Intention One Earth Foundation functions through the fostering of socially sustainable activities to build social capital through consensus.
What is social sustainability?
It is the mechanism to support and increase social capital by examining relations between entrepreneurs and community, by identifying target groups who may be able to initiate and manage sustainable projects. By taking into account their cultural frameworks, we will assist groups to formulate projects and business plans acceptable to communities.
What is Social Capital?
Social capital is the accumulated body of ‘assets’ which form the foundation of a civil society. It cannot be legislated into existence. It compounds through an organic process which grows from a long tradition of unselfish and far-sighted vision from the “founding mothers and fathers”. Social capital includes parks, gardens and cultural organisations which have been founded or gifted by supporters to enhance the living conditions for all, as the community grew. Social capital is supported by philanthropic individuals and by civil-service oriented bodies such as Service clubs, colleges, hospitals which have contributed to the growing community.
In many areas this tradition of “giving” not taking, has not taken root. In areas of war, the social capital has been destroyed or deliberately sold out and corporatized. The June 2013 Taksim Square riots in Istanbul are a typical example, where an inner city park – traditionally an informal meeting place – was to be turned into yet another shopping mall by cronies of Turkey’s leadership. The people stated their displeasure.
Social capital encourages people to draw together for mutual assistance in times of disaster. Sustainable community projects will provide the forum to refresh the ‘bank’ of social capital. An excellent example of this process is the Australian charity, founded in 2013, Global gardens of Peace www.globalgardensofpeace.org.
How do we achieve consensus?
The Catchment Management Plan
The Catchment Management Plan developed by the Catchment Management Authority, is an Australian-originated process for resolving differences and finding consensus.
During the last twenty years, the CMP has achieved great and rapid success in resolving complex issues between strongly opposed parties such as government, farmers and environmentalists.
CMP succeeds because:
- All key decision makers from all parties involved with the dispute are present in the room. This ensures decisions can be made without the necessity of seeking approval from a higher authority. Furthermore, the transparency of this process ensures that any “blockers” are fully exposed to all present, so there is a great incentive to ensure that decisions and directions lead immediately to action.
- Commonality and Cooperation are agreed to by all parties from the outset as being essential to the achievement of a solution.
- Consensus is also agreed to as essential by all partiess
- Community Is the result, ie after committing to find a solution based on the above, the process involves ‘doing whatever it takes’ until a Win-Win solution is found. This process, described in M Scott Peck’s work The Different Drum – the four Stages of Community making, inevitably leads to the creation of an effectively functioning Community .