New Civilization Network

Frequently Asked Questions


What IS the New Civilization Network?

NCN is a communication network for people engaged in making the world work better for all of us. It is there to help people find each other, keep in touch with each other, and cooperate with each other whenever there's a fit.

NCN in itself is just an infra-structure, a framework, a space in which connections might form.

There's no agenda to NCN as a whole other than to connect those who build a better world, in the most effective and synergistic ways possible. The network is there to act as a global brain, connecting things up and collecting meaningful information.

Don't look around for the official NCN action plan for exactly how we will change the world. Lots of individual members and associated groups have very specific action plans and agendas and activities. NCN helps give space for these, helps communicate them, and helps connect up those who need to work together. But NCN's own agenda is only that.

How do I become a member of NCN?

You fill in some on-line forms, providing some basic information about yourself.

What does it involve to be a member?

Being a member simply means that you are listed in the member directory and you'll receive occasional (once or twice per week) e-mail from the main announcement list. There is a lot more you can participate in in the member area, to make your activites more visible, to find collaborators, or to discuss various subjects.

NCN is just another communication channel for what you do, or for what you might do. You won't get any instructions for what you're supposed to do. What you do is what YOU do. But you might find assistance and fruiful associations that will help you find what YOUR work is, and how you can do it more effectively, and with people you care about.

What kind of activity takes place in NCN

The communication in NCN mostly takes place electronically over the Internet. That is not a given, but simply the easiest way of interacting at this point. There is a web site where information on NCN members and activities are collected and presented. There are about a dozen mailing lists for discussions or teamwork of different kinds, there are chat room, there is a bulletin board with different forums. There are occasional physical meetings in areas where enough members are available and there is an interest in getting together, such as in Los Angeles. And members will spontaneously link up with one another when they find that they have similar interests or they are in the same area or they can work together on something. And, of course, many members are already doing things or are engaged in projects of their own that are aligned with what NCN is about in one way or another.

How long has NCN existed?

NCN was started March 13th, 1995 when an informal e-mail message from Flemming Funch <ffunch@newciv.org> created a remarkable amount of feedback and interest in participating in such a venture.

Is NCN a non-profit organization?

Yes. However, it has not sought non-profit status in any particular country. The reason for this is to avoid being sub-ordinated to the rules and scrutiny of any particular national tax department. NCN is based on the inherent right for people to associate, which is respected in most areas of the world.

What does it cost?

The basic membership in NCN doesn't cost anything. However, donations are both needed and very welcome towards making the server facilities viable in the long run. You are very welcome to donate more.

Note that, as opposed to most common non-profit organizations NCN is not really about collecting and using funds. It is about communication and spontaneous cooperation. It is about what YOU do, and how the structure of NCN might facilitate that, not about what NCN will do FOR you or anybody else based on your support.

Are there rules for behavior in NCN?

The general agreement is to treat others with respect and kindness. The members of NCN are quite a diverse group of people with quite different views and beliefs and backgrounds. It is important to be able to tolerate this diversity and refrain from putting others down because you don't agree with them. There is no requirement that we all agree on the specifics. We engage in dialogues to explore our diverse outlooks and to find common ground where it exists. Be open to new and different ideas and don't try to enforce your ideas on everybody else. Do not misuse the common resources of all members for self-serving needs, but be aware that there has to be room for everybody. Aside from that, anything goes.

Is there a spiritual or religious basis for NCN?

NCN is open to people of any belief system, as long as it includes the right for people to have different preferences. NCN encourages people to act based on their inner inspiration and to work for the common good. For some people, that is intimately connected with a spiritual motivation and understanding. For other people it is decidedly not. Thus NCN is neutral in that regard. There is no imposition of any spiritual beliefs you have to have. Likewise, there is no imposition of any belief in the material sciences that you have to have.

What is the political orientation of NCN?

There isn't any. NCN is not left-wing or right-wing. It is about making the world work in a wholistic manner. This probably includes both individual freedom of choice and social responsibility. However, NCN as a whole has no agenda of political issues. Any member is free to be of any observation that they choose.

But aren't our elected officials and governments the only agencies who can change the world?

Doesn't seem like that works very well. NCN is not about petitioning those in power to change the world for us. Rather it is a recognition that we, the regular people, are the ones who hold the power and WE need to change our world if anybody is. It is a bottom up approach in other words, but built on large visions.

Is NCN a discussion forum?

Not really. The orientation is towards doing something, not just talking about ideas. NCN includes various discussion groups, but it is certainly more than that. Some people choose to use NCN mainly as a discussion forum or as a place to read interesting information, and that is fine. However, the overall aim is to inspire action and cooperation towards a better world

What do NCN members agree on?

NCN members aren't required to agree to anything, other than to work constructively on creating a world that works for all of us, and to be tolerant of other people's views. However, certain values tend to emerge amongst us. One expression of shared values, that many members seem to like, is found in the text "We are the New Civilization". But, again, you don't have to agree with every one of those points either.

What do I do to contribute to NCN?

You contribute best by using NCN. Visit the member area often, make sure your profile is up to date, add information to the various databases, and use our system as a resource. The value of the databases is generated collectively by all of us, so the more and the better information you can put in, the more useful it will be for all of us.

How many members does NCN have?

11550 on last count. Spread over 181 different countries on all continents. About half the members are in the U.S. spread over all the states.

But what can such a small group of people do about a world so full of huge problems?

NCN is not there to solve all the world's problems. It is there to connect up the people who are working on the solutions, or who are designing systems that just don't have the same problems.

In NCN you will find many people who are visionary leaders in their fields, who head organizatons, who are very well connected, who inspire many thousands of people.

Don't underestimate the value of being well connected. The major movements towards a better world are very likely to be led by somebody who's a member of NCN, or some of their close associates or friends. And by all being inter-connected, our cummulative effectiveness is so much higher.

Are there any books I should read?

NCN is not based on any particular book or authority. However, these are some of the books that some of our members find inspiring, that might illustrate what a New Civilization is about or that provide useful tools for its construction:

Are there any meetings I can go to?

In the Los Angeles area there occasionally are New Civilization Salons. These are gatherings bringing together a very diverse and exciting group of people. They are held in different people's houses. They are not limited to formal NCN members, but are open to anybody who has something positive to offer to the world. If you want to be on the mailing list for these events, contact Flemming Funch at 818/774-1462 or ffunch@newciv.org

What would happen if NCN actually had real funding?

Well, we could make everything better, and some folks could work full-time on better ways of connecting things up.

Also, with real funding, it is likely that something like a New Civilization Foundation would be formed, that might actually be instrumental in funding and supporting promising projects, and to act as a think tank for the common good.

What computer facilities support NCN?

The web site and most mailing lists are housed in a server administered by Flemming Funch. For the techies amongst you, the server is running the Linux operating system with programming in PHP, using the MySQL database engine. The server is on a network connected to the Internet with multiple T1 lines. The facilities are, to the degree that they aren't covered by member donations, donated by Flemming Funch.

Hopefully there will be more collaborative nodes in the network in the future, as one of the ideals is that NCN has a distributed structure and is scalable to any size.

How do I contact NCN?

For membership or any general questions or communications you don't know where else to direct, send them to Flemming Funch <ffunch@newciv.org>

The main web page is found at: http://www.newciv.org/

For information on subscribing to some of the mailing lists, look into the Member Area area once you've joined. The first list most people join is the NCN Discussion List.