The Association ePLANETe Blue has been constituted in 2015, as a non-profit organisation, in accordance with the French law enacted on the 1st of July 1901 and the corresponding regulations of the 16th August 1901. The official name of the association, under the French law, is L’Association ePLANETe Blue. It may colloquially be known as ‘ePLANETe Blue’. It is domiciled in France and has unlimited duration.
Public opening on the 1st September 2015
Purposes of the Association
(extract from the Statutes of the Association)
The purpose of the Association ePLANETe Blue is to promote reciprocity relations at all levels and anywhere, between persons and organisations active in the domains of environmental education and knowledge partnerships for sustainability.
In pursuit of this goal, the Association may work in collaboration with any organisations, public or private, having compatible objectives, in France or elsewhere in the world; and, may work to promote the participation of education institutions (including primary and secondary schools, universities and other higher education establishments), territorial authorities, businesses, NGOs and other voluntary agencies, in activities that build awareness of the richness of our environment, and that contribute to the protection, good management and recognition of the value of our natural heritage and the Biosphere.
The Association has as a specific mission, in the terms set out in these Statutes, to assure the development, maintenance and good uses by its members and partners, of the multimedia platform ‘ePLANETe’ for collaborative learning and deliberation support.
More widely, the Association may engage in any type of action whose effect is beneficial for environmental education and sustainability, in France and elsewhere. It may participate in programmes of action-research and knowledge mediation, and partnerships for environmental education including (but not limited to) the hosting of students engaged in doctoral studies and short projects and, the support of activities of the UNU network of Regional Centres of Expertise.
The Association Structure
The Association is composed in many different sections, called Chapters. A Chapter of the Association is a particular form of collaborative activity, defined by (inter alia) a specific exploitation of the Internet platform ePLANETe in support of the Chapter’s activity in specific fields and forms of sustainability education, environmental knowledge mediation, collaborative learning and capacity building.
The creation of a Chapter is thus accompanied by the definition of the corresponding modalities of exploitation of ePLANETe and, by the nomination of one or several persons as Steering Members to form the Chapter Committee.
The General Assembly of the Association ePLANETe Blue brings together the Steering Members of the Chapter Committees and, the members of the Governing Board. It watches over the good functioning of the Association, its resources, and the creation and suppression of Chapters.
The Governing Board of the Association ePLANETe Blue is responsible for the execution of decisions taken by the General Assembly and, for the tasks of administration, management and promotion of the Association.
The Governing Board is made up of the President, the Association Secretary, the Programme Manager, the Treasurer, and up to five Vice-Presidents.
General Features of the ePLANETe Platform
The ePLANETe platform is a “Knowledge Gateway” on the Internet, made available to and through the members of the Association ePLANETe Blue. It is a complex gateway, with many different doors. The different facets of ePLANETe as a communication and capacity building resource, are complementary by design. A variety of angles of attack and learning experience can be adopted, as seems to best fit the purposes of different User Communities. The platform lives and develops through the cumulative purpose of its members.
The system designers (KerBabel) propose six distinct Doorways relating, in a didactic way, to the “four spheres” of sustainability (social, natural, economic, and political) and, to different facets of collaborative learning and understanding.
Entering through the Doorways, the objects found in, or through, the various galleries of ePLANETe, may individually be of simple and well-known types, for example electronic files such as photos or PDF documents. Or they may be more complex. Often, they are Profiles of various sorts, composed using state-of-the-art Content Management Systems (e.g., the CMS ‘Drupal’). Most are the creations, or the cross-linked emergent outcomes, of learning, discovery, analysis and documentation work of User communities. The overall result is an evolving lattice of cross-linked objects — an always-incomplete “modelling” of human activity, to which the users contribute and within which they navigate.
- TOUTATIS (the Social Dimension). Considering ePLANETe as a “Knowledge Gateway” available through the Internet, a natural introduction is to the different User Communities (whose members may, of course, sometimes overlap), relative to the different opportunities for action and, the spectrum of knowledge/learning resources offered to the users . These Communities are organized and presented via Profiles in three cross-linked galleries, using complementary logics of identity: Persons; Partners (institutions, or operational units within an institution); and the User Communities themselves. The nickname for this collection of galleries is Toutatis, the Breton god who is the protector of the people.
- MERLIN — Accent on our Being-in-Nature (the Environmental Dimension). Understanding our place in Nature in terms of local biodiversity, food sources, ecosystem functions and biosphere cycles (water, carbon, nitrogen…), and on to green accounting and ecological economics models…. The nickname ‘Merlin’ connotes the multi-language Environmental knowledge mediation. Through a variety of deliberative and integrative analysis techniques, tacit, informal and formal knowledge is melded into collective wisdom.
- Virtual Eco-innovation Fairground (the Economic Dimension): Situating economic activity in its biosphere context and developing capacities for imagining and assessing innovations responding to the multiple performance challenges of sustainability (People, Planet, Process…). Situating eco-innovations as projects anchored in their territories, relative to challenges of CSR (corporate social responsibility) and governance towards a ‘greener’ or ‘circular’ economy. The term Fairground connotes ‘trade fair’ and also fun park, science park and so on.
- CAMELOT — Justice & Environment (the Political Dimension): Initiation to the world of conflicts associated with inequitable access to environmental resources & services and thus, to the “problem of social choice” in its practical and theoretical dimensions and, to the theme of ‘unequal ecological (as well as economic) distribution’. Tools and opportunities for use of ‘deliberation support tools’ for multi-criteria multi-stakeholder evaluations seeking understanding and (where possible) inclusive solutions to situations of conflict. Camelot is the gallantry of the Round Table and, French pejorative slang for money….
- TALIESIN— Building Knowledge Partnerships for Sustainability. The ePLANETe is an on-line “Collaborative Platform” that seeks to support a broad variety of forms of learning, and of sharing of resources for learning, always with the accent on community and conviviality. In a local/global perspective, it seeks, to incite new experiments in collaborative learning, social networking and knowledge sharing concerning the biosphere and sustainability, and to offer tools supporting debate and deliberation addressing social, political, technological, economic and environmental dimensions of sustainability. The nickname ‘Taliesin’ is the name of a Celtic historical and mythic figure, poet, druid and bard.
- KerBabel — the back room : the (partly hidden) dimension of conception, design, realisation & reflexion that animates and underpins the ePLANETe on-line system. The specificity of ePLANETe resides in its spectrum of sustainability-related catalogues, its participatory deliberative philosophy, the user-friendly character of the procedures for creating objects within each gallery and, the ‘cross-linking’ from one object to another that, in cumulative effect, transforms the entire system into a novel sort of participatory and reflexive social networking.
User Communities and Collaborative Projects
The Chapters of the Association ePLANETe Blue can be built in two formats: User Communities and Collaborative Projects.
- A User Community of ePLANETe is characterised by, on the one hand a specific modality of use of the platform and, on the other hand by the presence of one or several Steering Committee members who animate and oversee the conditions of access and learning and, the activities and results of the members associated with their Community.
- A Collaborative Project is characterised by a specific mission (e.g., scientific or pedagogic) defined by collaborative project partnership external to the association itself and which justifies exploitation of the ePLANETe platform as a means for realisation of the objectives of the team or consortium pursuing their Project. The activities of the Project will then be presented via a specific website integrated within ePLANETe.
The ePLANETe platform users associated with a Project become automatically associate members of a User Community — either within an existing Community or by constituting a new Community recognised by a General Assembly. At least one person holding responsibility within the Project, will be a Steering Committee member within the relevant User Community. Thus a Chapter can host one or several Communities. The Chapter Steering Committee is then made up of the set of steering members of the (one or several) User Communities comprising the Chapter.
List of Chapters of the Association ePLANETe Blue
This list of Chapters is established for the launch of the Association. It is not fixed: Further Chapters may be created in the future ; several Chapters could be fused ; or an existing single Chapter could at some later date be split into several (e.g., on the basis of region or theme, as a function of the patterns and intensity of activity). Composition of the Steering Committees is, at this time (June 2015) an ongoing open discussions.
By the TOUTATIS Doorway:
- The General Assembly of the Association ePLANETe Blue
Steering Committee : the Association Directors — President, Treasurer, Secretary, Programme Manager & Vice-President(s)
- In the Cloud (ePLANETe au large) — The REEDS* International Scientific & Professional Associates
Initial Steering Members : Programme Manager (ex officio)
- Friends of the IJSD (extended advisory board of the International Journal of Sustainable Development— IJSD)
Initial Steering Members : Pascale DE ROSARIO, Sylvie FAUCHEUX, Albert MERINO SAUM
- ALUMNI (ePLANETe Astéroïdes) =— the Diaspora of diverse « alumni » from Projects and Programmes
Initial Steering Members — The President and Secretary of the Association (ex officio)
- The ePLANETe Public — Association Associate Members who have ‘generic’ User rights in ePLANETe
Initial Steering Members : The President and Secretary of the Association ePLANETe Blue (ex officio)
* REEDS = Réseau d’Excellence en Education pour et autour du Développement Soutenable)
Through TALIESIN’s Doorway:
- Building Knowledge Partnerships for Sustainability (in concert with the UNU network of RCEs in ESD)
- Doctorants REEDS*
- Students / Les étudiants du REEDS* (students in undergraduate, graduate and executive programmes)
- REEDS* in Schools
At the three Doorways leading into the DAGDA’s GARDENS:
- Task Force MERLIN — Integrative Analyses & Environmental Knowledge Mediation
- The CAMELOT Communities — Justice and Environment
- The Virtual Eco-Innovation Fairground — Partnerships for a Durable & Inclusive Green Economy
KERBABEL — in the Back Room:
- Friends of KerBabel / Les Amis de KerBabel — Design & development of the ePLANETe platform
Initial Steering Members : Philippe LANCELEUR, Jean-Marc DOUGUET, Martin O’CONNOR
- GooglePerplexe — The wider user community around the KerBabel deliberation support tools
Participation and Association Membership
The Association ePLANETe Blue is composed of four categories of members. These are: the Association Directors; the Chapter Steering Committee members; the Contributing Members; and the Associate Members.
- The Association Directors are those people appointed to the Governing Board functions of the Association
- The Steering Members are those people appointed to coordinate specific activities of the Association ePLANETe Blue, that is, the organisation and animation of the User Communities and Collaborative Projects recognised within the various Chapters.
- The Contributing Members are, on the one hand, the persons who have paid an annual subscription as set out for each Chapter by the General Assembly; and, on the other hand, those who engage as benefactors in activities of specific User Communities and who contribute by services rendered or financially to the ongoing activity of the Association.
- The Associate Members are those who, either by their individual decision or by virtue of their participation in a Collaborative Project that involves the use of the ePLANETe platform, are associated with (one or more of) the User Communities and Collaborative Projects of the Association, without any specific financial obligation or engagement.
Knowledge Partnerships and Indra’s Net
The Association’s vision of social networking, as building “knowledge partnerships”, is partly expressed via the ePLANETe platform exploiting opportunities of content creation and progressive discovery in an internet–based “virtual” universe. But this evolving “virtual” world is only a very incomplete expression of real community. Our philosophy of a community of persons and activities linked through space and time, is expressed by the well-known image of Indras’s Net taken from Buddhist cosmology.
Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out indefinitely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel at the net's every node, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars of the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that the process of reflection is infinite….
The Avatamsaka Sutra, Trans. by Francis H. Cook: Hua-yen Buddhism : the jewel net of Indra (1977)
President : Mr. Martin O’CONNOR
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Secretary : Ms. Paula BRUZZONE
Email : email@example.com
Treasurer : Mr. Jean-Marc DOUGUET
Email : firstname.lastname@example.org