cisler on 17 Nov 2000 07:20:33 -0000

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[Nettime-bold] <nettime> FW: DotForce Civil Society list

A DotForce Civil Society E-List

(Apologies for crossposting)

At the recent First Global Congress on Community Networking held in
Barcelona, Spain there was considerable discussion about the role of
Community Networking in the broad development of Civil Society
initiatives concerning what has become known as the Digital Divide,
along with discussions of the global role of community based
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) initiatives in

A presentation by a representative of the French Foreign Ministry
challenged the Congress to develop responses to the variety of global
initiatives which are currently emerging concerning the Digital Divide
and specifically the DotForce initiative which was announced at the
most recent (Okinawa) meeting of the G8 Summit (the G8 being the
"club" of the Heads of Government of the 8 leading world
economies--USA, Japan, Great Britain, France, Germany, Russia, Canada,
and Italy) .

the seminal document:

see also:,4586,2606545,00.html

What became clear in the course of the discussion at the Congress was
that there were no existing mechanisms or widely recognized Civil
Society organizations which could "represent" Civil Society in this
sector. However, major initiatives are moving forward at a breakneck
pace including the "DotForce" which is currently being planned for a
presumed launch at the next G8 meeting in 2001 in Naples, the about to
be launched World Bank's Development Portal initiative, and the
recently announced UN Summit on the Information Society in 2003.

Governments are looking for Civil Society representation in these
discussions. However, in the absence of such organizations with
national or international legitimacy, they may, on an ad hoc basis
select groups which are inappropriate (for example, lacking a depth of
experience or knowledge in the sector) or are unrepresentative.

You are invited to join the e-list to discuss the
role of Civil Society in relation to global ICT initiatives, the
development of a Civil Society organization or organizations in the
ICT sector, and the broader issues of Civil Society representation and
legitimacy in an ICT mediated context. The list will be hosted on a
rotational basis by myself, Steve Cisler of the American Federation of
Community Networks, and Peter Benjamin of Witswatersrand University in
South Africa.

To subscribe send a message



Subscribe DotForce

Messages will be archived and an accompanying web page is under
development. Assistance with the web page would be gratefully

Mike Gurstein

Co-Chair Canadian Coalition for Public Information

Peter Benjamin
LINK Centre, P&DM,
Wits University
Tel:  +27 11 717 3583
Fax:  +27 11 717 3910
Cell: +27 82 829 3353

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