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Re: [globalvillages] Re: Synergy team for Mornflake research of UK online communities/Research vs Product Pitch

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  • Janet Feldman
    Dear Andrius, Leon, Kevin, and All, When you first posted about this opportunity, Andrius, I thought we were going to do research about online communities (and
    Message 1 of 6 , Apr 18, 2009
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      Dear Andrius, Leon, Kevin, and All,

      When you first posted about this opportunity, Andrius, I thought we were
      going to do research about online communities (and perhaps physical ones
      too) to whom Mornflake could pitch its products, much as we did for the
      Chocolate project. In fact, the subject line indicates just that.

      What you have described below sounds much more like we are pitching the
      product itself, and that makes me extremely concerned. I think one of our
      strengths is research, but "commercialization" of same is another matter
      entirely.

      "We" are such a diverse group of people and organizations, though many of us
      do care about similar things: helping one another, health of the
      environment, sustainable development, peace, personal and interpersonal
      growth, poverty amelioration/eradication, human rights.

      I'm sure many of us support the organic movement, and "go organic" ourselves
      in our personal shopping. I'm therefore enthusiastic about us doing research
      for a company that has had an organic focus for over 400 years!

      However, making videos ourselves to promote this product--and mentioning
      Mornflake in much of our social-networking work during this next month--is a
      very different matter. How many of us have even eaten Mornflakes? If Nafsi
      helps to promote Mornflakes, will Mornflakes (the company) donate some of
      the cereal so they can taste it, before they promote it? Will they donate an
      ongoing supply to Nafsi, or to markets in Kenya?

      These are serious questions, as are Kevin's concerns, and I think we are
      making a huge leap into something that honestly requires much more
      discussion. Again, "research" about possible markets for Mornflake is one
      thing: we have done this before with the Chocolate project and the
      MyFoodStory project. But actual promotion of a product is an entirely
      different matter.

      I do not mean to throw a damper on anyone's enthusiasm, and I'm delighted
      that we are working with Leon! Also, funds are badly needed by many of us,
      and that is another important aspect to consider. However, there are other
      values to weigh in the mix of all this, and other considerations.

      This is something that we may need to address in the Worknets context,
      because there are links here to "cultures" and "sub-cultures". There are
      times when there will be synergies between Minciu Sodas as a for-profit
      business, for example, and the nonprofit work that many of us do. However,
      there are times when those may come into conflict in some way. This may be
      one of those times. What do "we" as a collective do then?

      If I have misunderstood where you (Andrius, Andrius and Leon) are coming
      from or what you are asking of us here, my apologies. But if I have
      understood correctly--that some of us are being asked not just to do
      research but to promote a product--then I believe that requires more
      consideration and discussion.

      With all best wishes and blessings, Janet





      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Andrius Kulikauskas" <ms@...>
      To: <globalvillages@yahoogroups.com>; <livingbytruth@yahoogroups.com>;
      <earthtreasury@yahoogroups.com>; "learningfromeachother"
      <learningfromeachother@yahoogroups.com>; <voiceful@yahoogroups.com>
      Sent: Saturday, April 18, 2009 9:31 AM
      Subject: [globalvillages] Re: Synergy team for Mornflake research of UK
      online communities


      > Vinay Gupta wrote:
      >> Can you give me two or three concrete statements on what you might
      >> want in terms of support from us?
      >>
      >> Vinay
      > -----------------
      >
      > Andrius
      >
      > I would feel privileged to be part of that team. I'll think about the
      > "word" from me and how I might contribute at this stage.
      >
      > Kevin [Parcell]
      >
      > ------------------
      >
      > Hi Vinay, Kevin and all,
      >
      > My wish for our Mornflake research Strategy Team is that they be our
      > source of contagious enthusiasm. I want to leverage your natural
      > enthusiasm for whatever you are championing (such as Sun Money,
      > Hexayurt, DIY Solar, Peace Tiles, Attachab ecovillage, etc.). By
      > supporting your endeavors, I think we lay the groundwork for Mornflake
      > cereal to benefit from the online networks we resonate with. Minciu
      > Sodas's work (for Leon Benjamin of the London advertising agency The
      > Law Firm) is simply to create a directory of UK online communities that
      > would help identify the best ones for promoting a Mornflake online video
      > contest. Leon and I believe that we can get the best response if we
      > focus first on what people are truly, personally passionate about.
      > Those who would respond to Sun Money, Hexayurt, Attachab ecovillage and
      > other endeavors are those who who might be supportive of Leon Benjamin,
      > The Law Firm, and Mornflake as well, as supporters of our outreach
      > work. They aren't asking for much, just to encourage the creation of
      > videos which mention Mornflake in whatever context and see which, if
      > any, might spread virally, and all are welcome to benefit from the
      > videos as well.
      >
      > Concretely, I ask Strategy Team members to:
      > * Write, What are you passionate about? (Such as: Hexayurt or Open
      > Source Textbooks or Edmonton Reconciliation Centre)
      > * And why? (What are your values behind your passion? What is your
      > belief or reasoning? What do you stand for?)
      > * What challenges, if any, are you facing?
      > * How can people around the world support you?
      > * What online venues are best for working with you?
      > * In particular, in what ways might UK online community members help you
      > or others like you?
      > * What links would you like with UK online communities?
      > I ask that:
      > * You encourage us to post your answers and you do so likewise at your
      > sites.
      > * You respond kindly to those we link with you and include them in your
      > work where you can.
      > * You make an effort to be sympathetic to and supportive of all of the
      > endeavors the Strategy Team represents.
      > * You accept and acknowledge the help that we might offer for your
      > endeavors (such as online assistants from Africa or Easter Europe) and
      > help us devise useful ($100) projects that they might do for you.
      > * You consider and suggest how videos of your work might help advance
      > your own work.
      > * You share with us and all, in the Public Domain, such videos and video
      > material.
      > * You encourage us to produce and promote videos related to your
      > endeavors.
      > * You encourage us to promote these videos as part of our outreach to UK
      > online communities.
      > * Throughout your online work this next month, you let people know that
      > you're participating in and supporting this Mornflake outreach effort,
      > that you are benefiting and that others can, too.
      > * This next month, you mention Mornflake in as much of your online work
      > as you can.
      >
      > We'll keep writing, but I hope you see that we (and Mornflake) can all
      > benefit by promoting and supporting you, your values and your
      > endeavors. I'm asking you to be "true fans" of yourself, and by
      > extension, of others like you, and of your supporters, including Minciu
      > Sodas and Mornflake cereal http://www.mornflake.com
      >
      > Does that help?
      >
      > Andrius
      >
      > Andrius Kulikauskas
      > Minciu Sodas
      > http://www.ms.lt
      > ms@...
      > +370 699 30003
      > Vilnius, Lithuania
      >
      >
      > ------------------------------------
      >
      > Each letter sent to globalvillages@yahoogroups.com enters the PUBLIC
      > DOMAIN whenever it does not state otherwise.
      > http://www.ethicalpublicdomain.orgYahoo! Groups Links
      >
      >
      >


      --------------------------------------------------------------------------------



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    • Andrius Kulikauskas
      So, right now, you re building up an index of people who are publicly committed to *things* - causes of whatever kind. Could you explain the leveraging
      Message 2 of 6 , Apr 18, 2009
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        So, right now, you're building up an index of people who are publicly
        committed to *things* - causes of whatever kind. Could you explain the
        "leveraging credibility" bit a little more? Vinay

        -------------------------

        Vinay, Janet,

        Thank you for your letters, which I share above and below.

        It is complicated... I am trying to create a "parallel universe" of
        souls (with self-directed motiavtions) in a soulless world (where it's
        all about money). I will try to explain this work as a story with
        characters.

        Mornflake is a breakfast cereal company that traces its roots to miller
        William Lea in 1675 in Cheshire and is owned by his descendents.
        http://www.mornflake.com/about/history.html
        The company mills lots of oats for generic brands, but it's not well
        known. The leadership (perhaps John Lea) decided to make their brand
        known through the UK.

        "The Mornflake brand of premium value for money oat-based cereals is
        relaunched [January 2009] with a series of innovative new products, and
        a new logo and packaging identity across the entire range.... have
        initially committed a seven-figure investment to the range and brand
        development and a major communications campaign comprising press ads, on
        pack promotions and a consumer PR programme. ... "At Mornflake we have
        chosen for many generations to concentrate on milling the finest
        product, rather than just marketing snappy consumer propositions. I
        suppose this means that we have to a certain extent ‘hidden our light
        under a bushel'. But we've come to the conclusion that in 2009 we should
        express what we do a little more dynamically. British consumers are
        focussing on value and honest, healthy food options and we think that
        people will want to hear more about what we do."
        http://www.talkingretail.com/products/product-news/11912-mornflake-oat-based-cereals-relaunched.html

        Mornflake hired The Law Firm, an advertising agency in London owned by
        Andy Law. Leon Benjamin works there as Head of Digital Strategy. They
        developed a strategy to hold an online contest to encourage the creation
        of online videos promoting Mornflake. The winner would be the video that
        received the most hits at Facebook. The hope is among the thousands of
        videos created there would be one or more that would be "viral" in its
        popularity, reaching perhaps millions of people. It's not to sell
        product, but simply to make Mornflake known.

        Leon Benjamin is the author of "Winning by Sharing" and a fan of Minciu
        Sodas. In London, he met twice with us and mentioned to me that he might
        have a research project for me. We spoke on Monday. He wanted me to
        create a directory of UK online communities with information that would
        let them know which ones might be the best venues for finding
        participants for the video contest. In principle, I could do this myself.

        Given that Leon understands and appreciates Minciu Sodas, we quickly
        thought through many possibilities.
        * The research could be done by Minciu Sodas, not just me.
        * Our directory can be in the Public Domain.
        * We can understand which communities are receptive by having our team
        members sign up and ask their leaders.
        * People would be much more interested in making videos about their own
        concerns; and such videos have a greater chance of going viral; and for
        the purpose of making Mornflake's name known, so long as the Mornflake
        name appears, they may be as good or better than promotional videos.
        * In order to have viral videos, it would be good to motivate
        communities, not just selfish individuals; communities often have a
        harder time getting resources than individuals; many creative people
        might be more driven if part of the winnings went to their community.

        So there are three levels to this work:
        * "What we are paid for": to create a directory with 500 online
        communities and engage 100 of them to gauge their potential interest.
        * "What benefits The Law Firm": they want to encourage the creation of
        videos that go viral; so it helps if we can sort out communities that
        might truly be interested; and if we provide good will which they might
        leverage to encourage the communities and their participants to
        contribute their creativity to this contest.
        * "What benefits us": we want to gain not just money but make this
        directory available in the Public Domain to ourselves and others; to
        build relationships with others who might care about us; to focus our
        work especially on those UK online communities that are relevant to our
        endeavors; to develop a win-win-win service where Mornflake, The Law
        Firm, Leon Benjamin, the UK online communities, Minciu Sodas and our
        participants all benefit in this example and to get more such work.

        Leon is supportive, I am motivated and all of this is possible.

        I'm in a situation where the nature of Mornflake is not important to me.
        I need work and I would help just about any company. I don't intend to
        judge them. Instead, the more that I can work as I prefer, the more I
        will apply my creativity to help them.

        Monday I will myself start collecting some data about UK online
        communities, as an example of what we want. Samwel Kongere, Dennis
        Kimambo, Sasha Mrkailo and Tomas Cepaitis will be our team leaders and
        each will be responsible to find at least 125 online communities and
        engage 25 of them. We'll use our Worknets wiki and this coming week I
        will improve it for easy form editing.

        What can we do with this opportunity that is above and beyond just money
        and "deliverables"? That is what I want to know from all of us. That's
        what give this work meaning to me.

        For example, Samwel Kongere (along with Tom Ochuka and Kenneth Chelimo)
        is organizing a conference in Kisumu, Kenya on local sustainability in
        agriculture and tourism. I want us to support their efforts, especially
        by helping them develop and pursue their ideas. As we do our Mornflake
        research, we can look for communities interested in such questions, and
        we can raise these questions as we engage them. This can actually build
        meaningful relationships between us and others. And in that context it
        becomes natural to ask for help to benefit Mornflake who makes this
        outreach possible, but especially because the videos we and others
        create might primarily promote our own interests. It may be enough just
        to mention Mornflake. And our good projects reflect well on Mornflake
        and help make them known.

        The more such endeavors we can support, the more types of online
        communities we can reach out to, the more ways we can engage and
        encourage people. We're creating a self-standing hub of real interest
        and concrete examples that can ripple out to encourage a much wider
        circle of people to participate in the video contest.

        Edward Cherlin will lead our Synergy team that will keep strategizing
        and suggesting where we should put our resources so that we all benefit
        - our participants, the UK online communities and Mornflake.

        What I'm asking for, as I stated in my questions, is sincere leadership
        about our personal priorities that we might organize around. Your
        priorities (Sun Money, Hexayurt, Global Villages, Open Source Textbooks,
        Internet access) can drive our strategy. We can support any endeavors,
        we just need to know which ones. Your genuine interest and your
        inclusion of others is the social credibility that we have when we do
        outreach to other communities. This is what I'm asking our Synergy team,
        is to be credible in your passion and encourage us to leverage that
        credibility as we engage others. You make our network credible and,
        ultimately, that credibility is what I'm offering.

        Knowing your priorities, we also have credibility by helping you in
        small and large ways, but I think it makes sense for us to make some
        sample videos just to show that we understand what that means and we can
        share examples of the possibilities and we can invite and engage others.

        I want to involve as many of us as possible in earning money (which is
        good practice in working together) but also helping each other in other
        ways, for example, providing support for projects including online
        assistants, or steering our resources as makes sense.

        The end result is a "parallel world" where we engage each other not
        simply through money, but as independent thinkers, whether within our
        network, or other online communities, or The Law Firm or Mornflake. If
        we can work this way, then I think we will impact Mornflake and all we
        touch.

        Does this help?

        Andrius

        Andrius Kulikauskas
        Minciu Sodas
        http://www.ms.lt
        ms@...
        +370 699 30003
        Vilnius, Lithuania

        -----------------------------------------

        Dear Andrius, Leon, Kevin, and All,

        When you first posted about this opportunity, Andrius, I thought we were
        going to do research about online communities (and perhaps physical ones
        too) to whom Mornflake could pitch its products, much as we did for the
        Chocolate project. In fact, the subject line indicates just that.

        What you have described below sounds much more like we are pitching the
        product itself, and that makes me extremely concerned. I think one of our
        strengths is research, but "commercialization" of same is another matter
        entirely.

        "We" are such a diverse group of people and organizations, though many
        of us
        do care about similar things: helping one another, health of the
        environment, sustainable development, peace, personal and interpersonal
        growth, poverty amelioration/eradication, human rights.

        I'm sure many of us support the organic movement, and "go organic"
        ourselves
        in our personal shopping. I'm therefore enthusiastic about us doing
        research
        for a company that has had an organic focus for over 400 years!

        However, making videos ourselves to promote this product--and mentioning
        Mornflake in much of our social-networking work during this next
        month--is a
        very different matter. How many of us have even eaten Mornflakes? If Nafsi
        helps to promote Mornflakes, will Mornflakes (the company) donate some of
        the cereal so they can taste it, before they promote it? Will they
        donate an
        ongoing supply to Nafsi, or to markets in Kenya?

        These are serious questions, as are Kevin's concerns, and I think we are
        making a huge leap into something that honestly requires much more
        discussion. Again, "research" about possible markets for Mornflake is one
        thing: we have done this before with the Chocolate project and the
        MyFoodStory project. But actual promotion of a product is an entirely
        different matter.

        I do not mean to throw a damper on anyone's enthusiasm, and I'm delighted
        that we are working with Leon! Also, funds are badly needed by many of us,
        and that is another important aspect to consider. However, there are other
        values to weigh in the mix of all this, and other considerations.

        This is something that we may need to address in the Worknets context,
        because there are links here to "cultures" and "sub-cultures". There are
        times when there will be synergies between Minciu Sodas as a for-profit
        business, for example, and the nonprofit work that many of us do. However,
        there are times when those may come into conflict in some way. This may be
        one of those times. What do "we" as a collective do then?

        If I have misunderstood where you (Andrius, Andrius and Leon) are coming
        from or what you are asking of us here, my apologies. But if I have
        understood correctly--that some of us are being asked not just to do
        research but to promote a product--then I believe that requires more
        consideration and discussion.

        With all best wishes and blessings, Janet
      • Edward Cherlin
        ... A pleasure. ... I accept. -- Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name And Children
        Message 3 of 6 , Apr 19, 2009
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          On Fri, Apr 17, 2009 at 2:22 PM, Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...> wrote:
          > Edward,
          >
          > I am grateful for your help and leadership with our online research.

          A pleasure.

          > I
          > will speak tomorrow evening with Leon Benjamin and I will also write
          > more about the data we'll be collecting.  We actually do use Worknets in
          > some ways successfully as a database and I can adapt it further I think
          > for our needs.  I will now have time for that, tonight I just opened my
          > first art show!
          > http://www.flickr.com/photos/50525222@N00/
          >
          > Edward, my feeling is that you might lead our "synergy team" with the
          > goal of making sure that all of our work, our research, our networking
          > has long term value for our lab's participants and their endeavors.

          I accept.

          --
          Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
          And Children are my nation.
          The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.
          http://earthtreasury.org/worknet (Edward Mokurai Cherlin)
        • Edward Cherlin
          ... I have the Free Digital Textbooks. We need writers for every school subject, and some that are not. Also editors, artists, programmers...See
          Message 4 of 6 , Apr 19, 2009
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            On Sat, Apr 18, 2009 at 6:31 AM, Andrius Kulikauskas <ms@...> wrote:

            > Concretely, I ask Strategy Team members to:
            > * Write, What are you passionate about? (Such as: Hexayurt or Open
            > Source Textbooks or Edmonton Reconciliation Centre)

            I have the Free Digital Textbooks. We need writers for every school
            subject, and some that are not. Also editors, artists,
            programmers...See

            http://www.earthtreasury.org/worknet for the outline of the global plan, and
            http://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Creating_textbooks for the education component.

            I will be happy to answer questions.

            > * And why? (What are your values behind your passion? What is your
            > belief or reasoning? What do you stand for?)

            Core value: truth. Vision: the end of poverty and oppression, and
            perhaps war. Mission: Whatever is required to get every child an
            education using a computer, appropriate software, and an Internet
            link. No voice should go unheard.

            > * What challenges, if any, are you facing?

            Apart from technical issues around renewable power, broadband
            Internet, learning materials, and microfinance, we need enough funding
            to reach self-sustaining growth; people to take charge of the
            essential issues, including recruiting NGO and business partners and
            dealing with governments and aid agencies; and a whole lot more in
            that vein.

            > * How can people around the world support you?

            The information is available from my Wiki page at Sugarlabs, and will
            soon be available on the Earth Treasury Web site. Join the Earth
            Treasury mailing list, and tell us what you would like to do and what
            you are good at. Whatever that is, we need it.

            > * What online venues are best for working with you?

            Wikis, mailing lists, Wiser Earth, LinkedIn...It will all be on the Web site.

            > * In particular, in what ways might UK online community members help you
            > or others like you?

            Think Commonwealth, as in Commonwealth of Learning (col.org), and
            appropriate technology, as in the Schumacher Institute (I was living
            in Northumberland when Small is Beautiful came out) and talk to us
            about your networks. If you are an immigrant, talk to us about
            wherever you came from.

            > * What links would you like with UK online communities?

            All of the above.

            > I ask that:
            > * You encourage us to post your answers and you do so likewise at your
            > sites.
            > * You respond kindly to those we link with you and include them in your
            > work where you can.
            > * You make an effort to be sympathetic to and supportive of all of the
            > endeavors the Strategy Team represents.
            > * You accept and acknowledge the help that we might offer for your
            > endeavors (such as online assistants from Africa or Eastern Europe) and
            > help us devise useful ($100) projects that they might do for you.

            I have endless research projects that simply require the ability to
            use a browser and a search engine, and to past data into the
            appropriate page. For example, we need links to every Ministry of
            Education in the world, the 50 state Departments of Education in the
            US, and every curriculum standard from a government or a subject
            matter expert organization such as National Council of Teachers of
            Mathematics. We also need links to every independent education
            movement: Montessori, Sudbury, etc. Even the Creationist
            home-schoolers.

            > * You consider and suggest how videos of your work might help advance
            > your own work.

            There is one linked from my Sugarlabs Wiki page. Christian Einfeldt is
            doing a large video project, the Digial Tipping Point, on the progress
            of Free Software and other community approaches to so-called
            Intellectual Property.

            > * You share with us and all, in the Public Domain, such videos and video
            > material.

            Has The Law Firm agreed to this in the case of videos any of us might
            make for them?

            There is no such legal operation in US law as placing works in the
            Public Domain, which consists only of works created without copyright
            (something that only governments can do) or whose copyright has
            expired.

            http://creativecommons.org/weblog/entry/13304

            Expanding the Public Domain: Part Zero
            Diane Peters, March 11th, 2009

            Creative Commons has spent a lot of time over the past year or so
            strategizing, and worrying, about the current state of the public
            domain and its future...Unfortunately, the law makes it virtually
            impossible to waive the copyright automatically bestowed on
            creators...CC0 (read “CC Zero”) is a universal waiver that may be used
            by anyone wishing to permanently surrender the copyright and database
            rights they may have in a work, thereby placing it as nearly as
            possible into the public domain.

            http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode

            To the greatest extent permitted by, but not in contravention of,
            applicable law, Affirmer hereby overtly, fully, permanently,
            irrevocably and unconditionally waives, abandons, and surrenders all
            of Affirmer's Copyright and Related Rights and associated claims and
            causes of action, whether now known or unknown (including existing as
            well as future claims and causes of action), in the Work (i) in all
            territories worldwide, (ii) for the maximum duration provided by
            applicable law or treaty (including future time extensions), (iii) in
            any current or future medium and for any number of copies, and (iv)
            for any purpose whatsoever, including without limitation commercial,
            advertising or promotional purposes (the "Waiver"). Affirmer makes the
            Waiver for the benefit of each member of the public at large and to
            the detriment of Affirmer's heirs and successors, fully intending that
            such Waiver shall not be subject to revocation, rescission,
            cancellation, termination, or any other legal or equitable action to
            disrupt the quiet enjoyment of the Work by the public as contemplated
            by Affirmer's express Statement of Purpose.

            We can discuss GPL, Creative Commons Sharealike, and Creative Commons
            CC0 (as few rights reserved as legally possible).

            http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/legalcode

            Andrius has explained to me that he wants to make the claim of
            releasing documents into the public domain as a moral statement,
            regardless of current law. I am willing to have some materials treated
            in this way, but I insist that my own independent work has a legally
            effective license. I work with organizations that require specific
            licenses for materials they accept. Licensing policy is a factor in
            whom I choose to work with.

            > * You encourage us to produce and promote videos related to your endeavors.
            > * You encourage us to promote these videos as part of our outreach to UK
            > online communities.
            > * Throughout your online work this next month, you let people know that
            > you're participating in and supporting this Mornflake outreach effort,
            > that you are benefiting and that others can, too.
            > * This next month, you mention Mornflake in as much of your online work
            > as you can.
            >
            > We'll keep writing, but I hope you see that we (and Mornflake) can all
            > benefit by promoting and supporting you, your values and your
            > endeavors.  I'm asking you to be "true fans" of yourself, and by
            > extension, of others like you, and of your supporters, including Minciu
            > Sodas and Mornflake cereal http://www.mornflake.com
            >
            > Does that help?
            >
            > Andrius
            >
            > Andrius Kulikauskas
            > Minciu Sodas
            > http://www.ms.lt
            > ms@...
            > +370 699 30003
            > Vilnius, Lithuania
            >
            >
            > ------------------------------------
            >
            > Please note our rule: Each letter sent here enters the Public Domain unless it explicitly notes otherwise. In case your legal system does not recognize this claim, you may use these letters under CC0 — "No Rights Reserved". http://creativecommons.org/about/cc0
            >
            > Yahoo! Groups Links
            >
            >
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            --
            Silent Thunder (默雷/धर्ममेघशब्दगर्ज/دھرممیگھشبدگر ج) is my name
            And Children are my nation.
            The Cosmos is my dwelling place, The Truth my destination.
            http://earthtreasury.org/worknet (Edward Mokurai Cherlin)
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