Thanks to the many who have proposed changes and edits, here is the latest version of our Manifesto. Please suggest any further changes on the Wiki, but we hope that we can finalize it by Monday at the latest.

We believe in free speech, both in protecting the right to speak and extending access to the tools of speech. We define speech broadly to include many media that facilitate expression.

The broadest right of free speech has always extended primarily to those who owned technology for publishing and distribution, beginning with the printing press. It is now possible for anyone to publish, broadcast and have access to a distribution channel via the Internet. It is our goal that everyone who wants to speak can be heard.

We believe in the power of direct connection and the freedom to connect. 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 doing alone.

Direct connection is its own reward. However, 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 as individuals, 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.


  • I like it, Rebecca. The more I re-read it, the more I like it. Let me know if there’s
    anything I can do to help.

  • Janice Abrahams

    Most Excellent! I really like it.
    I’m here is you need anything I can help with!!
    ps: anyone know anyone who knows kurdish for the next blogging tool we’re doing?

  • The latest version (3:30 Saturday) is unattributed because I stupidly created a wiki
    account after saving a version. I tried to do some simple word-editing and organizational
    frills to reduce some of the inevitable wordiness of the crowd and repetition. In doing
    so, I tried to retain every thought. Once an editor, always an editor. If you don’t like
    it, please revert. Try it on for size….

  • oso

    I don’t understand the rush to finalize this by Monday. There is still quite a bit I would like to add, but I’ve been extremely busy lately and not all my thoughts have formulated into succint, articulate points. This manifesto really has the potential to gain a lot of attention internationally if each of us at the conference does our best to circulate it amonst our “ecosystems.” I feel like the Global Voices Manifesto should create at least as much of an effect as the Cluetrain Manifesto and that it should truly be the product of a international, cooperative consensus. So far, I don’t even see who has contributed to it.

    My thought is wait at least another week until the final draft is rolled out.

  • I wonder whether it is a “manifesto” or a “covenant.” This seems more like a promise to each other than a battlecry to the world. Whatthink?

  • Oso, I think the main reason is focus. It’s very hard to get everyone’s attention focused on something for a sustained period of time. I can barely remember why I got up to go to the fridge. I agree that it could be the next cluetrain. This IS the Net so we can add and modify once we get going and I think a longer piece like the cluetrain’s points is a cool idea. I do think we need to strike while the iron is hot and before people have drifted away. But, it could be just me.

    One week from today, I’ll be on my way to Berlin and I’d like to have this manifesto in hand to deliver to the Chaos Communications Congress and the Wikipedian gathering. Then I’ll be with Larry and the CC gang in SF the week after that and again, would like to have manifesto (or covenant) in hand. The week after that I’m in Hawaii with all of the Sony execs at the Sony Open Forum and once again I would like to hit some people over the head with this. So the sooner the better for me!

  • Oso, I think the concern about working on the document until we get it right is right on. That said, I know that Joi and others are straining at the bit to start sharing some sort of vision document with the world.

    I wonder if Jeff doesn’t have the solution. Perhaps this document we’re working on is a “covenant”… and we’ll work towards a manifesto as we figure out what we’re doing. I think we’re a ways away from having something as tight and coherent as “Cluetrain”… but it’s a great goal to work towards. Thoughts?

  • As Joi says, this is the Connected Age. My I suggest that any printed version of this “manifesto” must have a Permalink to the living web document printed on it for reference, and a notice stating “living document: please see URI for latest version”.

    Nothing is final anymore. ;)

    Also, all this reminds me of a call for a Universal Declaration of Cyber rights… what happened to that?

  • I think Ethan and Jeff have a good point. What we’ve got is more like a “covenant” than a “manifesto” at this point.

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