(from Google’s Project 10 to the 100th project proposal submitted tonight by Rick Mobbs and Naomi Swinton)
10. What one sentence best describes your idea? (maximum 150 characters)
Social networking for conscientious objectors, friends & families of COs & prisoners of conscience; connecting media, COs and the resources they need.
11. Describe your idea in more depth. (maximum 300 words)
Create a web-based global registry for Conscientious Objectors, Prisoners of Conscience, Pacifists, Refusniks, War Resisters, their families, friends, and supporters; and a Social Networking site along the lines of Facebook, where people could begin to build an international, multi-lingual pacifist community in real time, and in real time could talk, correspond, share and compare experiences, educate, etc. They could also respond to threats, intimidation, harassment, and the incarceration of their members, much in the way a human rights violation can trigger a massive response from Amnesty International.
The effort would leverage the web to explain Conscientious Objection and the Pacifist Movement to the public, attract individual C.O.s, their families, friends and supporters, and give them the tools to build a real-time community of peers and allies on-line. The site would be used to heighten publicity around individual cases where needed, mobilize membership drives, especially of teenagers and students and their supporters, and to organize and present educational ventures and massive critical response triggered by any threat to its membership.
12. What problem or issue does your idea address? (maximum 150 words)
The isolation of and lack of information available to young people considering conscientious objection; the lack of leveraging of these individual acts of courage, which aggregated, do have the power to impact governments and armies; the need to strengthen and make more readily available a culture of peace and habits of resistance to violence.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how? (maximum 150 words)
Conscientious objectors and their families would gain support, recognition, and safety in numbers; more people might see possibilities for peace and alternatives to war that could save many lives; young people would be recruited to take courageous stands and see that their choices can make a huge difference in their lives and the lives of others.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground? (maximum 150 words)
Set up a website with a number of different kinds of access to allow for outreach and privacy where needed; assemble information and resources to populate the site; disseminate widely and begin registering conscientious objectors, friends and family; assess particular needs of conscientious objectors in particular countries/communities and tailor web resources to them; create strong media relations to assist with individual cases.
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it? (maximum 150 words)
Thousands of people would be inspired to refuse military service. Conscientious objectors would gain power in numbers and be better able to share their stories. Media would have greater access to stories of war resistance and the on-line community could create a more informed dialogue about methods for war-resistance and an action base in support of peace.
18. If you’d like to recommend a specific organization, or the ideal type of organization, to execute your plan, please do so here. (maximum 50 words)
War Resisters International, in cooperation with other Pacifist organizations doing similar work.