I've posted a draft of the Global Voices Mission Statement/Manifesto to Hossein's wiki. (We're trying to get a mediawiki up at Berkman so we can stop abusing Hossein's server, but a recent virus outbreak has put Berkman tech folks a bit behind…) Alex and I drafted the statement on Sunday, and Joi, Rebecca and Jim Moore have chipped in comments and substantial changes.
At this point, we're looking for constructive input as well as feedback on whether people would be willing to sign onto such a manifesto. Debates about wording are probably more helpful at this point than debates about the general purpose of the document. I recognize that the document is going to be too vague for some, but I'd ask that people understand that we're looking for a broad, general document that reflects the breadth of the people involved with the movement while allowing each of us to pursue our own interests.
The text I posted follows below – given the nature of wiki, this may resemble the current version on the wiki quite closely, or not at all… :-)
By the way, is this a manifesto, or a mission statement? Is Joi still working to turn Saturday's IRC discussion into a manifesto? Is that connected to, or independent from this document?
Posted to http://www.hoder.com/wiki/index.php/Global_Voices_Draft_Manifesto, 18:15 EDT:
We believe in free speech, both in protecting the right to speak and extending access to the tools of speech. The right of free speech has always extended primarily to those who owned a press. It is now possible for everyone to own a press, and it is our goal that everyone who wants speak can be heard.
We believe in the power of direct connection. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful.
We seek to create bridges that cross the gulfs that have traditionally divided us. When we cross these gulfs, we understand each other more fully, work together more effectively, and act more powerfully. With these bridges, we can do together what we could only dream of alone.
Direct connection is its own reward. In a world full of challenges, it is also the best path to building a future that is freer, fairer, more sustainable and more prosperous.
While we're all committed to our own work, we also recognize our common interest and goals. We each speak for ourselves, but we're all in this together. We pledge to respect, listen to, assist, and learn from one other. We are Global Voices.