Synetopia

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= " a place where people cooperate together on the basis of objective reasoning and mutual respect to work out how to improve their wellbeing as individuals and as a community". [1]

Description

Henry Tam:

"Synetopia is not an idealised place that is founded on the hoped-for kindness of all who dwell within, nor is it an ideological system that is to be imposed unkindly on everyone without exception. It is a model for human interactions that over time has helped to open our eyes to specific societal problems to be overcome, and potential collaboration that can bring about better outcomes for all concerned.

Based on the critical iteration of progressive thinkers from the Enlightenment on, the model can be outlined with reference to nine key proposals that enable any group of people to come together to achieve more than they can on their own. The extent to which these are taken forward in practice serves to indicate how far synetopia is being realised for any given group of people at the local, national or global level. " (http://henry-tam.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/synetopia-progress-through-cooperation.html)


Characteristics

Henry Tam:

"Nine proposals, which for mnemonic reason, are listed under headings, each of which begins with a letter that will together with the others spell out ‘SYNETOPIA’:

Shared Mission: All members of the group should have a shared understanding of their common mission or purpose. The group should be effectively and visibly organised to enable its members to join forces for their respective wellbeing.

You-and-I Mutuality: Instead of ‘Me’-centred individualism or ‘We-subsume-all’ collectivism, there should be genuine mutuality in distributing the benefits and burden connected with the group, and none should amass what comes from the group’s joint endeavours to enrich themselves at the expense of others.

Nimble Membership: There should be a transparent and responsive membership system that underpins who is brought into the group or excluded from it, and sets out the rights and responsibilities of both the group and its members.

Educative Collaboration: All member of the group should be enabled to share ideas, learn through collaborative exchanges, and have lifelong opportunities to study, formulate and discuss interpretations of the world as well as ideas for change.

Testing of Claims and Assumptions: The group should make sure no claim or assumption is privileged as unquestionable. It should subject all doctrines and findings to continuous testing, and revise them in the light of the latest evidence.

Open Access to Information: There should be open access so nothing untoward is hidden and useful information is widely shared. Processes to detect and expose deception should be in place, and demands for secrecy must be independently scrutinised for their legitimacy.

Participatory Decision-Making: The group should enable and encourage all members to participate as equals in the making of decisions that affect them, and ensure everyone can contribute to those decisions on an informed and deliberative basis.

Impartial Distribution of Power: The distribution of power should be monitored and where necessary revised to minimise the likelihood that an individual or an alliance of them can come to possess so much power that they can intimidate or dictate terms to others.

Accountability for Action: All members, especially those entrusted with the authority to act on behalf of the group, must be held accountable for any action against individual members or the wider interest of the group. Disputes over charges should be resolved through independent mechanisms and judgements carried out in accordance with the rules." (http://henry-tam.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/synetopia-progress-through-cooperation.html)