Escrit el 15 mai, 2011

Against the crisis, react!

5 ideas and attitudes to survival in uncertain times

 1. Another world is possible. You have to understand that the global socio-economic system will no longer be as it was. Although the inertia of returning to old patterns is very strong, we must move towards a more just and sustainable world that gives value to honesty against speculation. Experts are already giving clues on how to do it: moral recasting , a balance between public and private sector , innovation of democracy and maintenance of the welfare state as one of the main assets that we can not lose.

 2. We are not vassals. Although it may seem like it, we are not in feudal times. There are fundamental differences, such as the vast majority of humanity have been educated or receive education every day through the Internet, access to which doesn’t stop growing . Democracy allows us to exercise power, not just voting for our representatives but by getting involved in important decisions. If there are not enough legal channels, we must promote change. It was more difficult was to abolish slavery or get the vote for women. We can find examples in Iceland , where citizens refuse to take onboard the financial mess created by bankers, and in Brazil where public movements have managed to remove all charged with corruption from electoral lists.

 3. We can be active consumers. Adjust the budget to what is most needed, prioritizing goals, in solidarity with those who are worse off, while working for the new economy. This means spending money wherever we can in companies and projects with just business models, that are committed to transparency, innovation and the talent of people. For me active consumer applications range from legal downloads to investing in collectively financed projects on platforms such as Verkami and studying whether products are supportive or sustainable (via Intermon or Consumer, for example) before buying.

 4. Investing in knowledge is profitable. Educate ourselves, create and share what motivates us, enjoying and promoting the value of knowledge, thoroughness and quality. It means being critical and engaging in lifelong learning. This is what was conceived , for example, by the organisers of Breakout Beceite - inventing a tourism event and, at the same time, a place for the exchange of information and knowledge. Whether we are employed or not, being active, puts us in a better situation in the labor market and, at least, makes us grow as people and as professionals. The commitment of the journalist Jordi Colomer Pérez who went to Syria without anyone asking him to and ended up being a correspondent for a lot of the media, is a case in point. This line of thinking has inspired the postgraduate course in Strategic Digital Communication we are launching in October: the proposal is to do projects though which we can learn and create opportunities.

 5. Citizenship is active and connected. We’ve spent years complaining about political management and our disappointment in the functioning of public system-as well as the private-and for good reason, but now we need to take action. Better to build something, even on a small scale than moan and do nothing when faced with a need. In 2009 I participated in the organization of a self-organized workshop for parents at the school of my son and now we plan to fill the sixth class hour that public schools are losing a similar system. Information Technologies permit the setting up and easy maintenance of social network based initiatives. The portal Citizenship 4.0 created by Telefonica proposes to bring these initiatives together and make them visible. And everyday there more and more active and connected citizens, demonstrating how the information society goes far beyond consumption and entertainment. Are you in?