International terrorist networks are well designed systems of recruitment, training, and deployment. Some of the activity takes place face to face, but much of it is also done online. The 2007 report by NATO called Hypermedia Seduction for Terrorist Recruiting spells out in some detail the tools and techniques used. In many cases, the people who are recruited are normal people who have experienced a traumatic event, and are now turning away from their previous lives into activities more focused on anger and revenge.
However, these emotions are not only destructive for the focus of terrorist attention, but also for the terrorist recruits themselves. An alternative response to trauma that is less damaging for everyone is an intense increase in compassion, with the goal of helping create a world where traumas like those experienced by the recruits become a thing of the past.
In this project, we plan to leverage the design of terrorist networks to create an alternative system of compassionist networks for recruitment, training and deployment of people who will band together to do compassionate acts. The intense activity of individual cells who take on missions that they have been trained to carry out will hopefully provide a form of positive reintegration (c.f. Dobrowski 1967) that is not currently available.
The characteristics of a mission are that they happen on a project basis, with a limited time frame and concentrated effort by a group of people. In the proposed system, people will be able, in a curated manner, to pitch, undertake, and report back on missions.
Some of the characteristics related to the compassionist network.
- recognition of the value of community-based participatory approaches to learning, research, evaluation and partnerships
- meaningful relationships with the community on multiple levels, competently facilitating partnerships and following participatory approaches
- access to decision makers within the community
- skills in problem solving, conflict resolution and working to maintain collaboration with all involved in a community initiative
- special expertise in an area (i.e., technical needs, organizational design, systems thinking, other themes that relate directly to the community action plan, etc.) that a community initiative may need
- commitment to the community and the partnership process.