The Peace, Justice and Environment Project (PJEP) facilitates communication and cooperation between almost 900 organizations in 28 states. Individuals within those organizations post to their state network an action or an online campaign (petitions, boycotts, eletters, fundraisers). Ideas for those actions and campaigns emerge from discussions within those individual’s organizations. The principles that make it possible are biological in origin.

Ideas are often variations of actions and campaigns that have been tried out in other parts of the country. If a project seems to have accomplished its goal, often it gets picked up and reproduced again. Most actions and campaigns are reproductions of ideas used many times before.

The way that information travels on the Left has a lot to do with new technologies and old human networks. Listserves, websites and alternative media distribute information quickly. At the same time, many activists are members of several groups. These people hubs quickly disperse information to the activists focused on more narrow tracks. Perhaps 30 national organizations with chapters or affiliates distribute information quickly across the country while human hubs disperse that information to the nooks and crannies of activists working intently on unique, local projects.

On those occasions when a group creates a unique action or campaign that achieves its goals, information about that project may or may not get distributed to the wider activist community. It depends on whether a national organization finds out about it, or whether the project fits in with the mission of that national organization so that publicizing the event is warranted.

At the PJEP central hub (pjep.org), local actions and campaigns are noted and tracked over time. Online campaigns can be tracked in some detail. Speed, span, depth and breadth are all tabulated and displayed so that visitors can appraise the relative effectiveness of varying campaigns as they unfold across the country. Speed notes how many participants are being added over time. Span tracks the geographic spread of the project, noted by zip. Depth explores the number of degrees of separation or depth of referrals driving the campaign growth. Breadth counts the gross numbers of people involved.

National organizations get to post projects though their chapters only. This system was designed to encourage local actions created by local activists. The system is seeking to nurture creativity at the local grassroots level by providing individuals information and resources so that they can brainstorm new solutions. Activists seek to gain powerful, positive media recognition for issues long ignored. With high quality information and access to new technologies, this kind of leverage becomes easier to achieve.

Individuals are empowered by offering them access to high quality information on the relative effectiveness of actions and campaigns across the country. Local organizations are empowered by having access to online resources and other organizations with which joint projects can be quickly and effectively entertained. With this surge in information and resource access, creativity is enhanced. Actions and campaigns can be more effective. Media can be influenced. Opinions can change.

The Peace, Justice and Environment Project uses principles that drive biological and social evolution to drive social change. Increasing network connectivity, encouraging the exchange of information and providing useful resources form the foundation of healthy ecologies and communities.


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