Social Shift Forum

Social Shift Forum -- Uniting Scientists, Social Organizations, Artists, Students & Citizens for Social Change

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New York City
US United States

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Web http://www.SocialForum.ca/
Maturity

In development

In what ways is this project unique and creative? Edit

Differentiation (why another forum?)

Focus: solutions or alternatives allowing a transition toward a more socially just and democratic world.

Approach: more systemic in its spirit.

Method: integration (addition) of syntegration processes to optimize efficiency of exchanges and functional democracy. Use of Beer’s and McLuhan’s works.

Extension: extended participation of academia, social / civic organizations and the artistic community.

Synergetic cohesion: reinforcement of events in a reflected continuum enlarging accomplished objectives and fostering a progressive mix of ideas through a diversity of approaches.

What is the social value of this project? Edit

Rosa Luxemburg once wrote that the world can traverse into, essentially, two directions: one of substantive change and the other being barbarism. Creating a climate of critical inquiry is essential, as we need to begin a frank discussion of what needs to be done so that we may understand in which direction we hope to go.
– Dr. James Brittain, Acadia University


Introduction

We are currently working on a social project that we consider of great importance and that we wish to organize in collaboration with colleges and universities, both students and professors, social organizations and socially engaged artists, in addition to any other people or organizations that feel concerned by social justice and democracy.

We are thus seeking partners to put our forces in common and advance this project, which has as much an educational than a cultural and engaged mission in the abolition of social injustice and in the betterment of the lives of all our brothers and sisters on this planet we call Earth, especially by promoting a rational approach to resolve social problems and by the intelligent use of technologies put to the service of humankind in a way that preserve ecological equilibrium and sustainable growth.


What is it, in a nutshell?

This is a platform bringing together researchers, students, social organizations, artists and citizens to find solutions to social issues and bring about social change by the people through people’s participation and empowerment. This is also a three-pronged approach:

A symposium / colloquium bringing together the greatest minds to reflect upon socio-cultural, economic and political issues, and more importantly solutions — and real-time exchanges with people all over the world.

An open forum to continue a broadened exchange on possible solutions with social organizations and citizens through workshops, self-organized or otherwise.

A closing artistic show (along with artistic animation during the event) that artists from all over the world are welcome to support, partner up with, dedicate themselves to, express their views through and use to inspire millions of their fans to publicly show and affirm their desire for social change, and start implementing consequent actions in their lifestyles and daily lives.


What is it, more precisely?

This is a multifaceted project that has three main components: first a symposium / international conference bringing together the greatest minds to reflect upon social issues and possible solutions, to lecture on the current state of politics and economics, and to exchange with citizens about all this; then an open forum to extend the reflection on problems and solutions with social organizations and citizens through workshops largely self-organized around the theme (possibly including syntegrity team projects – cf. Stafford Beer – and philosophical inquiry communities – cf. Matthew Lipman – as operational modes of horizontal reflection); and finally a musical or artistic show (which may include other forms of engaged art) to publicly show a desire for social change.

For conferences and panel discussions, public or academic, we intend to invite, in addition to local professors and researchers, well-respected experts like Noam Chomsky, Norman Kurland, Garry Davis, Jacque Fresco, David Suzuki, Dorval Brunelle, Omar Aktouf and others to exchange ideas in the purest tradition of philosophical and scientific inquiry. The open forum has the intent to use the material discussed in the symposium as a basis for citizen’s workshops aiming at defining actions to improve the world, locally and globally. The show will be a gathering of engaged artists to express a common desire for better social justice and democracy.

In addition to the academic population, we want to make the event accessible to the general public to promote a collective exchange and a deep reflection that go beyond problems and rather focus on possible solutions in a constructive manner, solutions which we may collectively implement to improve the lives of millions of people. Beyond citizens’ awareness, we hope this project will also be source of stimuli to promote intellectual interdisciplinary thinking among researchers themselves.

The project fits well with the social awareness that is spreading all over the world, but which is in desperate need of real solutions to the many injustices reported.

Furthermore, in 2000 several member states of the UN adopted 8 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) they wish to achieve by 2015:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Achieve universal primary education for all.
Promote gender equality and empower women.
Reduce child mortality.
Improve maternal health.
Combat HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases.
Ensure environmental sustainability.
Develop a global partnership for development.
We have here an opportunity to address these objectives in a rational and practical way by seeking to understand, analyze and discover the underlying issues, and by developing solutions to achieve the goals in a relatively short time.

The event, with its three components which are the symposium (academic syntegration), the open forum (citizen-based and classic) and artistic show, serves several purposes…


Goals & Objectives


General Objectives:

Informing the public;

Producing awareness of both socio-economic and political problems, and potential solutions;

Effecting general debate and critical inquiry;

Encouraging reasoning and paradigm questioning;

Initiating a precedent to be replicated;

Favoring cooperation between diverse groups and organizations pursuing a similar general goal (improving the world we live in, creating more humanity and fighting injustice) in spite of minor differences in methods or ideas;

Producing a report of all the work done, of suggestions and conclusions, as a gift to the world (proceedings);

Recording the whole event, also as a gift to humankind;

Getting worldwide media coverage to spread awareness.


Artistic Show Specific Objectives

Producing public awareness;

Uniting the artistic community against social injustice and human exploitation;
Sending a loud and clear message to governants;

Reaching people less receptive to intellectual debate by appealing to universal values of love, respect, peace and brotherhood, and arousing their curiosity to explore and deepen the subject;

Optionally (subject to approval), providing financial support to specific projects of particular importance for social justice and human development. The World Court of Human Rights is a proposal of mine if teammates and artists agree;

Recording of a new videoclip akin to what was done with “We Are the World;”

Broadcasting in multiple countries or on the Internet.

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