• wsfic icfuturecontribution 7

last modified April 17, 2013 by facilitfsm

wsfic_fsmci |       Icfuture discussion



(...)  My frustration comes from the fact that we continue to repeat the same dynamics, leading to a standstill and de facto non collaboration, for what reason I still don't undertand.  The specific case I was addressing is about working on the website for 2013 as a project to renew the whole institutional website, sharing those parts (such as registration of participants, memory, multimedia, etc) which are common and making it a collaborative site, so it
can be co-designed and co-edited by more people - and not be the sole responsibility of a person or two in an "office" (no irony intended).

 We've shared this in the IC  and created groups with the people who are concretely working on it.  Who said they were waiting to have from the Office the domain they could use to work on it (eg. fsm2013.forumsocialmundial.org). And are still waiting.  So who is supposed to decide on this very specific matter? Shouldn't it be a group (of the IC) dedicated to communication issues?

Many attempts as Communication commission  to share responsibilities in a collaborative way have been made in the past with your previous collegues (discussions and documents where generated, trying to list tasks to be shared and preserve the independence and professional work done by office staff) - but this is history and besides the point.

The point is: who has to take certain decisions and where does the collective responsibility of the IC as such lie?  Who is accountable to whom?  And what forms of collaboration can be concretely practice and which are really viable?  How much is it a matter of financial issues and how much of "control"?

The Liason Group was supposed to be a solution - it ended up creating more problems.  And now that most of its members were supposed to be renewed, no real assessment was done, and what happened in Monastir seemed to be a way to delay and defer again any possible different solution.  I already expressed myself publicly about this.

The Forum process has an incredible potential, and whenever it has been adopted in different contexts it has help dynamise and aggregate.  But it
has to evolve as it grows and moves, as the context changes, as some actors get "tired" and others perceive a closure; it needs to include new
instances, change its dynamics, and become less improvised and more accountable.  Learn from other "processes" - without making a myth out of
them (occupy movement, for eg) - but especially, try not to repeat the same errors again and again.

So if this working group (with 4 sub-groups of 1-2 people each??!!) wants to really explore how to get out of this mess in a creative, re-energizing,
concrete and accountable way, I think it needs not just to theorize about the future, but to look at concrete ways to mobilise, clear the minimal
rules and methods of participation in the IC (which IS a responsibility and not just another venue to meet each other - so non participant members
should no longer be members).  And find how to give continuity to a process, by renewing itself each time as the relay passes from one organising committee to the next (where the "office" could be based) and being very public and transparent (recording the meetings and making them available on the website; have "instant reports"; publish accounts; declare who is responsible for what).

So... what next?

Gina - thanks for your work.  If I understand correctly, the task for each "sub-group" is to issue a document as a basis for further reflection on the different aspects.  That is fine -- can it be done with collaborative "public" tools, instead of just exchanging versions on a mailing list?
Openfsm "wiki" is available and as of today holds the "memory" of many discussions, documents, guidelines, etc. But there are many other tools out there... (and the "Occupy"ers are making an incredible use of them).

I would add something I had already suggested for the post-Dakar evaluation, which involved asking all organisations and participants of the forum process to give their ideas, expectations, proposals, through a (simple) questionnaire - not just, but of course also, the IC members.  To do this, we'd need to use the newsletter database and - possibly - the database of the Dakar forum.  The questionnaire can be done online, in several languages.  It doesn't take a huge technical effort.  And we had already worked on it and agreed last year (I just re-read a few emails about it).  But then it wasn't done [why?] - and we only received a few answers from IC members.

[And please, Giuseppe, lets not repeat the discussion on open space methodology and questionnaires... ;-) ]

Then of course - if successful - we'll have a lot of useful elements which can inform and stimulate and help the preparation of a more grounded debate
in the next IC.