System change - links

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the ‘Age of Consent’ review of George Monbiot’s book outlining a new to democratise global institutions; issues around implementability, but well worth a read for an understanding of the undemocratic nature of existing institutions
Cleisthenes and People-power first stab at any kind of democracy (although only male – but it was ancient Greece); grand assembly administered by a group elected by lottery
Contraction and Convergence not exactly an idea for a new system, it’s about levelling the global playing field in terms of development, carbon emissions etc.
Demarchy system whereby government members are randomly-selected by lottery (see ‘Sortition’ below)
Gaian Democracies ‘redefining globalisation and people-power’ – see what you think
Iroquois Confederacy decentralised native American political entity developed in response to European colonisation
Open Source Governance advocating the use of open source technology for decisions to be made via collective wisdom
Participatory Budgeting idea for grassroots democracy started in Porto Alegre in Brazil
Plato’s philosopher kings idea for a system where the big decisions are made by philosophers who don’t get paid any money – unfairly seen as a precursor to totalitarianism; would of course include queens today
Simultaneous Policy ‘Simpol offers us a way to take action on global problems; problems individual governments cannot resolve by acting alone.
Sortition idea that involves choosing decision-makers by lottery – either for a set time period, or for specific decisions. Implementability is an issue
Ujamaa development policy that amounted to an entirely new political system in Tanzania in the 1960s and 70s; eventually beaten by the World Bank

Organisations promoting system change or building alternatives

Mondragon Corporation replicable system of co-operative business and governance in the Basque Country
Smart CSOs Lab some very interesting documents on their websites, including the failure of most civil society organisations to promote systemic change
The Next System US organisation doing interesting things
Yamagishi Association Japan Times article about an idea for a new system founded in 1951, and based on talking things through in egalitarian communities. (Dave of spent a couple of months at a Yamagishi centre, and reports that there really isn’t any ‘brainwashing’)


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The human impact on nature and on each other is accelerating and needs systemic change to reverse.

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