Today is Blog Action Day and the topic is “The Power of We”. Can there be a more fitting topic and catch phrase for IOGT International?
IOGT International is the largest worldwide community of non-governmental organisations with a mission to independently enlighten people around the world on a lifestyle free from alcohol and other drugs. We have more than 100 member organisations, in more than 60 countries from all over the world, and we are having cooperations with partner NGOs in even more parts of the world. IOGT International has been around for more than a century, having been founded in 1852.
But of course, our Power of We goes beyond the Xs and Os.
What’s the Power of We all about in IOGT, the global temperance movement?
First and foremost IOGT is founded on the conviction that human beings can accomplish more together, than individually. Believe and trust in the Power of We is part of our DNA. We believe that human beings can use their full potential best, in cooperation and in environments that allow people from different backgrounds, different origins, socioeconomic circumstances, creeds, religions, inclinations, and ages to engage with each other.
That means that Power of We is for us the power innate in every single human being. Her potential. Her dreams and hopes. The driving forces, abilities and capabilities. We believe in the capacity of each human being to transform the earth, to make a lasting difference and create a better place to live in for all others.
In this spirit the Power of We runs through everything we have ever done, for more than 100 years, all over the world and is the driving force for all we do today. In cooperation we can not only add the potential of every single human being, but we can multiply it and its power. 1+1 is more than two, according to our understanding of the Power of We.
So, the Power of We is all about inclusion: ensuring and facilitating that whoever chooses to, can be part and can contribute. And the Power of We is about the believe that when people join each other, they can come up with innovations that non of the individuals had even thought of on beforehand; they can create a force so huge to bring down walls, to change cultures, to win ground for the advancement of humanity.
In this spirit a set of virtues informs all we do in IOGT International:
openness – so that really whoever wants to, can feel welcome in joining our organisation, participate in a project or event;
equality – that our events and activities are about what each individual can contribute and that the event or activity should reflect the abilities, interests and needs of the participants and what they feel they want to share of themselves and invest into the group;
human dignity – no matter the quality of formal education, the working life experience or the origin of a human being, every human being has something unique to contribute to group processes, to the working of an organisation or the dynamics of a project;
freedom – beyond myths about substances, beyond confining social constructions there is a freedom to actualise by human beings engaging with each other, meeting each other as equals;
I think those are beautiful things to ponder about, and those are beautiful things even more to be part of and experience. But maybe they also feel abstract to you, reading this. Feel free to let me know!
For me – having experienced meetings (of board, local clubs, committees) and been part of projects and activities, having been at congresses for example – the Power of We in the global temperance movement is essentially about the power of organising human beings and their drive, will, yearning to do good in the world. It is about how to organise heart-driven efforts in the way that each individual feels welcome and free to shape and contribute to what the organisation does and at the same time to unite, beyond all differences and work together for the same vision.
The Power of We arises, when the We consists not of a diffuse mass of individuals, but of an organised mass of individuals who share the same vision and work heart-driven for attaining that vision. The Power of We always needs to additional component of Together: a shared vision, mutual trust, believe in every single person’s role and importance during the mission and every person’s opportunity to contribute to the course.
That’s why we in the global temperance movement celebrate the Power of We this way, every day, world wide: Life Set Free Together.
For more reading on Blog Action Day:
Blog Action Day is an free annual event, that has run since 2007. It’s aim is to unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.
The purpose of Blog Action Day is to create a positive discussion that enables social good about an important topic. We ask bloggers to take a single day out of their schedule and focus it on an important issue.
By blogging about the same issue, on the same day, from their own perspectives, the blogging community focuses discussion and give their audiences the opportunities to take part in a global conversation, raise awareness or even funds for not-for-profits.
- 2007, was the theme of the Environment, we saw bloggers running environmental experiments, detailing innovative ideas on creating sustainable practices, and focusing their audience’s attention on organizations and companies promoting green agendas.
- 2008, we covered the theme of Poverty, and similarly focused the blogging community’s energies around discussing a wide breadth of the issues from many perspectives and identifying innovative and unexpected solutions.
- 2009, focused the conversation around Climate Change and brought our voices around the globe to discuss an issue that threatens us all, as well as mobilizing tens of thousands of people to get more involved in the movement for a more sustainable future.
- 2010, looked at the theme of Water, with thousands of bloggers eager to shed light on this often-overlooked topic and raise money for water related charities.
- 2011, focused on the many issues related to Food, such as health, hunger, quality, culture, farming, access and waste to coincide with World Food Day.