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Overview of CreativeShare Digital Dialogue Series

As I write this introduction for the first CreativeShare Digital Dialogues, American financial markets have lost over one trillion dollars and the red ink continues to flow.

Our continuing misadventures in Iraq are costing the American taxpayer billions of dollars a month, depleting our military, killing innocent civilians, and alienating our democratic allies.

There is a growing crisis of confidence among Americans of conscience and goodwill.

According to numerous impartial national polls, many voters believe that the United States is heading down the wrong path. Our consensus mental maps of the world and ourselves no longer reflect reality but tend to distort it.

In small ways, these series of dialogues try to embody the best of our national character.

This includes technological creativity, institutional flexibility, respect for differing non-violent opinions and lifestyles, and a belief that an individual can make a difference. 

These were once widely accepted features of the American experience — both at home and abroad.

As Americans, we share an increasingly small, wired, and unpredictable planet with almost 6 billion other inhabitants. We cannot avoid these difficult conversations much longer.

The internet has made it possible to directly interact with a good portion of the human race without the narrow agendas and ideological filters of established power structures.

We at CreativeShare hope that these web presentations will stimulate informed, constructive, and open-minded conversations both in person and on the web. Perhaps they will motivate you to get involved with others who are very different from yourself.

This is not an easy task and the outcomes are not always positive or pleasant. But at least we have engaged each other in a rudimentary human dialogue that might lead to some sort of future collaboration.

The law of unexpected consequences is embedded in all human endeavors. Skeptics have always reminded us that the road to hell is often paved with good intentions. But common sense and a sense of self-preservation still dictate that we treat others as we would be treated.

Scholars estimate that between 200 and 262 million innocent people were murdered on specific government orders during the 20th century. The 21st century has seen genocides in Rwanda and Darfur, 9/11, and an increasingly bellicose Iran, North Korea, and Russia — and the distinct possibility of global climate change and continued severe global financial turbulence.

Hopefully, enough of us will become creative and life affirming participants in the global evolution of the human race. We know what is at stake.

Bob Barancik
Founder of CreativeShare
September 25, 2008

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