In light of the urgent need to build bridges and increase collaboration between diverse communities of people, all of the documents, resources, etc. created by The IPCR Initiative and accessible at The IPCR Initiative website (at www.ipcri.net ) are accessible for free, and may be used without permission and without attribution. Here is a link to the complete text of The IPCR Initiative Resource Sharing Policy.
The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initative
Here is a one paragraph summary of the 444 page “Critical Challenges Assessment” document listed as the #1 Key Document above: we are in uncharted territory, for there is no culture or association of societies that ever existed on planet Earth which has had to resolve the kind of challenges the next few generations of people will have to resolve [see “A List of Ten Critical Challenges” (also accessible from the last page of all four key documents below) and the longer Table of Contents for “Many Dangers Signs Flashing Red” (62 pages; Nov., 2012)].
We will need the best efforts we can make at working together to overcome such challenges. And we will need to be sharing with each other the best examples of working together at the local and regional level that we can find.
The founder and outreach coordinator of The IPCR Initiative, Stefan Pasti, has now shifted his efforts to advocacy and outreach for a new approach to collaborative problem solving and citizen peacebuilding which emphasizes Community Visioning Initiatives and Community Teaching and Learning Centers.
The websites which are introducing this new and comprehensive approach to collaborative problem solving and citizen peacebuilding are:
The “clearinghouse” part of the titles emphasizes that—since both websites have Discussion Forums—these websites can serve as gathering points and aggregators for related resources, shared experiences, and thoughtful discussion about the 4 Key Documents (below), the “125 Related Fields of Activity”, (some of which are listed on the left side of the clearinghouse webpages), and any other topics which will be helpful to resolving the critical challenge ahead.
The key documents associated with this new and comprehensive approach to collaborative problem solving and citizen peacebuilding are:
The sharing of Community Visioning Initiative experiences and Community Teaching and Learning Center
experiences through the clearinghouse websites would be a key (if we will use it) to making the most of
learning experiences worldwide—and such sharing would surely contribute much to transforming the
many challenges ahead into inspiring experiences of collaboration, peacebuilding, and community
New Approach to Collaborative Problem Solving and Citizen Peacebuilding
(being introduced by two companion websites and four key documents)
The IPCR Initiative’s approach to peacebuilding and community revitalization is a combination of innovative strategies which take into account the complexities of contemporary societies—and ways of cultivating wisdom and compassion which have been a part of the heritage of humanity for thousands of years.
Special Notice: The efforts of Stefan Pasti, the founder and outreach coordinator of The IPCR Initiative, have now shifted to outreach and advocacy for two new companion websites:
The following 7 point list outlines steps towards solution-oriented momentum which can be taken by communities in almost every variety of circumstances. These steps are explored in more detail by the documents on the right side of this homepage..
1) A central focus of The IPCR Initiative is its advocacy for a combination Community Visioning Initiatives, "Community Teaching and Learning Centers" with ongoing workshops, and "sister community" relationships as a way of generating an exponential increase in our collective capacity to overcome the challenges of our times.
2) Community Visioning Initiatives can be described as a series of community meetings designed to facilitate the process of brainstorming ideas, organizing the ideas into goals, prioritizing the goals, and identifying doable steps. One of the main goals of Community Visioning Initiatives is to maximize citizen participation in identifying challenges, and in solution-oriented activity.
3) The concept of “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” (created by the “Teachers Without Borders” organization) (modified and expanded by the IPCR Initiative) is about creating many local community points of entry which function as information and resource centers, locations for workshops, and locations for the training of “teacher-leaders”.
4) Results from well thought out preliminary surveys (circulated to at least 150 key leaders from a significant variety of fields of activity in the community) can help residents appreciate the need for a Community Visioning Initiative, and for “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” (CTLCs).
5) The job fairs which come at the end of the Community Visioning Initiative process provide opportunities for all key stakeholders in the community (businesses, organizations, institutions, government, etc) to demonstrate their interest in the welfare of the community—by offering and facilitating new employment opportunities… and thus assisting with a just transition to patterns of investment which in many ways represent solutions to prioritized challenges.
6) “Sister Community” relationships provide whole communities with ways of assisting with such a “just transition”. In addition, such community-to-community relationships can create service work capable of uniting diverse communities of people, and a variety of opportunities for person-to-person peacebuilding (as can be seen by the work of organizations such as “Sister Cities International”.)
7) This “constellation of initiatives” approach to maximizing citizen participation in solution-oriented activity also provides many opportunities for local newspapers to contribute very valuable community services (for example: making preliminary survey results accessible; highlighting inspirational role models and initiatives associated with the 117 related fields of activity; describing workshop activity in the “Community Teaching and Learning Centers”; reporting on the planning, implementation, evaluation, and follow up stages associated with Community Visioning Initiatives; etc).
There are countless numbers of “things people can do in the everyday circumstances of their lives” which will contribute to peacebuilding, community revitalization, and ecological sustainability efforts, in their own communities and regions—and in other parts of the world.
The ways we “invest” our time, energy, and money have a direct impact on the “ways of earning a living” that are available.
All of us have important responsibilities associated with resolving a significant number of very serious challenges in the months and years ahead.
"The function of work should be to practice our ideal of life."
2) “IPCR Critical Challenges Assessment 2011-2012: Summary Report” (January, 2012--and minor additions August, 2012; 444 pages)(originally "Calling 'the better angels of our nature': A Multi-Angle View of the Debt Crises") provides much evidence in support of the ten critical challenges identified—and in support of the IPCR “constellation of initiatives” approach to maximizing citizen participation in solution-oriented activity. The evidence is in the form of excerpts from books, websites, executive summaries of key publications, articles from “news aggregator” websites, etc.—and the sources include many people who are highly regarded in their fields of activity. This writer believes that readers who simply glance through the “Table of Contents” (see also bookmark link on title page) will become more aware of the realities of our current predicament…that the challenges we face in the near future, and in the long term, are unprecedented. If a significant number of readers then explore further into the document, and arrive at a greater appreciation for how Community Visioning Initiatives and “Community Teaching and Learning Centers” can do much to help maximize citizen participation in solution-oriented activity, the goals of the “Critical Challenges Assessment” project, and the goals of this “Summary Report” will be fulfilled. The IPCR Initiative “constellation of initiatives” approach to the challenges of our times is summarized in the seven point list on the left side of this IPCR website homepage.
3) “A 15 Step Outline for a Community Visioning Initiative (CVI)” (from 2008 IPCR document, with minor modifications) (28 pages)—describes the kind of CVIs advocated by The IPCR Initiative, provides an example of collaborative problem solving at the local community level—and provides an example of the kind of problem solving which requires that each of us (not just those in power) “actualize in our own lives” practices and processes which turn polarizing circumstances into collaborative efforts (which make best use of the knowledge and skills each one of us has). There are difficult challenges ahead. We will need the best efforts we can make at working together to overcome such challenges.
5) “Draft Section #7 (“Commentary”) A Marginalization of the Treasured Wisdom of Religious, Spiritual, and Moral Traditions” (5 pages) (October, 2011)—Human morality is not a constant—it is not something which is the same throughout the centuries of human existence; and thus it is something which can become degraded or raised up, depending on the leanings of human aspirations. The challenges ahead are unprecedented; however, Faith helps move from “it hardly seems possible” to “it must be possible” (since Faith believes Love will prevail). This document is a 5 page Summary of why The IPCR Initiative gives so much importance to cultivating the Treasured Wisdom of Religious, Spiritual, and Moral Traditions at this time of unprecedented challenges.
—and contains enough detail associated with the IPCR peacebuilding approach outlined above to be a valuable starting point for brainstorming sessions, exploratory meetings, and workshops associated with planning and implementing a Community Visioning Initiative.
7) “1000Communities2 (1000CommunitiesSquared)” (February—June, 2008)(161 pages) is the initial IPCR proposal advocating for 1000 Community Visioning Initiatives—with associated "Community Teaching and Learning Centers" and "sister community" relationships—as a way of generating an exponential increase in our collective capacity to overcome the challenges of our times.
8) “Brief Descriptions of The Eight IPCR Concepts” (26 pages) is a cornerstone IPCR document, which started forming in 2001, and which continues to provide a comprehensive overview of the IPCR approach to peacebuilding and community revitalization. The document is structured to provide ideas for people facilitating workshops at "Community Teaching and Learning Centers" (which would be active during, and after, the 18 month long kind of Community Visioning Initiatives advocated by The IPCR Initiative. Much of the content in the current version (an update made in December 2009) was a part of the first IPCR Initiative website (May, 2005) [Note: The IPCR Journal/Newsletter (Spring, 2005) contains all of the material in the original IPCR Initiative website.]
An important point about the value of peacebuilding is illustrated in the fiction novel “Watership Down” by Richard Adams. There are many challenges ahead, and we will need “all hands on deck” if we are going to make the transition from dysfunctional systems which are very complex to functioning systems which are much less complex. In the story “Watership Down”, a group of rabbits leave their community (as a result of trusting the intuitive feeling of one of the rabbits that disaster is imminent), and overcome many challenges to finally create another home community. On their journey, they learn to value each rabbits special qualities—and they learn to be careful not to diminish or stifle any of the strengths they possess as a whole—as it is on these strengths that their lives depend. (“A word to the wise is sufficient”).