Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Open Letter to Green Party Representatives (Subject: Tipping Point Action Campaign)

The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative provides research for critical challenge alerts, and support for collaborative problem solving initiatives which seek to maximize citizen participation.

Beginning in December, 2013 The CPCS Initiative launched a new and comprehensive campaign called “Tipping Point Action: Citizen Participation in Times of Unprecedented Challenges”.

As a way of sharing information about the Tipping Point Action Campaign, I have included in this post the text of a 4 page outreach document titled “Open Letter to Green Party Representatives (Subject: Tipping Point Action Campaign)” (see below).

That “Open Letter…” is a primary outreach document for the Tipping Point Action Campaign, and includes the following sections:

Tipping Point Action: Citizen Participation in Times of Unprecedented Challenges
Why the Sense of Urgency?
Key Documents
Outreach to the Green Party—the potential to scale up campaigns quickly
Training Organizers and Facilitators for Tipping Point Action
Concluding Comments

Here is an excerpt from the “Open Letter…”:

"What we could have—and what we truly need at this critical time—are collaborative problem solving processes which help citizens understand that the investments of time, energy, and money (the 'votes') each of us make in our everyday circumstances become the larger economy. And that wisely directed, such 'votes' can result in countless ways of earning a living which contribute to the peacebuilding, community revitalization, and ecological sustainability efforts necessary to overcome the challenges of our times."

The Tipping Point Action Campaign webpage (at http://cpcsc.info/tipping-point-action/ ) provides access to 11 key documents (including the “Open Letter…”)—and provides a link to a 13 minute documentary titled “Chattanooga: A Community with a Vision”. That documentary provides many personal interviews and how-to details associated with two very successful Community Visioning Initiatives (one in 1984, and a follow-up in 1993). The 1984 Chattanooga Community Visioning Project (“Vision 2000”) attracted more than 1,700 participants, and produced 40 community goals—which resulted in the implementation of 223 projects and programs, the creation of 1,300 permanent jobs, and a total financial investment of 793 million dollars.

I invite readers of this message to make use of any of the ideas, documents, resources, etc of The CPCS Initiative. l welcome questions, comments, suggestions, etc.

The complete text of the “Open Letter to Green Party Representatives (Subject: Tipping Point Action Campaign)” is provided below.

Open Letter to Green Party Representatives
(Subject: Tipping Point Action Campaign)

from Stefan Pasti, Resource Coordinator
The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative

I am writing to you to share information and resources relating to the Tipping Point Action Campaign, a new campaign of The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative (at www.cpcsc.info).

Tipping Point Action: Citizen Participation in Times of Unprecedented Challenges

The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative provides research for critical challenge alerts, and support for collaborative problem solving initiatives which seek to maximize citizen participation.

Beginning in December, 2013 The CPCS Initiative launched a new and comprehensive campaign called “Tipping Point Action: Citizen Participation in Times of Unprecedented Challenges”.

There are many initiatives which are a part of this campaign: Planetary Distress Signal Campaign; 1000 Community Visioning Initiatives Campaign; Preliminary Survey Development (in preparation for Community Visioning Initiatives); CPCS Campaigns Discussion Forum; Community Visioning Initiatives Clearinghouse; Neighborhood Learning Centers Clearinghouse; Community Good News Networks; Spiritual Friendships; and 24/7 Peace Vigils. [In addition, many initiatives and projects will be created or assisted by the above initiatives. More details about these campaigns/initiatives are provided in the current primary outreach document for the campaign (a 5 page introduction)—see link below.]

The primary goal of the Tipping Point Action Campaign is to encourage citizens from every variety of circumstances to help create, become involved, contribute to, and participate in one or more of the thousands of Community Visioning Initiatives (or similar stakeholder engagement/collaborative problem solving processes designed to maximize citizen participation) which will be needed to exponentially accelerate solution-oriented activity at this critical time.

Why the Sense of Urgency?

We are at a critical point in the evolution of life on Planet Earth.

One way of describing the convergence of critical challenges now occurring is provided by “A List of Ten Critical Challenges” (1 page), by this writer. That one page document is a condensation of evidence from many documents, some of which are listed on the Planetary Distress Signal (PDS) Campaign webpage (at http://cpcsc.info/planetary-distress-signal-campaign/ ). Unfortunately, much of the evidence of unprecedented challenges ahead does not seem to be “coming through the mist as much as it should be”. A sense of urgency appropriate to the evidence just doesn’t appear in most public discourse.

As a way of helping the evidence “come through the mist”, this writer created the document “Invitation Package for Possible Board of Advisors (at www.cpcsc.info )” (589 pages; 3.65 MB) (a key CPCS Initiative document). Many of the sections in the “Invitation Package” document are in a “compilation of excerpts” format—excerpts from articles, documents and websites associated with well known writers and organizations—to help readers with “connecting the dots”, on both challenges and solution options. As a consequence of the research necessary to create that “Invitation Package”, this writer is aware of many highly relevant and already established solution pathways. And yet…it seems that most of the organizations involved in those efforts have not grasped the unprecedented nature of the challenges ahead, and are (thus) not preparing for problem solving on a scale most of us have never known before.

What is so unprecedented about the challenges ahead? This writer feels that almost all of the challenges in the above mentioned ten point list—especially halting global warming before unprecedented negative feedback loops set in—will involve whole cultures needing to find contentment and quality of life using much less materials goods and ecological services. And instead of being marginalized as it often is now, the treasured wisdom of religious, spiritual, and moral traditions can be most helpful in this regard. An example: those who have experienced such wisdom know that “The satisfaction of one's physical needs must come at a certain point to a dead stop before it degenerates into physical decadence.” (Mahatma Gandhi)]. Two conclusions which I hope readers will arrive at from the compilation of evidence in the “Invitation Package for Possible Board of Advisors” (589 pages; 3.65MB; key document) as a whole are a) that there are many people who do not understand that kind of wisdom now and b) their help will be needed to avoid disastrous global warming outcomes.

To go one step further: consider carefully the phrases “many people who do not understand that kind of wisdom now” and “their help will be needed”. Few people would disagree that the news services and entertainment services of our times have done far more to magnify the worst aspects of human nature, and call attention to what is most radical, controversial, or sensational associated with religious, spiritual, and moral traditions—than they have to highlight the wisdom and compassion such traditions are capable of providing. It is therefore not surprising that many people have become cynical about whether it is relevant, or even possible, to achieve advanced levels of wisdom and compassion—and accustomed to thinking in terms of individual rights and personal gratification instead of citizen responsibilities necessary for the greater good. But to have this kind of cynicism at a time when there is an exponentially increasing population; when many resources are becoming more depleted than replenished (Ex: oil, water for irrigation); when it is culturally acceptable to encourage indiscriminant consumption; when halting global warming depends on whole cultures learning to find contentment and quality of life using less material goods and ecological services; and when the treasured wisdom of religious, spiritual, and moral traditions is marginalized seems to this writer like a way of hoping for disaster. And yet—“their help will be needed”. Even further: this writer understands that there now exists an awe inspiring diversity of belief systems, world views, and points of view in a significant majority of the cities, towns, and villages in the world. Thus, a time of unprecedented critical challenges has arrived at the same time as a “peak” in the likelihood of conflicting viewpoints—and a “peak” in the number of people in the world who believe their individual rights are far more important than what they currently understand as their civic responsibilities. In this kind of environment, collaborative problem solving processes which hope to maximize citizen participation—and achieve significant agreement on plans for collective effort—will of necessity require careful considerations which go far beyond the kind of problem solving most of us have experienced. How many of us are prepared for this kind of problem solving at the local community level?

Key Documents

As part of this message, I am inviting you to access key CPCS Initiative documents, including:

1) “Tipping Point Action: Citizen Participation in Times of Unprecedented Challenges” (a 5 page introduction to the Campaign)

(Currently, the primary outreach document for the Tipping Point Action Campaign. As the primary outreach document, it will be shared with many people—through Twitter and email outreach, and by offering it to newspapers, and newsletter/magazines published by organizations working along similar lines.)
2) “Invitation Package to Possible Board of Advisors (at www.cpcsc.info )” (589 pages; 3.65 MB)

3) “27 page long version Table of Contents” (for the “Invitation Package” document) (which can also serve as an Executive Summary)
4) “A List of Ten Critical Challenges” (1 page) (with some supporting evidence from longer documents)
5) “The Potential of Community Visioning Initiatives (in 500 words)”
6) “An Invitation to Participate in Community Visioning Initiatives--as a way of carefully examining our options at this critical time” (6 pages) (part personal journey, part advocacy; includes 1 page assessment of the urgent necessity for unprecedented culture change; being offered to local newspapers and news weeklies)

and the 13 minute video documentary “Chattanooga: A Community with a Vision”, which provides how-to details associated with two Community Visioning Initiatives carried out in Chattanooga, Tennessee (1984 and 1993)—and which instantly inspired this writer with insight into ways of revitalizing the experience of working together with our neighbors for the greater good.

All of the above documents (and resources) are accessible at http://cpcsc.info/tipping-point-action/.

Outreach to the Green Party—the potential to scale up campaigns quickly

The Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative advocates for a combination of preliminary surveys, Community Visioning Initiatives, Neighborhood Learning Centers, “sister community” relationships, job fairs, local currencies, and related community service from local newspapers as a starting point for exponentially accelerating solution-oriented activity.

The CPCS Initiative “constellation of initiatives” approach to collaborative problem solving and citizen peacebuilding creates affordable education systems with numerous associated local learning networks; assists with outreach, partnership formation, project development, and service capacity for countless varieties of solution-oriented organizations and businesses; and will inevitably create increasing numbers of solution-oriented and sustainable jobs.

The CPCS Initiative “Tipping Point Action” Campaign is one way of building up towards the kind of collaborative problem solving which represents what is actually needed—exponentially increasing solution-oriented activity.

As part of my contributions at this time, I am directing outreach information about the Tipping Point Action Campaign to many organizations and individuals. I am, however, concentrating my efforts on outreach to Green Party representatives (local, national, and in many countries—discovered through Internet websites, Twitter, etc). The ten key values of the Green Party provide a good foundation for many Tipping Point Action Campaigns. With “members in over 90 countries… and elected representatives in all corners of the world at the local, state, and national level” (http://www.globalgreens.org/about-us), the Green Party has the potential to scale up campaigns quickly.

Training Organizers and Facilitators for Tipping Point Action

One important step towards realizing the potential of the Tipping Point Action Campaign would be collaboration among organizations to train organizers and facilitators in 1) how to describe the potential of Community Visioning Initiatives to key local community leaders and 2) how to guide a community of residents through the process (from preparation through implementation to evaluation).
Lead organizations providing such training programs would be providing the following services to local communities: affordable workshops; neighborhood learning centers; collaborative problem solving which will turn polarizing circumstances into “how does our community want to respond to what 150 local leaders have identified (in preliminary surveys) as challenges and solution options at this critical time?”;--and a means of continually raising awareness about the outcomes of the “votes” people cast (every day) with their investments of time, energy, and money.

Now we have electoral campaigns which emphasize significant media messaging. And though we are now living with the most advanced communication technology ever, people who are not sufficiently informed about critical issues are everywhere, and they are investing their time, energy, and money—“voting”—all the time. What we could have—and what we truly need at this critical time—are collaborative problem solving processes which help citizens understand that the investments of time, energy, and money (the “votes”) each of us make in our everyday circumstances become the larger economy. And that wisely directed, such “votes” can result in countless ways of earning a living which contribute to the peacebuilding, community revitalization, and ecological sustainability efforts necessary to overcome the challenges of our times. Citizens from every variety of circumstances can learn how to wisely cast such “votes”—through workshops and meetings at Neighborhood Learning Centers during a Community Visioning Initiative (and through local learning networks, for people who have difficulties attending meetings).

Naturally, different communities will “grow” their response-to-identified-challenges narratives in different ways, according to the leanings of the local residents, and the influences of environment, culture, and local economies. However, once people experience how participating in a Community Visioning Initiative provides more and more opportunities for exponentially increasing solution-oriented activity, and once the educational networks associated with Neighborhood Learning Centers become more developed, such people will have an established system for realizing their highest potential for problem solving at this time of multiple converging crises. This writer believes they will choose to realize that potential.

If the goal is to resolve the unprecedented challenges ahead, then it would seem necessary to exponentially increase the number of actively engaged citizens—citizens who (thus) have a much more comprehensive sense of civic duty. And if the Green Party is one of many lead organizations in a collaboration to achieve these goals, then the Green Party should receive the requisite appreciation for key leadership in a time of unprecedented challenges: (i.e. Organizations and initiatives providing trustworthy guidance for collaborative problem solving and citizen peacebuilding efforts—especially at this critical time—should be valued for serving the greater good, and setting a good example.)

Concluding Comments

I invite you to make use of any of the ideas, documents, resources, etc of The CPCS Initiative. l welcome any questions you might have—and any comments, suggestions, etc which you are willing to offer.

For a Peaceful and Sustainable Future,

Stefan Pasti, Resource Coordinator
Community Peacebuilding and Cultural Sustainability (CPCS) Initiative
www.cpcsc.info
stefanpasti@gmx.com
Twitter: @StefanPasti

Downloads

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

shazia @ shiree's picture

BANGLADESH: Finding Fatima

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

The Women of World Pulse LIVE: Meet Olanike

The Women of World Pulse LIVE: Meet Olanike

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative