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Alliance 21: Making Another World Possible
Evaluations, Visions, Proposals, and Projects
Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World
April 2003

The first three parts :

- Evaluation and Vision of the Future :

- Proposals and Projects
- Report on the Participatory Process Used for the Evaluation and Future of the Alliance


- The second stage of the Alliance

 

Part One: Evaluation and Vision of the Future

ByMartí Olivella
Barcelona, April 20, 2003

2. Vision of the Alliance and Main Lines for its Future

Allies who have expressed themselves say they wish to continue working collectively and to focus on new common challenges in the coming years, but they feel that we need to find a form of governance of the Alliance that is participatory and transparent and makes it possible to set up and steer the Alliance in terms of a common strategic horizon, and that takes into consideration the needs and the projects of all the active groups.

Any attempt to define the rules of the game should be clear about the conditions and possibilities of an autonomous existence of the Alliance with regard to the FPH, as well as about whether they really wish to be separate and whether they can really do that. In other words, whether the new stage of the Alliance will require or not the leadership and the resources of the FPH or whether the FPH will be limited to supporting the development of the Alliance, financing the path to a true autonomy of the Alliance and those aspects that the FPH considers, according to its criteria, to be priorities.

Such governance will need a representative coordination and a model for the management of a decentralized organization, with a free and self-managed forum in which the coordinators—and the Allies—can debate their different points of view on the general process and its articulations. It will be necessary to achieve a better definition of the required functions, everyone’s role, and the available resources in order to make the empowerment process easier to identify.

In short, we should be clear on what it is to be a member of the Alliance, on what the bases are for making decisions, and on what procedural basis we should define priorities in the cross-cultural context of the Alliance.

To move forward, we need to organize a process for the collective elaboration of a Charter of Principles of the Alliance that defines the rights and duties, both moral and practical, of an organization or an individual participating in the Alliance (as was done at the International Council of the World Social Forum).

A debate on the Charter could be a means to clarify the principles, the organization, and the responsibilities. To elaborate the Charter, we could use as a basis the reference papers of the Alliance (the Platform and the short presentations of the Alliance) and see how the Charter of Human Responsibilities and the proposals of the Governance Workshop can be applied in practice.

The Charter should also formulate an appropriate definition of the workgroups, their organization, their objective, and their position in the Alliance, so as to be able to answer such important questions as: Who can decide to open an electronic forum or to organize a meeting, and how? What is the relationship between the workgroups and their backers and vice-versa? How can we define a collective agenda?

To draft the Charter, we should have a work place, which could be in the form of an electronic forum. A letter could be sent to all the Allies to ask for their proposals and positions. After some time, the active participants of the forum could present a first draft to all the Allies. (Everything would be done through the Web, e-mail and regular mail). To conclude, a face-to-face meeting could be organized for those whose participation was the most active. One last consultation, of the "delibera" type, would make it possible to find the degree of agreement obtained on the different articles of the Charter, so that it can begin to serve as a guideline for the new stage of the Alliance.

On Financing

The Alliance, given its history and as long as the FPH considers it to be opportune, will require some financial aid from the FPH, but given the ambition of the project and the need for some healthy autonomy, it should seek and find other financial resources.

Insofar as the Alliance is truly a collective process with a common project and a common horizon, and as it is not seen as an appendix of the FPH, it can look for financing from other foundations and organizations for its general management.

For the management of socioprofessional, geocultural, and thematic projects, each group or cross-cutting group should find diversified financial resources.

It seems that one of the urgent needs, after having defined the new strategic horizon and its Charter for the regulation of its organization, is to obtain the necessary means so that a “professional” workgroup can be exclusively devoted to fund raising for the Alliance as a whole as well as for specific projects in conjunction with group coordinators.

The objective of the FPH’s “Call for Initiatives” can be nothing else than to facilitate the distribution of resources with clearer procedures according to the Foundation’s priorities. Nonetheless, insofar as a more autonomous Alliance can define its own priorities, it would be very much to the credit of the FPH for it to decide to incorporate those priorities in its “Call for Initiatives” and, better yet, to include a group of Allies in the team in charge of selecting the initiatives to be financed or jointly financed.

In light of the responsibility it has assumed these past years, the FPH should contribute especially to the development of the Alliance as a common project, to progressively facilitate its autonomy, something for which it is more difficult to find other financial sources: for thinking processes on our common future, for the elaboration of a Charter of Principles, a cross-cutting reading of the Proposal Papers, training in the use of the Internet, training of facilitators, and experiments in forms of collective governance.

On communication

The Alliance should continue focusing on methods that facilitate communication and participation. It is necessary, however, to give Allies greater access to quality information. Communication should be continuous and should have somebody organizing and encouraging it, facilitating a decentralized management of the contents on the Web site, and seeking the best and easiest way for everyone to receive and respond to information.

The Alliance needs decentralized, remote communication. For this, it requires tools and methods that are not only common and compatible, but that can also be managed in a decentralized way, in order to make sure that communication is shared but also that it is provided by groups who send the information (a correspondents' network) and a few editors who can organize the information.

We need to increase participation and to improve participation methods, as much in the eforums as in the preparation and holding of meetings, as much for fundamental work as for organizational decisions. It appears necessary to train cross-cultural facilitators who will be able to improve the processes of participation and meetings, of dialogue through the Internet, of cross-thematic, cross-cultural, and cross-socioprofessional meetings, in order to increase the quality and effectiveness of our collective processes.

A key objective is that every group, every active Ally, should find the means to improve their capacity for remote dialogue and meeting through the Internet, so as not to be limited by the difficult and expensive financing of trips and meetings. A high-priority policy would be to help the groups of Allies who don't have the technical and financial means to do this. Potential backers of the Alliance process could support the efforts of groups of Allies who are trying to develop, in an autonomous but coordinated way, the communication and participation tools that will make it possible to prepare fewer—but better—face-to-face meetings, which are important mainly at the beginning and the end of each process.

The Alliance in this new stage should find a way to appraise the need and the possibility of pursuing a number of decentralized communication initiatives that have been lost or have returned to the hands of the FPH, such as Caravan, the Directory, and the Web site.

On Proposals and Transformation Projects

The general orientations of the Alliance for this new stage seem to revolve around:

Focusing on building a Peace Culture as the Allies’ common banner to serve as a guideline for all actions.

Developing a project on the Process of a Constituent Assembly for a World Parliament.

Organizing the dialogue process, improving and applying the Charter of Human Responsibilities.

Reinforcing the Alliance as a forum for meeting and sharing experiences and proposals: strengthening the relationships and cooperation among thematic, socioprofessional, and geocultural groups, reading and appraising the Proposal Papers, converting the Proposal Papers into a means for dialogue among the Allies and with other actors.

Reorganizing the workgroups so that on the one hand they can do cross-cutting work on the themes and at the socioprofessional level, and on the other they can improve the proposals from a cross-cultural and cross-socioprofesional point of view.

Articulating cross-culturally the elaboration of "alternative models to the present globalization," starting from the different Proposal Papers and from the contributions of Lille—but also from the World Social Forum. The idea is to design socioeconomic models that are alternatives to economic globalization (to gather into 30 articulated proposals the keys to this other model of society that can serve as a reference to social movements and honest governing classes to meet the serious challenges that we have presented in every field) in order to give content to this "other possible world," based on the visions of each society, but offering overall rules of the game that are alternatives to the present neoliberal globalization process.

Consider the Alliance not only as a think tank, but also and mainly as a coordinated whole of networks of active players and as such related with other ongoing efforts to articulate networks. The Alliance should contribute alternative proposals to forums, protest movements, and networks of networks that are organized against the prevailing globalization model. The Alliance should strengthen its relations with other initiatives such as the World Social Forum, the Global Citizen Initiative, Ubuntu—the World Forum of Networks—the Universal Forum of Cultures Barcelona 2004, by contributing proposals, contacts, methodology, etc.

Starting up a new dynamics oriented to the transformation of the Proposal Papers into specific projects of social transformation. These projects could be elaborated by socioprofessional, thematic, and geocultural groups, should obtain diversified financial support, and seek to have sociopolitical impact. The workgroups could have much more impact if the management model were to integrate them into existing meetings and projects, instead of starting from scratch.

Allies should support existing initiatives (or promote initiatives when there are none) to make voices in solidarity heard in favor of just causes according to their principles (Palestine, Argentina, Zimbabwe, etc.). (An example of this has been, instead of seeking to create a "nonviolent intervention corps", to support the Nonviolent Peace Force recently set up by eighty organizations from all over the world and for which some Allies are involved in its development. See )

© 2001 Alliance pour un monde responsable, pluriel et solidaire. Tous droits rZservZs.