———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Dante-Gabryell Monson
Date: Sat, May 17, 2008 at 1:52 PM
Subject: Build up of mutually empowered critical mass of prosumers ?
To: hc_ecology – at – yahoogroups.com, sustainable_solidarity – at – yahoogroups.com
I felt like writing some additional ideas , in relation to potential developments and projects I see around me , and question myself as to where to converge ” physically ” while being able to live, and facilitate the … ” Build up of mutually empowered critical mass of prosumers ? ” – while not disconnecting ourselves from the city / not fully living in autharcy – but being open to a globalised world , with a capacity for higher levels of mutual empowerment and collaborative creativity.
and how to facilitate the networking and collaboration of organizations , cooperatives , academic institutions , students , … any individual towards such intentions ?
When the picture is so synthetic and complex , where to start ?
a follow up on a previous thread and response which you will find below
I also notice another trend – the urban redevelopment trend around knowledge and creation centers.
this is my main reason for now visiting Helsinki , as there is a urban re-development plan , shifting a declined industrial neighborhood into a art/design/high tech – living , research and development , management , lifelong learning space.
also see another project in the united states :
if you have a good internet connection , you might want to view this very easy to read and informative 10 Mb pdf file :
if not , some more google entries related to
Remaking Cities Institute – Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Architecture
One of the aims of mine and of many people I end up meeting , along these last years , is to connect further our intentional networks , with a variety of individuals from different backgrounds sharing it , activists , academic institutions, students , organizations , businesses , governmental organizations , representatives , etc
share practices , experiment , increase our credibility through joint projects , increase support and access to a variety of resources , …
There are a number of very interesting initiatives , in many OECD countries – for example here a japanese practice sharing platform :
Although sometimes it feels simple yet complex , and I doubt strongly that the verbal language tool , even when extended by information technologies , and emails like this one , can be effective enough – i feel more and more that what is needed is new forms of language , some kinds of dynamic mapping into which we can add , position , extract , compare , correct , …
beyond wiki s , yet including them , extracting available data from the internet , from our environments , and be able to visualize them through some post symbolic visual language.
I am also not surprised to see that many a case , as with the Arabiaranta Helsinki redevelopment project , the central synthetic and creative environment , the convergence space for trans-disciplinarity , are choses to be art universities , or more precisely , art and technology development oriented environments ,
dreaming and designing futures and the relations between all elements , including dreams about new esthetical forms of lifestyle …
Or am I wrong ? I am perhaps too young to have experienced it , but it seemed that in the end of the 60 ies , the social movements erupted from the humanistic faculties ?
Is this still te case ? I traveled all over europe in the last years , met a lot of students of politics and sociology , and often they would end up being the activist side of the movement , but often in an approach that is ” fighting ” and not necessarily with new visions.
It feels that Design and Technology Development / Research ” clusters ” are becoming ” fashion and being developed , not necessarily through grassroot movements , but because of the needs and evolution of businesses ( and consumerism ? ) into products that require such solutions.
Which perhaps sounds a bit contradictory to a prosumer spirit ?
Business seems to have been successfull in absorbing the individualist needs of the 68 generation into … consumerism ? ( I paste below some references to a BBC series of documentaries ” The century of the self ” ) ,
but will it take further control over current psychological , and potential structural developments ?
Or are we able to create the prototypes that can better deal with complexity and offer alternative modes of organization and lifestyle then the current dominant competitive , consumerist , scarcity creating , individualist models ?
A dilemna I feel is that the resources are still on the side of a capitalistic mode of production and managment.
Organizing ourselves , and connecting between each other , cooperatives , that can facilitate the mutual empowerment of individuals while creating some of the resources they need to live , eventually selling to a broader market , or even creating its own markets ( and own alternative – intentional ? – currencies ? more complex barter systems involving information technologies ? to trade between partners / cooperatives that share common intentions ? )
Can we inspire the creation of a critical mass ?
Where do we start to converge a critical mass ?
With food cooperatives ? With learning practices and school environments ?
I know that its in every different field that we can be active , and spread such socio-cultural memes ,
yet for some of us , it does not feed us yet –
The p2p foundation ( and other platforms and movements ), the convergence of various examples and ideas under the wiki , blog , ning , mailing lists
is where we seem to be now.
But how to connect a critical mass ? … as to empower ourselves with the resources needed ,
without having to be dependent on a capitalistic mode of organization and production ?
” The Century of the Self ”
About ” The Century of the Self ” :
To many in both politics and business, the triumph of the self is the ultimate expression of democracy, where power has finally moved to the people. Certainly the people may feel they are in charge, but are they really? The Century of the Self tells the untold and sometimes controversial story of the growth of the mass-consumer society in Britain and the United States. How was the all-consuming self created, by whom, and in whose interests?
some more videos on my blog
On Sat, May 17, 2008 at 1:01 PM, Dante-Gabryell Monson wrote:
Hi Marco , Michel , Sam , ( cc : Alicia , Marilyn , Steve , Synnove , Andrius , Josef , Franz , Jeff )
yes , I guess that the people that are fully interested in investing themselves in a shift of lifestyle patterns in such kind of approach – pro-suming ( ? ) – form some kind of sub-culture –
The eco-village movement ( such as http://gen.ecovillage.org/ ) might be one such kind of sub culture , although too often I realize they tend to reject information technologies and try to move to some more collectivist structures , going back to the past , trying to escape complexity and live a simple life ,
although there are also some examples of emerging networks , such as
and also emerging , existing , communities such as one I know about ( but did not visit up to now ) in the netherlands ,
they also organize a festival ( in dutch – Michel might understand : http://www.c4real.nl/ )
and where an acquaintance of mine met at a ecotopia camp http://eyfa.org/projects/ecotopia ,
“alicia falvey” , has been ( and still is ? ) very involved in – I also remember she mentionned some other projects in Ireland ? –
I also paste below for Michel an extract in dutch extracted from
De wijk EVA-Lanxmeer
De Culemborgse wijk EVA-Lanxmeer is een stadswijk, die is gebouwd op basis van gedachtengoed over integrale sociaal-ecologische stedenbouw en permacultuur. In dit gedachtengoed staat de kwaliteit van de leefomgeving centraal, waarvoor de bewoners en bedrijven die er wonen en werken zelf medeverantwoordelijkheid dragen. De inrichting van leefomgeving wordt gekenmerkt door ecologisch bouwen, organische vormgeving en architectuur, afvalwaterzuivering in de wijk, centrale parkeerplaatsen, landschapsarchitectuur, samenhang tussen privé tuin, gezamenlijke tuin en openbaar groen, behoud van cultuurhistorische elementen, ontwikkeling van natuur, biodiversiteit en biologische landbouw.