• gtiandwsf farewelltowsf discussion input12

last modified February 2, 2020 by facilitfsm

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input#12/ input from Vicky

I attended the first WSF in 2001 and none since, so I'm not qualified to analyze its glory and its demise (or failing health). Perhaps this allows me to ask: if the WSF was genius 20 years ago, has been useful since, and perhaps has run its course, what are the necessary structures to mobilize humanity in all organizational forms to set us on a restorative path towards a just, sustainable, and thriving future? Another way to ask this: what is trying to be born, is laboring through the birth canal with survival not guaranteed? @1 Or, "if we are standing on the shoulders of giants, what do we now see on the road ahead?"

As one who has worked on sustainability issues for decades, I also ask: with the earth systems in crises of mounting proportions, and with authoritarian leaders in the biggest global economies accelerating drawdown of bio-capacity, what social and political capacities can possibly change our course?

@2  Which leads me to also wonder what our average or mean age is on this forum? Are we largely white and older than millennials?
@3 How are Millennials, Gen Y, and Gen Z organizing so rapidly and in a relatively decentralized way?
@4 It seems like some crucial battles are being fought on social media—how are the intentions of the WSF emerging in these new ways humanity is organizing itself? Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat seem democratic but are part of the profit machine.
@5 Like fora in the past (buildings, infrastructure, financing) where civil society has convened to debate, how do we nonetheless effectively use these online fora for raising existential issues and organizing networks around common goals and values?
@6 While learning about the necessity and power of intersectionality, can we focus on the existential collective threat to all of us: rapid climate unraveling? As Greta Thunberg says, "Our house is on fire".
@7 Can we organize now around this threat in such a way that governance structures emerge that can hold us together to assure justice, fairness, and inclusion going forward?
@8 What is the role of the United Nations in this struggle? In the US, I see the prospective presidential candidates working hard, using the tools of democracy, to find a way to contain, neutralize, and dispose of the bullies in our midst. Pray for us!
@9 What is the role of nation-states in taming autocratic leaders—how does these horrors get de-legitimized? Money, fossil energy, and the military bring down social movements because these are literally the coin of the realm.
@10  How debilitating is that weakness to the foundations of a global movement of movements that can sustain pressure for change?@11  How can narrowing options for sufficiency and safety for people everywhere send us into a fight for change rather than clinging to strongmen who captivate us for their own ends? And on and on... questions and more questions.

I wonder if we can be in these questions together, if we can face the hard truths of our moment and rapidly iterate, evaluate and refine new forms with unprecedented trust.@12 I take heart from the wisdom of my global cohort of exceptional thinkers and dedicated leaders and intellectuals.@13 I take heart from the brilliant young humans with surprising superpowers and resilience we barely recognize.@14  I take heart from the fact that we actually know fairly well now what's wrong and have access, through years of innovation, to thousands of solutions. Perhaps the right questions will ignite this soup and bring forth social and political forms for humanity none of us can yet imagine - sort of like the ignition of life on this planet. I am not wishing or hoping or conjecturing for specific outcomes other than that humanity has a chance to continue to evolve. I am holding the questions and watching the horizon.

Thank you all for your deeply informative comments.

Vicki Robin
Social innovator, Author, Your Money or Your Life