January 8, 2012 Democracy 2.0: Open source utopia
The explosion of open source software and mass co-production of things like wikipedia has shown that people together can do amazing things. It’s time to turn this to the serious business of our future.
Business West have organised a Bristol 2050 ‘consultation’ but have consulted only business leaders. Their plan focuses on business growth, not human happiness and community. It also takes no account of the reality that economic growth can’t be infinite on a finite planet, that the world economy has serious structural problems and risks widespread collapse, and that even supposing continued growth were possible, our economic model is dangerously destructive to the climate and natural world.
A group of people involved with Occupy Bristol are starting a rival (and better!) People’s Bristol 2050. We believe that between us, the people of Bristol and the surrounding area have the knowledge, ingenuity and skills to come up with a far better plan, and start putting it into action. We also think the 40 year timescale frees people to think more imaginatively, and to propose creative and hopeful futures.
We envisage the project including things like:-
- Open Space meetings – on a variety of subjects, bringing together communities of interest, and also of place.
- Online discussions and information sharing.
- Outreach events in community centres
- Approaching many different groups to get their ideas and contributions
- Making sure that all voices are represented – all genders, sexualities, classes, abilities, ages, nationalities, faiths.
- An ‘iterative’ process. EG: After a first discussion on the theme of food, which comes up with some ideas and proposals, we go away, find out more, contact more groups, etc, then come back and discuss food again, in the light of what we’ve learned, what new participants contribute, and perhaps what’s come out of discussions on other themes.
Our hope is that not only will this come up with sensible ideas and plans, but that bringing interested people together to talk about this stuff will actually kick start lots of initiatives – big and small.
Our first event will be an Open Space meeting, discussing what we do next, in particular, how we make sure all voices are represented and identifying groups we should be reaching out to.
First event: Open Space meeting on how we do this and including as many voices as possible.
Where: The Trinity Centre, Trinity Rd, Bristol, BS2 0NW
When: Sat 21st Jan, 2pm onwards (prob til 4pm)
All welcome! If you’re interested, please come along. Bring your thoughts, ideas and enthusiasm, but also, please, a willingness to listen to others. We are strong together, but we must be prepared to recognise that all of us have a valid contribution to make, and none of us has all the answers.