Daily, thousands all over the world read, benefit from and use what we at TFF publishes at our "home", Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Many tell us that we contribute to a less-bad, perhaps even a better, world.
Some write us to tell that they don't know what they would have done had TFF not existed and been a constant voice of criticism of elite power, violence and injustice. Quite often our 70 Associates - indisputably some of the world's most distinguished experts - have produced early warnings and early proposals in conflict zones and other matters, such as UN reform.
That's good to hear - particularly since we do not know of anybody else who produces as much as we do exclusively on the basis of people's donations, around € 20.000 or $ 26.000 per year - only possible because we are all volunteering for the cause of peace!
That's how it has always been. Because we believe in what we do. But this year has seen a decrease in donations.
January 1, 2011 marks the 25th Anniversary of TFF, this progressive think tank for the UN norm of "peace by peaceful means". If you think this is impressing, go here!
What to say about those 25 years? Exciting they were! But it has been a constant uphill struggle for organisations such as TFF (don't worry, Albert Camus' Sisyphus was a happy man!) and that leaders and many civil society initiatives have missed one opportunity after the other to make the world a better place - due to lack of leadership and diversion of public attention away from really important global affairs. Have people in the Western world in particular ever been so "I" obsessed instead or "We"-oriented?
True, a lot of good things are happening, but they are made invisible in the public discourse. Most energies focus on what is wrong, in criticizing, putting down, "winning over" in the debate, etc.
We hardly have a peace movement. We have anti-war initiatives - and while both needed, they are two vitally different things.
Now at 25 TFF could choose to say "Thank you, we have done our job and we are far from ashamed of it when we look back. Not everything lasts for 25 years in this field and under our circumstances. Farewell!" We could also just continue the type of work we have done and rest on the success.
But that's not what TFF's founders and Board have decided! Instead, in 2011 we are going in a new pro-peace direction, launching an entirely new, multidimensional, interactive Internet presence.
When that happens, it will be called "ImagineABetterWorld" - and you'll soon be able to read more about it on our homepage, Facebook and Twitter - because it is a much more participative project than TFF has been so far.
ImagineABetterWorld will leave behind the negative, the exlusively critical, the news about the destructive and brutal trends of our world. While bad news are factual and criticism is necessary, it is not sufficient. And there is too much of it. It causes us to lose hope.
At TFF have grown tired of even the words, the "down with", "out of", "stop" this and that, "anti" - with no ideas of what to do instead. Even our language is polluted by negativism. Why are so many good things in the world called "non" - non-governmental, non-violent, non-male, non-proliferation, non-"realistic", non-aggression. All that is non-sense! It prevents from seeing and expressing pro-peace!
What we will do on this new unique platform is to
1. Make peace and all the other positive values visible and exciting. With your help we will show where and when it happens. And how it happens.
We are tired of hearing that war is exciting and people get a kick from violent events. Who wants us to believe that peace has to be boring?
2. Build bridges between academia, culture, spirituality and political action. Interesting things happens when spheres meet and exchange.
Alone none of them can bring about the change we need and which is perfectly possible.
3. Promote realistic visions and concrete proposals for a better world.
Nothing is so practical as a good idea, good thinking and strong emotions. It's time peace research and activism turn to peace instead of focussing on violence.
4. Bring hope, inspiration, joy, energy to engage - simply by visiting that multi-media Pro-Peace Platform.
We will let others continue to make you feel powerless and overwhelmed by all the "bad" things happening.
5. Successively give it away to the users who are willing to work for constructive ideas in their many and different capacities.
We hope to develop it into a world wiki for peace, for positive small and global peace. Wikipedia is lousy on the issue of peace...
So, five goals for "new" TFF's next 25 years! That's about the time we think humankind has to create a sustainable community in peace and development and harmony with Mother Earth.
For this vision we of course appreciate your donations. This new roject must steer clear of government and other biased funding with strings attached!
We want to remain people-financed.
But you and we need each other in a new interactive way already from today...
Please help us with your input, ideas and tell us if you have time to work with us.
Youare always welcome at TFF@transnational.org
We are in the research and development phase. Some of the social media technology aspects are available at the Peace 2.0 blog by Rikard Edbertsson. We share this whole new idea with you now, way before we have even a prototype! It's a proof that we want this to be a social media thing, a truly participatory place that TFF and you shape together.
Tell us what you think about this, what thoughts & ideas it creates in you and how you want to make a contribution together with other creative people worldwide.
It's high time to re-invent peace thinking, research, action and policies. We at TFF now jump into a new positive peace endeavour. It's a huge challenge in more than one way! Please join that new emerging community of constructivism! Let's Imagine A BetterWorld, make it visonary but also concrete. And let's begin today to feel the flow of hope and creativity.
Peace is possible! Peace is realistic, no matter what the old-worlders tell us. At "ImagineABetterWorld" thousands of people around the world will prove just that!