Monday, May 2, 2011

(Time out while we regroup)

World Streets is a collaborative resource. And it is a challenge - a collaborative challenge. We are rethinking it from top to bottom, to improve its usefulness and ensure a solid financial base.  Have a look and tell us what you advise.

World Streets is closing down the editorial department today. . .  as we reach out to secure funding support.

We have no money gentlemen, so we shall have to think. *

I am often told that World Streets and our ambitious New Mobility Agenda family of initiatives give the impression of being an ambitious, trouble free, fully funded operation. Would that it were so. Our bare bones operating budget is on the order of $8,000/month — way beyond what I am able to continue to fund out of pocket. So we need your help if we are to keep going. Hence this note:

As founder and editor, I have three jobs. The first is to organize the production side of the journal and to find and work with authors and 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 is that of securing the funding needed to keep this boat afloat. That is proving more problematic.

So to ensure this last and for reasons of force majeur, I am obliged to close down the editorial side of this enterprise for the coming several weeks (I hope) so as to be able to concentrate 100% on fund-raising. And once we have worked our way through the worst and most pressing of our obligations, we can start to free the time needed to get publication back into full steam.

And here is maybe where you can help. Since you know a/ what we are trying to accomplish is important and b/ that we need support to keep our operations going, I can make this fast:

1. Support World Streets. You can de a real help on this s by digging into your pocket to make a contribution. We have an important job to do, we have shown day after day over the last three years that we can deliver the goods, and if we don't do it I very much doubt that anyone else will. So if you have been consulting World Streets and are in agreement with our unique approach, and can afford it, please click here for details on how to make a donation. Your contribution, large or small, is an important vote of support for what we are trying to accomplish. (And if you are broke, well that's life -- but  why don't you just take a few minutes to write us a short note telling us what you like and perhaps what you think we might be doing better once we get back on line. That's a kind of money too.)

- - - > Click here to support World Streets today

2. Project level collaboration: If we are to be an active force in the move to more sustainable cities, we have to do more than act as a sit-behind-the-desk publisher. Indeed the nature of the challenge requires that we get into the field and work closely with people and organizations locally who share our concerns and values to organize: conferences, courses, public hearings, workshops, brainstorming sessions, master classes, debates, media appearances, and public events in support of the sustainable transport agenda.

We actually do this pretty well but we need people like you to help us make the necessary local or national contacts to do this. Over the last year alone we have been involved in collaborative projects in place with colleagues in cities, agencies and programs in Austria, Britain, China, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal, Sweden and Taiwan.

3. Implementation partners and sponsors: Our primary working partners for moving the sustainable transport agenda from theory to practice are cities, public agencies, operators, funded NGOs and associations. At the local, national, regional or international level these are the key institutions with broad responsibilities to guide policy and investments in the field. Can you help us make contact with well-placed people and organizations that you have worked with or know? Once the first contacts have been made at the right level, useful collaborative projects can develop quickly and well, and with very modest budgets

4. Foundations: I sincerely believe that World Streets is good enough, unique enough, to qualify for the support of institutions, agencies, foundations, and also well-to-do individuals who share our sense of mission. These kinds of contacts are not my strong suit, so your help here is absolutely critical.

In conclusion:
So for the coming weeks until we have made our breakthroughs, the only articles that will appear here 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 for now 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? I very much hope so.

Eric Britton

PS. In the meantime, what can you do or access from our work and resources here while the publishing end of W/S is down?  Quite a bit actually.  Here are some clues:

Annex A:  Some useful references and handy resources
- The 4 page Mission statement
- W/S as a continuing research resource
- The Weekly Editions
- Reader views on W/S contributions since March 2009
- Who read W/S this morning
- Nova Mobilità (Italian sister publication)
- India Streets (sister publication)
- Network Dispatches

Annex B: See and interact with World Streets from different angles on . . .

Annex C: Facebook Focus Groups (You will need to be logged in to access)

  1. Africa Streets – Click here

  2. Gatnet: Gender & transport – Click here

  3. Global South – Click here

  4. India Streets – Click here

  5. Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice – Click here

  6. New Mobility Café – Click here

  7. New Mobility Kids Network – Click here

  8. Nova Mobilidade – Click here

  9. Nuova Mobilità – Click here

  10. World Carshare Consortium – Click here

  11. World City Bike Forum – Click here

  12. World Rideshare – Click here

  13. World Rural Transport – Click here

  14. World Streets Sentinels – Click here

  15. World Telemobility – Click here

  16. World xTransit – Click here

- - > Click here to support World Streets.

* The words of - Nobel Prize winner Professor Ernest Rutherford, on taking over the quite broke Cavendish Laboratory in 1919, in the wake of the First World War.

About Eric Britton, editor
Trained as a development economist, Eric Britton is founding editor of World Streets and managing director of EcoPlan International, an independent advisory network providing strategic counsel for government and business on policy and decision issues involving social-technical change and sustainable development. (→ more)
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