[Sust-mar] Habitat JAM

Amelia Clarke amelia.clarke at mail.mcgill.ca
Mon Nov 7 13:02:51 EST 2005

Dear sust mar 
While I am still not quite sure how  an online "jam" works, it looks
like the Habitat Jam will be worth registering for. It is going to be a
3-day (Dec 1 - 3) online discussion that you can participate in at any
point over the 3 days. Both Elizabeth May and I are involved as part of
the Environmental Sustainability in Cities stream.  There are other
streams related to water, slums, governance, etc. For more information,
you can read the information below, or just go directly to
www.habitatjam.com <http://www.habitatjam.com/> .  
- Amelia Clarke
President, Sierra Club of Canada



Amelia Clarke thought you might be interested in registering to
participate in an unprecedented online global conversation about the
future of our cities - The Habitat JAM - December 1-3, 2005.



Unprecedented global event: Tens of thousands of world citizens unite
online to debate urban sustainability issues December 1 - 3, 2005
Habitat JAM, an unprecedented online global dialogue on urban
sustainability, will be held for 72 hours from 1 - 3 December, 2005.
    Sponsored by the Government of Canada, in partnership with
UN-HABITAT and IBM, the Habitat JAM promises to engage, empower and
stimulate tens of thousands of global citizens, rich and less fortunate
alike, with the ultimate goal of turning ideas into action on critical
issues related to urban sustainability.
    Under the leadership of the Honourable Joe Fontana, Minister of
Labour and Housing, the Government of Canada is taking a highly
innovative approach by investing in global sustainability and funding
Habitat JAM. "Canada is pleased to partner with UN-HABITAT and IBM to
introduce this experimental form of problem solving - a dialogue that
cuts across the borders and silos of politics, culture, economics,
social class and expertise, to extract concrete solutions to the urgent
and controversial issues facing our rapidly urbanizing planet. The
Government of Canada is proud to host this event because Canada
recognizes the enormous impact of urbanization on the sustainability of
the planet."
    The Habitat JAM is a preparatory event to the third session of the
World Urban Forum being held in Vancouver in June 2006. The World Urban
Forum is an initiative of the United Nations Settlements Program
(UN-HABITAT) held every two years to debate ideas and issues about
sustainable development in today's context of rapid urbanization. Topics
for discussion will include improving the lives of people living in
slums, access to water, environmental sustainability, safety and
security, finance and governance, and the future of our cities.
    "We live in an increasingly urban world which is unfortunately
divided between the North and the South. What is worse is that in most
cities, wherever they are, people are forced to live in divided cities.
Cities in developing countries are suffering from problems associated
with rapid urbanization, which has led to over one billion people living
in slums without adequate shelter and basic services. In developed
countries, citizens suffer from the effects of ill-planned cities and
environmental degradation. At the heart of this crisis is a failure to
consult and to allow the full participation of ordinary people in the
development of the city. It is my hope that innovative technologies
associated with Habitat JAM will help bring people closer together to
plan and develop truly human settlements," adds Dr. Anna Tibaijuka,
Executive Director, UN-HABITAT.
    The Habitat JAM will bring together academics and students, planners
and builders, politicians, governments, the private sector and ordinary
citizens from across the globe in real time, all contributing ideas and
expertise during the 72-hour global problem-solving session. Moderators
will include government leaders, renowned experts, and key thinkers.
    To ensure the most inclusive event possible, grass root
organizations, institutions, women, youth groups and non-governmental
organizations (NGOs) are helping to bring people to the technology who
might otherwise not have access or opportunity to share their
experiences and ideas with others around the world. To name just a few
examples, the Habitat JAM is teaming with the:
    -  World Bank Institute to offer access to many of their
       Global Development Learning Network (GDLN) to enable people
living in
       regions with inadequate or no Internet access to participate in
       Habitat JAM.
    -  Huairou Commission and GROOTS Canada to bring the voice of
       non-English speaking women into the Habitat JAM.
    -  World Urban Forum and Youth Organizing Committee (WUFY) who will
       over a dozen World Urban Cafe JAM Sessions to engage communities
       slums and impoverished human settlements in Asia, Africa, India
       Latin America.
    In hosting and providing the technology for the JAM, IBM is enabling
this innovative democratic process where, without hierarchy, people from
all walks of life have the opportunity to come together to present and
evaluate ideas on how to solve a focused set of issues or problems. "IBM
has used JAMs internally to involve employees in over 75 countries to
collaborate in real time on the company's values and then to develop
pragmatic solutions and best practices around growth and innovation,"
said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, Vice President of Technical Strategy and
Innovation, IBM. "JAMs enable a kind of mass collaboration and
problem-solving that has simply never before been possible on a global
scale. This is innovation that matters for the world."
    For additional information on Habitat JAM and to register for the
event, visit http://www.habitatjam.com <http://www.habitatjam.com/> .
    Media Inquiries
    Maryse Cardin
    maryse.cardin at habitatjam.com
    Toll free: 1-866-684-1263
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