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Presenter === Alfredo

Past Initiatives

Several initiatives have taken front stage in our outreach work:

1 -- Organic Internet

a published book that puts forward a politically progressive vision of the Internet as a mass movement and extrapolate strategically from that perspective. Written collaboratively by five MF/PL members, the book has chapters on major "issues" and areas of political discussion and interest.

The book is displayed and sold whenever we attend events, is on our website (as an order by published copy and a free pdf download) and is sold in various bookstores. About 200 copies of the book have been sold or distributed.

2 -- Social Forum Initiative

Probably our main and most significant outreach effort. The story of MF/PL's work in the U.S. Social Forum (initially against considerable odds and actual opposition) has been told often. Our organization helped make this event a success in an obvious way that also helped educate people about technology and its critical role in the social struggle and the work of social struggle organizations.

We also played a major role at the recent Foro de las Americas and are working on an event at the upcoming World Social Forum. We are also considering a "larger than usual" event at the next US Social Forum in 2010 (detailed in our work plans proposals)

3 -- Collaborative Democracy Workshop

No MF/PL outreach effort touches this in frequency and breadth of impact. We have done this deceptively simple exercise in democracy in over a dozen events and workshops including the recent Foro de las Americas (in which we did a Hemispheric event).

The Collaborative Democracy Workshop is a tool in development which, we think, may be used to help facilitate real world consultation on strategies and other issues in the coming period. It is the technological version of a unification center. The Workshop was first tested at the USSF in 2007 and has been our main "contribution" to every conference we attend.

We have some proposals in this meeting for doing workshops and extended "consultations" using this tool.

4 -- Association for Progressive Communications

The APC is probably the largest international network of progressive on-line communicator organizations in the world. Founded in the mid-1990's by the Institute for Global Communications (Labornet,Peacenet,etc.), the Association involves non-profit Internet and technology organizations in countries throughout the world.

APC has recently been less robust than it has in the past but a new leadership is now involved in reviving it and we have sought to get in on the action. We are now a member of APC.

APC has a variety of strategic approaches to different issues and movements but its fundamental approach strongly favors non-governmental organizations of high profile and considerable budget. In short, it's a very different approach from the Social Forum movement (at least the Social Forum movement in this Hemisphere).

Proposed Initiatives

The following initiatives are in proposal stage and will be discussed separately and in-depth later in today's meeting.

1 -- Hemispheric Outreach:That MF/PL "sponsor" and help organize three events: A 2009 consulta among various groups in various countries to begin planning a major "on-line Consulta", a four hour session on the U.S. economy in conjunction with USSF Detroit 2010, a hemispheric consulta after the USSF 2010.

2 -- Membership Constituency Workhsops: To convene all MFPL members in a unified activity in hopes of increasing members' consciousness of technology capabilities in their work, of what membership actually means, and to develop a new and more "democratic" approach to technology development.