Version 10 (modified by Jamie McClelland, 14 years ago) (diff)


GMC 2008 Workshop Proposal

Organizing the Organic Internet

In this gathering, activists will join together to examine and discuss one of the largest, most important and powerful human movement in recent history.

With over a billion people engaging in a collective activity, today's Internet is one of humanity's largest social movements, reflecting the kind of social interaction and collective achievement activists like us struggle for world-wide: fundamentally collaborative, democratic and based almost entirely on tools and software that has been produced collaboratively, developed by large, democratic communities and distributed freely. It is truly international and resilient against constant attempts to control its direction and curtail its positive growth.

Even more inspiring, the Internet has grown in this progressive way against considerable relentless opposition by powerful forces that don't want a "better world" for most of us. As such, it represents one of the progressive movement's most significant and important victories.

In this gathering, we seek to collaboratively write an Internet Justice Bill of Rights. Modeled after our successful workshop at the US Social Forum, we will break the audience into groups of 4 - 5 people. Each group will speak with one voice via a "scribe" who will be tasked with entering the group's proposed rights of the group into a web-based system. A dynamic, projected display of the current state of the Bill of Rights is visible to all.

All ideas belong to the group: any group can edit any Right, whether they wrote the original version or not All revisions of a given Right are stored, but only the most recent edit is projected to the group as a whole. The group which creates a new version of a right automatically endorses that right, but otherwise holds no special connection to it.

Each group also has the ability to endorse any Right that seems worthy. When a Right is edited, existing endorsements are cleared, which requires solicitation of new endorsements for the new version. Rights with more endorsers float to the top, while the rights with fewer endorsers sink to the bottom of the projected list.

To keep the Bill of Rights to a manageable, concise size, only 10 rights can exist at a given time. If 10 rights already exist, the only way to add a new idea to the Bill is to edit an existing right, which requires engaging other groups in a dialog to ensure an adequate number of re-endorsements.

The goal of the session is to examine, through interactive collaboration:

  • what the Internet really means for us and our movements;
  • how it models the society we are struggling for;
  • how the way we've developed it serves as a model for how to develop that just society;
  • and finally how we as progressive activists can work inside the Internet to broaden its positive impact and protect the gains we and it have made.

Structure of the event

At 1.5 hours, we might take 10-15 minutes for the introduction, 45 minutes for the "session", and 30 minutes for discussion and wrap up.


Currently, what we have written is published on jamie's blog. It should probably be added to the MF/PL SVN repository.

People and equipment

We're counting on the following people to come with laptops available: Alfredo, Jamie, Daniel, Maritza, Ross, Josue, Karim

We'll also request that Josue bring his projector (we can request this from the conference organizers, but good to have our own just in case).

  • Introduction: overview and what is a statement of rights: alfredo
  • Practical details of the game: jamie
  • Break out groups: dkg