Monday, July 21, 2008

Momentum is underway

Here's what I've learned about liveblogging conferences - others are better at it than I am. Here are some thoughts and "10-minute-old" reflections on the Democracy Session at the Momentum Conference:

Most important concept I heard:

Transparent Democracy - and a new web site - (still in beta, may need invitation or pw)

What I like about the many site features that were demo'd is the idea that people have a set of values and they want to act on them. The resource helps voters find out what organizations are supporting what initiatives or ballot issues. It helps a user find out what the groups they already support are rallying behind. In addition to the state and national election issues covered the site will also bring light to corporate shareholder ballots. You can find out how proxies are being voted. The site brings politics together with shareholder activism - another step in recognizing that many people want to act consistently on their values - from the polling place to the stock exchange to their giving choices.

Most provocative thing I heard:

Eboo Patel: Religious extremism was built on philanthropy. (From a report by Carnegie Institute - I need to get citation....) And, with an eleventh minute of reflection, this is also the most patently self-evident thing I heard. Of course, it is.

Most hopeful thing I heard:

Eboo Patel: There are 3 billion young people in the world, and leaders of religious pluralism movements (Gandhi, Tutu, King, Jr..etc. ) have historically been young. (He did counter balance this with the observation that most murderous religious extremists are also young).

Funniest bumper sticker shown:

"Prevent unwanted presidencies: Make vote counting a hand job," shown by Deborah Bowen, CA Secretary of State

Most hopeful and, I fear, Utopian thing I heard:

"Ideas will trump money."

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