Memorandum from Dr G Alexander "Earth
Summit for All" Project
This submission is notifying the Committee of
the Earth Summit for All Project. The Project is using
Internet technology to develop online tools for sustainable development,
and is making an innovative contribution to the UK's response
to the forthcoming World Summit. The Project Manager is Dr Gary
Alexander of Department of Telematics, the Open University. He
pioneered the use of large-scale, on-line collaborative learning
at the OU, which is the world's leading distance learning university.
Earth Summit for All is an on-line discussion
tool being set up by Dr G. Alexander of the Open University, in
preparation for the forthcoming World Summit on Sustainable Development.
The Second Summit Preparatory Committee ("PrepCom 2")
put great emphasis on the need to develop partnerships between
stakeholders, including governments and civil society. Earth
Summit for All aims to be a catalyst for such partnerships,
and a new means of facilitating the development of global-scale
Earth Summit for All is designed as an
interactive web portal. The format of the website is that of a
collaborative, on-line journal, with discussions attached to each
article. The purpose is to build a community of interest based
around each discussion, which can lead to the development of proposals
for the World Summit, with global-scale, practical projects as
an intended outcome.
The subjects to be discussed will emerge from
the interests of the participants. A starting set, which indicates
the hopes of the Project, includes:
Global Green Information Networks
with Green Ratings.
Co-operative and Community Networks.
Global Emergency Aid and Development
Media Initiatives for Peace.
Schools for Sustainability.
Some further explanation of these projects is
given on the Project's preliminary website at earthsummit.open.ac.uk.
They have been chosen for their potential to use Internet technology
as a means of promoting sustainable development in theory and
Earth Summit for All will be recruiting
a panel of Partners and Associates drawn from NGOs and other stakeholders
to run the site. The Project builds on the Open University's experience
of developing large-scale, on-line learning facilities, and extends
it to the needs of the Johannesburg Summit. A team of delegates
from the University's International Development Centre will be
attending the Summit, and also contributing to Earth Summit
for All as partners.