Login Join IOPS

First Things First – The Case for a “Shared Campaign”

forest
  • Written by:
  • Published on:
  • Categories:
  • Comments:
  • Share:

In an IOPS blog published September 17th, Michael Albert proposed that IOPS members engage in a “shared campaign” to achieve the preconditions for holding an IOPS founding convention and proposed a process for the development of the campaign. (See http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2650-convention-conditions).  Here’s the proposal:

That between now and November 15, in chapters, in blog posts and comments on them, and in the forum system, and particularly, with people in IOPS we know and live near and are building chapters with, we discuss conditions that would need to be met to have a founding convention - and steps to accomplish those goals. Once some clear options emerge, we also do simple polls on each aspect, to get a sense of people's reactions to them - like straw votes. 

“Based on all that discussion of possibilities and on the survey polls about all the many aspects, those ICC members who have been very actively involved in the discussions are entrusted to distill at least three campaign proposals (more if really needed) that try to embody the best and most favored aspects that have emerged from the exchanges into viable full programs. They aren't deciding anything, they are rather assembling aspects that people have favored in the polling. 

“The three possible campaigns are posted, etc., and there is another week of discussion, and then the formal proposals are put to a vote of the whole ICC - including first asking them for amendments and incorporating those. This yields three perhaps slightly improved paths, with their levels of support from the ICC. 

“Then, after another period for deliberation, the entire membership votes among the campaigns. What emerges, becomes our plan.”

Since then, at least one forum topic and two blogs have considered what the preconditions for a founding convention should be and what strategies to use to achieve those preconditions.  (See http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2nd-proposal; http://www.iopsociety.org/forum/interim-goals-for-founding-convention) However, to date, there’s been no focused discussion of the merits of Michael’s shared-campaign proposal.  I’m posting this in the hope that it will prompt that discussion.

            The arguments in favor of a shared campaign to achieve the preconditions for a founding convention are straight-forward: (1) a shared campaign requires and encourages solidarity and a commitment to each other to act; (2) every IOPS member can take some action to further the goals of a shared campaign, and such a campaign ensures that those who would otherwise be uncertain about what to do will know what they can do; (3) the alternative to a shared campaign is to identify the preconditions for a convention and then, in effect, to wait for them to happen – sort of like waiting for the weather to change; (4) IOPS should start as it means to go – that is, what IOPS does during this “interim” period and whether it can begin now to apply the principles in the Mission statement to achieve the preconditions for the convention will determine if and when IOPS is really ready to hold a convention.  As IOPS member Thomas Halbert observed recently:

 “In my opinion it is not a question of numbers of members that can determine if an organization can be founded or not. It is determined by the level of achieved activity that reflects the entire program of the interim pre-organization. And not represented by just one country or continent if it honestly would call itself an International organization. The day the organization is ready to get founded it will just be a formality that confirms an organizational body that is up and RUNNING.”

 

Discussion 10 Comments

  • Lambert Meertens 5th Nov 2012

    What I didn't understand in Albert's blog posting is why we should expect campaign proposals to arise from a discussion on preconditions for the founding convention. Indeed, such proposals did not arise. Before we discuss the merits of the proposal to have campaign proposals, shouldn't we first reach some agreement on the goal of the putative campaign for which we might develop these proposals?

    • Will Henry Lapinel 5th Nov 2012

      Lambert - "What I didn't understand in Albert's blog posting is why we should expect campaign proposals to arise from a discussion on preconditions for the founding convention."

      I think Michael's argument (3) bears relevance to your question: "the alternative to a shared campaign is to identify the preconditions for a convention and then, in effect, to wait for them to happen – sort of like waiting for the weather to change."

      In other words, if we come to an agreement on preconditions, and we stop there and do not come to a decision about how to make those preconditions occur, we are not driving our own destiny.

      "Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
      the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

  • Michael Livingston 5th Nov 2012

    I suspect that one reason "shared campaign" proposals did not arise from those discussions is that folks simply forgot about it,perhaps because the focus was on Mark Evans' "2d Proposal," which was posted shortly after Michael Albert's proposal. In any event, nothing prevents our having that discussion now.

  • 5th Nov 2012

    "I suspect that one reason "shared campaign" proposals did not arise from those discussions is that folks simply forgot about it "
    There are many reasons. As far as I'm concerned, the language is the main obstacle. I haven’t a good command of English. I can read it fluently but it takes too much time for me to write in English. And I don’t have the time.
    Of course, I can write in French, but 98% of the IOPS members won’t read or understand..
    Imagine a non English speaking IOPS. Would you take part in such a project ?

    • Michael Livingston 5th Nov 2012

      Maybe, but that doesn't account for the fact that English-speakers did not respond to Michael Albert's proposal either.


      Peut-être, mais qui ne tient pas compte du fait que les anglophones n'ont pas répondu à la proposition de Michael Albert soit.

  • Will Henry Lapinel 5th Nov 2012

    Michael - excellent points. If I understand you correctly, what you are saying can be boiled down to "ok people, let's do this." I agree whole-heartedly with your 4 arguments in favor of a shared campaign. Let us discuss possible courses of action, pick one, and act. This is not merely a forum. We are an organization. Stand and be counted.

    • Michael Livingston 6th Nov 2012

      Will Henry - Yes, but, I'd modify your summary to say: "let's do this TOGETHER."

  • Will Henry Lapinel 7th Nov 2012

    Yes, TOGETHER indeed. Collectively, not individually. I think individualism is at the root of peoples' hesitance to agree to the need for a "shared campaign" to reach the necessary preconditions.

  • Sara Cromwell 10th Nov 2012

    I am also in favor of a shared campaign. I think that people who join a group advocating for a "participatory" world have an obligation to participate in the shared goals of that group. At present time, it seems like the primary shared goal of this group is in perpetuating the group -- meeting certain benchmarks identified or suggested by some as prerequisite to a founding convention. Those benchmarks are being debated in other blogs and I won't remark on them here. However, I think that deciding on benchmarks is a pointless exercise unless we have a plan for doing something to reach them. I, for one, don't think we'll satisfy the pre-conditions for a founding convention if, as Michael Livingston posited, we're just "waiting for the weather to change."

    Lambert Meerkins -- "shouldn't we first reach some agreement on the goal of the putative campaign"?

    Lambert, I think it is well-settled that the "goal" of the compaign is to satisfy pre-conditions for our founding convention. Like I said, the pre-conditions are being debated in other forums and I won't re-hash them here. The question is, for purposes of the shared campaign question, once established, how do we reach our group's goals? What would the "shared campaign" involve? I think it's probable that at least three of the pre-conditions to a founding convention will include more members, more chapters, and more diversity in our membership. Might those not be logical places to begin the shared campaign, then? What shared campaign can we launch to increase our membership, chapters, and diversity of IOPS? How can we bring more people into our chapters? How can we bring more people to our website?

    Didier Mainguy -- "the language is the main obstacle. I haven’t a good command of English. I can read it fluently but it takes too much time for me to write in English. And I don’t have the time.
    Of course, I can write in French."

    Didier, I agree, language is an obstacle, to increasing our membership and chapters, but particularly to having a truly diverse membership. The IOPS website is too English-centric, although I am grateful since I do not have command of another language. As has been suggested in other blogs (see, e.g. http://www.iopsociety.org/blog/2nd-proposal), those of our membership who have enough command of more than one language could be instrumental in overcoming that obstacle by translating or innovating to make the site more accessible to non-English reading people. To put it bluntly, I lack the knowledge to translate my message so others can understand it. You don't. Rather than just pointing out the obstacle, can you translate messages and blogs to French? Do you have any suggestions for improving the accessibility of the website for non-English speakers? Improving the content? Do you have suggestions for a shared campaign to reach those goals?

    Are there any objections to a shared campaign? If so, what are they? If not, then, as Michael Livingston and Will Henry Lapinel said, "let's do this TOGETHER."

  • Will Henry Lapinel 13th Nov 2012

    @Sara Cromwell - I'm glad to see that the force is strong in the Salem Chapter!

    Let's move past the question of whether we should embark on a shared campaign to achieve preconditions for a founding convention. I think the majority agree that we should - unfortunately we don't have a voting mechanism or this might be clearer. I call upon the ICC to put forth for a brief discussion the 3 proposals, as M. Albert initially proposed, and then to DECIDE on one of them accordingly, as the ICC bears the burden of decision. This ambiguous waiting around causes an organizational loss of momentum, loss of confidence, and is generally bad for business.