Why Ubujima ?
Let us all unite, let us fight for a new world,
A decent world that will give all a chance to thrive,
That will the youth a future and the old age security.
As Africa emerges, rises, and begins to forge a more positive outlook ahead, Pan-Africanist scholars and activist, business executives, community leaders, and policymakers are increasingly calling for concerted efforts to rethink the future and come up with big ideas for the 21st century. Recognizing this, in 2013, African heads of state and government launched the African Union (AU) Agenda 2063. As compared to previous efforts, Agenda 2063 is not just business as usual but even more ambitious. All concerns and critics point to the fact that there are a number of areas and action plans that have not been addressed, for that matter, seem to show that Africa is creating a vicious cycle of ambitious projects and ideas which barely meet implementation requirements.
As our own motherland and responsibility, Ubujima’s efforts and success will compliment and solve the main key challenges of Agenda 2063 notably shared sense of direction and oversight, co-creation, data & analytics, and the all-time funding issue. But ultimately Ubujima stands to be the fundamental block of shaping and transforming Africa into a new social paradigm of direct democracy
- Current Governance & Institutions
Our actual governmental system and all other institutional systems today (profit or non-profit organizations) all demonstrate a failure at giving citizens, workers or participants a direct and equal influence on policies, procedures and tools they nonetheless have to live with or work with, and which they, happily or not, need to obey or use. We live in a world where the few decide for the many.
This situation does not only deprive the people from their innate right to steer their life and participate in the agreements that shape the collective life at all scales, it also encourages the few in power to serve their own agendas at the cost of the others; in other words, it creates incentives for corruption.
This social state leaves many with legitimate frustration and a sense of alienation. Most respond by capitulating and adapting, loosing to various degrees any interest for a common good they cannot significantly impact, and thus limiting their field of concern to their own little universe. Few rebel by fighting quite hopelessly against the injustice of a system designed for and by minority control of a ruling elite. Minority control translates into unfair political, economical, and financial agreements, and these induce a structural mechanism aggravating inequalities.
This has been powerful feedback loop stabilizing minority control for centuries, until it has reached a level of injustice and consequently triggering either cyclical revolutions or a call for a new social paradigm.
Direct democracy (of/by/for the people) would be a major step towards a solution. As it is understood, it replaces minority control with majority control, thus leaving and giving the majority the control our their livelihoods and be it a reasonable and accessible option. Our endeavor is to support such a social paradigm shift, by radically questioning and collectively re-engineering our democracies and organizations, for the benefit of all who care for all.
- Technology (internet) and Society
Technology has had a tremendous, almost unimaginable impact on human life from the dawn of civilization. While it is near impossible to gauge the entire impact on human society, technology clearly has done a lot to make human life easier, more enjoyable, and more convenient. However, when misused or produced irresponsibly, it has had the potential to have devastating consequences, and thus it is not without its drawbacks. As humans venture into the future, it is increasingly important for engineers to operate in a more collective, conscientious and responsible manner, and for end-users to create a balance between the usage of technological systems with old-fashioned techniques for getting things done in a more healthy, productive manner. But importantly elevating and strengthen our social and human fibers at the same time.
In a race for a new social paradigm, our technological prowess is growing at an exponential rate and provides the needed tools to turn all our curves are there and new tools are being invented by the hour.
Given the exploitative nature of our history, technology that is not vetted and managed by us in a democratic way is likely to intensify our woes of today. If we are to navigate the challenges we now face with the unprecedented power now at our fingertips, we need a new operating system for our civilization. An operating system that takes our collective needs into consideration and balances these against the constraints of our environment. An operating system that nurtures every individual as the unique piece of our common puzzle of potential without encroaching on the all the other pieces. An operating system that is future proof and regenerates the habitats that have been decimated over the centuries of human expansion so that our descendants might one day look back at our time and our generation as the ancestors who turned the vessel of human destiny away from the jagged rocks of destruction and towards the unknown but open waters they now sail with great care and attention.
Our proposal is to build, collaboratively and step by step, one scale at a time, a governance model that solves the alienation of both minority and majority control. This model works as an open collaborative framework, in other words as a recipe for citizens, workers, participants, peers and other stakeholders to self-organize. It is meant to work from the lowest scale (individual) to the largest (AU), though it will develop its features one scale at a time and scale up only once there is enough evidence of its workability at the explored level.
In our digital world today, proper digital tools like ad hoc social/democratic/collaborative platform is a big must along the way to meet the challenge.
Ubujima framework at it peak will satisfy the following specifications:
- Self-determination / self-organization:
- the framework is meant to facilitate both of them. It minimizes coercion; and it support free agency and organizational organic complexification with a transparent order
- Inclusivity / openness:
- the framework should facilitate direct participation of whoever is affected by a decision, whether physically or morally. It should encourage the leverage of collective intelligence through open collaboration
- Decentralized transparency:
- decentralized and transparent system that creates trust and visibility for the stakeholders involved.
- enabling rapid adaptations to changes and challenges
- Collaboration over competition:
- committed to solving social problems – it’s very necessary to take ego out of our equation and rather promote a culture of collaboration
- the framework is “sustainability-oriented” in that its designed to directly tackle social and/or environmental issues, while also ensuring economic value capture to pursue its mission