We already have excellent relationships with these partners. Through working with them we will develop programmes and methods of delivery that we can then offer to other groups.
To strengthen Democracy-From-Below in Portugal, by creating a team of trainers mentored by the international references for Neighborocracy and Children’s Parliaments, Father Edwin John and Joseph Rathinam. With this training, certified professional trainers will qualify our partner organisations, supporting them to develop a culture based on the sociocratic decision making method of Neighborocracy. We will offer training courses at affordable prices to other local communities and associations.
Our programme will be delivered in various locations outside Portugal's major urban centres.
Portugal has an aging population, a high-level of emigration among young people, and a high level of immigration. Outside of the major cities there is a general sense of having been abandoned by the political system, which has led to apathy and polarization. Generally there is a disconnection between the citizen and decision making circles. Within the Portuguese and immigrant communities of all ages and genders, we see an abandonment of civic participation and a polarization of ideas. There is little common ground from which to discuss and nurture radically different perspectives in healthy ways, and thus find points of agreement.
Neighborocracy transforms political disillusionment into the possibility of being heard and achieving tangible results. We will co-create, test, measure and adjust a method that enables Neighborhood circles to organize sociocratically and resolve local issues. These methods ensure that this process is vital, fair and effective, which then encourages further participation from all parties.
In Rogil the CSA initiative is already uniting local small-scale food producers (mostly the older and poorer indigenous Portuguese community), with consumers (predominantly North European immigrants). By bringing these groups together through Neighborocracy, new relationships develop, different communities are united, and the process of civic and social integration will be strengthened.
We will be reaching the farming community - older people who are generally less educated and less politically engaged. Food supply is an inclusive place to begin, because it is a universal issue. We will also be reaching the immigrant community, who often speak little Portuguese and find it hard to penetrate Portuguese society beyond the superficial level. Neighborocracy is an inclusive methodology that creates equitable relationships between all groups and individuals.
Most importantly, we will be reaching children and adolescents with the Children's Parliaments projects, promoting neighborocracy to all the children in the local area. Children are naturally very enthusiastic about civic involvement. We will stimulate and empower that enthusiasm.
We will organise further teacher training for our project members in the methodology of Neighborocracy. These teachers will give training in these methodologies to the creators, leaders and members of local groups and associations. These teachers will also provide mentorship and support, visiting, accompanying, and guiding the groups processes as they develop their work with this methodology. We will provide appropriate resources such as videos and pdfs on specific topics such as facilitation, advocacy, consent-based decision making, and elections to positions of responsibility within the organisation. We will work under the guidance of our teachers, Father Edwin Maria John and Joseph Rathinam of the INCP, who have already successfully created this reality in Kerala, India.
We will see a large increase in people organising democratically in Portugal. We will see the establishment of Neighbourhood circles and Children's Parliaments in many places, offering children the experience of taking decisions together and being heard. We will see some schools being organised democratically, with the children's active participation. Direct democracy will also enter the public consciousness in Portugal, once these developments have been reported in the media. Local people who participate will experience empowerment and enjoy an increased sense of community. Countless small schemes and initiatives will result from all the connections made. A nationwide network of civic actors will be created, supporting each other and anyone who wishes to join this movement.
By creating a strong culture of ‘bottom-up’ direct democracy in Portugal, we will also help to inspire it's creation in our neighboring countries. The INCP already has a global core group, of which I am a member. It is currently organising the first global Children's Parliament meeting. The Neighborocracy system of social organisation works from the most local to the most global level. Our national network will play its part in the European network that is already forming, strengthening connections and empowering democratic initiatives across the continent. The local, regional, national and international circles all naturally support and give strength to one another. The true strength of this system is that the power always stays rooted in the local circles, from where it rises..
I am motivated to see people organise democratically and effectively, all the way up from their local neighborhoods to the global level. The tools we will be offering are the tools that can allow people to do this. In 20 years of community organising I have seen dozens of projects fail for the lack of the information and skills we will be sharing. I want to see people thrive, empowered, connected, working together effectively and harmoniously to create beautiful initiatives together, revolutionising our food systems, our education, our culture, housing, arts, politics, and environment. In my work with Neighborocracy, I have come to realise its potential to help achieve all of this, and I want to see it happen, because I believe in human beings.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Portugal Neighborocracy Network Association - Legal & Registration Expenses: €2.000
Certification Training Workshop with Father Edwin John and Joseph Rathinam: €15.000
IT - Website, cloud repository and collaborative tools: €1.500
Training materials: €2.000
Road Show - Travel, Accommodation and Logistics in Portugal: €12.000
Paid Trainers/Facilitators Mentors to support Local Partners: €6.000
Overhead & Communication expenses: €2000
Part Time Project Manager: €6000
Does being based in multiple locations weaken the proposal? Are the terms Neighborocracy, Sociocracy and Children’s Parliament adequately understood? Are the monetary values given realistic?