I am fellow at the Personal Democracy Forum Europe. The PDF Europe will take place at Barcelona 20-21 November 2009. I was happyly surprised when I first knew about PDF, which happened while I was living in Berkeley in the fall of 2008. I founded the format quiet in the trend of other events in USA (where even hackers meet in big hotels with fees and people ask you if they have to pay to attend whatever even), but was very curious about the content.
Create spaces (and this one was created in 2004!, much before Obama effect) to specifically address the issue on how technology is and could change politics is something to celebrate. Academia is much more begind. Considering for example that only until this last summer (2009) the European Council of Political Research (main conference on political research in Europe) didn’t dedicate a section to politics and internet!
However, I am less convenced on some of the decisions in the migration of the PDF to Europe and particularly Barcelona. Why to make it (more when it is about a forum on changing politics) in a luxurious building (Torre Algar)? Plus an entrance cost of 350 euros (or 250 reduction) is too much for the overall wage in the Spanish State. Even among professionals of the area or researchers (where the precarity means “milenauristas” or worths). I couldn’t afford to attend the PDF if I wouldn’t be grant as a fellow. I also think a more “contamination” of the program from the vibrant transformation sphere at Barcelona would benefit it. In Barcelona things can be done in other ways (and the www.fcforum.net is an illustration of it). But let’s see, I am curios to see what emerge in the discussions which include:
- Pan-European politics: Can the internet connect the dots?
- New possibilities for collaborative government
- Using the internet to open up politics outside the parties
- Transparency and participation: What is real e-government?
- What should European politicians and parties learn from the Obama victory?
- Using social media to transform the relationship between voters and their representatives
- State of the art politech: how to use mobile, video and social networking to advance your cause
- New media vs traditional media: how to navigate the new environment
I am particularly interested on see a cross discussion between the Europe approuch regarding democratic transformation (with the keyword PARTICIPATION: increase channels for citizens participation in the decision-making) and USA approuch (with the keyword TRANSPARENCY: open up the data generated by the public administration and goverment to citizens, to know what is going on (particularly regarding lobbies and organic correcption) but also for citizens engagement in the data systematization to sustain claims and increase goverment efficiency). They are not the same but an hybridism between the best of each could result fruitfull.
Take a look at the web:
I am very proud of announcing the launching of the “Charter for Innovation, Creativity and Access to Knowledge”.
I am very proud also of being a co-author of it.
The Charter is the result of the First International Forum on Free Culture and access to knowledge which took place at Barcelona (October 29 to November 1 2009).
A broad coalition from over 20 countries, of hundreds of thousands of citizens, users, consumers, organizations, artists, hackers, members of the free culture movement, economists, lawyers, teachers, students, researchers, scientists, activists, workers, unemployed, entrepreneurs, creators… has been also created and it is under the Charter.
Citizens of the digital era stanp up to full fill the potential of the digital era in increasing freedom, justice and rewarding for all!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
We invite all citizens to make this Charter theirs, spread it and practice it.
We invite all the governments, multinationals and institutions urgently to listen to it, understand it and enforce it.
The Charter is availeble at: http://fcforum.net/
Or Download the Charter at: http://fcforum.net/files/CHARTER_short.pdf
Two good news today. First, and importantly!!!, Interface launched its first number. Interface is a new journey that combine peer-reviewed quality with open access format. Furthermore, Interface is conceived as a journey “FOR and about social movements” and aims to build bridges between research and action.
The birth of Interface makes me very very happy. I think it is to be celebrated the birth of research journeys that reject the commercialization of research and knowledge and choose to be openly accessible. To reinforce open access is to me the priority now, individually and collectively. We need to develop a”critical mass” that adopt open access and show that it is absurd the actual system of distribution of research results.
The second, less important, good new is that Interface team accepted an article by me on “Action research: mapping the nexus of research and political action”. I feel very proud that my firts peer-reviewed articles appears in an open access journey.
Hope that you enjoy Interface!! Mayo
Interface: a journal for and about social movements
Issue one: “movement knowledge”
The first issue of Interface, a multilingual, open access and global e-journal produced by social movement practitioners and engaged movement researchers, is now available at www.interfacejournal.net. The special theme of this issue is “movement knowledge”: what movements know, how they produce knowledge, what they do with it and how it can make a difference.
Articles in this issue include:
Laurence Cox, Cristina Flesher Fominaya, Editorial: movement knowledge
Mayo Fuster Morell, Action research: mapping the nexus of research and political action
Budd Hall, A river of life: learning and environmental social movements
Sandra Maria Gadelha de Carvalho / José Ernandi Mendes, Extensão universitária: compromisso social, resistência e produção de conhecimentos (Continuing education: social commitment, resistance and the production of knowledge)
Ilse Scherer-Warren, Redes para a (re)territorialização de espaços de conflito: os casos do MST e MTST no Brasil (Networks for the reterritorialisation of spaces of conflict: the cases of the Brazilian MST and MTST)
Antonio Pedro Dores, Movimentos sociais existem? (Do social movements exist?)
Michael Duckett, “Wor diary”: a case of DIY alternative history (action note)
Süreyyya Evren, Alternative publishing experiences in Istanbul (action note)
Caspar Davis, Creative democracy – wisdom councils at work (action note)
Alejandrina Reyes, La sistematizacion de experiencias y la vision emergente en el hecho educativo (teaching / research note)
David Landy, The mirror stage of movement intellectuals? Jewish criticism of Israel and its relationship to a developing social movement (review essay)
Fergal Finnegan, Janet Conway, Praxis and politics (book review)
A call for papers for issue two is now open, on the theme of “civil society versus social movements”. Full details at
Interface is looking for new participants for its various regional / linguistic groups. We are particularly keen to find IT collaborators who can help us make the site more useful and accessible, and translators to support our multilingual project. Our overall aim is to “learn from each other’s struggles”: to develop a dialogue between researchers and practitioners, but also between different social movements, intellectual traditions and national contexts.
Contact details at: