UNA San Francisco Bay Area
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Sep 2013 Get Acquainted Luncheon

On Sep 27, 2013, UNA-SF held a get acquainted luncheon for local branches of the national COO list. Representatives from more than a dozen organizations attended: PSR, the NAACP, AAACC, Results, AAUW, American Legion, Servas, Carnegie Endowment for Int’l Peace, Peace Alliance, Silkworm Peace Inst., U.S. Fund for Unicef, Star Alliance and Earth Federation Movement. A spirit of good feeling pervaded the luncheon and there was a general sense that the idea of creating a San Francisco or Bay Area COO was a good one. Bob Gould of Physicians for Social Responsibility gave an excellent talk on Syria and the general question of WMD, particularly the dangers of nuclear weapons.

Roger Eaton, UNA-SF COO co-chair with Eliz Weinberg gave the following short talk:

The world is round. That is the fundamental fact of our time. Only so many of us can fit without overburdening the natural systems of Earth and we are already over the limit that the nation-state system with its win-lose philosophy can handle. The great necessity is to become more coordinated and smarter on a global scale so the expected nine billion plus population peak will not lead to chaos and the crash of civilization. The world we live in is not win-lose. Rather it is either a win-win or a lose-lose world. We win only if everyone wins. And that formula, amazingly, can underpin a heartfelt sense of humanity that transcends all national and religious boundaries.

Of course we love our nations and religions and are not about to give them up, but we can see that humanity must develop a global consciousness that we are all in the same boat. With that realization, it makes sense for us to take ourselves seriously. Who are we? We are representatives of organizations that support the United Nations. We already have adopted the very global perspective that everyone needs to have.

That’s point number one. The second thing, and this is partly intuition, but I think it is true: a San Francisco or better yet, a Bay Area Council of Organizations that supports the United Nations could become a prime moving force for metropolitan prosperity.

Why? There are several reasons. First, when we apply the global perspective to questions of metropolitan prosperity, we necessarily open up our thinking so we can innovate. Second, as the nations are to the world, so the local governments are to the metro region, and it is coordination at the metro level that promises increased prosperity. Third, by aligning ourselves with global necessities, we both set ourselves up to benefit from the directions the world must take if civilization is not to collapse and we help edge the world towards those great decisions it must make, for social justice, sustainability and disarmament. both nuclear and general.

An effective Bay Area coordination will require buy in from civic, business and government groups. If we play our cards right, I suggest that we can put together the civic slice fairly rapidly over, say, the next two or three years, and who knows, perhaps take the lead in putting together the full coalition. In other words, Think Globally, Act Locally! Thank you.


Here are a couple relevant links:


Prosperity of Cities 2012-2013 by UN Habitat (PDF Download)

What is Collective Impact?

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