Seeds of Change - Heiner Benking's Blog - Foundations Days - about positions, views, values, risks: NGOs, SIGs & GIGs !    
 Foundations Days - about positions, views, values, risks: NGOs, SIGs & GIGs !
picture picture picture picture 24 May 2014 @ 02:38, by Heiner Benking

German Foundations:
In the middle of the waters (stream, river, "main"stream!?,...)
and against the "currents" (trends)
, the others, odds, many,....

Deutsche Stiftungen: Mitten im Fluss und gegen den Strom !!!

I just returned from Hamburg, the Stiftungs Tag 2014
As always a very special, dedicated, "gifted and cultured" crowd, celebrating good work, milestone projects, trailblazing efforts to serve communities and minorities. Again: very well educated, concerned and alive people serving cultural, natural, environmental,... concerns and mandates.

What a theme full of water, flows, streams and (hidden) currents!!! We are here into quality and quantity, isolation or context, integration or segregation !! Or can they be seen as a spectrum? see the example of Big Brother watching... or even "connected 3D-fields", or combined "beyond single boxes/spaces" in a Cognitive Panorama (9D) See revecent publication: "connecting" dots, .... spaces, people? and [link] " id="posts_0x6_000396-000276_outside_link" target="_blank">"connecting ... minds..." see Democracy in [R]evolution:
Full of metaphors, images, allegories, ... with presentations full of meanings and co-notations, assumptions and expectations.
I really like the reflections and "Stolpersteine" and spaces between words, lines, and meanings, how to "juggle" with them for making us aware of "others" and surprise - and their variety of interpretations, and their mindbugs and groupthink or spreadthinks we so often ignore/neglect. I talked with many at the symposium about the "normal" ways to express, present, communicate, display, model, ..... that we need to go beyond words, metaphors, images, stories, ... Well some of you know my passions about other forms and formats of representation and presentation, maybe check here **** or what I mean by supersigns and superstructures description in the sense of Ban Ki-Moon requesting "revolutionary" thinking, concepts and approaches, new "solution spaces" in view of exploding problem spaces. description. More later... meanwhile check
As the luminaries and keynoters where full of praise about words, images, stories,... and may be ready for a second look or step, and try the sharing, combining, caring, daring... see Connecting Dots and Spaces and Eyes & Mind-Sets... (DRAFT Translation - Original published in German: Mit anderen Augen sehen.


I liked the dancing through the night, the play with words and metaphors, the free speech by our President Gauck in the Schauspielhaus and 2 extraordinary awards for dedicated foundation founders.... Check the official internet pages!

The Motto is coined metaphorically, it is about Water, Streams, Flows, Trends and making differences, to "bend the trends", to be the Lotse (pilot" in difficult waters, "mastering" risks. Hamburg and the play with streams and flows, setting directions and initiating positive effects with forsight, respect in view of proportions and consequences, taking the "helm" from the captain !
We heard about the JahrhundertMensch, people who prepare the stage for survival and prosperity by not following the crowd like "lemmings" with "swarm intelligence" but clearing the way for (their?) societies and cultures.

Me, this time not registered as journalist, I decided to be an "accompanying" person.
So I could present not only efforts about saving FLORA and FAUNA for example in Madagaskar or the Far-East, but also add some links to projects I mentioned to some participants, as promised below are some links!

A good feeling to share, care, energize and empower, and no problem as all the participants are aware of their various functions, mandates, roles and assignments. This is definitely a uniquely very diverse group, able to communicate with politics, science, industry, finance and "the People" .... What a Challenge.

The lecture by Prof. Jan Philipp Reemtsma was another highlight. See an article published in DIE ZEIT his text: DER SCHECK als WILLE und VORSTELLUNG [link]

He presents shows whole picture with many question-mark about "Altruism", Philantopy and Democracy. A deep speech with 10 sections, is worthwhile to revisit and study in detail !! Maybe too academic and philosophical and critical for such a celebration of sometimes self-applauding donors, which want celebrate themselves with big names, like our Soccer - Fussball Heros Beckenbauer, or leading Chaírmans or Founders of Corporations, or members of Industry Boards doing a lot for the "underpriviledged, handicapped, excluded, ... to guide them to help themselves and develop self-esteem oneself. But this is only a small priviledged portion of this very broad and unique gathering To think big for commons it needs the bigger picture AND requisite variety: Enjoy the first of maybe 7 systemic LAWS.

(I spoke a lot about the recent "Negative Body Image" project schemes, and ALS-mobile e.V.check Angela Jansen [link] check here its founder Angela Jansen, and see what we did 8 years ago: - I feel I should nomminate Angela for the Engagement Price of the Foundations this year: ALS-mobil is a project I personally got involved in over the years. As all the people mention non-profit exercises, or their "foundations", maybe we should compare and link the efforts of non-profit associations and non-profit foundations (charities and other legal or civil entities).

I miss people like Professor Michael Succow and his daughter. I have seen them here at the Stiftungs Tag over the years. Maybe they are too busy or too deep into projects they do "hands-on", themselves, having to economize their time and efforts.....

Back to the HEADLINE:
Are foundations a special interest group (SIG)!? or are they altruistic, serving society and mankind? or undemocratic, setting with "free" money you do not want pay as taxes to the government, but follow your philantrophic drives and put into stone societal value decisions ? See it is very important what is "non-profit", and are the orientations and frames to support the "socio-cultural" ""grid"" without denying ecological, health, security, ... concerns.

We see: Such questions and the stress around the finance bubbles, risks, and low interests and returns in financial markets, .... risks and un-securities which create a lot of concerns and pain for people in charge and responsible for securities and funding strategies and funding "mixes". So lets go back here to risks and risk-taking. I was sad that I did only one book: CULTURE OF REFUSAL - THE CONSTRUCTIVELY SAYING "NO" !! - Kultur der Verweigerung - das konstruktive Nein - ( with my Ohne Zusammenhang kein Zusammenhalt ) and even some participants liked it ! If I would have known and be better prepared I would have brought from my library:„Against the Gods“ - The Remarkable Story of Risk“ ******** check it out !!

More later... I got to get some sleep now...
but our Documentation TV channels PHOENIX or ARTE, unparalleled in many countries, keep me awake. I just see: Minoan and Weather Catastrophies. Really moving and making me think back.... what makes me "tick" the last 30 years or so...

I only spoke once at this event from the floor. I often attend the “International” working group, but ENVIRONMENTAL is my “think-thing”: So I mentioned "Sicht aufs Ganze, Pflicht fürs Ganze" and mentioned our 21stCenturyAgora exercises, or what Walter Bogan told me years ago: Bringing together: Prognostic, Normative and Participatory Futures. I will transcribe so we can discuss later... ******* but if interested check these interviews with Christakis, ******** [link] Alexander Christakis looked with Walter Bogan into such issues in the early 80ies, check out the links in this blog.

Meanwhile check what I mean about SIGs versus GIGS in the collumn of this blog to the right.
I will add later more about commons and common Frames of References in the present UN-ECOSOC -DPI efforts now in the OWP for the forthcoming High Level talks in the UN NYC and the forthcoming anniversary 24 years GLOBAL CHANGE - CHALLENGES to SCIENCE and POLITICS next week !! May 30th...

I also promised to some participants an interview I did some years ago: SCHENKENDE WIRTSCHAFT - a portrait of Manfred Kannenberg ! PDF check for more here: and come back as this sharing and empowering, unconditional giving and inspiration without expectation and scheme is something I saw also resonnating in Manfred - maybe this article about sharing SPOONS, FEATHERS and WINGS is of interest, even when not finalized !! it is very dear to me since 25 years !! and maybe I should add maps, models, frames,.... but I have been on red alert over-load already . so lets call it a day....

LATER: …..

A concern I need to expand and enlarge here soon!:
Private and Special Interest Commons or Global (Interest Commons !?) in Common Frames of reference we can Negotiate beyond the need to agree !? (I citing here Anthony Judge)
The Secretary General of the Assocaition of German Foundations (Hans Fleisch) who was also dancing till 3:00 a.m. – you see – all very energetic and dedicated people, made an interesting remark in his opening speech at the Indian Embassy in Berlin recently ****
I can not quote exactly but I recall: “We as Foundations have to make concrete, robust, lasting LOCAL efforts, but our thinking needs to be global and wide". I recalled immediately Santanya: “Feets on the Ground, Eyes surveying the world” **** and would only add that we need to do all along various spectrums of meaning. ORWELLian watching: Meaning of Watching between extremes see also: Titanic Syndrom: Technological, imaging, imagination, & communication challenges
Local and Global – we called it GLocal in 1990 – see Wikipedia - and I would add we need to do this also along and across other scales/dimensions, time horizons, sectors, segments, or subject areas… for this you might want to consult the Encyclopedia of Systems and Cybernetics, and there the Cognitive Panorama something which makes me “tick” now for 20 years….

We have in the UN High Level Segement (OWG exercise) July 2nd a side-event where as parts of the COMMONS agendas some of these questions will be raised, and we have the GLOBAL CHANGE exhibition celebrating ist 25th birthday exactly next years, so high time to alert and collect resources to revisit 25 years "CHALLENGES TO SCIENCE and POLITICS" what we have learned - what we already knew back than - how are the trends and chances, where to intervene and how this all links to our footprints, handprints, mindprints and mindsets and frames of references.
[MORE TO COME] stay tuned.

late note: GRAVEL PIT
I just "fall" over this headline: ".....LARGE FOUNDATIONS "UNITE" OVER....! - in emergency..." [link]
Aufruf für mehr Europa zum EU-Gipfel - große deutsche Stiftungen tun sich zusammen
Besondere Ereignisse erfordern besondere Maßnahmen:

maybe we should look into such emergency unions and digging into roots causes and leverage points, where foundations really drigger differences that matter.
My experience the last 24 years is that foundation do not effectively co-operate internationally. Projects have to follow one national scheme and court and so all cross-overs are often futile when "the money does not walk, and only the bullshit talks"

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