This website is for those of us -- Movements, Organisations, NGOs, Social Entrepreneurs who locate themselves on the Long & Winding Road to Structural Transformation.
in this day and age of quick solutions, and instant communication, we take pause.. relook at ourselves, our work and the world around us.. deliberate, discuss and flesh out this road to to Structural Transformation. This site is specifically pitched at the middle level in most organisations who are caught up in project activity and do not get a chance to attend meetings, exchange ideas with thinkers and workers of other organisations. We hope this will help them, get the big picture and align their day to day work with the long term perspective of change.
It was 9th of August, 2015. When the UN observed world day of Indigenous peoples, and India celebrated the call of Gandhiji to Quit India, the beach of Dahanu witnessed the call "Quit Destructive Development"
Kaluram Dhodade of the Bhoomi Sema ( Video of his speech and demands of AEP ) led the rally speaking against the move to de-notify the Green Zone Notification and decried the tactics of the establishment to twart the efforts of the Dahanu Development Authority appointed by the Courts, by denying it basic funds and admin support. There is a strong lobby who want to free land in this area for "development" as there is not lots of quick money to be made.
The other demand is to thwart the backdoor entry of the Dahanu Port, something which Nargis Irani has fought for over forty years. In her emotional appeal, she pass on the baton of the struggle to the Adivasis, who accept the torch with loud cheers. Thus, what was upto now considered a middle class issue - "Save Dahanu", and by many analyst as a movement of the big farmers, became the mobilsation slogan of the tribals under the Adivasi Ekta Parishad ( Video of Nargis' emotional plea to the adivasis to take over the struggle)
The National Alliance of Peoples' Movements has moved ahead for the last twenty years on the three pillars of opposition to casteism and communalism, opposition to Globalisation and Liberalisation based economic policy and asserting our right to life and livelihood through constructive action. Medha Patkat at the 10th biennial conference.
Emergence of internetworked social movements and their participatory mobilizing networks portend new forms of democratic politics that integrate some of the structures and strategies of previous movements, while extending the possibilities of social movements in new directions. Today, large movement mobilizing networks must be charted across extremely complex webs of communication, online and offline, that inform complex, dispersed, and quickly changing field of organizing, decision making, coordination and issue construction." - Lauren Langman, Douglas Morris, Internet Mediation: A Theory of Alternative Globalization Movements, http://www.csudh.edu/dearhabermas/langmanbk01.htm
Around the 90s, we had this debate: founder driven organisations v/s institutionalising NGOs with modern management & governance practices. Some felt that the programmes and project should be handed over to the CBOs. But then would the motivation of the leaders then change?
At the turn of the century, we had a round of "social entrepreneurs", quite a few of them Ashoka scholars, people who took up a problem, immersed themselves in a situation, and found an economically viable manner to tackle a situation. Good examples of these are Dharani Coops of Timbaktu, ChildLine, Grassroutes.
Now comes the age of "heropreneurs"- http://tacklingheropreneurship.com/report/ who pursue a career path that promises opportunities to save the world, gain social status, and earn money, all at the same time. That big idea, solved by an app or two. Many of them have not immersed into a situation but have relied on an eco-system set up by CBOs and NGOs for decades. But this eco-system is also changing.. sometimes in direct competition with the new "heropreneurs" due to the changing character of funding.
Daniela Papi-Thornton points out in Tackling Heropreneurship: To really change a system, people need a more holistic set of skills, including systems thinking, an understanding of collaboration tools to further collective impact, and lateral leadership skills such as the ability to lead without power and to galvanize movement toward a common goal across a diverse and disjointed solutions ecosystem. They also need a grounded understanding of themselves and their skills, such as how they like to work, which roles in a team best fit their skills, and if/how their risk tolerance fits with the range of social impact career options. Finally, if they plan to take a leadership or strategic role in solving a problem, they need a deep understanding of the reality of that problem.
A similar issue was raised by K J Joy at the Vikalp Sangam where he spoke of the difference between the "alternatives framework" and the earlier political/systemic approach.. namely that the movements who represent an alternative framework for transformation, need to showcase the conceptual overview rather than individual project, and therefore their intervention would be more conceptual. We must aim for a balance between the experiential and the conceptual. Video Excerpts from the Vikalp Sangam Discussion on Sharing
From Isolated Alternatives to ...
Building Alternative Institutions
We need to develop alternative institutions which will embody the decentralised, people oriented democratic norms. (Walter)We can begin with alternative marketing institutions, which mean raises the experimentations done in Just Change or Kuttmabakkan and Timbaktu, to the levels of inter-organisational norms.(john). Leave it to the people, Otherwise it would be a return to the Vanguardist norm (Aseem)
Now Slow Economics Mantra
Scale Out not Up
At the second Vikalp Sangam, Ilango, Stan and Bablu share their experiences with developing alternative economic institutions within the framework of equity, environmental sustainability, democratic governance.
Ilango shares his journey as a Panchayat Leader of Kuthambakkam, where he started working for livelihood development in his village. He realised how all the wealth created by people was moving out of the economy. Most of the commodities required by a village is available or at least be manufactured in the region. and create a local multiplier effect..
Kuthambottom-Up - Vikalp Sangam
We invite you to join this SLOW KNOWLEDGE Space.
While most sites ask you to speed up information,we wish to Slow It Down. As Samdong Rinpoche what you get is data, which you need to contemplate, relate to your universe of beliefs, and act on it for it to become knowledge.
So dont just forwarding any interesting article, or book, contemplate, put a part of yourself in it.. and share that...We begin by offering our notes and drafts in the Long & Winding Road project, even as it is being researched in a spirit of collaboration and public domain.
Economic Localising is Politics against Globalisation - EOH III Bangalore- March 2014
Localisation is not only about going back to traditional structure. There is this new movement emerging particularly in the industrialised world consciously, shortening the distance between production and consumption. These shorter distances, bring with them a multitude of benefits.
Structurally, in the local food movement, when a farmer sells to a market closer to home, the economic pressure is to diversify, to produce more than just one mono-crop. Such practices do not lead to this drone-line global economy, where we cant see who we are killing, or what we are poisoning, what we are polluting. The shorter distances are necessary to rebuild ecological sustainability - fundamentally ecological to have more localised economy. It is also about rebuilding, that experience of interdependence, that is fundamental to all spiritual teachings.
We really are talking about this urgent need for real decentralisation of power. -- Helena Norberg-Hodge, Opening remarks at the third Economics of Happiness Conference held at Bangalore March 14-16, 2014, For Full text of Helena's click read more below...