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The New Digital Citizenship Imperative:

Engage to Create Positive Change, Locally and Globally

Now that we can, we must!  

By Frank Odasz, frank@lone-eagles.com


The former full-time executive of Microsoft and present co-chairman of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is just one of an estimated 1.1 million baby boomers who have traded jobs in the corporate world for work at nonprofit organizations. And millions more will follow, according to a recent survey by Civic Ventures and the MetLife Foundation. About three-fourths of the nation's 78 million boomers plan to work beyond the traditional retirement age, with as many as half saying they're interested in jobs that help others. "We're seeing the beginnings of a large work force for social change," said Phyllis Segal, vice president of Civic Ventures, a think tank that tracks boomers in "encore careers" that offer not only a paycheck, but also the chance to do good.

It would be very timely, and world news, to come up with a sustainable rural broadband model that engages the majority of citizens in purposeful training and peer mentoring which produces measurable social, economic, and cultural outcomes. What would be the common sense intersection of rural lifestyle and the global information society? Of the values for citizenship and community service, in both a local and global context? How is homeland security increasingly related to international economics?


It is an open question how western individualism and our cherished rural lifestyle can reconcile the necessity for meaningful participation in the global information society and economy. Our history for many ruralites has been one of “I get all the news I need from the Weather report.” Suddenly, due to a changing economy, we’re seeing techno-mavericks taking the bull by the horns and teaching themselves 21st Century rural survival skills for realizing an income from anywhere using broadband. How can we all learn how to do this?


We know it is possible to create Ecommerce websites at no cost and to begin our own global marketing – but most of us lack the tenacity to figure this out for ourselves – so a new form of rural support services has become vitally necessary, and is most certainly viable. We’re surrounded by outstanding success stories which seem to intimidate the majority of us, more than motivate. Who out there can “Trick My Tech,” a rural business owner might ask? Our youth have emerged as digital wizards as the first digital generation in the history of the world.


Common sense suggests that if web-based tools are getting easier to learn, more powerful, and are often free, and that with 1 billion shoppers online and six billion more coming online – perhaps we need to up and do something, and sooner rather than later?


The recent political convention themes have created a sudden recognition for the plight and value of rural communities. There is a new American digital citizenship dynamic emerging, a new call to participate in community service, a new suite of real opportunities to pull ourselves out of the current array of huge problems. There is a new and sudden recognition that our global relationships are integral to our local and national prosperity, and that the American tradition of helping those in need is more important than ever.


With the new and powerful online tools, global service learning now compels us to teach the world what they didn’t know they needed to know on an ongoing basis and on a one-to-one high-touch basis. “From each according to his/her ability, to each according to his/her need.” (Gene Rodenberry/Star Trek)    Everyone both learner and teacher, consumer and producer, all the time, from anyone, anywhere, to anyone, anywhere, anytime, online. 


At issue is nothing less than global security assuring everyone is participating in the global supply chain, to remove the economic disparities which often are the cause for violent conflicts. Mining raw human potential using new knowledge and new teaching technologies in a world has become viable and necessary, where half the population lives on under $2/day and half the population is under the age of 20. That we can educate the first digital generation of 3.5 billion youth and create a global entrepreneurial culture of trust and goodwill is indeed compelling, but more bracing is the risk of what can happen to us all, if we do not quickly move to embrace this opportunity.


Intelligent common sense sharing of training solutions via peer content authoring with emphasis on instructional mentorship and encouragement offers an unprecedented level of socioeconomic capacity-building at a time when global climate change threatens major disruptions in the economics of many nations.


Now, we can view online videos comparing proposed policies of presidential candidates, and can learn online and participate directly in the democratic process – voicing our own views and taking action via social media. The new politics of transparency have changed democracy forever, though we’ve only glimpsed the beginnings for what’s now possible, and inevitable, for the entire world.


The age of transnational activism is upon us, with MySpace and 100 million teens having demonstrated that the virtual equivalent of the 8th largest nation on earth can be created in under two years. Now, MySpace, Facebook, and others are in a new competition to be purposeful, to be focused on social causes of all kinds, to motivate the masses to engage in positive world change.


The New America and America’s next big challenge is to demonstrate global citizenship values and best practices.

One person can generate online instructional content to educate and empower unlimited numbers of people in need. Even the simple gathering and sharing of the best instructional resources, can save valuable time for huge numbers of global learners. Use of humor, goodwill, American ingenuity, and sheer tenacity doing what needs to be done – can now be taken to a whole new level.


The Integrity of a Montanan Handshake.
Establishing Trust – by demonstrating integrity and trustworthiness, is where this must begin. There are so many Internet scams that for many rural citizens the words Internet and Scam are synonymous. Who can effectively separate the wheat from the chaff by simplifying the best training and action trategies leveraged by the most effective support systems? To be updated regularly and supported by rural mentors willing to personalize necessary assistance? Sharing the best innovations as they emerge at the individual, community, and national levels, as a global cause, makes best use of our joint common sense. If we all share what we know, we’ll all have access to all our knowledge.


Global Citizenship and Service to the Global Community

The new Global Citizenship requires the integrity to recognize – if we now actually can make a difference globally, from the comfort and social safety of our own homes and armchairs, we share an obligation to take action, to learn how to leverage each of our actions, to make the world a better and safer place for all – as a  matter of national security, and as a moral obligation as an American, gifted with freedom and armed with a global voice at our fingertips. The new online capabilities dictate; “Now that we can make a global impact, we must.” And we must indeed fight…in the war against ignorance, armed with new knowledge on how to teach anyone, anywhere to become constructivist learners, able to build their own knowledge without being subject to propaganda, intolerance, and biased media. We share an obligation to fight for the world as it should be.

It is perhaps a matter of faith, that regardless of religious orientation, all people will rally to the same global citizenship values as one human family, one species, supporting our precious and finite planet, one with all living things.




To: Rural Community Citizens and Leaders

From: Frank Odasz
           Lone Eagle Consulting

RE: It will be what rural Americans learn to actually DO with broadband that will determine their level of global competitiveness and benefits.


If your community is suffering from the sudden jump in oil and food prices, you might consider how intelligent use of local broadband can help your community adapt. Grant templates, online training and many online resources are offered without restriction, along with affordable community coaching and other services to help your rural community quickly leverage the entrepreneurial and other benefits of online access to the global information society and economy.


Please consider use of these resources for training local trainers to quickly grow local socioeconomic capacity by helping all local businesses establish a free web site and identifying local expertise and mentors. Consider the Lone Eagle resources for engaging your local youth in E-entrepreneurship programs to allow them to participate demonstrating their digital skills helping local businesses gain a web presence. Youth don’t have to become your communities greatest export when anyone anywhere can learn to use the Internet to make the living they want, living wherever they want.


Supplementing family incomes using Internet is becoming widespread though most rural citizens do not know where to go to learn how to do this. Being rural shouldn’t mean being unaware of best practices for using Internet for rural sustainability when it is so easy and cost effective to put online training and mentoring services, online. Online distance learning and mentoring opportunities are profound, cost effective, and desperately needed.

Today's "new economy" is knowledge-based, entrepreneurial, and globally competitive to an extent that was almost unimaginable even a decade ago. Education is the key to the 21st century, both in terms of economic prosperity and personal achievement.

In recent years we’ve seen an explosion of billion dollar social media business success stories and at the same time confusion regarding the promise of broadband resulting in disappointing take-up rates in rural and Native communities. The economic decline continues and the need for a new form of community education and fast-track action plans is growing dramatically.

Rural community sustainability requires intelligent use of fast Internet connections for community wellness across the following nine essential areas; 1. Safety 2. Health 3. Education 4. Enterpreneurship/Ecommerce 6. Social Services 7. Culture 8.Government 9. Entertainment. At issue is identification of the broadband training best practices and smartest applications for each area. The reality is that the widespread training of citizens need not be at all expensive, but it does depend on whether local leaders and the majority of citizens understand what is at stake, and that their direct participation in raising local awareness as to what’s possible to lower costs and supplement incomes is essential if the benefits are to be realized.

More at: http://lone-eagles.com/healthyvillage.htm  (2 pages)

Rural Community Economic Sustainability and Global Competitiveness
Share this online at:  http://lone-eagles.com/meda2008.htm  A Smart Community quiz and resources shared at the Fall 2008 Montana Economic Development Conference.

Sign up for three free months of the Eagle Eye Report E-entrepreneurship E-newsletter, starting Oct. 1st. 2008. Subscriptions are available for $120/year.  Extensive free resources, grant templates, online lessons, rural success stories and more. Contact: Frank Odasz, Lone Eagle Consulting,  PH/Fax: 406 683 6270, Email: frank@lone-eagles.com or go to http://lone-eagles.com

Training Trainers, and Coaching Communities,


Frank Odasz
Lone Eagle Consulting