Are all the people working/helping in the same direction and having in mind the same priorities of the environmental issues? The idea of doing something just because in some way or another it will help to repair the world is not enough. Not anymore when we have in front of us an urgent problem. We should start to do things in the same direction: towards a UNIQUE WORLD STRATEGY.
Let's develop a web page which easily illustrates the United Nations break-down of its prioritized assessment of environmental problems from which people can refer easily in order to participate in and solve environmental issues around the same strategy.
- What are the environmental problems, specifically?
- Which problem(s) need(s) to be dealt with first? Is what I want to do necessary or urgent?
- Would what I want to do be worth the effort?
- What is the latest info regarding problems and solutions?
- Which institution would be the best to get involved with?
- What world strategies exist? Should there be just one overall global strategy?
- Do main organizations communicate amongst each other to avoid making double effort?
- Who is doing or has done something similar to what I would like to do?
- What are the minimum things I could do in my daily routine? Which ways of helping already exist?
- How can I monitor the improvement of the world environmental situation?
- What should I do?
The current solution available is to get online and doing some research on each of these issues. Probably, as you can imagine, there is a lot (tonnes) of information already available, as well as some partial answers to these questions.
The lack of a unique website where everybody can find the direction and tools they need to take action immediately, make it is easy to lose a big share of the motivated people.
The web site I'm proposing is something like the following:
- Consolidator/Strategist: United Nations, World Bank, IDB, Countries
- Anchor NGOs: WWF, The Nature Conservancy, Green Peace, Green Cross
- Other NGOs
- Website Management: Facebok, Twitter, Wikipedia, Linkedin
- The People
Annually, a meeting is held among the most important NGOs and the Multilateral Organizations mentioned above. There they coordinate the work to be done for the year and some common tasks. This is, to a certain degree, a strategy. In this meeting they identify problems and establish priorities. This is the strategy that should be used as a foundation for the website.
Once the strategy is clearly laid out in the web site, the most well-known NGOs would be encouraged to use it to set an example for Other NGOs.
To have feedback about the willingness and compromise of these few Anchor NGOs to participate is fundamental for this idea could go on.
These NGOs will find a place to publish their requirements and show their importance. If they are not able to generate a business plan or explain their projects in the proposed way, they could request for help on the website itself. They could find and exchange ideas with people who might be willing to help and have experience doing business plans and maybe now do not see the way they could help.
Coming back to the Actors topic, this web page is a kind of mix between a social network, internet search and a web-based collaboration: using the best internet tools to organize all the efforts around the world.
Finally, the people would just have to sign up for the projects they would like to keep up with in order to colaborate when each NGO requests for help. A system to verify/prove the participation of people in the projects should be established in order to avoid a “free rider” attitude which may be generated by people who start to say that they have collaborated in some project just because they appear as listed for the project but in reality have not helped. This should be easy to manage as long as the NGOs are willing to share that information.
Consensus & Commitment:
I received one comment pointing to the fact that websites have not been seen as a solution for the environmental problem considering that, to obtain social action and results, consensus and commitment must be built at much more basic levels as well as empowering leaders at different positions.
The GWT project proposes that social action and results will arise from all motivated people and enterprises once:
- It is understood that there is a unique worldwide action plan
- The plan is supported by the principal agents related to this issue
- The plan is explained in a quick and didactic way
- It is possible to take action immediately
Given these considerations, it would be easier for leaders to reveal themselves and for motivated people to join in at different efforts.
How could the internet be used to promote this?
The internet could be a tool to organize and promote quick activism. For instance, take a look at Andrew Mason’s presentation of his website “The Point”
Andrew Mason, The Point
The GWT is proposing a new way to do this, but it will have to leverage on ideas like those presented in The Point and other websites.
I agree with the idea of promoting consensus among leaders at different levels, which could be definitely more reasonable when there are limited resources to do so. But some things have changed in order to have more resources available (motivated people ready to act) and for the GWT to be possible:
- New tools for collaboration and sharing (The Point (Activism), Facebook (Social-Network), LinkedIn (Skills), Jumo/ Amazee (Social Concern), Google (Information Search), Wikipedia (Organized Knowledge))
- The symptoms of climate change have been more heavily felt in the last 2-3 years in different parts of the world and the message of urgency is clearer than years ago.
- Education has been doing its work and now (I would say) there is an entire generation aware of the environmental problem. There is definitely more willingness and consciousness to become a well-rounded person.
- After all the efforts of the NGOs during these last few years, there should be a higher consensus around the environmental problems and prioritization.
Generating consensus on education and empowering (important) people, are critical actions that will help to solve the structural problem. Nevertheless, there are other types of actions, for instance, specific projects over land, waters, animals or air welfare that also need support.
I see these last actions as short term strategies and consensus and education as medium/long term strategies. Both strategies have to be pushed hard and can be supported by this website.
- be easier to capture the willingness-to-help than with the current options that do not offer a complete vision to the people
- provide a place where supply of resources could be paired with demand, resulting in a win-win situation for all
- be a place where all the NGOs could be visible, offering their proposals and improvements
- be easier to attract attention to the most important projects
- be easier to share experiences and adapt projects across borders
- be easier to identify already existing projects and share know-how
- be possible to decentralize the role of the governments and big institutions to the people. In this point, is also could be seen as a weapon against corruption.
- Chose the countries that should be use as first example (high internet penetration, large base of environmental organization / activity, and same idiom among countries should be the first variables to identify)
- Get in touch with the Ministry of Environment of each country to have access to the list of NGOs in each country and ask for some projects to use as examples for design the website
- Design the website, and establish the update system
- Work on the marketing plan
- Make a draft of the cost of the business plan
- Present it to the United Nations or World Bank
- César Córdova Béjar (my bother): for help me to improve the proposition of this idea when I recently originated it.
- An IDB employee that I do not have his permission to mention his name yet but gave me the support I needed at the beginning to impulse what seems a dream.