Our Conventions : What Campfire Convention stands for
Campfire Convention is a growing community of progressively-minded people who believe that individually and collectively we can contribute collaboratively to shaping a better, fairer world, motivated by hope. The online social network and real world gatherings bring members together, building connections, enabling our members to share ideas and skills and initiatives, and to facilitate a platform that is well equipped to campaign for social change. A truly modern cooperative that is totally independent of political affiliations and commercial imperatives, Campfire Convention’s path will be determined by the hopes, aspirations and efforts of the community.
To spark and inspire creativity, collaboration, social change and for members to reach their full potential as human beings. To develop tools to address our world's problems and to work for creative solutions. To transform our society into one that is compassionate, more equal, inclusive, that makes connections by joining the dots whilst respecting the differences.
The ethos that follows from this should include :
- A modern approach to intellectual property, or the right for those who create to make a living from their creativity, while encouraging creators to work together and share their ideas.
- Not exploiting each other – resisting categorisation for commercial imperatives, such as selling our personal data, or funding our activities through advertisements from mega corporations who assuredly do not share our ethics.
- Providing space for people who share fundamental principles to share, collaborate, develop, disagree: nothing is truly safe, but CC aims to be free from hate speech and abuse through encouragement of mutual respect, regard for facts, allowance for passion, and mutual belief in our shared humanity.
- Posting and creating online is one kind of doing, but it’s not enough on its own to change the world for better: this community recognises and celebrates creative action and activism.
With that in mind, we are developing our Manifesto, Values and Principles
Manifesto for a new Society
1 Progressive. A society run by all, grounded in common sense and integrity, looking for creative solutions by challenging norms, imaging how our world could work for the good of all.
2 Independent. Non-aligned to existing party politics but working for new ways of organising and decision making, which begins at home.
3 Local. Respect for democracy at grass roots level, localised communities working within a global interconnected framework.
4 Empowering. Working for the good of all, creating and nurturing a participatory environment where people feel they have a voice and can make a difference through engagement.
5 Humanistic. A greener, more empathic society moving away from materialism and profit as primary drivers, celebrating its more reflective spiritual elements and natural beauty, supporting renewables and working for peace through openness and conflict resolution.
6 Collaborative. Encouraging complementary skills and knowledge, bringing people together via mutual support mechanisms and initiatives which reward their own members through measured input.
7 Diverse. Joining the dots but respecting the differences, bringing to the table a range of viewpoints and experience. Learning from our own and others experiences.
8 Connected. A self-sufficient networked community that maximises technology and networking, enabling co-ordination and exchange, supporting creative commons and open source approaches.
9 Resourceful. Building collective wisdom through learning and ideas development. Building life tools through accurate news formulation and dissemination.
10 Fun. What’s living for if not to enjoy life and all it has to offer? People should value being engaged and feel good about themselves, focus on hope and reject fear.
A Statement of Values
Courage. Courage to look problems in the eye. But also courage about the future we share, courage to try new paths and admit mistakes, to say sorry when required.
Generosity. Everything which can be shared will be shared with anyone interested.
Transparency. Everybody should be able to look over our shoulders. On good days and on bad.
Humility. To the task. To those on whose shoulders we stand. And to those who will follow us.
Humour. Without humour there can be no creativity. Without creativity there can be no good ideas. Without good ideas there can be no creative power. Without creative power there can be no results.
Empathy. Putting yourself in other people’s shoes. Looking at the world from that point of view. And creating win-win solutions for everyone.
Know Your Values "Values are the bedrock of effective politics. They represent the importance we place on fundamental ways of being, offering a guide to what we consider to be good and worthwhile. They can often be described with single words." George Monbiot
A Statement of Principles
1.We want to live in a place guided by empathy, respect, justice, generosity, courage, fun and love.
2.We want to live in a place governed by judgements that are honestly made, supported by evidence, accountable and transparent.
3.We want to live in a place in which everyone’s needs are met, without harming the living world or the prosperity of future generations.
4.We want to live in a place in which the fruits of the work we do and the resources we use are fairly and widely distributed, in which shared prosperity is a general project, and the purpose of economic life is to enable universal well-being.
5.We want to live in a place in which all people have equal rights, in practice as well as in theory.
6.We want to live in a place in which all people can feel secure, confident, safe and cared for.
7.We want to live in a place in which, regardless of where they were born, everyone has a neighbourhood of which they feel proud, where they can freely participate in the life of the community.
8.We want to live in a place which, proudly and consistently, supports people in need of help, including those fleeing from danger and persecution abroad.
9.We want to live in a place in which a thriving natural world provides a refuge both for rich and abundant wildlife and for people seeking relief from the clamour of daily life.
10.We want to live in a place whose political system is fair and fully representative, in which everyone has a voice and every vote counts, and whose outcomes can neither be bought nor otherwise engineered.
11.We want to live in a place in which decisions are taken at the most appropriate level, to enhance democratic participation and connection.
12.We want to live in a place in which everyone has access to the information needed to make meaningful democratic choices, and in which political debate is honest, accessible and inclusive.
13.We want to live in a place in which education is a joyful process, encouraging children of all abilities to engage with enthusiasm, and adults to continue learning throughout their lives.
14.We want to live in a place in which good housing, fast and effective healthcare and a healthy, sufficient diet are available to everyone.
15.We want to live in a place that helps to build a safe, prosperous and resilient community of nations.
16.We want to live in a place that is open to new ideas and information, and that values creativity, research and discovery.
From: George Monbiot. “Out of the Wreckage: A New Politics for an Age of Crisis"
Know Your Principles "Principles could be seen as the soil that derives from the bedrock of values. Political principles are the fundamental propositions at the heart of a political philosophy. In other words, they are a description of the world as we would like it to be. Again, they need to be expressed clearly and overtly, so that they can be explained and spread with pride and conviction.”
How we work together v2.0
Open, constructive discussion and generosity of gesture
To be able to develop and share ideas, we have to make ways to talk with each other face to face and on line that are open, constructive, considered, based on facts where they exist, and non-abusive.
Some suggestions for our working process in this community:
Listening, Thinking, Respectful :
Knee-jerk reactions are often impulsive and embarrassing to read afterwards and can lead to ‘flaming’, or a vicious cycle downwards of abuse. Thinking through before speaking or pressing ‘send’ can have significant benefits. Relative freedom from any overriding dogma or ideology often avoids precluding taking on board to the views of others. We may not agree with another’s viewpoint but let’s be mindful of language we use in discussions. Let us consider whether taking sides is possibly less effective than working towards solutions that can possibly benefit everyone.
Calm, Flexible, Positive :
Think ‘build’, not ‘tear down’ in response to a previous contribution. ’Yes and…’, rather than ‘no’, bigger picture rather than personal. The evidence is that using provocative language with violent metaphors can actually lead to people being more prepared to be violent - eg ‘Let’s fight for justice”.
Constructive, Considered, Rational :
Rational debate should trump over-reaction for its own dramatic sake – (example: in response to Owen Jones writing about his disappointment about Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership so far, someone actually responded with “This will knock back the working classes by twenty years”). Really, just one short article aimed at fellow Labour Left supporters can do this? We should work towards a conclusion even if we feel an argument leading in an uncomfortable direction. Think ‘build’, not ‘tear down’ in response to a previous contribution.
Flexible, Trusting, Generous:
Avoidance of identifying ourselves so personally with a particular position that this in itself excludes constructive debate, preparedness to being swayed by the arguments of others and admitting mistakes. We should, wherever possible, place trust in others’ expertise and knowledge.
Confident, Resourceful, Accepting:
We should have confidence in the mechanisms and processes of decision-making that we establish, in our ability to draw on resources and resourcefulness within ourselves, accepting that the decisions of the majority are paramount. A recognition that ‘you win some, you lose some’, it’s usually nothing personal and there’s really no point in taking defeats to heart.
Would we speak it? If we would not say something to someone’s face in a friendly setting, we shouldn't write it.
Helping each other to help ourselves It can be helpful to consider what part we can want to play in a community. Are we conceptualising new ideas? Are we helping those around us to step up and put their ideas into practice? Are we offering a constructive critique, that can also help others refine their idea or their plan to implement it? Criticising an idea without first considering how it might work can short circuit creativity.