Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Terje Bongard: No grant for MEDOSS

Originally published at P2P-Foundation.

I just received the following email from Terje Bongard, and my spirit fell low. The RID-model (Representative Ingroup Democracy) is the most promising initiative I know about. For me the rejection of Bongard’s project feels like the end of the world, and actually I think it is.

I’m sorry, my dear daughter. These anonymous "referees" shot down your future. It’s just to lean back and wait for the slow collapse of John Michael Greer. At least this is how I feel now.

Dear daughter, you have no future

Dear all

Please find enclosed the comments from the anonymous referees (not included here).

First, I want to thank each and every one of you for grasping the idea so quickly. During this process I talked to many researchers who did not. Some of them stalled the process and used up our time, and some made it difficult for us with unnecessary negative comments.

It is not easy to think new and creative thoughts. To have a position, status, makes it more difficult to take chances, listen up and think freely. You all crossed this cognitive and evolved conservative mechanism, and I thank you all for that. Your open minded strategy is what is needed now.

Is it possible to reform the global free capitalism to sustainability? As an example, I include Beate Sjåfjell, leader of Concerned Scientists Norway, in this mail. She is fighting bravely to find legal actions to support and encourage “green businesses” through both nations and the EU, see www.jus.uio.no/ifp/english/research/projects/sustainable-companies/

Will small changes add up to something really working? I wish Beate all the best, and support her with all my heart, but I fear it will only be cosmetics confined to the rich world. Facing the global poverty, economic growth is overshadowing everything. And time is running out.

But, we need to work for both perspectives: Do the best of a bad job, and at the same time search for creative solutions. But we mustn’t forget the last perspective…

Would new ideas for minor changes and improvements have come out of our MEDOSS project? I don’t know, but I sincerely hope you all will bring the RID model with you, and reflect over the idea whenever discussing solutions to our dangerous near future. Regardless of what the “referees” of our application say, MEDOSS is based on scientific knowledge of human behavior: We can do this change, and it will address societal problems in surprisingly many arenas. It is a sustainable solution.

The RID-model

I would never have engaged in this process if it hadn’t been for the initiative coming from the Norwegian Research Council’s own advisors. The invitation to address the kick-off meeting, and the seed money support from them made me hope for a small miracle. These people are at the center of research and science, and have a unique competence for thinking new thoughts in broader perspectives, free from prestige. I thank you for the opportunity, and please keep thinking more in the same direction!

Alas, the programme committee and referees are not this broadminded. As you will see, the comments are all about how they want elaborations on topics they don’t understand, or are not willing to examine closer themselves. As you all remember, in the struggle to fulfill the limit for 10 pages max, we had to cut into bones. How is it possible to document, to every thinkable referee’s satisfaction, the scientific background for a new society built on a complete democracy, describe experiments and deliverances on 10 pages…. ?

I will write an essay, first in Norwegian, about my efforts over the last years in these matters. My reflections and experiences will perhaps be useful to others. In it, I will discuss how to move on. Of course I will appreciate and include in this essay your comments about the process, the application and ideas for further initiatives and development. We cannot give in yet, or…?

Dear daughter, we lost the grip on your future. The "referee" board had the key to your future in their hands, they could have opened the gate to a safe and sustainable future, but they chose to throw away your key. I'm really sorry, on behalf of you and all the children on Earth. 

yours truly



Terje Bongard

Researcher, PhD

Norwegian Institute for Nature Research – NINA

Postal address: NO-7485 Trondheim, NORWAY

Delivery/Visiting address: Høgskoleringen 9, NO-7034 Trondheim, NORWAY

Phone: +47 986 44 786 • Fax: +47 73 80 14 01 • www.nina.no

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