Free Summer School
Free Summer School
With an opening theme of Discovering and Gathering a Wealth of Knowledge and a commitment to the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010) and related United Nations Decades, a Free Summer School will be in session between the 2006 Summer Solstice on June 21 and the Fall Equinox on September 22. The Free Summer School is being hosted by Seasons of Peace Cooperation Circles  in support of the NGO Committee on Education of CONGO - the Conference Of Non-Governmental Organizations in Consultative Relationship with the United Nations . The NGO Committee on Education has made a decade-long commitment to support the United Nations Decade on Sustainable Development, and is seeking to draw on, and gather together, the vast wealth of knowledge and experience in the hearts and minds of people and organizations that make up the rapidly evolving NGO community / civil society.
The Free Summer School is being hosted on a holistic evolving information ecology platform that has emerged in the course of the systematic use and promotion of information and communications technology and appreciation of the transformative significance of the zero-based properties of information - zero mass, zero physical size, and virtually zero travel time - that are the "material" basis for the zero marginal cost of digital goods.
Almost twenty years since the landmark publication of Our Common Future  - the Report of the World Comission on Environment and Development - that put the concept of sustainable development on the global agenda and served as the catalyst for the 1992 Earth Summit, the challenges of the interlocking crises  - poverty, energy, water, habitat destruction, etc. - remain as immense as ever. Meanwhile, more than halfway through the Decade for a Culture of Peace, the declaration and continuing escalation of a global war on terror has substantially overshadowed the visions and hopes for a Millennium of Peace that were prevalent at the beginning of the Decade - with devastating long-term human and environmental consequences.
The last two decades, however, have also seen a remarkable emergence of access to a vast, previously unexplored, virtually infinite, virtually free universe - the digital knowledge-based universe - of which the Internet - the World Wide Web - is the most visible manifestation. Access to this knowledge-based universe has transformed our ability to find, gather and participate in the organization and publication of unprecedented amounts of information, including the ability to describe and portray relationship between the dimensions of sustainability.
A free experimental learning and teaching space with an opening theme of Growing a Wealth of Knowledge: Digital Bridges and Sustainable Development in support of the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and related Decades and an opportunity to learn and teach about any and all aspects of sustainable and regenerative development and to discover and explore the nature and properties of the knowledge-based universe.
The Free Summer School will be in session throughout the summer of 2006 - beginning on the Summer Solstice - June 20 - through the International Day of Peace on September 21 to the Fall Equinox on the following day, September 22, 2006.
The Free Summer School allows people to participate - and to set up one or more nodes of the Free Summer School - wherever they are. Internet access, while not being a precondition for participation will clearly be invaluable; participants with Internet access are encouraged to assist those without access to acquire the capacity to connect.
Invitation to participate in a Free Summer School is open to all people who are concerned with the fate of the Earth and the community of life on Earth. The very young through the very old, rich and poor, men and women, students, teachers, activists, indigenous people, people of faith, artists, writers, cartographers, wiki workers, bloggers, web-site designers and developers, script writers - in Perl and Java - visionaries, free spirits, gardeners, farmers and more - from all corners of the Earth.
Participants are free to define or discover their own ways of participating and to work cooperatively - in peer production modalities - with any online space established as nodes of the Free Summer School and to contribute to the design, development and uses of free and open source, Creative Commons platforms for organizational domains.
In this wiki space
An easy way to register is to do it directly on this wiki - if you have not already done so - and to create or edit your profile to declare your participation in the Free Summer School in your description of yourself and your interests and concerns. Or your can simply edit this section, and add your name, with a link to your User page right beneath this paragraph so that others can easily see that you are part of the Free Summer School.
Seasons of Peace Cooperation Circles
You can also register at the site of Seasons of Peace Cooperation Circles, where you will be able to share such contact information as you wish
You are invited to join an existing cooperation circle of people who share your areas of substantive, thematic, sectoral or cross-cutting concerns or interests, or to convene one or more new cooperation circles if the circles you need do not yet exist, and to invite others to join.
If you already have one or more blogs, please share your experience and learning process in your blog posts. If you haven't yet created a blog, consider trying it out as a space that you can use as a public log of what you need to learn, and what you are learning - whether it is about sustainable and regenerative developent, a culture of peace, water, indigenous people and their cultures and ways of knowledge, the world of wikis, the knowledge-based universe or observations about the ways you are best able to learn and to teach. If you are writing about the Free Summer School, you might want to include your blog - or other blogs of interest - in the list below.
Common data protocols
The Free Summer School is an invitation to learn about working in wiki spaces - keeping in mind that the most direct way to lean the ways of wqiki is to contribute - whether it is comments, ideas, observations, wiki links, and external links, images, etc. or to correct spelling & syntax errors, or to enhance. If you are a novice, you might begin simply by clicking on Edit page and just taking a look at the wiki codes / tags on the page. Or you can take a step further, and ediot the page, at which time you will begin to learn about the simplified formatting codes for this wiki space. You might consider writing a brief description of yourself on your User page once you have registered. Some may prefer to begin by reading through the Help pages - it is your choice. You may experience a key breakthough when you follow your first red link - a link to an as yet non-existent page on this wiki - and take responsibility for articulating the initial definition of the page's title, and perhaps also for the seeding of additional pages for concepts or entities that may also derserve their own page.
Open Space Technology
Participants are encouraged to make use of Open Space Technology as a framework for group consultation, planning and decision-making, and to explore, share and develop online interactive open space platforms that can offer an ongoing space for follow-up to in-person or conference call-based Open Space meetings
Nonprofit Boot Camps
For those who have the opportunity, participation in one or both of the full day Nonprofit Boot Camps being organized by Craiglist Foundation  - on June 10 in New York, and on August 19 in Berkeley, California - is highly recommended at what promises to be wonderful learning and networking opportuntities. The New York City event will be available via podcasting and streaming audio that will be available for download after the event.
Recommended web sites