A press release; hat-tip to Abby S.
WE20 – THE PEOPLE’S G20
we20, the people’s answer to the G20 group of nations, today announces
the launch of its website at we20.org, enabling individual people and
groups anywhere in the world to host their own G20 summits and formulate
plans for economic recovery. In the run-up to the London G20 summit –
and amid fears of street violence as protestors vent their feelings on
the global economy – we20 offers a refreshing alternative: large-scale
community involvement in planning the world’s economic revival.
People visiting we20.org can organise their own meetings, in their own
communities, to draw up action plans – local, national or international
– to fix economies. We20 plans are voted on at we20.org and the top
we20 plans have the chance of appearing on the official G20 London
Lord Malloch-Brown, the UK’s Foreign Office G20 Minister, has given his
encouragement and advice to we20 meetings through a YouTube video.
we20’s twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn Communities are growing fast,
plans have already been submitted to we20.org from the UK and Sweden,
and we20 meetings are pledged in USA, Australia, Sweden, Belgium,
Germany, Sudan, Thailand, Nigeria and the UK, representing communities
in the media industry, local government, students and healthcare
workers. As the we20 movement grows, it’s expected that thousands of
we20 meetings will take place around the world through 2009, with a goal
of the first thousand to take place by the end of April 09.
The website at we20.org acts as a facilitator and hub for these
meetings. Visitors to the site can find an existing meeting or set one
up to discuss and agree on a local, national or global challenge, or to
read and vote on plans from other we20 meetings. Each we20 user gets 20
votes to award to the best recovery plans. The organisers of we20 hope
to help favourite we20 plans become future realities as we20 develops.
The we20 concept was hatched on January 6 this year by a group of
volunteers in London who want to help people through the recession. The
site was then developed entirely by voluntary contributions to become
the start of a resource which its organisers hope will grow to be a
public engagement platform alongside the G20.
As a body, we20 is independent and neutral. The plans proposed on the
site belong to the groups which propose them.
Paul Massey, an internet lawyer from London and one of the volunteers
organising we20 in his spare time, says: “The we20 initiative is a neat
idea to help people organise their own G20 meetings of up to 20 people.
There is speculation about what the London G20 Summit will achieve but
we’ve already seen we20 meetings produce some great action plans to fix
the economy. we20 sees the G20 Summit as a rallying call for everyone to
work together to pull ourselves out of this economic mess.”
He continues: “There’s no restriction on the challenges addressed and
the plans formulated by people’s we20 meetings. They may be directed
towards, local, national or global issues, from the IMF, World Bank or
climate change to local economic issues such as redundancies, plans for
local shops, sports teams or growers’ initiatives. we20 is driven by
volunteers and word of mouth, and we are constantly amazed by the
support we are receiving from across the board.”
Part of the inspiration for we20 arose from Barack Obama’s use of the
internet, demonstrating how ordinary people can make change happen by
connecting on the internet and then meeting face to face.
Massey concludes: “After the G20 Summit, we20 will assess its impact in
consultation with members, continue to encourage the implementation of
we20 plans and work towards future goals including the Copenhagen
Climate Change Summit. we20 hopes to strengthen the policies produced by
the G20, ensure transparency and encourage good governance. Whatever
comes out of the London G20 Summit, we20 looks set to stay as a force of
community empowerment for the longer term.”