"for the first time, we are witnessing the emergence of a "global civil society" represented by nongovernmental organizations, which are often active in several countries and communicate across borders.....whose vision is based on the respect of human dignity, the ethics of sustainability and an ecological view of the world"
wrote fritjof capra in "the hidden connections" (2002)
this new "network age" really came into being at the closure of the WTO talks in Seattle due to massive public peaceful protest in november 1999- thats when the term "globalisation" started to get used in the mainstream world. the first indymedia node was also set up at this time in Seattle and since then has developed into a global network of 150+ nodes in 90+ countries.
The basic viewpoint held by the "seatttle coalition" was
-existing rules of global trading are unfair and have to change
-the public are not being informed about these issues as the mainstream media has "vested interests"
-new process`s are needed to both challenge, reform or end todays unfair trade rules and to inform the worlds public
-along with this a new communication system is needed to facilitate open transperent dialogue for those in civil society so as to either create an alternative fair system or fix the present one
in january 2001, the "seatttle coalition" held the first "world social forum" in Porto Alegre, Brazil. since then there was WSF2, again in Porto Alegre in 2003 and this year WSF3 in Mumbai, India
the technology is already here for us and people are already maximizing it, but it is still early days and so there is a lot more we can do
it is very difficult and near impossible for most to travel and participate in the social fora but it is possible for us to set up a new system, whereby the real and the virtual worlds work together to facilitate a wider participation in the social forum.
global civil society network project:
wider global world social forum process, whose main communication network is facilitated by indymedia network
it would be a situation whereby when there is a World Social Forum, say in Pakistan, the usual things happen but to expand on that a network is created so that in each country, or each area where there is an indymedia group a convergence or physical meeting centre is set up for the duration of the social forum. this could be say, dublins cultivate centre. the space would allow for those interested in these things to physically meet each other and also to be part of the world social forum. this would happen by live streams and web conferencing technology via the internet. ie- fritjof capra is talking about say "local greeen groups and a global eco city network" in pakistan. that is beamed out through the net and shown in real time in the different centres. in dublin 500 people are gathered in the main space at cultivate and watch the forum, one of our audience wants to add a comment, he lifts his hand, this is registered by indymedia person at computer who clicks to main site that ireland has a comment. this is registered on global network.
comments are taken and forum develops through same process as happens at present.
simply we would all be part of the process-
literally thinking and being able to act globally while acting and thinking locally
an initial attempt was made on Dec 2 2003 for
"global indymedia network project for world social forum in jan 2004" it did not happen. but im sure that it is only a matter of time before this way of communicating becomes the norm.
here is second attempt