Taming globalization

Part B


Taming globalization

by Bart Viaene

no ©

Maybe you start to understand better now how big this idea is, how complex its ramifications and how impossible to control it will be, once it takes flight.

It might effectively create a new world order!

On a four-hour flight I easily came up with over a hundred topics to be take into account.

That’s why I promised not to attempt to control it.

But I did promise to give you my initial thoughts, so here goes:

• Set-up

The basic set-up probably would be as follows:

1.You become interested in becoming a member of a global family

2.You surf to the website WWW.GOOGLAID.NET (or a recruiter does it for you)

3.You fill in the subscription form

4.You transmit your life-long subscription fee

5.You receive a global family login id and password

6.You log in to your global family’s web page and get a print-out

7.You get acquainted with your global family, by any means available to you

8.The World Wide Watch Organization will gradually complete your global family

9.You regularly visit your global family web page to meet with new arrivals

10. How you organize, run and use your global family is up to you

The WwWo will offer advice about running global families. Some ideas:

Exchanging information could be organized by:

• Newsletter

• Mailing list

• Web log (blog)

• Web forum

• Chat room

• Emergency phone or SMS ring

• Combinations thereof

As local families do, so will global families need a team of organizers to get things rolling. These members will typically be those:

• With useful communication resources

• With translation and management skills

• With ample travel facilities

• With spare time to invest

• With diplomatic abilities

• With a lot of enthusiasm

• With much-required skills (logistical, medical, engineering, juridical, agricultural…)

It will probably be necessary to set up a wiki for all these kinds of information, and a host of other tools as well.

• How to get there

• How to launch it

• How to use ballooning

• Techniques to expand

The launching of the World Wide Watch Organization should bear resemblance to a wildfire, a pyramid game, a ballooning stock market: a small spark igniting an ever-growing, self-feeding process. Easy to start, wholly unnecessary to maintain.

An uncontrolled fire will burn until it runs out of fuel, of course, but here, new potential members will be born every second, so after a phase of explosive growth, the curve will flatten out and will start following global population numbers.

In a pyramid game, early adopters may strike it rich, while latecomers always get burnt. But here, the potential gains for subscribing members are entirely related to their own input and investments in their global family, and the entry cost is fixed, relative to their income, and based on an honour-bound system. It is like a membership to the WWF, only it will last your entire lifetime.

The real pyramid gamers are the scouts, the recruiters: their gains are what the market will bear, and their losses will be whatever investments and labour they need to perform to be able to recruit new members. Furthermore, once they have established a portfolio of new members, they might diversify by offering communication, translation, logistical, travel, boarding and know-how services to global family members they signed up and their “global next of kin”.

In a ballooning stock market, the initial enthusiasm rockets business sky-high, but when the market fails to deliver on its promises, the bottom falls out and the largest remaining investors stand to lose the most. But here, no additional monetary investments are needed: the World Wide Watch Organization is simply an “enabling technology”, such as electrical power or telephone lines.

When the system crashes, all you need to do is reboot it to start delivering again.

Whatever is done with global family technology is up to the members. If you don’t place any phone calls yourself, you’re phone will likely remain dead. Members will need to invest some of their time in their global families, just like they do in their local families and friends. No input means no output.

Everybody grows dependant sooner or later. By helping solve the problems of other global family members, you can hope to get helped, too, when shit happens. And if everybody is okay, you can always go on a cheap world tour and meet your global family!

• Arrangements

I guess I will need to make some arrangements before lighting the initial spark :

1.Design and create a prototype website WWW.GOOGLAID.NET - version 1

2.Publish this idea on the Internet - by submitting it to Google’s GOOGOL project

3.Attract (a lot of) media attentin - by reaching the Project 10*100 shortlist

4.Establish a free, world-wide accessible and easily-remembered bank account

5.Assemble a dependable team of techies to help launch the early stages

6.Find housing to get the techies to work their wonders

7.Install the necessary ICT technology to handle the membership applications

8.Develop a method and software to assemble and publish balanced global families

9.Contract any necessary service providers : translators, lawyers, diplomats,…

10. Establish local branches in different time zones, countries, …

11. Establish the legal structure for the organization

12. Corner the support of important players on the global scene

13. Get a sabbatical from work, to start evangelizing the Global Family WwWo idea !

There are some tasks of which I currently do not have the faintest idea about how to even get them rolling… luckily, I am not doing this alone, and I tend to learn quickly.

• Participants

What did I intend when I made this note??

I guess the participants are:

1.Me myself

2.You who reads this

3.Everybody willing to help me launch this idea

4.All interested recruiters and scouts willing to participate

5.Every other human being on earth, as a potential member

6.All future human beings, yet to be born

7.And I don’t want to rule out any non-human (extra)terrestrial life, either

In the early stages, I may ask my friends and relatives (or those who have the skills we need) to step in and give me a temporary hand, or use Google’s resources for this purpose.

Once the first steering committee is established, it will be up to them to organize an acquittal of the launch team, and a take-over by more suitable professionals, if they so choose.

After which I will probably be too old and too tired to want to stay on...

• The idea

Well, as the first chapter already dwelt on this topic, I won’t repeat myself here.

It is entirely possible that my idea is not original at all, even if I do not know of any others voicing the same plot. Jesus Christ comes closest, for all I know, with his advice to “love thy neighbour”.

In fact, most bright ideas have been wallowing around for ages before they finally break through.

In this case, the coming of the Internet makes this idea practically feasible, because it would have been hell to get it working without a global means of networking.

So the kudos might as well go to the inventors of the Internet.

I do not claim originality, but if my idea becomes reality through my endeavours, I will gladly accept acclaim for that last part.

But maybe my idea is not feasible at all? Maybe my plot has a hole in it? Well, up to you to spot it, fix it, and hopefully make it happen anyway.

Maybe my idea would prove to have a negative side that is more important than the positive side?

I am not blind to the fact that my world is a world of delicate and complex checks and balances. Throwing in this idea might prove to be highly disruptive.

Well, so be it. I put my trust in the world’s flexibility and cybernetic capabilities to gradually find a new equilibrium on a higher level of well-being. And while I can only hope that higher equals better, I want to apologize in advance to whoever might get harmed in the process: my goal is to change the world for the better, and currently I cannot preceive any negative side effects, provided we can control our own population growth (which currently we don’t).

• Organization

Ideally, the World Wide Watch Organization would be a strictly virtual one : web-based, with a lights-out database crunching names and addresses, performing its designated tasks of handling memberships and assembling balanced global families. No humans should be involved, as they could corrupt it and use it for their own purposes.

Alas, that is neither a practical, nor a feasible set-up. Technology has not yet come up with cybernetic systems which will flexibly adapt to new developments…

So some amount of human steering will be needed. As stated before, I would advocate a “trust” structure, such as the National Geographic Society’s trust. I have personally witnessed their strict honesty.

As for my idea of yearly repopulating the steering committee with global family members who have the necessary skills, who then select a president as their spokesperson: I am trying to find a compromise between skills and democratic control. Power tends to corrupt in the long term, certainly when a lot of money is floating around.

But I am not an expert in democratic systems. Let’s try it and see how it functions. If it works, don’t fix it. If it does not, let’s have a vote for new organizational structures.

The World Wide Watch Organization certainly should be able to fall back upon a skilled administration, but these people should not make the WwWos policy.

• Financing

The early phases will be the most difficult, financially speaking. Once the first spark has taken hold, a tremendous lot will have to happen all at once, lest the movement loses momentum. That will require some creative financing.

One possibility is to work on a promises basis: “pay your fee now, and you will get your membership sent to you a.s.a.p.”. But that sounds a bit too much like a scam to me.

Another possibility is to work on a loans basis: “let’s build the infrastructure first, on borrowed funds, then launch the idea, and later pay back our creditors”. But that holds the danger of becoming financially dependent to the creditors.

The third possibility is to prepare a working “bare bones” infrastructure in advance, financed by my own means, promise that a lot more is in the works when the idea is widely accepted, launch it, and then ride the first waves while momentum builds up, trying not to lose anybody overboard or crash on the rocks.

I was going to try for the third option. It would be difficult, a lot of work, but probably safer in the long run. And I have done this kind of thing before. But since I learnt of Google’s Project 10*100, a chance to find a sponsor with a lot of worldwide clout is suddenly offering itself : all systems go !!

From the moment the members’ subscription fees start flowing in, the infrastructure and the organization can be expanded to match the needs, based on these fees, for as long as necessary.

Why a maximum fee of one day’s earnings? Why a minimum of €1? Well, entirely free services are perceived as worthless. Membership should come at a price, but not impossible to acquire. Even when every member would only contribute the minimum, and even when the entire population of the earth would subscribe, €7 billion is more than enough to get the World Wide Watch Organization up and running, and keep it running until eternity.

The surplus will be used to finance global projects for prevention, rescue and relief. I am a staunch believer in prevention. But whereas everybody agrees that prevention is better than a cure, currently, almost all of the funding is going to cures. I want to set these tables right.

• Collection of memberships

• Recruiters’ fees

For those with Internet access and a credit card or e-banking facilities, theWWW.GOOGLAID.NET website will of course quickly become the fastest way of subscribing.

Alternative ways of membership payment will be made available through local banks, post offices, etc...

But what about those who do not have access to such technology or services?

The most likely method would be to employ the services of a recruiter, a scout, somebody with Internet access and a credit card, a middleperson who will submit your subscription and payment, for a fee.

As in any business transaction, a receipt should be transmitted, and the veracity of the subscription verified.

I would suggest that potential recruiters set up shop and advertise the fees for their services, the way a copy shop would do.

Rebates for subscriptions of entire families, groups or tribes can be envisaged. But mind: each individual local family member will become part of a different global family! This will offer better chances for support for all.

• Communication of subscriptions

Every subscriber will receive a global family login id and password at subscription time, after the subscription and payment has been accepted, plus a personal id and password.

This global family id and password will be available to all present and future members of the same global family. It is up to the global family members whether or not they will keep them secret, or trust them on to others (such as local family, advisors, middlemen, translators, etc…)

The global family id and password give read only access to the global family web page, which holds the credentials of this global family’s present members.

The personal id and password gives read/write access to your own credentials as a member of the global family. It is up to you as a member to decide how much information you want to divulge. Keep in mind that other members of your global family may pass on this information to others.

• The book

As already stated, I am going to throw this book into the public domain by publishing it on the Internet. This idea is simple enough, but its ramifications are way too complex to be spun out by a single mind, and my mind is way too limited to foresee all possible aspects. Even as I write, more and more angles and twists keep turning up.

I will gladly publish any translations next to it.

But how to attract attention? How to start a media-hype?

Launching it in the period before New Year might be a good idea, but New Year is not universal.

Launching it just before an important world conference on global development or trade might also be a way to attract media attention. That’s why “Taming globalization” is the subtitle.

I might print a number of copies and send them to the world’s leading opinion makers, asking them to read it and if they like the idea, promote it.

I might start a spamming campaign in the form of a chain mail, asking friends and relatives to forward it to all their own friends and relatives, if they like it.

I might hope that the Nobel Committee spots it and brings it on stage, that somebody writes a popular song about it, or that a renowned director turns it into a successful movie…

I finally decided to submit it to the GOOGOL project and hope it makes the final shortlist.

Well, I guess I will just have to hope that the spark will catch...

• The website

Whereas the book will go public domain, the website WWW.GOOGLAID.NET should not.

A book can never be an interactive meeting place, but a website can!

We will have to offer a host of public goodies around it, such as a wiki, a blog, a forum, a number of chat rooms, a media gallery, etc…

The core website should remain the central point around which the world’s Global Families will orbit.

Where did I get the domain name, you will ask? I simply scanned the list of free domain names that consisted of as few characters as possible, and tried to make a sensible name with it.

All three-letter domain names were already occupied, and preciously few four-letter ones remained. seemed promising. It didn’t take very long to come up with the “World Wide Watch Organization” – building on the World Wide Web’s success.

But about a year after the launch, my domain name was inexplicably transferred to another company, without warning. The registrar failed to give me any notice (I always pay my bills immediately upon receipt). Retrieving it would mean an international legal procedure, with dubious chances for success. So I tried to be creative and settled on WWW.GOOGLAID.NET which name evokes the Googol project, the concept of mutual aid by means of a network, and the fact that Google® selected the idea on its shortlist of 16 projects out of 153,000 entries, might sponsor it, and may well itself be the best placed candidate to implement it globally.

This title simply says it all, don’t you think? Even its abbreviation is hot: WwWo!!!

That’s like the sound of the global wildfire I would like to start.

Standing watch is a safety measure, a preventive precaution against potential trouble.

Global families do not want to meddle or interfere, but just act as protective guardian angels.

Keep an eye on each other. Offer advice or a helping hand when needed. That’s all.

Record keeping

Together with the website, we will have to build what will potentially be one of the largest databases in the world. Here are some ideas about its structure:

Global family ID

(Recruiter ID)

Date of creation

Personal ID

GPS position of residence on earth

Full name

Date of birth

Date of demise

Contact addresses

E-mail addresses

Phone numbers




Skills and tools

Means of subsistence

Housing accomodation

Local family responsibilities

Local network situation

Health situation

Membership fee

Available for global family tasks ?

Volunteering for global family tasks ?

For recruiters, I would suggest :

Recruiter ID

Full name

Contact address

E-mail address

Phone number


Credit card data

Track record

Records can be expanded with additional fields for purposes cleared by the steering committee and the ethics commission.

The WwWo can send questionnaires to global families for surveys cleared by the steering committee and the ethics commission.

• The steering committee

At starters, the steering committee will be very much an ad hoc construction, consisting of volunteers who help launch the early stages of the World Wide Watch Organisation.

To prevent transition problems, these people will be asked to strictly abide by the original rules laid out in this e-book, until an elected steering committee can take over, except in cases of emergency: for issues not foreseen, not covered, or for blatant mistakes made by me, which threaten to jeopardize the success of the original idea.

In such cases of emergency, a unanimous vote by the ad hoc steering committee will be required.

Once the WwWo reaches cruising speed, the ad hoc steering committee will assemble a definitive steering committee which will control the trust.

It will consist of a yearly revolving number of members drawn at random from volunteering global family members professing the necessary skills, who will elect a president as their spokesperson.

The random selection will not seek to maintain equal geographical distribution or equal representation on religious, political, sexual, racial or other grounds. Instead, the yearly revolving nature of the steering committee will warrant diversity, renovation and evolution.

If the simple fact of being part of a global family does not infuse steering committee members with a striving for fairness, friendship and tolerance, the project will have failed (and its demise should be hastened to make room for new attempts).

The president will only communicate what was approved by the steering committee. Any digression will need to be communicated to the media by the dissenting majority of the steering committee.

The president can obtain a license from the steering committee to negotiate with external partners on well-circumscribed matters and within well-defined limits, but any decisions will need to be approved by a simple majority of the steering committee before they can become effective.

• Political independency

The steering committee as well as the organization will strictly abstain from political activities or opinions (except when offering advice about the best ways to run global families and itself), in order to preserve independency and not provoke conflict with official authorities or their opposition.

Any funding of projects by the WwWo will need to obtain the approval of local authorities and their opposition, to avoid partiality, and to ensure future operations in their regions.

• The trust

I do not know a lot about trusts, but I trust that adopting such an organizational structure will at least instill some trust that the World Wide Watch Organization might be trustworthy to its trustees...

I see a trust as a structure which manages the trustees’ assets in such a way that they prosper and grow, so that they can be wielded to achieve the common goal to which all trustees have subscribed.

Hmm… re-reading this does not really make it any better. I’ll have to study this and I’ll come back to it when I have to say something sensible about it.

• The headquarters

If you don’t mind, I’m going to construct the initial headquarters of the World Wide Watch Organization right where I live, for starters.

That will be more practical in the construction phase, while I still have other responsibilities.

I do not particularly want to advocate Flanders in Belgium as the definitive headquarters, but it seems to have some distinct advantages:

• A small, non-threatening country cannot exert undue influence

• Availability of highly skilled, multilingual professionals

• Excellent transport and communication lines

• Politically stable, multicultural and tolerant environment

• Excellent relationships with all other countries

• Availability of diplomatic and translation facilities

• Fiscal incentives for coordinating centres

• Wealthy enough to be philanthropic if need be

Of course, it will be up to the definitive steering committee to confirm or re-establish the WwWo’s headquarters.

And then there is the question whether a centralized HQ is advisable. For reasons of security, it may be safer to not have a single HQ, but let the network be the organization, in the true sense of the Internet. That would make it almost indestructible.

On the other hand: meeting “in the flesh” is still the fastest way to get acquainted, build trust and get things done.

The steering committee will need to meet and discuss the agenda, and they will need to be surrounded by a skilled and experienced administration, which helps them execute their decisions. A travelling circus is not the most convenient set-up. It would be fun, though !

• Local branches

I’m in doubt: will an essentially virtual, web-based organization need local branches all over the world?

Probably not in the first stages, but it certainly will when the WwWo starts funding regional prevention, rescue and relief projects.

I can also envisage a wealth of spin-offs emerging over time, in the margin of the WwWo, which may need some local administration and support.

Also,  local know-how will become super-important. And somebody needs to bundle it.

• Copyright, IP rights

As stated earlier, I am not going to exert any copyrights on this e-book: I want it to be distributed, translated and improved as soon as possible.

The bank account, however, should remain fixed, to thwart fraudulent use.

The website will need a form of stability: I intend to keep the domain nameWWW.GOOGLAID.NET

into my personal hire, until I can transfer it to the World Wide Watch Organization’s trust.

All other copyrights, trademarks, marketing rights, and intellectual property rights will equally be transferred to the WwWo’s trust a.s.a.p.

I simply reserve the rights to give lectures about the WwWo and the benefits thereof, and any movie, sound and other media rights to myself and my heirs, to support my travels, my family and myself.

And if any jury would be so foolish to award me a prize for my idea, I will gladly accept it and try not to shame them by my later actions. I might show off with it, though !   :-)

• Administration

Whereas the steering committee will be the decision makers, the World Wide Watch Organization will also need an administration to execute its decisions and projects and to build, run and maintain the organization as a whole.

I would suggest a  modern organizational matrix structure, with a number of branches for the distinct product lines, and a number of services for support.

• Use of profits

All subscription fees are put directly into the trust.

The trust invests these assets in durable, non-offensive economy, especially innovative enterprises potentially bringing future benefits to mankind and the universe, and human-profit start-ups.

Any profits of these investments are added to the assets.

The combined assets are primarily used to build and maintain the World Wide Watch Organization and help it reach its goals.

The World Wide Watch Organization will amass any surplus assets to build a capital base with which it will fund major global projects targeting prevention, rescue and relief. Some examples:

• Reforestation and nature conservation

• Anti-desertification measures

• Durable water supply

• Production of renewable energy

• Waste processing

• Energy conservation

• Propagating birth control techniques

• Eradicating diseases

• Pest control

• Containing epidemics

• Climatic stabilization

• Flood control

• Education

• Promoting durable agricultural methods

• Conflict solving

• Propagating safe construction techniques

• Accessible transport and telecommunication

• Computer aided translation technology

In short: anything that is too big for local authorities to handle efficiently without sufficient resources.

  1. Global family layout

  2. Balancing of global family wealth, health, possibilities,…

  3. Balancing of global family generations

  4. Balancing out global families

What should the ideal global family look like? This question gets an easy answer:

It should of course be a miniature of the real world population, with the same distribution: geographically, agewise, in terms of wealth, etc…

Reason: a global family consisting primarily of Swiss newborns will not likely be capable of mutual assistance, and neither will be a collection of Australian octogenarians…

So we definitely need a balanced diversity, in all relevant aspects. Body Mass Index is not relevant. But which parameters need to be balanced? I would vote for geographic location, age, sex, wealth and language skills, as a minimum set.

Geographic spreading is necessary, because major disasters tend to strike locally, allowing unafflicted global family members to come to the rescue.

Age spreading is needed, because even in global families, the active part of the population will need to take stand watch over the inactive part.

A proportional distribution of wealth is needed, to prevent wealthy people flocking to wealthy global families, leaving the needy in global families without any means to improve their common situation. Health balancing mostly runs parallel with wealth.

A good spread of educational level and skills is needed, to ensure that each global family will at least have a number of members capable of getting mutual support on its feet.

Sex spreading would not really be needed, but because sex is sometimes linked to the power to act independently, it would probably be a good idea to include it.

What about religion? Balancing it is probably not necessary, as geographic spreading will almost certainly bring about religious balancing, too. And nothing really contradicts having religiously uniform global families, although this would probably not help global understanding.

And what about languages balancing? The translation load on global families could be equalized. It would be ideal if every global family could be assembled to be self-supporting as far as translation needs are concerned, but this is probably not feasible. Still, smart assembly algorithms could try to get as close to this goal as possible, thus lowering translation cost and effort.

• Ideal global family size

• Size variations

Now the question: how large should the ideal global family be? Very difficult to answer without preliminary tests!

I would advocate setting a minimum size of about 100 members, and leaving the choice to expand it with new (random) admissions up to the members themselves.

Reason: at any given time, on an average of 100 people, there will be about half too young or too old to actively participate just now.

Of the 50 remaining members, half will be too poor, powerless, illiterate, hungry, ill or handicapped to be of any help just now.

Of the 25 others, half will be too occupied or uninterested just now.

That leaves a dozen candidates to run the global family and try to improve things, bit by bit.

The good thing is, that this dozen will vary over time, just as it does in a local family.

• New admissions

Global families should be able to request new admissions, when their number falls below the default global family size, or even when they feel they are up to a new challenge.

New admissions should always be selected by the World Wide Watch Organization, out of the pool of new subscriptions, to prevent “adoption” of interesting members. A global family is what you are born into: it is not a group of global friends that you can select!

Is there a maximum size to a global family? Difficult to say… this will depend on how efficiently a global family organizes itself, how successful it becomes at mutual assistance and communication.

I would advocate a temporary maximum of 500: about the size of a school in which most people still get to know most people.

• Demissioning from global families

• Multiple memberships

• Global family hoppers

A member automatically demissions at death, of course, but how is this to be communicated to the global family?

A well functioning global family will regularly contact its members and ask them for an update on their situation. When a member is deceased, local family members would normally contact the global family to inform them about the demise.

If a silent member cannot be contacted over a long span of time, the global family can “inactivate” the member to apply for new admissions to complete their number.

But apart from death: should a member be allowed to unsubscribe? I believe that should be possible, simply by letting the World Wide Watch Organization know. A refund is not possible, of course.

The WwWo will then redraw the membership from the global family, and will inform the other members via the global family’s web page, transmitting any reasons if the demissionary member chose to make them public.

Will a member who has unsubscribed be allowed to re-subscribe? Well of course, and this will probably become an easy (albeit costly) method of “global family hopping”.

This practice will be discouraged by only allowing new subscriptions in a random matter.

Everybody has the right to a comfortable global family, but one is expected to invest time and effort to make that happen. Of course, finding a comfortable global family will probably end the “shopping behaviour”.

A more profitable method would probably be to become a member of multiple global families. It will be nearly impossible to detect. And basically there is nothing against it.

Spreading your bets, however, will also dilute your efforts. Global family members will notice if you don’t invest according to your capabilities. It would be best to be honest about it and tell other members that you are a member to multiple global families. They will expect less from you, but you should accept to expect less from them in return. Only do this when you feel super-secure, and keep in mind that disasters can happen to anyone.

• Global family functioning

Any kind of group needs some kind of leadership to get things done. It is up to the global family to choose its own form of internal organization. Typically, the members with the most skills and resources will end up in the executive seats.

A well-functioning global family will attempt to have everybody participating sooner or later in the mutual assistance process, each according to his or her abilities.

I hope most global families will quickly reach a practical state of operating, without too much discussion. A good principle is: “power to the volunteers”. A bad principle is: “you can’t make mistakes when you’re not doing anything”. The safest principle is: “first listen carefully to all sources before acting”.

The first thing to do is probably, to create a newsletter with a general survey of the global family: identify those capable to help and those in need of assistance. Prioritize. Define an agenda. Set up a communication and a translation ring. Write out a short-term, a middle-term and a long-term plan. Agree about a way of decision-making. Get to know each other. Try to score some quick wins. Offer some perspective on the long term.

Ask members to set their own realistic goals, and then try find a way to use the global family’s resources to facilitate them. Request that who got helped now attempts to help another member. Don’t try to build Rome in a single day…

What about dysfunctional global families? I admit it is a lottery, just as local families are in real life. Probably the same kinds of things will happen to them: they break up, they are reassembled or they get adopted by successful global families that seek expansion.

The World Wide Watch Organization will over time provide mechanisms to allow global families to put themselves up for adoption, or as a candidate for adopting (parts of) other global families.

Likewise, advice for good conduct will be offered, for instance:

• Dealing with loans and investments between global family members

• Approaching criminal behaviour of global family members

• Juridical responsibility, when a global family unwittingly violates local law

• Conduct versus religious proselytizing amongst global family members

• Suitable legal forms under which global families could operate

• Arbitration facilities in case of internal dispute about future actions

• Scientific counselling facilities for technical questions

  1. Visiting global family members

  2. Visiting policy

  3. Receiving policy

Just as you go visiting your local family from time to time, global family members will be able to go visiting they “global next of kin”!

Just think of the possibilities for cheap global travel: everywhere around the globe, you as a WwWo member will have friendly relations which might be able to offer you boarding as a guest for a short while if you pick the right time. And you may regularly get visited by “global relatives” from all around the world!

Of course, these things need some regulation: good arrangements make good friends. The same applies to global relatives. Only accept guests when you can board and support them. Don’t overburden global relatives who happen to live in an attractive spot of the world. Ask long beforehand when would be a convenient time for you to visit. Take care of your own travel and boarding expenses, visas and insurance. Arrange for a way of communicating. Bring a present that surpasses the value of what you expect to receive from them. Offer to come to help with a project where you can be of help. Do invite them back at your own place. Don’t overstay your welcome. Respect your global relatives’ way of living. Don’t expect to be served. Insist to be allocated what is free, or bring your own stuff. Prepare for unfamiliar situations. Prepare a “Plan B”. Don’t rush things. Take preventive measures against threats and hazards. Think safety. Study local habits in advance. Don’t give offence. Don’t abuse the situation. Know that many people never say no out of politeness, and that a guest is holy in most countries, even if (s)he is a terrible burden.

I would propose that a global family member has a kind of right to go visit all other global relatives once in his lifetime, at a moment that they can support him/her, without taking undue advantage of the situation, providing he or she respects the above rules.

As for receiving global relatives, there is only one golden rule: be honest! If it is inconvenient, just say so clearly. A careful guest will have found out about this in advance, but unexpected problems can occur.

• Global family obligations to members

Basically, there aren’t any! Just as in a ‘local’ family, nobody can force you to participate, be polite and pleasant, cooperative, helpful, supportive or even informative and communicative. ‘You have the right to remain silent…’

But of course, neither a local, nor a global family will start or keep functioning without a minimum of investment of time and resources. Being a part of a family is a social activity.

A functional global family will keep in touch on a regular basis. It will keep you up to date about the ‘state of the union’. It will ask about your wellbeing and your needs. It will inform you about available support. It will help you help yourself first. And maybe it will help you even if you cannot help yourself, but that’s no guarantee.

And on the other side, it will inquire about your willingness, abilities and resources to participate in running the global family, to help other members fulfil their needs and improve their wellbeing.

When all goes well, your global family will express its appreciation for your work, and may even throw a global party to celebrate!

• How to deal with similar attempts (copycats)

I would welcome any copycat attempt that is more successful than my own !

However, a division of forces is not likely to be advantageous. That is why I took care to make this idea as unprofitable as possible to newcomers.

In the ‘browser wars’, Microsoft killed Netscape by offering Internet Explorer for free.

Netscape retaliated by offering itself in Open Source.

This is not going to happen here. If copycats turn up, everybody will know that they are not in for the profit, for the WwWo won’t make any itself.

So if they are doing it for a higher goal, they will have to go public with it, and the WwWo should be the first to welcome them, and probably even convert to their views, provided they are sound.

If they don’t publish a higher goal, everybody will know that their purpose is to ‘divide and conquer’ a neutral movement which is detrimental to their unholy interest. Upon which I hope they will be criticized by public opinion.

• How to deal with local authorities

Legal authorities will probably welcome the World Wide Watch Organization’s help, as it will hopefully help alleviate their burden. Active promotion and cooperation can even be expected in most cases.

But some states are at least partially controlled by criminal elements, which may rightfully expect to be overthrown when their subjects would receive massive outside help, trickling in through millions of uncontrollable sources at once. Examples: Hard drug producing states such as Columbia, Afghanistan, Myanmar.

Restrictive regimes may take issue with the open and communicative style of the WwWo, which could incite their wizened and increasingly more resourceful subjects to escape from their control. Examples: one-party states such as China, Cuba, North Korea.

Repressive authorities may fear to be held accountable for violent measures by opposing groups clamouring for justice, which could be strengthened by the resources of WwWo’s global family networks. Examples: states with oppressed minorities such as Turkey (Kurds), Israel (Palestinians), Russia (Chechens).

Even so-called democratic states that have painstakingly reached a shaky but functioning equilibrium may voice objections to the potentially disruptive influence of the WwWo movement. Examples: Belgium, South Africa, Chile.

And then of course there are also the states that control power on earth: Russia, the USA and China. They may be reluctant to admit a movement that they may not be able to control (except by fully endorsing it and participating in it).

The WwWo should recognize these situations as potentially threatening for its own success and rapid worldwide acceptance.

Besides strictly abstaining from political activities and opinions, the WwWo should open negotiations to convince such authorities of the futility of opposing the new movement, and by offering them an escape route: globally assured indemnity for historic conflicts, in exchange for a rapid democratic turnaround and an opening up of their territories to the World Wide Watch Organization.

• How to handle difficult languages

The world has a lot of official languages, but even more unofficial ones, which nevertheless will need to be used, in order to reach every global family member. Many people are analphabetic, and many more only speak a dialect.

Luckily however, a considerable number of people have mastered several languages.

Not every language or dialect has a written lexicon, and not every alphabet is already available on computer platforms.

On the positive side, computer aided translation services are slowly coming of age, especially when specific domains are targeted. A specialized multilingual translation domain for matters concerning global families will be one of the most helpful technological breakthroughs to invest in.

In a typical global family of 100 members, more than 50 different languages could easily be represented.

This will add up to a huge communication problem, a veritable Babel of the modern age.

Multilingual communication will of course always be the weak spot. Possible solutions:

• Using automatic translation technology

• Choose one common language, and let each member find a personal interpreter

• Employ the language skills of global family members to translate communications

• Assemble global families in such a way as to maximize interpreting “fits”

• Policy for cultural conflicts

Most cultural conflicts concern power, oppression, exploitation on the one side, and a lack of autonomy, denial of rights, and some form of slavery on the other side.

The World Wide Watch Organization will not take a side in cultural conflicts, but through its vision it will promote global intercultural rapprochement.

Getting to know, helping and getting helped by global ‘relatives’ of distinct and distant cultures will make people think twice about their relations with members of local cultures, different from their own.

Global relatives will voice their concern about any local conflicts which involve yourself, showing you how such conflicts are perceived abroad. While you may try and defend your own point of view, you will naturally be influenced by their opinions and advice.

While strongly voiced opinions on the international forums have gradually convinced South African leaders to abandon Apartheid, this process could have been hastened when the same opinions had been relayed within the familiar bounds of global families.

• Recipe for religious support

Will the world’s churches and religious movements support the World Wide Watch Organization?

I believe they will stay largely neutral, even if they might feel like promoting or opposing it.

They will let it happen, because there will be very few ways to effectively interfere.

The WwWo is unmistakably a ‘movement’, and as such it will be a competitor for religious ‘movements’, even if some of its goals are compatible.

On the other hand, the WwWo does not take a religious stance. It will not compete on the same turf.

If anything, the WwWo will offer scientifically motivated advice, but not about religion itself.

This might clash with official church policy, for instance regarding birth control, but this is not the core business of churches, either.

Actively proselytizing churches might welcome the WwWo, as it would open new venues for spreading faith, while others might fear it, for the same reasons. Global families will, over time, act as an equalizing factor, promoting worldwide integration.

This will have widespread effects, and one of the effected areas might be religion. Some churches may become more successful than others, riding the waves of change.

As most church organizations are conservative, official opposition might outweigh promotion.

On the other hand, as most believers are in fact acttracted by the progressive nature of their faith, promotion by the followers will probably outweigh opposition.

So churches will be drawn in conflicting directions, and probably stay on the sidelines.

Still, every revolution brings new opportunities: churches that were ostracized because they historically mixed religion and politics might embrace the WwWo’s global family forums as novel ways to gain new respect and rejoin the world’s mainstream. They might even see an opportunity to adapt in the process.

• Evangelizing the global family

Any would-be revolutionary movement requires its prophets to spread the word.

Apple Computer fine-tuned evangelism to a fine art, even if its products are just flashier hardware appliances and user friendlier software.

The World Wide Watch Organization hopefully will attract a host of enthusiastic prophets to evangelize its messages worldwide.

After publishing the first drafts of this e-book and the website, I hope that a large number of supporters will give me a hand with completing, refining, tuning and expanding them with a host of new chapters and functionalities, because there is just no way to do this all on my own, and doing it alone would make them too much biased.

I stand ready to share my limited ideas and opinions, and let them be adapted and enhanced for global use.

I cannot up front promise that the “early-day prophets” will be rewarded for their work. That depends on the WwWo’s success, and on whether the steering committee will decide to keep them on in the organization, after the hand-over. So be prepared to work just for the fun of it.

And then I will step back and observe what we accomplished...

• Prevention of fraud

Will there be fraud? Of course there will be fraud. People are always going to be people.

The World Wide Watch Organization will establish a mechanism for verifying a recruiter’s trustworthiness.

This could for instance be accomplished by providing a secured recruiters’ web page, as the sole approved way of recruiting new members.

The recruiter’s credentials and credit card number will be stored, and credited with the amounts of the new members fees transmitted to the recruiter, as long as the recruiter is credit-worthy.

Members will be able to verify their own membership fee on the website, and their recruiter’s track record. They will be able to evaluate their recruiter on the website, for all to see.

Fraud in global families, however, is a different matter. Just as in local families, people can dissimulate their real credentials, as well as their true intentions and actions.

The WwWo will issue advice about preventive measures in order to not to fall victim to fraud, such as:

• Verify all information through independent sources before taking action

• Double-check translations and interpreter’s work

• Prefer to transmit advice over goods, and goods over funds

• Verify the outcome of your actions, and learn from it

• But do not hesitate to act, in spite of the risk

• Sponsoring

Travel, hotel, tourism, trade, insurance, logistics, postal offices, IT, telephone and networking organizations are but an example of the sectors which stand to boom hugely when the World Wide Watch Organization becomes a worldwide success.

It is therefore fair to apply to them for sponsorship.

Initially, the best way for them to sponsor the WwWo’s goals would be to offer rebates to members, thus speeding up worldwide penetration (and boosting their own success).

Once the world’s population has joined, sponsorship could switch to offering funds to the WwWo itself, if still needed.

• Getting official support

Governments Governmental and non-governmental organizations could sponsor global family memberships to their subjects and target groups, or make them tax-deductible, when they realize the potential of the World Wide Watch Organization on prevention, relief and welfare in their area.

UNO, UNICEF, WTO, WHO, … will be invited to officially support the WwWo.

To avoid criticism that WwWo activities might ultimately target some form of global government, trying to supplant established forms of local governments and global organizations alike, the WwWo will renege on such calling.

While a form of global government is certainly in the Earth’s future, and while it may even be sped up by WwWo’s activities, the WwWo will not seek this role for itself, but will help existing bodies to grow toward such a status, by pursuing its own goals.

• Publishing results

The World Wide Watch Organization will publish results of its growth and functioning on the website and towards the world’s major press agencies.

The WwWo’s R&D department will conduct research into broad areas of historic, present and future developments, to better give direction to new endeavours.

The WwWo will publish all results, whatever their outcome, as soon as they are available in a finished state.

The WwWo’s updated financial situation and investments will be made public on the website on a regular basis.

Global family members’ data will not be published except for private perusal by the concerned member.

Results of statistical processing of global families’ records and surveys will be published anonymously (i.e.: without identification data).

• Spawning new ideas

The World Wide Watch Organization welcomes new ideas and proposals that are compatible with its goals.

It will set up an ‘idea box’ at its website where ideas and proposals can be posted for public perusal.

Interesting ideas and proposals may receive funding from the WwWo, when the steering committee chooses to adopt them.

There will be no restriction put on the nature or format of ideas and proposals.

• Which principles to support and advocate?

The World Wide Watch Organization will try to advise global families about methods to find solutions for a wide variety of immediate or long-standing, simple or very complex problems.

Defining a balanced position on topics such as these will, however, be very tricky, and may give cause to considerable debate:



Energy use



Waste management

Resource management

Nature conservation





Warfare, conflicts

Contemporary solutions have not always acquired global acceptability.

Sustainable growth, durable solutions, fairness, consensus agreement and a holistic approach will be the main cornerstones of the WwWo’s advice, for now. But even these principles are not time-independent, and will have to be flexibly adapted to new events and future developments.

A solution will only be promoted when it advances the entire community as a whole, and when it includes negotiated reimbursements for those who might suffer damages through the implementation of the solution.

• Privacy issues

• Protecting our own family’s privacy & safety

The database of the World Wide Watch Organization will be subject to Belgian and European privacy legislation, expanded to information about non-Belgian or non-European subjects.

The processing goals of the database will be declared to the Belgian Privacy Committee.

Every member will be informed by whichever means is most practical (this e-book, the website, the subscription receipt) about the purposes for which the collected information will be kept and used.

Every member will be able to consult the information concerning himself/herself, and be able to alter it, or altogether withdraw the subscription at any time.

The kept information must be relevant to its purpose and exactly adequate to meet the declared goals, without extras. It should not be kept any longer than necessary.

An international ethics committee will be established to guard the appropriate use of the collection information.

The designated goals are: the construction and maintenance of global families, and the promotion of global prevention, rescue and relief (including statistical processing).

The WwWo will not divulge any identifiable information regarding its members outside your global family.

By subscribing, you give your consent to have the information you relayed presented to your global relatives, and you accept eventual future personal hazards ensuing from contacts with your global family.

• Spin-offs

While the World Wide Watch Organization grows into a worldwide success, a number of spin-offs will appear in its wake:

Translation services

Phone and networking services

Statistical services

Logistics services

Think tanks

Early warning systems

Banking for start-ups

Insurance services

Intervention forces

Reconstruction teams

Evacuation services

The WwWo may endeavour to fund and spin-off such services itself, where no acceptable providers can be found on the market.

In doing so, the WwWo will try to play an active part in reforming the world’s services to its goals.

• Power play issues

The World Wide Watch Organization should take care to not become entangled in any power play issues which could jeopardize it impartiality where goals other than the WwWo’s are concerned.

Therefore the WwWo will never officially support, oppose of negotiate between any conflicting parties seeking its support, as long as they allow the WwWo’s activities amongst their subjects.

Indeed, the WwWo believes that its core activities will help to prevent and resolve conflicts, and therefore chooses to invest all its efforts in promoting its own goals, independently, and asks conflicting parties to respect its neutral position.

• Competition between global families

• Rewarding positive examples

Man is a competitive animal. Once global families start accomplishing results, it is highly likely that a certain form of competition will emerge.

Local family members will start to compare the ‘state of the union’ of their respective global families (which should be different in any case). Success tales will be exchanged, and if a measuring stick can be found, a kind of competition may ensue.

It may be in the World Wide Watch Organization’s interest to provide such a measuring stick.

A kind of ‘global family body mass index’ will have to be calculated anyway, for the purpose of balancing out global family member composition.

This index may be supplemented by a ‘global family growth index’, which in turn could be a composite of a whole series of indexes : the education index, the health index, the housing index, the safety index, etc…

Just like with local families, one cannot choose his global family. But everyone starts at more or less the same balanced level, and every member is free to work on his/her families to improve them…

Success stories will be published on the website, and can be submitted to topical prize competitions.

A WwWo ‘Olympic Games’ could be organized between successful and experienced global families, ‘adopting’ newly formed or sleeping global families and coaching them up to speed.

• Arbitration & policing

• Preventing repeats of negative examples

Choosing solutions, prioritizing, style of management… as is the case with local families, global families will experiences differences of opinion sooner or later.

When internal agreement cannot be reached, a global family may find recourse in outside arbitration.

In a similar manner, a global family may start suffering from mis-management, unwanted meddling in members’ affairs, even fraud…

The World Wide Watch Organization will offer website functionalities to apply for arbitration, complaint registration and policing by other global family members and experts who volunteer for such services.

A FAQ section will be established, together with ‘cook book’ guidelines for setting up and running a successful global family.

The WwWo will actively investigate failures and propose and install measures for future prevention.

• Collaboration between global families

• Distributing know-how between global families

‘Heads’ of global families will seek advice from their peers in other global families.

This may result in collaboration between global families, in the exchange of global family ‘know-how’ and resources, and maybe even in the exchange of members (because another global family has better facilities for support or employ).

Such mechanism could supplement the exchange of information organized via the website, but care should be taken that it will not result in ‘growing subgroups’ of the WwWo operating largely independently from the mother organization.

Can it be prevented? Need it be prevented? I am convinced that in a wildfire-like movement such as the WwWo, it is useless to try to control things which have sprouted organically.

But it may take a while before this happens: first organic life has spent billions of years in monocellular form, before it managed to specialize into multicellular organisms.

Those that will see it happen, are requested to deal with it!

• New tools = new weapons

• New chances = new curses

The invention of the World Wide Watch Organization certainly has a potential to change humanity for the better. But for that matter: so did sex and nuclear energy… and not everything about them was positive!

Water is the least toxic substance on earth, yet no substance creates so many overdose victims.

Is there a way to foresee now already which negative evolutions may result from the launching of the WwWo?

Launch of the WwWo ->

  Increasing success ->

    Population growth ->

      Loss of biodiversity ->

        Depletion of resources ->

          Competition for resources ->

            Increase of warfare ->

              Collapse of the WwWo

So it seems that the introduction of the WwWo might disturb a fundamental pre-existing balance!

Fortunately, this scheme clearly points out the solution: population control seems to be a prerequisite for a successful introduction. But can I prove this?

Not directly, but there is some ‘circumstantial evidence’:

All wealthy countries currently have near-zero or even sub-zero population growth rates (not counting immigration). This seems to suggest there is a causal inverse relationship between welfare and population growth.

Or could it be the other way around: less population growth because of increased wealth?

In which case the above schema would be utterly wrong.

How can we ever be sure?

But no matter how, population growth will have to be checked and even reversed, by whatever means, with or without the help of the WwWo.

More about this in Part C.