Creating Communities of
A demonstration project to make a positive difference in the world.
Inevitably, we'll see a trend toward Community Network models defined by how people's imaginations are captured by tangible demonstrations of best practices using specific collaborative tools to create shared value. The authenticity of genuine participation will be measured by the demonstration of effective training coupled with rather immediate visible outcomes everyone can understand and celebrate. Such "models" can be a simple matter to create using new tools, as described below.
Indigenous peoples will inevitably engage in new forms of hunting and gathering behaviors; gathering and sharing the best knowledge they can find from global sources. Perhaps indigenous peoples will learn to work together to gather and share the most robust solutions possible as broadly as possible on an ongoing basis? (http://lone-eagles.com/indigenous.htm )
Finding the Time
Most Community Networking projects fall apart based on issues of individuals willing to commit their time and on their perception that their donated time produces value and is socially recognized. The incentive has to be the perception of purposeful activities that produce personal satisfaction.
Community is the sum of the time we give to each other.
Community is those to whom we devote our time and genuine attention
Caring is expressed as a genuine commitment in time
We only have time for our priorities. We don’t “find” time, we “make” time!
We need to document web sites where people have actually cared enough to work together to create something, no matter how simple, based on specific shared interests. People need to see models of what purposeful groups created to support their cause.
Web sites dedicated to specific causes
http://webactive.com (Select “Directory” on the left-hand side)
Web-based activism lessons
The issue here is; once the process of creating value is demonstrated, how are others engaged in sustained activity at any level? And we need to quantify those successive levels of tools and best practices as visions and best practices mature.
Significant modeling can begin with even just a few people dedicated to work together in a coordinated fashion using modern tools. If only 5-10 persons wish to work together to gather and share knowledge on a specific issue, what tools would we recommend? A listserv? A web site? A full blown content management system? Perhaps starting small and simple, and growing skills one step at a time makes the best sense. While a free set of collaborative tools are offered by the Inquiry Labs (I-Labs) below, an NSF demonstration project, the tools selected could be part of the competition with emphasis on how well they are used rather than on the potential of the tools alone. These “Inquiry I-labs” in just a few minutes will produce a password-protected community network with multiple collaborative tools. Examples of well-developed sites are included on the home page.
To set the context for a project to utilize an I-lab, here’s a draft model project to engage youth for one month to showcase what’s possible with measurable outcomes.
Making Key Connections:
Core Values And Making a Positive Impact
A Demonstration project of Caring and Sharing
Since 9/11 we’ve seen the global negative impact a small group of terrorists have made on the world. This project is an opportunity for you to demonstrate the positive global impact a small group can make with the hope others will join in to make this a better world.
In this unique project we’ll each agree to work with others to bear witness to our specific shared core values. We’ll demonstrate what’s possible combining caring and connectivity with common sense. We’ll use specific collaborative online tools to demonstrate effective ways to leverage all our individual efforts to the benefit of all.
We’ll agree to support one another despite our differences. We’ll demonstrate real community spirit through effective online collaboration using multiple specific tools. We’ll each share what we’ve learned without restriction and will work together to learn specific new skills.
What Are Your Core Values?
This project will give participants a chance to promote their core values by working with others to gather and share the very best resources you can find from global sources. The goal will be to create the highest value resource possible related to participants’ core values while demonstrating the best applications of free collaborative tools.
Creating Real Value
Information condenses to knowledge which condenses to wisdom, and value is created in a knowledge economy. This profoundly simple process applies to both social and economic value. “Less is More” in the age of information overload.
"Value" is more important than "Volume" when it comes to information being useful.
The collecting of information is the beginning of knowledge...
The sharing of knowledge is the beginning of community...
For example, a core value might be the sanctity of human life and you might advocate against senseless drive-by shootings and terrorist acts against innocent civilians by creating a resource on human rights.
Or you might advocate your core value for sharing information that can help others, by demonstrating how your own efforts can result in online resources that can be of immediate help to others. Determine what you feel most passionate about as your core value and demonstrate how to make a global impact!
Who really cares about anyone or anything other than themselves…
enough to devote their time?
A One Month Web-raising Demonstration Project
Each participant commits set time per week and emails time spent and accomplishments to a designated scribe who maintains the project web page and keeps records for all contributed content and participation. The challenge will be to demonstrate the most effective use of volunteered time to create the most outstanding resources providing the greatest possible benefit to others. Specifically sought are the very best ways to leverage the time volunteered by members of a group to create a useful global resource.
If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.
If you want something different, work with others to create a change.
Here’s how it works:
- Everyone interested will email the project leader for specific instructions on how to participate.
(Everyone needs an email account and the ability to get online regularly.)
- Your email address will be subscribed to a mailing list so we call can easily post and share messages for everyone to read.
You’ll learn how mailing lists work. (Also called listservs)
- We’ll learn more about using search engines and will learn to create web pages of great resources specific to your group’s core values.
- We’ll all contribute details on our time spent, and other progress measures below so we’ll all know what we’ve accomplished when our one month is done.
- In addition, we’ll gather links to the best innovations we can find from other communities. We’ll brainstorm and explore what more we could do if we cared enough to continue to explore the possibilities.
Visible measures of success will be maintained weekly on the project web page:
Number people contributing
Number new resources/pages
Number messages exchanged
Number interested in expanding and continuing (sustained interest)
Number of participants willing to be posted as a mentor for a specific skill or topic
Number new skills learned by number mentees taught by number of mentors
Number new partnerships and ideas for expanding the project
Note: The easiest method is to have all participants email the above produced activity to one person who will then maintain a single web page reporting what is actually produced by the actions of all participants. All emails can be easily archived for later reference.
Skills lessons are online at http://lone-eagles.com/essential-skills.htm
National Science Foundation’s FREE “Inquiry Labs”
A ten-year grant provides the following outstanding free collaborative tools. You can create a private community network in just minutes.
The Inquiry Page
Learning begins with questions. Welcome! The Inquiry Page is more than a website. It's a dynamic virtual community where inquiry-based education can be discussed, resources and experiences shared, and innovative approaches explored in a collaborative environment.
Here you can search a growing database of inquiry units, and you can also build your own inquiry units. You can see pictures of inquiry-based activities and learn more about some of our partners who use inquiry methods. Learn how to assess and evaluate inquiry-based education or look for more inquiry resources to support what you're doing. Or you can simply find out more about what inquiry and The Inquiry Page are all about.
The I-labs represent an easy-to-use, free, community network incubator. A good place to start for those who are unfamiliar with how a community network actually functions using collaborative tools to gather and share new knowledge.
“The Inquiry Labs” (I-labs) are at http://inquiry.uiuc.edu/cil
Browse the collaborative projects of others to see how they are using the free tools.
I-lab collaborative tools are called “bricks” and are listed at http://inquiry.uiuc.edu/cil/bricks.php
Two Example Inquiry Lab Applications
SisterNet: Participatory Design
A model project using the community inquiry lab above.
Puerto Rican Community Projects
This page describes how this group is using the community inquiry lab.