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Global Voices Online: Hearing One Another is Worldchanging
Alex Steffen, 20 Dec 04

The Global Voices Online project -- which, as Jon blogged earlier, is becoming something of a movement -- has a wiki manifesto-in-progress. Here's the latest draft (full disclosure: Ethan and I wrote the first).

"We believe in free speech, both in protecting the right to speak and extending access to the tools of speech. We define speech broadly to include many media that facilitate expression.

"The broadest right of free speech has always extended primarily to those who owned technology for publishing and distribution, beginning with the printing press. It is now possible for anyone to publish, broadcast and have access to a distribution channel via the Internet. It is our goal that everyone who wants to speak can be heard.

"We believe in the power of direct connection and the freedom to connect. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful.

"We seek to create bridges that cross the gulfs that have traditionally divided us. When we cross these gulfs, we understand each other more fully, work together more effectively, and act more powerfully. With these bridges, we can do together what we could only dream of doing alone.

"Direct connection is its own reward. However, in a world full of challenges, it is also the best path to building a future that is freer, fairer, more sustainable and more prosperous.

"While we’re all committed to our own work as individuals, we also recognize our common interest and goals. We each speak for ourselves, but we’re all in this together. We pledge to respect, listen to, assist, and learn from one other. We are Global Voices."

Got a change you'd recommend? By all means, go make it.

For my part, I find it inspiring, this common ground that bloggers from different countries and cultures are finding, this sense that these tools can make a difference on the bog problems we face as a planet. We've always hoped that WorldChanging serves in part as that kind of bridge.

This is a small planet in need of some big ideas. The more people there are in the conversation, the more likely we are to find them.

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Rebecca talked about finalizing by Monday - is that still the case? I think we do need to have a practical deadline.

Posted by: Jon Lebkowsky on 21 Dec 04

I am new to this website and so perhaps my thoughts are beyond your clustering of ideas. But how about expanding the idea of speech to include the right of the Earth to express itself, the critical need of the ecosystem for freedom, i.e., spontaneity of expression, to keep the spontaneous, self ordering matrix of nature going? How about including the right of all species to express themselves freely for the same reason, because the earth/all life thrives on expression? Also, George Monbiot's "Empathic Principle" describes the way of the bridges, what informs/shapes them. Finally, how about championing eloquence, speech that is inspiring? The eloquence of whales, singing the songlines of survival to their young, can't be beat.

Posted by: Mimi Hilson on 22 Dec 04



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