The People

 

March 01, 2005

David de Ugarte:

One-Question Interview

ugarte.jpg

David de Ugarte. Economist and Chief Analyst at lasindias.com -a
Spanish thinktank on Social Networks- and net2knot.com -its
international branch dedicated to social networks and public information analysis.

Well known blogger, he wrote the widely read book on 3/11 attacks (11M redes para ganar una guerra Editorial Icaria, Barcelona, 2004 - free copylefted pdf at lasindias.com/informes/11m.pdf) and Analysing Social Networks (soon in Spanish and English).

Q: What can the social networks, virtual communities and the conflict resoulution mechanisms of the Net Society teach us about how to deal with real-life conflicts such as terrorism?

A: Social Network Analysis has changed completely our approach.

Traditional antiterrorist strategies were based in "counterinsurgence" doctrine. The main idea was to isolate insurgents from their social enviroment. In the real world, away from for-your-eyes-only report, it meant legal and practical restrictions of civil rights. Now we can show how it has become counterproductive.

The key question now, in a networked world, is to confront the new, exclusive identities defined on antagonism with democratic values. We should erode "strong" identites and it means to be critic both with anglosaxon multiculturalism and french asimilation models. The new networking tools (as Internet, cellulars, etc.) allow, as we saw during the days arround 3/11, the emergency of powerful spontaneous Social Networks.

This what we should bet on: a more opened society not defined on exclusive, closed identities but on the collective ability to express and organize social demands. At the end of the day it means more liberties, more individual autonomy and open access to information, media and technology.

A good example could be how AlJazeera and Al Arabiya, combined with
Internet explosion between second generation inmmigrants and new middle classes in Maghreb, Egypt and Middle East are creating, for the very first time in History, a real dialogue between the two sides of Mediterranean Sea and a truly pro-democratic public opinion in the arab world.

On the other hand beting for civil society implies to accept the existence of conflicts. Conflicts are out there: not only between regions or countries but in our own suburbs. And, this is a key point, there are not "once and for all" solutions as neocons believe.

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Comments

It's a honour seeing you there.

Lots of luck.
PTz

Posted by: PTz at March 9, 2005 01:57 PM


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The Workshop

On March 11th 2005 the Atocha Workshop on Global Terrorism, hosted by the Safe Democracy Foundation, will create a repository of original thinking on Global Terrorism that will continue to be fed weekly in the form of a weblog by creative thinkers on the subject from around the world.

The launching event will take place at the Atocha Train Station on March 11th, 2005 at the restaurant Samarkanda. Here, in in an atmosphere that will encourage creative thinking, around 200 people will participate as policy proponents, webloggers or as public; all will be engaged in the discussion of the proposed policies.
Workshop Program and Agenda >>

The People

The Workshop will bring together journalists, politicians, activists and scholars in the fields of democratic advocacy and terrorism analysis (see full list). We are introducing them by means of One Question Interviews. Anyone can register to the Workshop and participate by asking them further questions, challenging their assumptions or proposing their own alternative ideas.
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The Proposals

The general criteria for published ideas in the Atocha Workshop Weblog are that they be original, creative, potentially executable and most important that their implementation would likely lead to a more democratic world. The basic concept of the Worshop is that in politics, as in biology, diversity is needed to fight a threat. Political leaders, when confronted with the problem of global terrorism need a menu of possible responses. From the proceeds of the discussion on the weblog plus the physical event we will offer a series of Policy Proposals.
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The Topics

During the Creative Debates we will be working towards making Policy Proposals from the 12 topics that we have selected. These topics are only starting points.
Read more >>


The Atocha Workshop is sponsored by the Safe Democracy Foundation. (Formerly the Varsavsky Foundation)

With the support of
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