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The IPCR Initiative

Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization


July 4, 2012 Dear _________________, I am sending this message to share with you the enclosed 9 page document titled Community Visioning Initiatives or General Elections?and to encourage you to examine this document, and other IPCR Initiative resources, as you make your assessments of the challenges of our times. From July 2011--January, 2012, I was working on an IPCR Critical Challenges Assessment 2011-2012 project, as part of building The IPCR Initiative. In January, 2012, I made a summary report of the project accessible: Calling the better angels of our nature: A Multi-Angle View of the Debt Crises (398 pages; detailed Table of Contents). The 398 page Multi-Angle document is accessible from the IPCR webpage for the IPCR Critical Challenges Assessment 2011-2012 project, at http://www.ipcri.net/CriticalChallenges-Assessment.html , and from the IPCR Initiative homepage, at www.ipcri.net The ten critical challenges identified by the IPCR Critical Challenges Assessment Project are listed on p.9 of the enclosed document. One of the ten critical challenges identified is the debt crises being experienced by many nations (and thus by many banks, states, provinces, and municipalities). There is much emphasis now on economic growth as a solution to these debt crises. Unfortunately, the kind of economic growth which is most often being referred to includes a vast array of enterprises which require the continued exploitation of flaws and weaknesses in human nature, fragile ecosystems, and already significantly depleted natural resourcesand which are much of the reason why cultures of violence, greed, and corruption have become so common that most people believe they are inevitable (for evidence supporting this statement, see Sections IV and V in the MultiAngle document). We are at a critical point in the evolution of life on the planet Earth. The issues which have resulted in the debt crises (and many other critical challenges) are problems which are at the very core of our difficulties with being human beingsand thus will require much more than the usual amount of problem solving, if we are to change course. The IPCR Initiative advocates for a combination of preliminary surveys to 150 local leaders (as preparation for Community Visioning Initiatives), time-intensive Community Visioning Initiatives supported by many neighborhood Community Teaching and Learning Centers (offering workshops suggested by the preliminary surveys), and sister community relationships as a way of creating local community specific and regional specific constellations of initiatives responses to the challenges of our times. (Note: A Brief Summary of The IPCR Initiative is included on p. 10 of the enclosed document, and this
summary lists six key IPCR documents and webpages, including A 15 Step Outline for a Community Visioning Initiative.) (over)

Stefan Pasti, Founder and Outreach Coordinator The Interfaith Peacebuilding and Community Revitalization (IPCR) Initiative (at www.ipcri.net ) P.O. Box 163 Leesburg, VA 20178 USA (703) 209-2093 stefanpasti@ipcri.net

From Pasti to __________, 7/4/12, p. 2 All of us have important responsibilities associated with resolving a significant number of very serious challenges ahead. The investments of time, energy, and money that each of us make in our everyday circumstances are what creates the larger economy. The Rio + 20 conference (the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development) held June 2022, 2012 could have provided an example the effectiveness of representative democracy. The representatives attending that conference have had access to the best information about the challenges of our times. One of the most needed outcomes from that conference was guidance which would help people at the local community level learn why they should be carefully considering how to direct their time, energy, and money at this critical timeand how to improve their capacity to do that. I do not believe we have received that kind of guidance from that conferenceand if people who are that well informed cannot provide such guidance, by what processes are the general public going to receive such guidance, and improve such capacities from the political advertising campaigns which lead up to general elections? Here are two paragraphs from the last page of the Community Visioning Initiatives or General Elections? document: preliminary surveys or questionnaires (as preparation for Community Visioning Initiatives) are meant to help people rediscover truths about their goals, how what they are doing in everyday circumstances of community life relates to achieving those goals, the challenges perceived as the highest priority challenges by the majority of residents in a community, and what residents are doing to overcome such challenges. Here is one question such preliminary surveys could ask: If 1000 Community Visioning Initiatives of the kind advocated in this article (i.e. time-intensive Community Visioning Initiatives supplemented by the above mentioned key processes) had already been carried out, and each visioning initiative had the general focus of maximizing citizen participation in identifying challenges, and in solution-oriented activityand the citizen participation/problem solving results could be compared to 1000 political campaigns of equal expenditures, which resulted in the election of citizen representatives --which processes (1000 Community Visioning Initiatives or 1000 General Elections) do you believe would have the best cost/benefit ratio (i.e. given equal expenditures in both citizen participation/problem solving processes, which one would result in the most solution-oriented activity)? If this question was asked of you, how would you answer? For a Peaceful and Sustainable Future, Stefan Pasti, Founder and Outreach Coordinator The IPCR Initiative