True Independence Requires Reciprocal Civic Empowerment

“A republic… if you can keep it…”

The work of building up to a better outcome has always already begun, before we have a chance to think about the work itself or its necessity.

The act of leading, then, is a recognition of the forces that are converging and a conscious understanding of how to work with them, when and to what purpose.

Having just arrived back from a journey to the heart of our democracy, I am again affirmed in the feeling that our democracy is deeply personal. And so, the success of our democracy depends on the intimate experience each participant has of the democratic process.

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Civics for Rapid, Scalable Climate Action

Active Citizen Participation to Universalize the Paris Effect 

ace-logoArticle 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change calls for public participation in climate action. This can mean many things; we propose it mean that active, direct citizen participation in the design and deployment of climate solutions be the standard. We propose this be done universally, through a network of collaborating partners to ensure mutual empowerment through the same process of empowerment of citizens and community groups.

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The Presidential Ask

The 2016 US Presidential election is once again being framed as a brutal contest of wills between two disparate ideological camps: the activist government liberal and the skeptical libertarian conservative. Neither party is actually offering anything like that kind of decisive metaphysical clarity. On both sides, there are deep divisions over how to put ideas into practice and which ideas express the “pure” sense of principled public service.

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The world is more connected than ever, and this means all issues of public controversy are now more complex than ever. Every choice, whether in the realm of action or in the realm of ideas, has ramifications. Interconnectedness and complexity mean those ramifications are less and less likely to flow directly from the ideological core of a given way of acting, thinking or talking.

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Tunisian winners of Nobel Peace Prize prove the power of dialogue

by Gina Torry

For anyone who has ever asked themselves if their voice as a citizen matters or could make a difference when it come to peace and security — the Norwegian Nobel Committee, which awards the Nobel Peace Prize, has issued a resounding response: Indeed.

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Introducing the People+Planet Project

Building Partnerships to Achieve the SDGs and Climate Agreements

  • Report on the July 23, 2015 discussion on the People + Planet Project, a Post–2015 Action Platform
  • Hosted by the United Nations Post–2015 Development Planning Unit Executive Office of the Secretary-General
  • Presented by Natalia Vega-Berry, Campaign Director of the People + Planet Project An initiative developed by The Global Brain

In response to the momentous query What is our responsibility post–2015 to ensure the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Climate Agreements are realized?, we have developed the People + Planet Project, to ensure actions will be taken by citizens, organizations, NGO’s and business following the announcement of the SDG’s and the new climate agreements at COP21.

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CCL 2015: Full Conference Report

An idea whose time has come

In 2010, when Citizens’ Climate Lobby brought 25 citizen volunteers to Capitol Hill, it felt like a big challenge to get enough people to go the distance, to meet with all 535 voting members of Congress. This year, we brought 36 times as many people, and it is looking more like we will need more elected officials to welcome and build relationships with all the citizen lobbyists coming to make democracy work.

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We are All Now Safer in our Freedom

On the morning of June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriage is a basic right, across the United States. The ruling in the case known by the name Obergefell v. Hodges was 5 to 4, showing a tightly split Court, but effectively invalidating all bans on same-sex marriage, whether brought into effect by legislation, referendum, executive order or lower court rulings. 

Here’s why this is good for people of all political and religious persuasions: 

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How Citizens can Catalyze Climate Action

On June 5—World Environment Day—we held a press conference to announce CCL’s effort, through the Pathway to Paris project, in collaboration with the World We Want, to build a worldwide always-active Citizens’ Climate Engagement Network. The press conference was conducted in association with the Climate Matters video interview series, as well as COY11, CliMates, IAAI GloCha, Context News, and the Association Actions Vitales pour le Developpement Durable.

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Quiet Revolt Stuns UK Pollsters

For weeks, public opinion polls in the UK have shown the contest for leadership of the UK government to be a dead heat, likely to require a complicated negotiation to achieve a new governing coalition. Nearly every poll showed the Conservatives and Labour to be hovering around 34 percent support each. No one was expected to win an outright majority. Late last night, however, exit polls showed something radically different: David Cameron’s Conservatives beat Labour 37 to 31 in the popular vote, and would hold an outright majority in Parliament, while the Scottish National Party won nearly every seat in Scotland.

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Disruptive Optimism for Serious Change

We need non-expert voices in the room. No individual expert knows everything, many decision-makers are themselves non-experts, and considering stakeholders’ voices leads to more legitimate, relevant and viable policy outcomes. Significant improvements in the prevailing condition require disruption of the status quo. The status quo implicitly extends from the status quo ante, the prevailing norms that preceded the current state of affairs and on which the structures we know were founded. Expertise is rooted in an examination of these two states, and can provide a sound and reasoned reference for how to move into the future, but when we look to achieve a post status quo reality, where human conditions are greatly improved and the previously unavailable has become commonplace, we have to recognize that we are looking beyond what is known. Expertise unaccompanied by the power of imagination and a hot contest of ideas can lead to planning not well adapted to visualizing, comprehending or catalyzing disruptive optimizing change.

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