Frequently Asked Questions
What are the aims of UnitingPeople?
Our mission is to connect people, projects and resources from across the globe to act together for a more human sustainable society for all.
What are your objectives and how will you achieve these?
UnitingPeople is a new and transparent internet platform to support humanitarian initiatives in
the fields of education, health, environment, economic sustainability, social justice and peace.
Visitors from around the world can decide what causes to support or participate in, with expertise,
time, networking, money or otherwise, resulting in a direct effectiveness and increased personal
commitment. To achieve this, we seek to implement the following principles:
Transparency All humanitarian initiatives and organisations will be asked complete transparency in showing human involvement (who does what in a visual way), goals, financial overview and requirements needed to complete objectives.
Effectiveness Everyone can participate, contribute and communicate in a direct way with the organisations and its people, thus allowing direct involvement, civil control and human empowerment.
Accessibilty The platform will be easy accessible to join and participate, from giving time with skills/abilities, providing services, giving encouragement to making network connections or sending a financial contribution.
Empowerment There is nothing more rewarding on a human level than being part of a solidarity community and knowing that YOU can make a positive difference in the life of somebody else.
Community building Within each project, we seek to implement a proper community between the change agent and participants, combining individual knowledge, talents, services and money towards one common collective goal. The gained knowledge and experience will be openly shared within the whole network and communities of UnitingPeople.
What is your philosophy?
We strive to follow the originally African Ubuntu philosophy of humanity, emphasizing on the community
values of sharing, caring and compassion for each other. The progress of one may not be the destruction
of the other, summarizing in "I am what I am because of who we all are".
Nelson Mandela explained the Ubuntu Philosophy as follows: "A traveller through our country would stop at a village, and he didn't have to ask for food or for water. Once he stops, the people give him food, entertain him. That is one aspect of Ubuntu but Ubuntu has various aspects. Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. The question is: Are you going to do so in order to enable the community around you to improve?"
For more information on the Ubuntu Philosophy, we refer to: Wiki article
What are your ethical guidelines?
All participants are asked to follow our ethical guidelines, as a base for mutual trust, respect and confidence:
1. Honesty in dealings and information which includes complete transparency in finance and logistics.
2. Aiming for sustainability: providing the best outcome for both human and natural environment.
3. Stimulate self-responsibility, self reliance, individual skills development and reciprocity.
4. Respect and stimulate local leadership, involvement and autonomy
5. Open to each race, gender, religion, culture and country.
Who is involved in UnitingPeople?
We are a group of people coming from different professional backgrounds and countries
but with a similar view towards civil involvement and human empowerment. After several
years of brainstorming and studies, we came up with this new and innovative concept named
UnitingPeople to make a real change together by uniting people, ideas and resources worldwide.
Until this date (January 2008) all our studies and working efforts have entirely been supported
by our own spare time and resources.
Meet The UnitingPeople Team!
What makes UnitingPeople such a unique concept?
There are several factors that distinguish us from traditional organizations since we are a
linear civil community calling upon the individual responsibility and engagement of each community member.
The main factors that makes us different are as follows:
1. Offering each participant a 100% transparent and direct flow of communications, skills, funds and logistics. We don't keep any percentage for the platform.
2. Offering you the possibility to become a real-time participant in a project with direct involvement instead of being a distant observer or supporter.
3. Our belief in the human generosity and empowerment in sharing talents, wisdom and resources on a one-to-one basis within a community, meant for the betterment of society.
4. Our sole controlling and supervising element is based on active social and civil participation from each community and its members.
What is the inspiration behind UnitingPeople?
All founding members were actively or passively involved in activities related to human empowerment.
The book "How to change the world" by David Bornstein describing the enormous human efforts of some
change agents, inspired us to start a vivid discussion on how to make a more active contribution to
the betterment of society involving change agents. Having met with some of the change agents on a
smaller scale in different continents, we were struck seeing their daily passion as well as struggle
to move forward in helping others locally.
At times, one tries to support one person or project but it feels like a drop on a glowing plate. We realized it would take many drops, thousands...even millions of drops to still the heat on a larger scale. Hence the idea was born to connect similar minded people on a direct basis...realizing that together everything is possible.
With this conviction, we started to brainstorm on the question "how can we make a positive change together". Gradually the idea of an interactive platform started to take shape in our minds whereby Tatiana and Marika met with Rene who had similar views on collective civil connection and empowerment. Tarquin soon joined the team in Barcelona with his valuable input as an independent web designer together with Catherine from Geneva who actively contributed with her financial experience and outlook.
After several meetings in 2007, the whole team decided to combine each member's different talents in service of the common goal to make a change together.
How is UnitingPeople financed?
In the first years of studies and development, we invested our own private time combining events - as
good as possible- with our (other) professional activities and we financed all our meetings and studies ourselves.
As we reached a more mature stage of a complete web-portal programming and design, which also required a legal structure, we started to draft a budget with an initial capital of 97.000 € for the first year.
With a clear plan and budget, we went out asking for support and contributions within our own circles of friends and families where Catherine's mother, Mrs. Anne-Marie was very generous to give us a grant of 30.000 €. Shortly afterwards, we were elected for a grant worth 20.000 € of the Fred Foundation in the Netherlands and Rene's company Internet Advantage gave the generous gesture of 20.000 € in promotional services.
In January 2008, a NGO was called into life to organize the first European ANH Forum (Alliance for New Humanity) and seeing the utility of the platform, they included 10.000 € in their Forum budget for UnitingPeople. Finally in February, Alex Orbito on behalf of several friends, signed for the remaining 17.000 €.
• 30.000 € Anne-Marie Kalbermatten (Switzerland)
• 20.000 € Startfund of Fred Foundation (Netherlands)
• 20.000 € Internet Advantage SL (Spain)
• 10.000 € NGO ANH Foro Barcelona (Spain)
• 17.000 € Network of friends
• 97.000 € Total budget
The moment we publically launch in November 2008, we will list the UnitingPeople platform as any other project seeking contributions from society to further finance the operational costs of the platform. Since the administrative, operational and overhead costs are limited, we are very confident to establish future corporate and institutional partnerships ensuring future sustainability.
At the end of December 2007, we were officially registered as an Association in Barcelona. While we are writing these lines, we have already started the legal and administrative process of becoming a Foundation in the course of 2008, thus allowing for fiscal deduction in accordance to Spanish laws.
What is a Change Agent?
For us a Change Agent is a person who created his/her team and initiated a humanitarian or
sustainable cause, seeking to make a positive change for the betterment of humanity in his/her
own environment and scale.
The most important requirements we ask from each change agent:
1. Sustainability; providing the best outcome for both human and natural environment
2. Local leadership; local involvement to ensure continuity and progress
3. Transparency: openness in logistics and direct communication/contributions lines between organizations and the participants facilitated by the UP platform.
In order to list a project, download and complete our application form
What is a Participant?
Any person that wishes to contribute to the betterment of society and supporting, investing or giving skills (time, work) and services to any of the change agent's projects. This means that a participant is an active member of a project community.
How can I be involved?
As everyone is unique with different initiatives, views, interests, talents and resources,
we also wanted to offer a large diversity of ways to cooperate and be involved. This means that you
can list a project by completing the application form or you choose a project of your interest
where you can decide in what way you can/wish to participate. Depending the project, this
may range from involvement with one weekly hour offering your skills or maybe you prefer
to promote the project at your work or maybe you choose to support the project financially.
It's up to you to make the choice that most fits with your interests, time and possibilities. Summarizing, you can make the choice to:
• become a participant involving your own time, skills and talents either locally or from a distance
• become a participant giving goods or services
• become a participant supporting a project with a financial contribution
• list a project you're involved in
• recommend a project you know off
• recommend/promote the UnitingPeople platform to others
It's all about "me and you" creating together a better world.
Do you have a transparency policy?
Yes, at UnitingPeople we aim for full transparency
There are several factors that distinguish us from a traditional, more hierarchical organizations since we are a linear civil community calling upon the individual responsibility and engagement of each community member. We believe in human sharing, individual empowerment as well as civil, social and conscious engagement. Instead of employing an expensive structure to inspect and control (which doesn't give guarantees either), we prefer to invest in human contribution and community building by calling upon everyone involved to be open, transparent and to report human success as well as human failures or abuse.
In addition, we have carefully set up a number of guidelines to safeguard and ensure the credibility of both projects and participant, which you will find below.
1. Particularly in the first years, we decided to carefully select each project on its credibility by personally reviewing the completed application form (click here to see application form).
2. In future years, this review will be open to the UnitingPeople community.
3. We only allow projects based on the recommendation of another participant or change agent who is already active within the UnitingPeople platform.
4. All projects, its people, its location and its requirements are visible and can be viewed, contacted as well as visited by anyone interested. We feel this is one of the highest forms of credibility that can be offered.
Informative civil internet platforms such as Wikipedia have already shown the enormous achievement in accuracy and engagement through active civil participation.
How do I list my project?
How do you select Projects to be listed?
During the initial period after public launch we will carefully select each project personally on its
credibility in the basis of a detailed application relating to each project: link to page
The moment we receive a duly completed application form with all required information and with a recommendation of an active participant ensuring its complete credibility and viability, we will decide to list the project.
Within less than 2 years, we are planning to open the platform to allow for worldwide projects to be listed and thus involving civil society in its active selection, control and reporting.
Every listed project, its people, location and its requirements are visible and can be viewed, contacted as well as visited by anyone interested. This is one of the highest forms of credibility that can be offered.
How will the donations reach the project?
There are two ways of sending your financial contribution to a project:
1. Either via the Foundation Uniting People, thus receiving a confirmation, allowing for a fiscal deduction in accordance to Spanish law (this will be applicable once we received the Foundation status which is being processed as we write these lines).
2. Either directly to the Project's organization with the bank/administrative details as shown in the projects community page.
Either way, it will be easy to view and know that your financial contribution goes directly to the requested project since you will have the possibility to contact the project and its people to verify whereby you are free to ask for a confirmation.
What do you do with feedback from specific projects?
All feedback is welcome and will be freely shown as such.
In case of negative feedback, the project leader will need to respond to the project community and depending its answers and/or explanation, the community members together will need to decide if they wish to continue or not.
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