by Andrius indefatigable collection of participants for our
      globalvillages, this list is gradually approaching the threshold of 300
      readers - and we still aim at much higher circulation! As Andrius has
      pointed out, the Global Villages Network is happy to be organized
      alongside "worknets principles" and to be in the business to create a new
      culture. I want to give a short account of these principles from a
      subjective view - why I think that its important to recognize the Worknets
      effort - and then discuss actual goals for the Global Villages Movement -
      things that I ask for your contributions.


      The general features of this new culture that is emerging and finally
      might be captured in a Worknets charter seem to be the following for me:

      1. All our work is based and focused on the work of creative, dedicated
      individuals who follow their deepest values and strive to share their work
      with others who do the same. We arrive at a point in history where finally
      the individual is really in focus, not as abstract being, but as a special
      contributor to a wealth of contributions.
      2. We seek the voluntary collaboration and community with those who
      encourage us and make us grow in the perseverance of our goals, as much as
      we seek to encourage others. This is true in the global and the local
      scale, although at the beginning it might be much easier to find such
      resonance in the Internet than in our physical surrounding. Without this
      resonance we cannot work.
      3. We deeply miss in the current educational system a sensitivity for such
      individual "calling" and a system of encouragement to reach our highest
      possibities and attain answers for our actual questions.
      4. We want therefore decide to create a mutual support system to challenge
      each other and hold us accountable for what we have declared as our
      central personal values - rather than follow abstract belief systems. We
      wish everybody to succeed. We think that this will lead us to the "best of
      all possible worlds".
      5. We value science and competence as elements that are indispensible
      steps of mastering our goal. We feel that every goalsetting unveils
      questions that we cannot currently answer and things that we cannot yet
      do. Knowing and artfulness are universal goals. We want everybody to learn
      and know more. We already know that we live far below our possibilities.
      6. Our contribution as "Worknets" to the emerging world of peer production
      and commons is a network of "embedded mentoring" and constant productive
      dialogue. We see the personal relations that help us grow as necessary
      contribution; as well as individual responsibility and leadership. We want
      everybody to grow into leadership.
      7. Our goal is also to reach out to the ones that are hard to reach. The
      proof of our concept is a world where nobody is left out.
      8. We do not limit ourselves to any particular culture, ideology or
      religion, but we appreciate the sense of transcendence that is the base to
      all these phenomena: that the human nature is by its very nature bound to
      seeking durabilty and meaning beyond our limited individual vanishing
      lives. God is no delusion, but a form in which this search for our true
      self appears.
      9. We want to build an infrastructure to facilitate not only the
      communicative process, but the process of living out or goals. The
      infrastructure will be informational, but it will also be physical. An
      important part of this infrastructure will be Global Villages.


      Having said this, I want to focus on the special goals of the Global
      Villages Network based on the following underlying assumptions:

      1. We think that the biggest requirement of our time is to rebalance our
      lifestyle with the planet we are living with; in particular this means a
      physical transformation from a world of large industrial and
      administrative centers to a cellular-fractal world of highly sophisticated

      2. We do not want to loose the achievements of science and technology, of
      culture and art; rather we want to manifest them in physical spaces that
      represent more and more perfect encounters of the cultural and the
      underlying natural. By going deeper into the nature of things we have
      discovered that nature is nothing that we can just leave behind us, but in
      itself an incredibly complex technological system, a web of life that
      transcends many of our highest technological and artistic abilities in
      ingenuity, sustainability, perfection and usefulness. The village is an
      environment in which these two layers - nature and culture - can coexist
      and influence each other in the best possible way. Aligning ourselves with
      nature is the best and most productive way we can overcome boundaries; it
      is not the boundaries of nature that are hindering us but our limited
      understanding of nature and its creativity. Whilst the dominating monetary
      economies have led to narrow-scaled costly battles for shrinking buying
      power in the short-term cyclical consumption game and abandoned and
      exploited everything which could be made productive in the long run,
      Global Villages are directly linked to the constant long-term regeneration
      of natural environments. Permaculture has proven hat humans can largely
      enhance and support natural systems instead of distorting or destroying
      them, an activity which results in the creation of really sustainable

      3. By the very same means the village is also the perfect environment to
      represent our diverse cultural designs; it allows people to live and
      breathe locally alongside shared values, whilst not hindering other people
      in other villages in realizing theirs. An unprecedented culture of
      reconciliation and coesistence between formerly hostile cultures can
      result out of this, but also a positive competition of entirely different
      solutions to common problems. Moving out of each others way will not
      require heavy migration, just maybe a little relocation. Many cities have
      successfully drawn their strength from this pattern, as Christopher
      Alexander describes in "a network of subcultures".


      So there result some intermediary goals:

      1. Make the concept of a Global Village clearer and operationalize it in
      the most simplest way. So the proposed formula is: a Global Village is
      simply and basically the synergetic relationship between a local learning
      center with access to global knowledge (Telecenter, Hub, Library, ...) on
      one side with a local environment in which this knowledge can be applied,
      tested, enhanced on the other side. A Global Village needs to be
      resourceful in access to the world of information and culture, as well as
      it needs to be resourceful in access to local resources, material -
      energetical cycles, inhabitants, processes, biotopes etc. The purpose of a
      Global Village is to provide a high quality, healthy, satisfactory, secure
      and sustainable lifestyle to its inhabitants and improve and densify the
      local life process.

      2. Paradoxically, the main means to accelerate this process is to increase
      the number of likeminded places around the world. Because of the enormous
      knowledge and ingenuity needed to fulfill their task, Global Villages have
      a strong positive interest in the growth of partner villages around the
      world, a positive virtuos cycle that we see eventually ending in their
      becoming the dominant form of human community of this planet - something
      which seems almost crazy to predict today when we are still hardly at the
      end of a self-supporting depopulation wave towards and in favor of big
      cities. It is therefore very important especially today to start creating
      and showing more and more examples of this reversal trend. It is not
      important to focus on quantity today, but on the quality of design and the
      scope of cooperative and generative activities. Global Villages of today
      are "pioneer plants" .

      3. Creating the infrastructure and the technology to make these villages
      co-developing and co-producing. We need virtual design boards for machines
      and devices that can be assembled locally, we need the tools and the
      regenerative skills to obtain local materials for assembly and production,
      as we need design languages to facilitate effective cooperation on complex
      issues. We need ways to quickly and effectively assign tasks in a virtual
      division of labour, and we need basic life maintainance agreements to free
      our designing ingenuity from the individual struggle for survival. We need
      to exchange and evaluate different forms of local economic organisation,
      be it monetary or non-monetary. We need to empower people who have not yet
      discovered this potential to cross the digital divide in their
      own,special, particular way. The healer, the baker, the shoemaker, the
      artist, the thinker, the singer, the resource broker .... everyone has the
      opportunity and the challenge to develop their individual talent and
      contribution in allignment with global cultural communities that support
      competence and passion.


      So the immediate goals could be

      1. to identify learning centers that have the potential to feed into a
      village and on the other hand villages that have the potential to generate
      a learning center. We might want to make a difference between these two
      approaches, because the first one is more focussed on "germs" and smaller
      institutions (or even single people!) that bring a larger potential to a
      locality, whilst the second one is focusing on communities and large,
      official institutions, regional features, achievements etc.

      2. to develop and deliver a criteria catalogue for BOTH appoaches without
      confusing them.

      3. To turn this into a questionaire because the potential GlobalVillages
      all over the world are lining up!

      see also: http://www.worknets.org/wiki.cgi?GlobalVillages/Principles

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