DRAFT 3.1, AUGUST 7, 1997


1.0	Introduction and Objectives
2.0	Setting

3.0	Partnerships
	3.1	The partners
		3.1.1	Telecommunities Canada
		3.1.2	Canada's Coalition for Public Information
		3.1.3	International Development Research Centre
		3.1.4	Information Technology Association of
		3.1.5	Interdepartmental Universal Access
		3.1.6	USA Community Networking Partners
		3.1.7	International Association of Community

	3.2	Management Structure

4.0	LCGV '98 - The Event
	4.1	Making it happen
		4.1.1	Virtual Symposium
		4.1.2	Agenda

	4.2	Entertainment

5.0	Recruitment and Marketing
	5.1	Canadian Marketing Strategy
		5.1.1	Communities
		5.1.2	Businesses
		5.1.3	Governments

	5.2	Other National Community Nets' Marketing

	5.3	International Agencies' Marketing Strategies

6.0	Logistics
7.0	Preliminary Budget
	7.1	Risk and Revenue Sharing
	7.2	Revenue potential

8.0	Conclusion

LCGV '98 - WORLD SYMPOSIUM PROPOSAL                                        

"I see this project as an excellent opportunity to form a
partnership between governments, the private sector and non-
profit organizations like Telecommunities Canada and the
Coalition for Public information, to showcase Canada's
successes and expertise in this area.  I believe that the major
benefit from direct private sector participation could be the
dialogue between businesses and community networking
advocates that could then occur."
		The Honourable Jon Gerrard
		Former Secretary of State for Science,
		Research and Development


The public sector is shrinking and the private sector is
globalizing. The social sector is striving to maintain a
coherent centre of civilized life.  As part of their activities in
that centering role, social sector organizations are using
technology to create electronic public spaces, and to open
those spaces to the participation of all.  LCGV '98 will provide
the opportunity to consolidate the metaphor of electronic
public space by linking on a global scale all those communities
-- real and virtual -- that have found conviviality and
neighbourliness through connecting their cyberspace

The essence of community development is simple.  People want
to talk.  Let them.  But computer mediated networks support
new ways of talking that transcend community boundaries set
by the limits of time and transportation.  In effect, we create
our networks and our networks create us.  This alters utterly
the characteristics that define who is a neighbour and what is
a community.  This gives each of us greater freedom, but also
greater responsibility, to shape the social contexts that we
inhabit.  While we cannot fully anticipate the society that
results from this new freedom, there are engaged people
consciously applying groupwares for social purposes.  In the
process, they learn how the concept of community changes as
locality diverges.

This Symposium will, in fact, create an opportunity for
linkages that will bridge real and virtual communities.  That
those online communities based on interest -- often called
virtual communities and often existing only online -- share
many values, principles and methods with those communities
based on geography reinforces the possibility that the
distributed nature of the Internet may be the technical
analogue for a broader historical trend.

Community precedes commerce.  This principle is fundametal
to  understanding how the benefits of electronic commerce can
be fully realized.  The introduction of commerce into
electronic public space need not undermine community.  But if
we don't consider the relationship of the two ideas, then we
don't have the whole picture.

In a networked world, the active totality of people's social,
political and economic behaviour, not just their consumer
behaviour, is the critical component modifying the open and
dynamic systems that businesses and governments seek to
understand.  The fact that people now connect in continually
evolving and shifting electronic social networks creates both
new community and new interesting commercial opportunity. 
But it is always the community that remains the network, not
the technological products and services.

The same principles and values that reinforce community in
general can also reinforce specific communities of commercial
opportunity.  But we're just learning how to do this.  We need
to think about and talk about how this might occur.  We have to
invest money and time in exploring the full range of people's
interactive behaviours in online environments.  In the open
systems of the Net, we have to get involved to ensure that
commerce online reinforces community online.  Community and
commerce can and should compliment each other to the degree
that neither exists without the other.

The intention of LCGV '98 is to provide community networks
and their partners the opportunity to advance the agenda for
the global future of the community networking movement. 
Socio-economic decisions about electronic public space,
community-based computer networking and the restructuring
of public life should be centered in communities and the
individuals who comprise them. The achievement of cohesive
electronic domains for support, friendship and neighbourliness
is a legitimate goal.  Effective public policies and business
strategies for transition should  be grounded in community
needs.  The Symposium is an attempt to provide answers to the
crucial question of how we fully engage the thinking of all
stakeholders about what is clearly a radical social

LCGV '98, as a forum for sharing the lessons that communities
and their partners are learning, has five overall objectives:

* To provide a global overview of grassroots, bottom-up,
community-based experience with computer-mediated

* To enable community action by demonstrating the pragmatics
of applications for social sector groups;

* To act as a catalyst for accelerating international
cooperation on the  community-centered approach to
communications development;

* To negotiate new partnerships among  community networks
at the global level,  and;

* To foster new community networking partnerships with
businesses and governments at local, national and global


Canada is one of the world's leaders in the development of
Internet applications, tools, resources and services by and for
the social sector  -- and in the creation of the organizational
structures necessary to sustain them.  Canada has also led in
attempts to ensure that the technology is available to all who
can use it, both locally and globally.  Therefore Canada should
be willing to demonstrate that leadership by hosting LOCAL
CHOICES - GLOBAL VOICES (LCGV '98), a global symposium on
electronic community networking and on computer-mediated
communications for the social sector and its supporters.

The host city [under negotiation] is Vancouver, British
Columbia.  It has excellent international air connections, and a
World class multimedia arts community.  The BC Provincial
Government is implementing  the "BC Accord," an imaginative
multi-sectoral and community-based approach to Information
Highway development.  The BC Association of Community
Networks is a pioneer of regional approaches to community
networking.  It demonstrates a model of support that
compliments Telecommunities Canada's long term  objectives.


	3.1	Partners

Ultimately, the success of LCGV '98 as a global venture will
depend on negotiating partnerships with several other national
community networking movements and the international
agencies that are becoming aware of them.  The core of the
Canadian LCGV '98 team can expand as support is negotiated
but currently is comprised of four organizations:

	Telecommunities Canada

	Canada's Coalition for Public Information

	International Development Research Centre

	Information Technology Association of Canada

Outward from this core, it is essential to collaborate with
other national, international, private sector and government
partners.  The full partners picture to date is detailed below.

	3.1.1	Telecommunities Canada

TC is an association of associations that either operate or
intend to operate community networks.  It was created by
community networks to give themselves a capacity to
articulate community networking interests in Canada on their
behalf.  TC's formal organizational structure is fairly
embryonic, consisting of seven elected volunteer board
members.  Although an informal structure and interim board
came together at the second annual conference of community
networks, Ottawa, August 1994, it wasn't until the third
annual conference in Victoria, August 1995, that the board was
first formally elected.  The board is exploring national
community networking activities, methods and priorities
within the limits of extremely small resources.  The board
members are scattered across Canada, and all of them are
more highly active in local community networking
organizations than they are in national activities.  Most of the
board's collaborative work is accomplished via email.

Through its President, TC participates in the International
Association of Community Networks project.  TC Board
members also participate in the Community Access Project
Advisory Board (an Industry Canada project to connect 1,000
rural communities to the Internet), the National Steering Group
on Electronic Public Space, and the Coalition for Public

	3.1.2 Canada's Coalition for Public Information

CPI is a national public interest group concerned with public
awareness of communications and information infrastructure
change.   It has an office, staff, and sufficient funding for long
term planning.  At a strategy meeting in Toronto, Saturday,
April 27, 1996, CPI adopted a vision of Canada as a knowledge
society.  It also adopted related objectives that place
community and community networking at centre stage.

Through its Chair, CPI was represented on the Information
Highway Advisory Council (Canada's equivalent of the US NII
Advisory Council), and is represented on the CANARIE  Board (a
government / business partnership to develop bandwidth
capacity at the backbone level of Canada's communications
architecture), and the Community Access Project Advisory

	3.1.3 International Development Research Centre

IDRC is a Canadian aid agency with a mandate to fund
developing-world researchers, thus enabling the people of the
South to find their own solutions to their own problems.  Its
information science programs have a special interest in global
knowledge sharing networks and in maintaining community
based approaches to the use of information technology and
telecommunications.  It has funded the implementation phases
of LCGV '98's Web site.

	3.1.4 nformation Technology Association of Canada

ITAC is the premier voice of the Canadian information
technology industry.  Its mission is to provide leadership on
issues affecting the growth and profitability of the industry in
all regions of Canada, and to promote the effective use of
information technology by Canadians.  While the full extend of
its participation is under discussion, ITAC is fully active in
the development of the LCGV '98 proposal and business plan.

	3.1.5 Interdepartmental Universal Access Committee

Several representatives of this federal government committee
for the development of a national strategy for universal access
to the information highway have agreed to act as a reference
group for contributing a government perspective to the
development and support negotiation of the LCGV '98 proposal
and business plan.

	3.1.6 USA Community Networking Partners

Steve Cisler, Senior Scientist, Apple Computer Library,
Cupertino, California, is actively coordinating an informal US
reference group.  This group will become the basis for
negotiating formal partnerships in United States once Canadian
support is clarified.

	3.1.7 International Association of Community Networks

The organizers intend that the Symposium be designed in part
to serve the long term development needs of the emerging
International Association of Community Networks.

	3.2	Management Structure

This is the first time that anyone has taken an international
perspective on expressing civic engagement and community in
the transition to knowledge based societies and economies. 
This means that, as much as possible, we should allow the
"how to" to evolve as we go along. Then the issues, concerns
and opportunities that surface will drive the structure we
create, and not the reverse.  In this manner, the process of
planning the "event" can have as much or more impact on its
objectives as does the culminating 4 days of face-to-face

The management of LCGV '98 will be overseen by a Board of
Directors of the core and major support partners.  The Board
will be advised by an International Concepts and Connections
Committee (C3) including:
	- a representative from the web site crew
	- all members of a team that synthesizes Canadian
	   experience and negotiates
	  community nets participation in the event
	- representatives of other national teams
	- representatives of supporting partners and
	   international agencies
	- key representatives of communities of interest and
	   research communities on the psychology, sociology, and
	   political economy of the Net (ie of the key content
	   themes organized through the Web site.

4.0	LCGV '98 - THE EVENT

The Symposium will seek to focus the collective wisdom of a
broad range of participants into a glimpse of the future, not
only of community networking but of communities themselves. 
On the basis of these insights, action plans will be formulated
to ensure that community needs are addressed in the
development of electronic highways at national and
international levels.  The final step will be to discuss with the
public and private sectors the necessity of following the lead
of the social sector in the development of electronic public

The objectives cannot be achieved without the concerted
effort of community networkers and the cooperation of the
other sectors.  Coordination will only be achieved through a
clear vision of the common ground and interests we all share.
Consequently the bridging of gaps will be a main task of the

The first gap to be bridged is the more apparent than real gap
between virtual communities and geophysical communities. 
Sessions will be devoted to drawing out the underlying
commonality of interests, values and principles uniting these
two types of community. Sessions will be devoted to analyzing
the similarities and differences between identifying with a
community of interest, manifest solely in electronic space,
and identifying with a geographical community in the midst of
which one physically lives.

Another kind of gap will be addressed by the attempt to convey
a fresh perspective to social, government and business sector
representatives, at a global level, about the needs of
communities in transition and how making those needs
paramount in policy and business decisions concerning
computer-mediated communications can have beneficial

	4.1	Making it happen

Because everyone who becomes involved in the process will be
an active participant or supporter of community networking
movements, what we are really planning is an extended
dialogue about change in community life and the effect of
community nets on its outcomes.   In effect, the event as
dialogue is already under way.

We must work through national community networking
movements.  We must ensure that the marketing strategies and
the development of program intertwine.  The Web site will be
built around the key themes.  As people are drawn into the
discussion of themes, the content of themes and their
relationship to each other will evolve and key actors will
emerge.  Ultimately the program of the actual event will grow
out of this interaction.

	4.1.1	Virtual Symposium

The Symposium needs its  Web Site to:

a. Organize, synthesize and showcase Canadian
community-based experience with computer-mediated

b. Organize and publicize the event in an open and visible
fashion.  We practice what we preach.  People need to be able
to easily self-identify their interest and opportunities for
participation, (ie the site itself is a consciously designed
space where a virtual community of interest can emerge).

c. Initiate global discussion of the issues surrounding the
interaction of community, virtual community and community
networking - in order to allow the agenda of the face-to-face
Symposium to focus on essential actions and multi-leveled
partnership negotiations.

d. Act as a catalyst and link for national sites that support
community networks, especially for the emergence of new
ones.  In effect, the objective is to design the "world" site to
assist the proliferation of new national sites and
organizations that support community networking.

e. Create an explicit space to discuss actual/potential linkages
with developing countries

f. Create space for remote interaction and participation in the
Symposium itself (virtual attendance).

g. Disseminate, publicize and continue dialogue on the
Symposium's results.

h. Long-term, to support global capacity to develop community
networks.  After supporting the operation of the Symposium as
a one-time event, the Site should be handed off to an
appropriate agency with a mandate to support community
networking development at the international level.

The Concept Map (see 4.1.2), used for organizing the content of
the Symposium, is also being used as the basis for site design.

Phases in Site Development:

1. Implementation phase: design and establish the site, and
plan for subsequent phases (funded by IDRC).

2. Site operation and development up to the time of the
symposium, including:
		- modification, maintenance, and additional design
		- coordination of moderator roles in discussion
		   spaces and their integration into the actual
		   symposium agenda

3. Operation during the Symposium, the phase which is most
labour intensive.  This is:
		a. the virtual conference site
		b. the symposium's primary global reporting and
		   dissemination capacity

4. Post Symposium.  The site migrates to a long term home.  Is
this in Canada (TC?) or international (IACN?).  It should be
Canada/TC, but the politics of this question could be
significant to the Symposium's impact.

	4.1.2	Agenda 

The following checklist of themes illustrates a possible
content framework for purposes of discussion.  It is not
intended to be inclusive.  Ideas for additions, modifications to
fit the needs of particular participants, or other alternative
frameworks are welcome.



	1.1. Best and Worst Case Examples in Community Net
	1.2. National  Community Network Development Programs
	       -Top Down or Bottom Up?
	1.3. International Action in Support of Community
 	1.4. Technologies (Hardware / Software / Groupware)
	1.5. Linking National Support Sites
	1.6. Is there Common Ground Among Businesses
	      Identifying Community as Market?

	2.1. Best and Worst Case Examples by Sector
	2.2.  Defending the Stovepipe - Winners and Losers in
	       Horizontal and Vertical integration
	2.3. Special Needs for Access
	2.4. Informed and uninformed - achieving equity in
	      universal access

	3.1. Motivation to Connect - Public / Private
	3.2. Enhanced effectiveness in Civic Engagement and
	      Wealth Generation
	3.3. Belonging / "Membership" - Inclusion and Exclusion
	3.4. Autonomy, Anonymity, Identity, Self Reliance and
	      Self Organization
	3.5. Bounded Spatial Relationships - Where Does Place
	      (Ecology) Fit In ?
	3.6. Hypertext Links as Handshake
	3.7. Computer "literacy" as the Expression of self in new

	4.1. Virtual Social Network Theory - Do New Networks
	       Make New Types of People or More of the Same?
	4.2. Local Experience as Shared Knowledge Base - Is this
	       the True "Content," not Culture as Commodity?
	4.3. Communications Theory - Electronic Public Space
	      (Media) Design Principles and Computers as Theatre
	4.4. Culture, Acculturation, and Community
	4.5. Multiculture / Language, including Canadian Bilingual

	5.1. Electronic Democracy and the Disappearance of
 	5.2. Public Policy - Can we balance Electronic Public
	      Spaces and Private Information Highways?
	5.3. Information Economics and its Impact on Community
	5.4. Electronic Community and Electronic Commerce - 
	      Conflict or Compliment?
	5.5. Nation State or Networked Nation? - Contrasting
	      policy and technical
	        approaches to introducing the Internet in a Country.

	4.2	Entertainment

Hosting the Symposium in Vancouver allows for the
involvement of the BC online Arts and multimedia community
in a parallel process that explores new modes of expressing
individual and communal identity.

	(This section requires discussion and expansion)

	5.1	Canadian Marketing Strategy

	5.1.1	Communities

Particularly through the Web site dialogue, contact will be
made with potential participants in non-government agencies,
community groups, public interest groups and others involved
in the development of community networking, civic
engagement social capital.

TC and CPI will utilize their memberships in public interest
policy alliances on information highway, electronic public
space, universal access and telecommunications deregulation.

TC will campaign at TC '97 in Halifax and CPI will campaign at
Digital Knowledge ll

	5.1.2 Businesses

This section needs more work, and is the special province of
our ITAC partners.  The key question is "How does a business
make money out of this?"

Contact will be made with businesses and industries involved
with the Internet and the social sector, particularly those that
are identifying community as the focus of their own marketing

	5.1.3 Governments

Government agencies like Industry Canada, Canadian Heritage,
Human Resources Development, Foreign Affairs and CIDA, and
their equivalents in other countries;

	5.2 Other National Community Nets' Marketing Strategies

Representatives of successful community network movements
around the world will be invited to share their experience at a
global level, both in the planning and in the event

	5.3 International Agencies' Marketing Strategies

International agencies such as UNDP, the World Bank and the
large philanthropic foundations will be invited to identify and
support particular themes that are of interest to them, or
specifically to fund the support of developing country

6.0	VENUE AND LOGISTICS (details to be supplied)

The symposium event will be scaled to accommodate
approximately 550 to 700 participants

The administrative and logistical infrastructure of LCGV '98
will need to be supplied by an appropriate professional
conference support group.


Much of the cost of this event goes into talking about it before
the fact.  TC and CPI, as volunteer organizations, lack the staff
and resources to cultivate and sustain the level of advance
dialogue and synthesis that is necessary to give real depth to
the final result.  Finding substantial support for the
development costs, well in advance, is the key financial factor
in Canada's hosting of this event.

Development and organizing expenses (Sept 1/97 to Aug
	Organizing staff		 130,000
	Community nets team		  80,000
	Office expenses / travel	  55,000
	Reporting, media, advert	  22,000
	Web site			  65,000
Event expenses
	Meeting rooms			  30,000
	Conf. Meals x2			  31,000
	Keynote speakers 3@5000	 	  15,000
	Travel sub - key actors x24	  53,000
	Onsite logistics/support	  35,000
	Materials			  15,000
	Entertainment			  25,000

		sub total			$ 556,000
		contingence@10%			$  55,600
		TOTAL Estimate			$ 611,600

	7.1 Risk and Revenue Sharing

As NGOs, TC and CPI have very limited financial resources and
cannot allow LCGV '98 to sustain a loss.  It must be entirely
self financing.  We recommend that any revenues go to the
ongoing operation of the web site, where ever it is located, as
a concrete contribution to ongoing experience sharing and
international cooperation.

	7.2 Revenue potential

 - Community Nets 300@$300		  	 90,000
 - Internat. sponsored/govt/corp 200@$750	150,000
BC sponsorships				 	 20,000
IDRC - web site start up		 	 25,000
Development costs, Canadian Gov't
  consortium  5 depts@50,000			250,000
Student empl grants				 24,000
Corporate / Foundation				 41,000
Other sponsors				 	 15,000
		TOTAL Revenue		$	615,000


The idea of community is high on any list of values and goals
that we might set for the uses of technology.  In transition to
a knowledge society, the idea of community is, however, just
as subject to change as any other basic principle of social
organization.  Many people now consciously explore the nature
of that change.  There are many people who find social
relations mediated by new communications technologies to be
intensely personal and affirming.  The purpose of LCGV '98 is
to share the experiences of people who express civic
engagement and community online.

Around the world, social sector organizations face increasing
pressure to accept broadly redefined responsibilities for
ensuring the survival and renewal of caring, civilized
communities.  In coping with this enormous challenge, these
organizations have begun to exploit the resources of electronic
computer-based networking.  In developed countries, they are 
accomplishing this evolution at essentially the same rate as
other sectors.  Community networks are becoming significant
new social learning zones.  But electronic networking is a
two-edged sword.  It is both a means of  responding to these
pressures, and a primary cause of those very changes  in
community that demand response.

As social networks and communities virtualize their activities
by translating them into the online environment, what mirrors
can social sector organizations use to see the changes in 
community and in themselves?  How can communities share
the pragmatic lessons they are learning about  successful
response to transition through local self-reliance?

As businesses globalize their production and sales by divesting
themselves of the unprofitable, what makes them sensitive to
the particulars of communities as micro- markets?   The skill
to express yourself online requires something beyond the
phrase "computer  literacy."  Whatever the phrase is, the early
adopters of electronic networking for social action purposes
have clearly learned about and taught new modes of inventing
groupwares for community development.  In effect, some
consumers of new media products and services are acquiring a
new set of life skills for communicating in a knowledge based
society and economy.  Community online is great place to look
for educated flexible people who can think independently and
who are prepared for continuous learning, the very people that
businesses foresee as essential to the workplace of the future.

As governments face the open, diverse and distributed social
systems of global networks, what legitimizes authority to
govern?  What works in balancing global, transnational,
national, and local interests, and who decides?  As
governments go online and integrate just-in-time approaches
to services delivery to the community level, the equivalent of
micro-markets in business, what guarantees universal access
to the electronic public spaces this creates?  It is already
obvious that the modalities of world government, or 
transnational corporate alliances that maximize access to
markets, or the hardening of traditional roles for nation
states, are not adequate responses to these questions. 
Governments are about to feel increasing demands from
citizens for the protection and promotion of their online homes
and communities.  One clear government role is to facilitate
communities' ability to talk among themselves.

In the period leading up to August 1998, the idea and the
reality of  electronic public space will make itself felt. 
Electronic public spaces  are involving ever greater numbers of
citizens.  They benefit from and adopt the values that flourish
in those spaces.  When this process operates at its best, they 
personally experience a means of transition to a
knowledge-based economy centered on social values of equity,
inclusiveness, democracy and civic engagement.  The purpose
of the Symposium, as it is of community networks themselves,
is to further those ideals.

LCGV '98 will position Canada as an exporter of community
networking expertise and technologies -- the grassroots,
bottom-up, "people first" expertise and applications that make
local infrastructures pivotal in adapting countries to global
socio-economic and political change.  Effective
community-based actions in other countries create long-term
windows of opportunity for a multitude of other Canadian
interventions. The Symposium is thus part of a conscious
long-term strategy to intensify reciprocal "interdependencies"
via the global network.

LCGV '98 will be the opportunity for amplifying the global
voices of social sector organizations online.  It will bring
those voices to the attention of governments around the world. 
By hosting this Symposium, Canadians will show their
leadership in enunciating those voices.  By sponsoring this
Symposium, the Canadian government will prove its leadership
in attending to the message of the electronic community
network movement, and in highlighting significant Canadian
expertise in its expression.

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