|IPU Policy Collaboratory|
global South consists of more than 85% of the worlds recognized states,
including the entire continents of Africa and South America, most of Asia
and all of Central America. Unfortunately,
nearly 100% of the global South faces a disproportionate amount of poverty,
human and civil rights abuses, environmental degradation,
“brain drain,” hunger, and disease.
With governments of the global South facing such problems, economic
and otherwise, participation in the traditional spheres of power and
influence is limited. Often
times, only high ranking government officials and their corresponding
constituencies are represented, thus marginalizing civic society.
Consequently, in arenas such as policy formation at global
conferences, where participation can have an immediate and direct positive
impact on people’s lives, the
people of the global South further suffer. Alas, the advances of the
Information Age and Information Society present us with a digital
opportunity. The opportunity to
bring the marginalized of the marginalized in to the development process now
exist with the advent of digital technologies.
The technologies of the Global Information Society can minimize
the existing barriers of location, time, and money and will allow
communities, formerly excluded, to interact with much larger social and
political networks (Resnick, 2000), particularly those that influence policy
collaboratory, a concatenation of the words “collaboration” and
“laboratory,” is a “center without walls in which researchers can
perform their research without regard to physical location—interacting
with colleagues, accessing instrumentation, sharing data and computational
resources, and accessing information in digital libraries” (p.19, Wulf,
1989). Using information and
communication technologies (ICTs) physical scientists have been developing
collaboratories to control and operate instrumentation, distribute, access,
and manipulate data, and conveniently interact with colleagues, while
minimizing the barriers created by space and time.
Researchers like Dr. Derrick Cogburn, at the
Toward Civic Inclusion
aim of International Possibilities Unlimited (IPU) is to develop a policy
formation collaboratory that will foster civic participation by the global
South in the decision making processes of the international development
community. This project is aligned with the principles and actions presented
at Prepcom I
regarding the participation of professional NGOs and of civil
society at large. By minimizing
the barriers of money, time, and space, the collaboratory is a viable mean
toward accomplishing the goal of civic inclusion in development
a self-sustaining policy formation collaboratory where civic participation
in development processes can occur regardless of geographic and temporal
separation among the individual participants.
distributed, media-rich network connections to link people to each other, to
facilities, and to information.
|Questions about the Collaboratory Email Walter Mosley|
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Photographs on home page by Jacob Holdt