The world, our world, Planet Earth is in trouble, a trouble of our own making. Humanity, by a combination of population growth and misguided economic development, has overstepped Nature’s limits. Civilization as it goes is not sustainable and will collapse, and in the non-linear way of things, all too likely sooner rather than later.
We know the hardliners must be marginalized but let’s be even more assertive and think in terms of capturing the center. To humanity’s credit, international and interfaith organizations have established a powerful global perspective. The fact is, though, that the nations and religions are still caught up in an us vs them matrix. We know what we need to do, but we don’t have the trust and cooperation to make it happen.
Unity and diversity. To capture the center we need a massive heartfelt sense of human unity that will underpin international and interfaith trust and cooperation. We love our nations and religions, and won’t give them up, so in this shift to a larger sense of unity, we need to be thinking how we can motivate the nations and religions to be willing partners. Voices of Humanity (VoH) manages this feat by supporting both unity and diversity within the same framework. We strengthen human unity AND we strengthen the national and religious identities.
How does it work? VoH provides a “collective voice” for humanity-as-one and also for each of the nations and religions. Members of a community rate each other’s messages and the highest rated items are promoted as the community’s collective voice, strengthening that community’s sense of identity. Hardliners must decide whether or not to participate in the collective voice of their particular community. If they do not participate, then they lose all influence and are marginalized, but if they do participate, then they are supporting a network of collective voices that is capped by the voice of humanity-as-one, effectively moderating their hardline position.
The Plan - on the technical side
The VoH software has unity and diversity built in.
1. The “Order Out of Chaos Forum,” can be broken out by geographic level, community, gender and age.
2. Participants can vote on posted items and sort the forum list by rating.
3.The Highest Rated Messages Page displays top rated messages overall and also by gender and age for currently selected geographic level and community. These messages tend to be generous, lively and intelligent -- because those are the messages participants like!
4. Participants can control the amount of email they are sent.
5. Messages can be “curtained” allowing participants to share items within a community when those items would just be clutter for others. Please note that transparency is maintained since visitors to the community online can see all messages.
6. A new moon to new moon cycle enables sharing of the highest rated messages across all communities by gender and age as well as overall for humanity-as-one.
7. Coming by the end of 2017, we will have a much improved community interface.
Continued development of the software will
1. Implement a full moon to full moon cycle where we share nonviolent action oriented messages by gender and age as well as for humanity-as-one.
2. Add bottom up networks to implement flexible “across the silos” capability.
3. Add automatic communities from our profiles, including religion, occupation, nation, state, metro and city, political affiliation, economic class and cultural/ethnic affiliation.
4. Enable peer-to-peer implementation via the cloud - this will make VoH usable by organizations for their email lists, since they will not need to share the email addresses outside the organization.
The Plan - two pressing requirements
Funding is a must. We have three directions.
1. Direct fundraising outreach for the upcoming Holiday Season.
2. Apply for grants via Grantstation. We begin preparation now and figure to actually apply by Spring 2018.
3. After we have peer-to-peer and organizational participation, we can implement our “Make your gift work twice” plan.
Increased outreach is also an immediate need. In the best case, we build a team of volunteers to get the word out. However, we need the upcoming improvements to the community interface before general outreach can be successful, and the full-moon to full-moon nonviolent action cycle coming in January 2018 will also be a big help. But see plans below for immediate outreach on the issue of nuclear disarmament.
We begin by reaching out to individuals. Voices of Humanity is looking for four sorts of participants. 1) Nuclear disarmament enthusiasts. 2)Those who see VoH’s potential to foster human unity and diversity. 3) Those who like the idea of engaging with others around the world for concerted nonviolent action for change. And 4) those who feel marginalized and want to cooperate with other marginalized people to capture the center. Potentially, that is a lot of people: women, youth, indigenous peoples, minorities, veterans, refugees, the poor, nationals of non-nuclear armed nations. Who did I miss?
The full moon to full moon cycle will be our first real attraction. By sharing nonviolent action suggestions, we will begin to create a sense of unity and excitement amongst the VoH participants. We will use social media for outreach. For now (November 2017), we will concentrate on nuclear disarmament enthusiasts and on finding those who see the VoH potential.
The Plan - on the strategic side
Working backwards, we are looking to be taken up by the United Nations as a tool for achieving UN goals and we need to keep this in mind as we go forward. We have a couple things going for us.
1. Gender equality is built-in to Voices of Humanity technology. Gender equality is woven into the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs can only be achieved if gender equality is likewise at least seriously on track for achievement by 2030.
2. The unity and diversity capability of VoH applies just as well to issues as to nations and religions. Try doing a search for "silos sdgs" in google. Here’s an article from October, 2017 in which Christiana Figueres, who shepherded the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, says "We have an incredible opportunity to build cities that are smart. What that means is clean, compact, connected and resilient. We have all the technologies to do it. Our problem is that we continue to think in little silos." VoH bottom-up networking capability, coming by Spring 2018, will enable silo by silo concentration alongside holistic thinking across the silos, which is also needed if the world is to agree on action in the midst of chaos.
The UN SDGs are designed to be implemented as a package at every geographic level. Voices of Humanity also has geographic levels built in and “across the silos” capability coming soon. With these two capabilities, Voices of Humanity can implement collective impact for the SDGs as a package, not just at the city level, but also nationally and globally. Please read two earlier articles posted here in VoH:
The cities of the world are not armed against each other, and are therefore much more open to cooperation than the nations are. Voices of Humanity can leverage this openness to foster a cooperative global network of cities, each of which is working on the SDGs locally.
Outreach to UN Women and other women’s organizations is a high strategic priority. Every VoH community at every geographic level has a Voice of Women and a Voice of Men as well as a Voice of Humanity-as-One. Wherever it is used as a primary means of communication, VoH will rewrite the social contract to include gender equality. It makes so much sense therefore for the women’s movement to adopt Voices of Humanity both for its own communications and for outreach to the general community. The difficulty is the same as for all existing organizations. Not only are women’s organizations stretched to the limit already, but sharing email lists is a non-starter. So until we have peer-to-peer capability, we will have to concentrate on bringing in individuals who appreciate the notion of a social media with gender equality built-in.
VoH outreach begins today, with nuclear disarmament. We won’t really be ready for general outreach until the end of 2017 when VoH communities are fully implemented, but the issue of nuclear disarmament is a special case. The distrust signalled by nuclear weapons locks us into an us vs them world which cannot cooperate as needed to achieve UN and Interfaith goals. By beginning with nuclear disarmament, Voices of Humanity gives the issue the prominence it deserves.
Nuclear disarmament along with complete and general disarmament is a major goal of the United Nations. The Strategic Development Goals do not include disarmament, but in our so heavily armed world, the level of distrust between the nations is too high for the extensive cooperation that will be needed to achieve the SDGs, and the expense of maintaining so much military in itself makes SDG success much more difficult. Another strategic direction for Voices of Humanity, then, is to reach out at the city level around the world, to bring in individuals who are committed to nuclear disarmament. There are 7400+ cities in the Mayors for Peace network. If we can bring in just one person from each city to participate in a Nuclear Disarmament community on VoH, we will have achieved takeoff.
Please join the VoH Nuclear Disarmament community here. If you are not already a member of Voices of Humanity, the link above will take you to a page where you can log in or join. Please be sure to select the “nuclear_disarm” community in your profile settings. Also, please provide your city in your profile so we can track how the network is doing city by city.
As part of an upcoming VoH upgrade, members of any particular community from the same city will be able to find each other for in person meetups. That upgrade is expected before year end. Until then, let’s just get a conversation going online in the @nuclear_disarm community. If you want to help and are willing to join, but writing a message is just too much, please donate a few dollars to show your support!
Thank you for reading through the Plan. Comments are most welcome.
-- Roger Eaton
#nuclear_disarm #voh #vohcc #sdgs #un_goals #cci