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Given the range of opinions in the world  and the ease in which we can communicate with one another how do  we create common good?  What is common good and how does my definition match that of others?   In  our daily lives, various sectors, i.e.  civil society, government and corporates, come together and dialogue to determine what is the common good and where political wills exists to accomplish this. But as we’ve also seen by the “Arab Spring” and other mass movements, common good can also be created through various social networks.


One such platform for creating common good is  called  S4G.  Their vision is a society in which individuals share and communicate their opinions and reflections for the creation of common good; their mission is to inspire and engage people for positive change at individual and societal levels through an open and free multi-media platform.


You might ask what this is and how can I join?  S4G is a special initiative of ENGAGE, a small Nepali NGO focused on creating a more volunteer based society.  Simone Galimberti and his wife Kalpana Gurung launched S4G in December 2012 hoping that others would join him.   “We wanted  to generate an open, all inclusive and accessible space where people working for development and the common good could share their ideas and reflections on a broad array of "social" issues.  We didn’t want to create an alternative space to Op-ed pieces but wanted to encourage more practitioners to share and learn, informally without bothering too much about forms and styles.  This was to be a space that is shared, where everyone could feel a sense of ownership on the contents and ideas shared.”


One year down the road S4G has taken off with more than 200  articles and 34  sharers, including a 14 year old Nepali girl.  One piece, An Open Letter to Bill O’Reilly-Sudarshan Subedi is NOT just that guy from Nepal went viral, and is now closing in on 100,000 reads.  The articles reflect a broad spectrum of issues which are both topical and socially relevant.  A very thought provoking article on GM seeds[1] has been published recently  which is very timely. There have been articles on family values[2] and gender perception[3] as well.   Many of the articles have thousands of readers who come from Nepal, India, UK, US and 60 other countries. Sharers, i.e. writers come from Nepal, India, US, Canada, UK and Italy, but S4G is always looking to expand in creating more common good.


Throughout the world  39% of the total population of over seven billion  people have internet access.  A large digital divide still exists; 31 percent of internet users are from the “developing” world but never-the-less  many people have access and the ability to set up their own blog, use Facebook and other websites to write, upload video, podcasts and photos. 


What is it then that makes a site such as S4G unique?  Part of the answer lies in the  “invitation”, i.e.  an ability to want to partner with people of all ages, anybody who would like to tell their story to anyone, no matter what their  English language skills might be. Another answer is the fact that S4G wants to create a very democratic community, a sense of ownership amongst the sharers (writers) and readers.  This is a difficult task, but ultimately in order for anything to be successful, there must be ownership on the part of  stakeholders.  S4G  has also made it possible to develop relationships with others, good  friendships which in our current cyber world isn’t that easy.


In the present, we have such incredible opportunities for connecting with one another, creating mass movements and pluralism and developing further freedom of speech.  The platforms are waiting for us, seize the moment and become an active citizen.








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