This is forwarded from Jon Ippolito, apologies for delay.

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Jon Ippolito <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: 27 April 2008 00:25:07 BST
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: Alternative models of governance
> Apologies for the shotgun approach...I'm on the road--
> Katie wrote:
>> Volunteer organisations (not just floss) can have a tendency to 
>> constitutional monarchy because volunteering is often about who has 
>> the capacity and energy at any given time. This can be good if the 
>> monarch(s) are careful with the informal power
> they have.
> It sometimes seems from Euro-ethnic history that the best form of 
> governance we can hope for is a benevolent dictator. Joline Blais 
> argues that the original role of elders in many Native communities 
> offers a much better model for emergent
> leadership.
> In the US government, the Supreme Court has the ultimate authority 
> over all lower courts. In the Haudenosaunee and Wabanaki confederacies 
> of the American northeast, intertribal councils had the highest 
> respect but the least power; councils at the
> next level down garnered less respect but had more power, and so on. 
> So ultimately it was local people who made local decisions.
> Because of the respect accorded elders, however, it often transpired 
> that the entire confederacy would follow the advice of the oldest 
> members. This may seem the same outcome as if a benevolent dictator 
> were in charge, but because the process of
> decision-making recognizes the local sovereignty of all members, the 
> system seems more equitable to everyone.
> Janet wrote:
>> Some cultures do have this kind of focal length eg. "7th generation" 
>> thinking where you act in order to achieve an outcome for people who 
>> will be here in 7 generation's time.
> The "7 generations rule" comes from the Haudenosaunee, known to 
> outsiders as the Iroquois.
>> Being explicit about the kinds of participation and share and 
>> therefore revenue from shared work is useful. The contracts for 
>> collaboration are likely to be a good starting point for that kind of 
>> conversation.
> James Leach alluded to the work of the Connected Knowledge conferences 
> and the Cross-Cultural Partnership template, which is a framework 
> designed precisely to cover collaboration between two or more parties 
> with different cultural or personal
> expectations:
> jon

Beryl Graham, Professor of New Media Art
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