As founder and editor of World Streets, I have three jobs. The first is to organize the production side of the journal and to find and work with collaborators around the world to produce challenging thinkpieces and articles which hew to the rigorous strategic lines we have set out to guide all our work (See Strategy ). The second is to contribute as editorialist and author. And the third — this is the one I really do not like and am demonstrably not very good at– is that of securing the funding needed to keep this boat afloat. So for reasons of force majeur, I have decided to close down the editorial side of this enterprise for the coming week-plus, and concentrate on fund-raising. And here is maybe where you can help.
Let’s start here: Why this is a worthwhile goal
Here is the evidence:
After the last two years or base-laying and daily publication 5/7, during which time we have developed no less than four publication platforms for the journal (World Streets, Nuova Mobilità, World Streets/Facebook, World Streets/Open Edition) on which have been posted more than one thousand carefully crafted articles and contributions, twice that number of images, and which have been visited (and hopefully read and pondered) more than two hundred thousand times by people signing in from more than seventy countries on all continents, we are ready to be judged not by promises or plans, but by performance and results.
The best proof of this is what you can find on the four platform sites, but as quick reminders (a) here is this morning’s reader map and (b) you may also wish to have a look at the reader reaction which you can find here at World Streets contributions: 2009/2010: We asked 100 experts for their views – - and 101 responded .
What we need from you? Five things.
We are looking for volunteers among our readers who think that World Streets is making an important contribution and who are ready to take the time to discuss with us how it might be better supported and funded. There are a number of possibilities we would like you to reflect on:
1. Your help in contacting foundations, groups and individuals of means who may be interested to discuss supporting World Streets. (We are very weak on this side and need help to initiate these contacts. Your counsel and perhaps also your moral and other support might help in this.)
2. National sponsors/subscribers:
These are basically joint projects in which a national or international agency joins with us to create an easy to maintain mechanism for putting all or selections of the journal into the hands of people working within their own organization, and often more broadly. The following diagram is intended to provide some first clues as to how these projects are intended to work (this diagram being for discussions and negotiations for a collaborative project with the US Department of Transportation).
3. New language editions:
It is well-known at the level of those working in the field that the only way to get through on a daily basis to the hundreds, often more people and groups working in any given country or language area is by addressing them in their own language. We have demonstrated clearly how this approach can be very powerful with out collaboration in the creation of Nuova Mobilità in Italy — reference http://nuovamobilita.org — and are prepared to work with local partners in a time- and cost-efficient manner to build on this experience, including the tools and routines that are needed to make it work.
4. Independent program review: Our long experience in this many-sided field, including not only that of the editor but also the large number of collaborators working in various parts of the world on these important matters, constitute a valuable reservoir of experience which can be tapped by those who are organizing new projects or programs, or assessing the performance or eventual needs of existing projects, can be put to work for cost- and time-effective reviews.
5. New Mobility event organization:
We work with local partners and sponsors to organize a variety of events which support the New Mobility Agenda and their own related programs. Get in touch and we can provide you with examples and references.
So for the coming week or so until we have made our breakthrough, the only articles that will appear here or in our other World Streets platforms will be limited to notices and information which support the funding search. This is not to say that we are not continuing to receive and work on reports and articles from our collaborators that will in time appear in these pages. But today there is a real shortage of time and means which we now need to deal with as our first priority. You understand of course.
Do you think you might be ready to help?