International Organization for a Participatory Society

As you may know by now, the site for IOPS – International Organization for a Participatory Societywent online yesterday.

You may remember that the project was inspired by a Z Poll about revolutionary organization. You can see that poll from the ZNet top page, left menu. The response to the poll was a bit over 4,000 replies, over 95% of whom said they would join an organization like that described in the poll.

Well, that organization is IOPS. And as the poll takers were overwhelmingly Z Sustainers, the odds are very high that you either took it, or that had you done so, you would have had reactions like those of those who did take it. That is, the odds are very high that as a Z Sustainer your views and those defining IOPS are quite closely compatible.

We hope you will look to see. We hope if you do find that you like the interim organizational description, vision, etc., you will seriously consider joining. Of course to do so is a kind of leap of faith. But without such leaps how does anything ever get accomplished?

Some must go first, when the future is uncertain, in hopes of affecting it. So look down the road a year or two. Picture a founding convention for IOPS. On day one after that convention, picture IOPS as no longer an interim effort but a self managing working organization. Picture IOPS with 20,000 or even 50,000 members internationally at that point. Picture it with 50 national organizations and hundreds of city chapters. Picture all its members fully conversant in all its aspects, participating in various programs and projects, internationally, nationally, and locally. Self managing. Picture IOPS also with great diversity, appreciated dissent, and constant innovation – not with top down discipline and regimented constancy. And then picture it growing and engaging with movements… 100,000, 250,000… undertaking vast projects and constructions and aiding in countless struggles, giving mutual aid from branch to branch and chapter to chapter, ensuring that innovations cross borders, that inspiration takes flight.

Is all that inevitable? Of course not. But is all that possible? Of course it is.

Okay, if it is possible, but is not inevitable, and if you like the conception and methodology which means you think it is both worthy and about as effective as we might now conceive, then what is the key variable bearing on attaining such future successes? People joining. That is it. People becoming involved and sincerely lending their own insights and energies. People generating refinements in light of experiences that improve effectiveness. It all depends on many people…wanting to work together to win change – people relating.

So the question comes full circle. If we offer a new organization, the poll said, Z Sustainers will come to it and make it their own. We believed that message. Will you now make it true? We hope so. You need only visit the site – IOPS – International Organization for a Participatory Society – where, if you so choose, you can enter your name, email, and a password, and please upload a picture and bio, and then begin using the facilities, engaging with others via the blog system and forums, and in time working with a local chapter, using online decision and debate tools. You need only join for IOPS to be on the road to a founding convention. You need only join to be legitimately proud of being part of a critically important step for our times, and to be in position to affect its definition, emergence, and future.

I hope to see you in IOPS. Participation is, after all, what ZCom has been about facilitating for many many years. And yet, if you look, and you decide against joining, please, let us know why. Feedback can engender innovative change. Silence – won’t help at all.

Looking forward to your reactions
and especially your participation,

Michael Albert
For ZCom


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