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Bringing Solutions to Light at the Local Level

 
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Stefan Pasti



Joined: 10 Oct 2007
Posts: 24

PostPosted: Mon Jul 28, 2008 12:23 am    Post subject: Bringing Solutions to Light at the Local Level Reply with quote

Introduction—Many Challenges, Many Potential Solutions

More and more people, in more and more parts of the world, are coming to the conclusion that we—collectively—have a need for problem solving on a scale most of us have never seen before. (For supportive evidence, see the “Ten Point Assessment of the Most Difficult Challenges of Our Times”, accessible on the homepage of The IPCR Initiative (www.ipcri.net).

At the same time, there are also more and more people, in more and more parts of the world, who are discovering that there are countless numbers of “things people can do in the everyday circumstances of their lives” to contribute to peacebuilding, community revitalization, and ecological sustainability efforts, in their own communities and regions—and in other parts of the world.

One suggestion which could assist in bringing many solutions to light at the local community level is a 161 page proposal by this writer titled “1000Communities2”. “1000Communities2” (“1000CommunitiesSquared”) advocates for Community Visioning Initiatives, “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” with ongoing workshops, and “sister community” relationships, as a way of generating an exponential increase in our collective capacity to overcome the challenges of our times.

The “1000Communities2” proposal is accessible in pdf format for free at the website of The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative, at www.ipcri.net.


Other Resources at the website of The IPCR Initiative

Also accessible at The IPCR Initiative website:

1) The IPCR Journal/Newsletter Summer 2008 issue, which includes an introduction to the "1000Communities2" proposal, and Section 9 of the proposal (15 suggestions for preliminary survey questions, in advance of a Community Visioning Initiative). [Note: This writer understands that organizations and communities of people often use questionnaires and surveys to identify problems and resources, and to build consensus for collective action—and is surprised that this community building tool is not more well-developed for use at the local community level.]

2) Two other outreach messages describing the “1000Communities2” proposal (at the bottom of the homepage).

3) The document “Brief Descriptions of The Eight IPCR Concepts”, which provides starting points for workshop discussion at “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” mentioned above.


The “1000Communities2” group site on the WiserEarth platform

The second outreach message (see above)—“Action Alert: A Multiplier Effect of a Positive Nature”—includes reference to a “1000Communities2” group site created on the WiserEarth platform (see www.wiserearth.org)...

“To facilitate discussion-- and as a way of focusing member contributions towards specific and constructive results-- 26 excerpts from the original 161 page proposal have been made into Wikipages for this group. (See “List of ‘Titles’ for the 26 Excerpts” in the “Introduction” to that Group Site). Members of this group are encouraged to make posts in the “Discussion” section of this group site—or in the corresponding Wikipage area-- which are related in some way to one or more of the 26 excerpts, or to some specific element of the "1000Communities2" proposal. Hopefully, back and forth discussion on various elements of this “1000Communities2” proposal will supplement, add to, and refine the relevant and practical “how-to” and “why” information already in the proposal. Such discussions may encourage and inspire people in different parts of the world to create similar community-specific proposals, and result in active participation by many people in a Community Visioning Initiative associated with their specific community.”


A profound and critical need (not yet widely recognized….)

This writer believes that there is a profound and critical need for an exponential increase in compassion for our fellow human beings. This profound and critical need is especially urgent when viewed as only a part of the challenges listed in “Ten Point Assessment…” accessible on the homepage of The IPCR Initiative.

And yet… an exponential increase in compassion for our fellow human beings is, currently, not widely recognized as an essential and critical element of most comprehensive responses to the challenges of our times.


If even a few….

We are in need of innovative and imaginative solutions.

In 1984, the non-profit organization Chattanooga Venture [Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA)] organized a Community Visioning Initiative (“Vision 2000”) that 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.1

If even a few of the kind of Community Visioning Initiatives described in the “1000Communities2” proposal generated results similar to those achieved by the Chattanooga, Tennessee (USA) Visioning Initiative, people in all parts of the world—keenly attuned when it comes to resolving challenges which require urgent solutions at all levels of society— could be inspired to carry out similar Community Visioning Initiatives. And if many communities carried out similar initiatives, and also achieved significant results, our collective capacity to resolve the challenges of our times would surely begin to accumulate at an accelerating rate.


The Building of “Close-Knit” Communities of People

Hopefully—by encouraging as much formal and informal meetings with other people in the local neighborhoods for discussion, information sharing, mutual support and encouragement, fellowship and friendship—a combination of Community Visioning Initiatives, “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” and “sister community” relationships can contribute much to the building of “close-knit” communities of people… communities with a healthy appreciation for each others strengths, a well-developed capacity to resolve even the most difficult challenges—and communities which demonstrate a high level of compassion for their fellow human beings.



With Kind Regards,

Stefan Pasti, Founder and Outreach Coordinator
The IPCR Initiative



Notes and Source References

1. The statistics are from “Revision 2000: Take Charge Again”, a brochure this writer received from Chattanooga Venture. These statistics are also accessible in a detailed overview of Chattanooga community revitalization efforts titled “Chattanooga: The Sustainable City”, at the website for the James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership at http://www.academy.umd.edu/Resources/AcademyPublicationsPDF/BoundaryCrossers-CaseStudies/Ch3-Chattanooga/Chattanooga.pdf (see Chpt. 3, p. 7) (Confirmed June 15, 2008)
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