CLICK HERE FOR COLLABORATIVE TABLECLOTH (Google Document).  Note: this Google Doc is a record of our conversation during the call. If you want to make further comments, please do so using this forum thread on by posting in the "reply" box below.  Otherwise, most people will not see your comment!

Guest conversation starter Jim Barton, one of the original members of Occupy Asheville, Occupy Cafe Steward and long-time political activist, brings a global perspective to the Occupy conversation for our regular Monday Cafe Call on 2/13 from 8-10am Pacific/11am-1pm Eastern. Click here to register or simply reuse your PIN from previous Monday calls.

Our conversation will be seeded by a presentation from Jim that examines the need for a "United Nations 2.0."  Jim will focus on the questions of how humanity has evolved in the last 50,000 years and how the combined force of social media and the United Nations might help it to evolve further.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the first Earth Summit, the UN is sponsoring a conference on global sustainability in Rio this June.  Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, speaking in Davos last month and sounding a lot like an Occupy anarchist, called our current economic system "a global suicide pact" and issued this challenge:

How do we create growth in a resource constrained environment?

How do we lift people out of poverty while protecting the planet and ecosystems that support economic growth?

How do we regain the balance?

All of this requires rethinking.

Here at Davos – this meeting of the mighty and the powerful, represented by some key countries – it may sound strange to speak of revolution.

But that is what we need at this time.

We need a revolution. Revolutionary thinking. Revolutionary action.

A free market revolution for global sustainability.

Do you believe the UN can be a vehicle for change?  How do we address the global nature of the challenges we face?  For those of us drawn most powerfully to local action, can we find ways for this work to not only lead to stronger and more resilient communities but also achieve global impact?  Can we "Go Glocal?"


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There is a "people's summit" in Rio at the same time as the official UN gathering. Info here.  I'm curious what opportunities those who are following this closely see in this forum.  Here's more info:

Green economy, false solutions, sustainable development, REDD, collapse of the planet, the commodification of nature, the Peoples’ Summit, the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), Riocentro, Flamengo. The avalanche of terms that arise when it comes to Rio +20 can leave even the most enlightened citizens confused. In an attempt to remedy this potential problem and to organize the minds that are thinking about the future of the planet, we have compiled here a series of elements that define what the People’s Summit is – and what it is not. The People’s Summit in Rio +20 for Social and Environmental Justice, against the commodification of life and in defense of the commons, is:

  • An event to be held between the 15th and the 23rd June 2012 in Flamengo (Rio de Janeiro), organized by the brazilian and the international civil society.
  • A counterpoint to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) – the official Rio +20 – critical of how governments have dealt with social and environmental issues and proposals to prevent a global collapse.
  • A parallel event, independent of the official Rio +20.
  • Critical to the concept of green economy, keyword for the official UN conference. The organizers of the Summit consider this an unsatisfactory concept to deal with the crisis of the planet, caused by the models of capitalist production and consumption.
  • An opportunity to effectively address the problems that humanity  is facing.
  • A demonstration of the political strength of organized peoples.
  • “An area of experimentation and visualization of the specific practices that we want to see in the world.”
  • Anti-capitalist, conscious of the class-related inequalities, anti-racist, anti-patriarchal and anti-homophobic.
  • A call to reinvent the world.
  • An event of and for the people.
  • A space free from corporations.
  • A statement of the right to common goods.
  • A reference to the Global Forum, an event organized by civil society that took place during the Eco 92, the Earth Summit, also in Flamengo Park.
  • A part of a historical process of accumulation and convergence of local, regional and global struggles.

The People’s Summit is not :

  • The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD). That is to say : the Peoples’ Summit is not the official  Rio +20, organized by the UN.
  • Linked to the official Rio +20 or to the UN anyway. Some organizations present at the Summit also have seats in the official conference, but the event itself is autonomous and independent.
  • An area of corporations or commodification of nature.
  • A place for false solutions, but for solutions that have been created by the people for the problems currently experienced on the planet.
  • Intergovernmental, but international.
  • A reaffirmation of the green economy as a solution for sustainable development – to the contrary.
  • Business as usual.


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