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Hammondsport, New York 14840
"empowering the voices of freedom," presents the non-violent
mission of the "Campaign
For Democracy: An Alternative Strategy
To The War On Terror," both as political guidelines and
an interfaith spiritual movement.
'War On Terror' is...a dark vision that has hung
over Washington like a cloud, a fog that has dimmed our
national imagination, a fabric of illusion that
Bush has used to keep the world spellbound..."
Michael Butler, "The Campaign For Democracy"
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Purpose, Programs and Implementation." Founder Michael Butler shares his views for groups, house parties, organizational meetings and media interviews.
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"Religious Leaders Propose A Way To End The War In Iraq"Sampling Of Articles On Politics And Social Change
Synthesis Institute Overview
Bio in Brief
Give Of Your Self
Tiananmen Square, June 1989
"My New Year's Revolutions
Conference On Global Living
Middle East Peace Objectives
Five Articles About:
A National Spotlight On The Media
Issues Before And After Midterm Elections
Campaigning For Ralph Nader In 2004
Synthesis Institute: Practical Solutions, Visionary Ideals
by Michael Butler / 1.12.07
"One of the greatest human beings of the 20th Century, geodesic dome inventor Buckminster Fuller, used to describe [the] process [of] transcending difficulties and advancing a situation to the next level by embracing heightened organizational efficiency and superior technology — as 'revolution by design and invention.' " Michael Butler, "My New Year's Revolutions"
"My New Year's Revolutions" describes three ambitious projects that represent Synthesis Institute's Program Initiatives for 2007.
One: "A Conference On Global Living" seems doable. It requires tons of setup work, but there are no obvious political hurdles or miracles that have to be overcome. Maybe Autumn 2007 is an overly-optimistic target date; but I would try to push it. In any case, it should be all put together well in advance, so that there's good lead time for promotion.
Two: The "Institute For Optimal Psychophysical Integration" is also a very straightforward idea. But its not an event, its an institution. Even if a single trial semester is all that's planned, it still means managing an ongoing process that needs to be sustained for months after launch date. So I would be cautious about making predictions, and not be surprised if it took a full year to lay the groundwork. How about course offerings in Spring 2008?
Three: The "World Intercultural Conference For Middle East Peace" is something else. I'm talking about a global event that requires mega-resources and monster amounts of cooperation in political and psychological environments where consensus is a curse word. If all I'm able to do in 2007 is to get a fair public hearing, maybe establish a seed fund to keep the idea alive for a while, and just maybe start planning for a small-scale prototype event somewhere in the U.S., I'll count my blessings and call the year a success.
These Program Initiatives represent a few avenues where I can make good use of my abilities, for my own benefit and to help others. These are areas where I'll be concentrating my energy in 2007, beginning with "A Conference On Global Living" addressed to serve my own home territory, an area loosely defined as the Southeastern Great Lakes Socioregion.
With a clear delineation of 'what,' at the end of this synopsis there is the question of 'how.'
From where I'm sitting, the simplest starting point is to establish one umbrella organization to initiate, promote and administrate all of these programs. I see one central Governing Board with various officers to handle specific responsibilities, and then spinning off of it, working committees and subcommittees to carry out the different objectives.
I'm open to different possibilities, if one approach seems impractical, or to changing tactics that seem contrary to desired results. I'm sure I'd respond positively if some existing group wished to sponsor the development of one of these projects.
But some form of structure is necessary to facilitate collaboration; and this model could enable me to work effectively at multiple tasks simultaneously. Moreover, bringing people together in the right spirit requires the right bylaws to guide their interaction. I have a preference for working in unanimous consensus decision-making structures, and this isn't something that people in our society are typically well-prepared for. It incurs both rights and obligations that are not found in hierarchical management, and unless these are spelled out, confusion and disaster will likely result.
Unanimous consensus is not always practical, necessary or even desirable, but I think the extra time, energy and commitment is often a smart investment in the long term.
Organizational structure also provides legal mechanisms for handling funds with accuracy, transparency, and measured disbursement. It's worth exploring the extent to which for-profit enterprise as a component of these activities might provide an immediate source of capital, operating funds, and motivation to draw investors; but a nonprofit educational organization has the advantage of being able to receive tax-deductible charitable contributions. This would not preclude a conference, for example, from being a money-making or at least a break-even proposition, and media spinoffs from these events could generate substantial sums; but nonprofit is a logical business model for these purposes.
This is a capsule description of the format for Synthesis Institute, and the reasoning behind my choices. Based on my experience as founder of three organizations, and working successfully in several others, it's the best instrument I can conceive for the synthesis of practical solutions and visionary ideals.
A View From Synthesis Institute, New York State
All text and images on this site © Copyright 2006-2007 Michael Butler
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PROGRAM INITIATIVES FOR 2007
1) CONFERENCES ON GLOBAL LIVING, facilitating a practical problem-solving approach to the conflict and complementarity between economic issues and environmental concerns;
2) INSTITUTE FOR OPTIMAL PSYCHOPHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT, "the seed-concept of an holistic university," offering education and training that integrates conventional medical knowledge with mind/body wellness approaches;
3) SYNTHESIS PEACE CONFERENCES, the 'generic model' of a grassroots problem-solving approach to regional strife, and in particular its application toward the Israel-Palestine conflict as the WORLD INTERCULTURAL CONFERENCE FOR MIDDLE EAST PEACE; and
4) FREEDOM FIGHTERS, "empowering the voices of freedom," a program to share the non-violent mission and agenda of the "Campaign For Democracy," both as political guidelines and an interfaith spiritual movement, via a nationwide and international network.
pathways toward "personal and planetary ecologization."
Methods for Action:
1) SPONSORSHIP of dialogue forums, educational programs, conferences, festivals, and other public events;
2) CREATION OF economic, educational, and other INSTITUTIONS bridging cultural boundaries with commonalities of interest;
3) encouragement, PUBLICATION and dissemination of articles, books, poetry, and other written communications expressing the philosophy and practice of cooperative freedom;
4) PRODUCTION and distribution of music, video, film, software, and other forms of recorded media; and
5) PRESENTATION of concerts, film, sculpture, painting, theatrical performance, and other artistic expressions dramatizing and celebrating the spirit of transcendence.
"I believe in the power of the individual
to achieve the creative mastery of their own life;
and I believe in the power of the human race
to assume the conscious direction of our collective
— Michael Butler
Leadership In The Movement Toward Freedom...
Our global vision spans the full range of social, economic, and political change and evolution. We include religion and spirituality, the arts and sciences, business, technology, education, child development, race relations and community design, agriculture and the environment, energy production, resource management, medicine and wellness, government and media.
The mission of Synthesis Institute is a comprehensive statement that stands at the convergence of spiritual practice and political purpose; and its expression aims toward the confluence of lifestyle, architecture and environmental sustainability.
Practical Solutions, Visionary Ideals...
Originally begun in 1991 by Michael Butler as he worked to develop the first Synthesis Peace Conference — an ambitious, innovative, grassroots problem-solving approach toward Middle East Peace, adaptable for use in many global trouble spots — Synthesis Institute is the umbrella organization dedicated to sponsor and administrate a wide range of projects.
Your donations now will help to fuel the process of obtaining tax-deductible charitable status as a nonprofit educational organization, including unanimous consensus decision-making structures in the Governing Board, working committees and subcommittees to the greatest extent possible.
You'll be rewarded with the knowledge that your gift is strengthening the possibility for a clear, alternative vision to show a way through these times of darkness in the world... for voices of freedom and reason to be heard above the confusion... and for the work of many hands to make a real difference for good in the lives of many.
To Michael Butler's Blog [coming soon]