Sunday, January 03, 2010

People Power and the Upside-Down Pyramid

People Power and the Upside-Down Pyramid:

"A lot of us have seen or lived the organizational chart of the last century, in which power and influence (whether possessed by church, state or corporation) are concentrated in the uppermost point of the pyramid and pressure is exerted downward. But in this new century, and especially in some parts of the developing world, the pyramid is being inverted. Much has been written about the profits to be made at the bottom of the pyramid; less has been said about the political power there. Increasingly, the masses are sitting at the top, and their weight, via cellphones, the Web and the civil society and democracy these technologies can promote, is being felt by those who have traditionally held power. Today, the weight bears down harder when the few are corrupt or fail to deliver on the promises that earned them authority in the first place.

The world is taking notice of this change. On her most recent trip to Africa, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton bypassed officials and met instead with representatives of independent, nongovernmental groups, which are quickly becoming more organized and more interconnected. For example, Twaweza, a citizen’s organization, is spreading across East Africa, helping people hold local officials accountable for managing budgets and delivering services. (Twaweza is Swahili for 'we can make it happen.')"

-Just one (out of ten) items in Bono's new Top Ten

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