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Vision: Global Integrity wiki
The following was written by Connie, my wife, after she and I brainstormed the idea a few mornings ago.
DRAFT PROPOSAL: Develop and launch a new collaborative website (wiki-like): Global Integrity
A wiki or something like it would be developed and launched, tentatively titled "Global Integrity." This new site would allure and enable anybody to contribute an idea for solving a collective problem or responding to a new opportunity, such that (a) the idea can be improved by others and (b) the degree to which wiki visitors express value in the idea will affect the degree to which that idea comes to the attention of those who could actually make use of it.
Site administrators would control the structure of the site and the forms (can this be done on a wiki?) created for receiving new ideas, improving an idea already posted, and/or improving its links (relationships) to other ideas on the site. Individuals could also post ideas to improve that upper level structure and forms and improve on the suggestions of others in that regard. Thus a natural sorting process (evolution) would be encouraged at both the content level and the structural frame of the site, always with the aim of (a) birthing and improving ideas for real-world problem solving and transformation, and (b) assisting the fruits of such collective intelligence in actually making a difference in the world.
There are few websites that make use of software for facilitating the growth of collective intelligence (e.g., a wiki) such that an individual or group of individuals anywhere in the world can launch an idea for societal improvement that really does have a chance of making a difference based not on the status or power of its originator(s) but on the value of the idea itself. I've included a list of the ones Tom Atlee has made us aware of at the end of this blog post, but none of these center around Global Integrity in the way Michael and I think would be most useful.
THE IDEA MAKERS: A site where any individual anywhere in the world can go and (a) launch an idea, (b) have it posted in a way that maximizes the chances that others who are also interested in that idea will see it and be encouraged to improve upon it, and (c) know that the idea will grow in its accessibility to those with the placement or power to implement it based entirely on its value, not the status or location of its originator.
THE IDEA IMPLEMENTORS: Individuals who work in or can otherwise affect the actions taken by governments, corporations, or nonprofit institutions do not currently have easy and dependable access to finding out the best, most promising ideas that anyone in the world may have, regarding their particular focus or need. With this site they would have that access. More, they could use the technology of the site itself to encourage individuals of their own choosing to get involved on a particular page and improve it even further. Thus, the various institutions could themselves test out and improve ideas by utilizing the site, without having to invent their own software-enhanced capabilities.
The current profound and unprecedented crisis means conservatives will be open to change and thus progressives won't be automatically blocked in anything they might propose. So both liberals and conservatives can come together to work for something that really will be implemented. President Obama is the living example of this drive and ability to transcend the usual worldview and political divides to focus on what works or not.
This wiki site would also help evolve democracy itself because individuals don't just vote or express opinions to their policy representatives, they get to launch ideas and work horizontally with others such that even the most marginalized and unknown person can really effect the world in a way that will make a difference.
NAME CHOICE AND DEFINITION
DEFINITION: Global integrity is right relationship at and with all nested levels, acknowledging and valuing the past, and benefiting the future.
THE NAME AS CONTAINER FOR THE CONSTRUCT: "Global integrity" (although it is already in use by 2 corporations and one nonprofit as their own names, but not as we mean it here) is suggested for these reasons:
1. "Global" is a sexy word in the new era of President Obama. In many minds, it is the next step that all institutions must measure their impacts on and their ability to communicate with. (We don't have to think about galactic problems right now.) "Global" as we use it here is not limited to just the planetary scale. Rather it means the biggest and most inclusive level of concern that we need to consider, and it includes all the subsidiary levels. Thus it encompasses all the levels in which problems and opportunities actually do exist.
2. "Integrity" is a commonly understood word that has very positive connotations. "Right relationship" is surely part of integrity, and if one considers "right relationship with oneself, too, then nothing that anyone might mean colloquially by the word would be excluded from our definition of global integrity, with the latter's emphasis on "right relationship at all levels." In Michael Dowd's words, "Integrity is everything. With it, things work. Without it, things don't. It also encourages a new set of eyes when approaching almost any topic."
3. "Integrity" as a standard for measuring the value of an idea. To what extent would an idea assist "right relationship" for a particular focal problem and the levels of societal/ecological interactions that it affects?
4. "Right relationship" as vital to the structure of the wiki. As proposed below, the structure of the site (levels) and the components of the form that a proposer would use to post a new idea (see below) would themselves have an integrity that naturally emerges from the concept.
5. "Nested levels" as ensuring full evaluations of an idea's likely effects. The form (see below) would ensure that the proposer or an idea would consider the likely effects of implementing the idea on levels that would also be affected. Hence, "nested levels" plays an important role in reducing the possibility of harmful unintended consequences. This is crucial because, as Michael Dowd and John Stewart make central to their work, an essential component to a thriving future in a free society is to think of and implement incentives that would naturally produce greater and greater "alignment of the parts with the wellbeing of the whole(s)". It also shifts the moral conversation of society so that people become more aware and more interested in how their actions impact wider circles, different levels, and deeper time considerations both past and future.
6. "Acknowledging and valuing the past and benefiting the future" adds a vital temporal dimension. More, it is a way to include, while transcending, the conservative/liberal divide. By acknowledging (and valuing) the past, we attend to the conservative impulse, where existing ideas and structures that have in some way contributed in the past would carry into the future unless there was some good reason for changing or eliminating them: hence, the conservative impulse. By benefiting the future, the liberal impulse to look for ways to improve on the status quo would be put in play. Indeed, without a concern for the future, an idea/action proposed might do a great job of solving a current problem, and at all scales from individual to global, but it might play out over the long run in ways that would be detrimental or devastating to future generations (e.g., burn more coal to reduce reliance on foreign oil would exacerbate the problem of global warming for future generations-even if our generation would feel little of that problem itself).
In religious contexts, the word "value" would also mean "honor"; the word "benefit" would also mean "bless."
Overall, "global integrity" as defined above should not be viewed as the only name/frame that would work for launching the content of the wiki site, for the purposes developed here. But there are good reasons, noted above, to regard it as a good choice. And it also has the advantage of presenting a very logical and simple structure, as some structure will be essential, as explained next.
PROPOSED WIKI STRUCTURE (or some form of collaborative site):
1. ADMINISTRATIVE LEVEL. This is what we are doing now: figuring out how to set up the site initially so that it will function well in the beginning and will not be overly constrained in how it could evolve to function better in the future. For example, ideally change.gov would take it over.
2. OVERALL WIKI STRUCTURE. The administrators would work with one or more geeks to collectively develop a suitable structure to test and launch. It would contain at least these components:
• WIKI GUIDELINES AND CODE OF ETHICS FOR PARTICIPATING
• FORM FOR POSTING IDEA
• PROCESSES FOR IMPROVING IDEAS
• PRESERVING THE HISTORY OF IDEA DEVELOPMENT AND COMMENTAR
• CONSIDERATIONS TO ASSIST IMPLEMENTORS
• NOTICE WHEN AN IDEA IS IMPLEMENTED
• FEEDBACK FROM EVALUATING THE RESULTS OF THE IMPLEMENTATION
• INTERNAL LINKS AND PAGE RELATIONSHIPS
• EXERNAL LINK
• HOME PAGE
• PAGES TO ASSIST ADMINISTRATORS IN OBTAINING STRUCTURAL FEEDBACK; HIGHLIGHTS OF WIKI INPUTS AND EFFECTS IN THE WORLD
STRUCTURE OF FORM FOR POSTING IDEAS:
• TITLE of Idea
• PROBLEM/OPPORTUNITY it would address
• FOCAL LEVEL (e.g. primary holon or nested level)
• ONE LEVEL UP (identify it)
• ONE LEVEL DOWN (identify it)
• PEER HOLONS IT WOULD AFFECT (e.g. a regulation proposed for U.S. banks would affect banks in other countries)
• DESCRIPTION (core content of the idea, however the poster wants to organize it, including internal links to other pages on this wiki and external links to other urls. Should offer opportunity to post a pdf so that the wiki description itself can just be an abstract.
• ACKNOWLEDGES AND VALUES THE PAST (this encourages the poster to think from the conservative mindset and to appreciate aspects of the status quo)
• BENEFITS THE FUTURE (this encourages the poster to think from the progressive mindset and to consider how a proposal to solve a current problem might play out over a much longer term.
• DYNAMIC IMPLICATIONS (here one could have the opportunity to address the dynamics of how the idea might play out, for good or ill, over any subset of the global nestedness, and geographic location, or any particular time in the future.)
• IMPACTS ON THE MORE-THAN-HUMAN WORLD (Because so few people think at this level, we need to expressly encourage it. Also, this entry on the form means it would show up on the first posting of all new ideas, so that even if it is blank, an environmentalist could dabble on the wiki and simply drop in and making postings in that category on many different wiki pages.
• CAUTIONARY CONSIDERATIONS (This slot would give anyone a chance to offer cautions or point out problems even if they can't think of a way to improve the idea itself. This also means that an implementor searching for good ideas go right into a wiki page and toss in some realistic advice or talk about constraints in the real world without having to figure out how to change the content of the page itself, that is, the idea itself.)
• IMPLEMENTATIONS AND RESULTS (People can record instances of implementing the proposed idea or something much like it and what the results were, which may or may not then move into suggestions for improvement or outright editing of the wiki page itself.)
TITLES EACH OF US WOULD POST:
CONNIE BARLOW WOULD POST:
• "Continental Commonsense: Where and How to Live and Where and How Not Too" (open to posters from any continent, specific to their own)
• "Leaving a Legacy" (my url on shifting health insurance to enable a dying person to decline further high-cost assistance and instead have a portion of the savings go to a charity of their choice.)
Existing participatory solutions sites
- http://www.idebanken.no (click on the British flag for English version)