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Finding common ground: What do we all agree upon?

I have during the past couple of months seen a wide range of different topics being disussed here on TED by a much more diverse group of people, with a much more diverse set of skills and interests, than I have ever witnessed in a single internet community before. People with different believes, from different parts of the world, and with very different backgrounds have engaged in dialouges that sometimes have been quite heated, but almost allways civilized, and to an astonishing extent very constructive.

So after all exchange that has happened, I can't help but wondering. What do we all agree upon? Can we create a collection of statements that we all seem to agree upon?

Edit: A list to add statements to and vote on statements with Google moderator has been created at http://goo.gl/mod/0073

Instructions: Click the link above, then "View ideas" and mark the statments you agree upon, or press "Add an idea" to add a completely new statement.

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    Jun 9 2011: water is important
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    May 26 2011: My first try:
    "we learn by exchanging ideas"
    "(small groups of) individuals can initiate global change"


    I think it would be really helpful to feed the statements/ideas/items, that were posted already, into a system were each individual item can be reacted to, for example google moderator.
    I started it here as an example with my two items: http://goo.gl/mod/0073
    Love to hear what you think about it (and feel free to add to it).
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      May 26 2011: Hi Sietse..nice to meet you and like your idea..

      .couldn't connect with your link though..

      could you recheck or advise?

      Thnaks....sounds fruitful
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        May 27 2011: great to see it is used! hooray. :) I suggest to order the ideas on date when you're rating.

        @Lindsay, I guess it's because you need a google-account. I have changed this setting, it should be open for everybody now, can you try again?
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          May 27 2011: thanks Sietse.. I think it wa sbecause I have a google avcount..it keeps going to my google account for covemeadow.. I was able to get in by typing the link in the google serach bar ( but not as a direct link)

          But again, thnak you for assisting me.
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      May 26 2011: This is great!

      I added the list Debra compiled in another post and voted on your items.
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      May 26 2011: What a fantastic addition to the discussion. Welcome and thank you Sietse!

      Kristofer- how will we let the TED community know to vote and add?
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        May 26 2011: I have no idea about how. But hey, why restrict it to the TED community? =D
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          May 26 2011: Go big or go home, eh? I like it!
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          May 27 2011: I wanted to suggest to add it to the opening post, but I see you have already done so. :)
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          May 27 2011: @kristofer I'm confused a bit. Did you want to look for shared beliefs/values within the TED community or within humanity? I guess the first option is a more feasible start. ;)
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          May 27 2011: Hi Sietse.. I finally connecetd to the site and added on the basis of there being certain Universal values which I added stated that way..with the idea tha our votes as a community would reveal what those values are...what values we share as a community.I have not seen here at Ted any emerging consensus as a community on things we as a community value..nothing is expolicit...conversatins never end with consensus..they are a process that feeds into our own lives our work in the world..those of us who stick it to the end I think are chnaged by the process we leave in a different place thatn where we started but there is never an explicit consensus.I saw your wonderful tool as a way to explore whether and to what extent there is amongst us, underneath all of our differences in ages, experience, values, approaches and life tsretgeies a true common ground in values.Any way I hope that i show it works,.I hope I haven't confsed the process. I kind of like the jumble of very different approaches that are expressed in the list elements. Some say they same thing in a different way ..does "everyone gets hungry" the same thing as saying "Freedom from hunger is a universal right". So what is sexpressed there are different points along a line from awareness to commitment or somehow other all connceted on a common path but expressing different places along that path.I love the diversity of thought, perspective, and values implicit in what you have given us a way to explore. I hope the entire Ted community will engage and add to it.Thank you for this valuable tool.
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          May 27 2011: wongmo thanks. I understand.

          Rights aren't ehat are granted or recognized..rights are inherent.

          In other words..it is still an inherent right even if there is no law or supoortive structure toprotect it.

          I framed all of mine in term sof universal rights really to ask what we all consider universal human rights..things that we as individuals and our many diffrent nation states should stand for and further and protect.
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        May 27 2011: I am at home, so I can't go there. ;)
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          May 27 2011: Kristofer- It seems like you are leading us all to a real home!

          Have all the ideas represented on this page been transferred over for voting?
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        May 27 2011: Sietse; My hope was to find if there are some shared values that are quite universal, and I found the TED community to be an exeptional place to do so because of the diversity among the users. Even though I guess it scews toward liberalism, technology, and so forth.

        My hypothesis is that we as humans actually are quite similar in our values, but that we differ much in the secondary opinions that we build upon these values, partly because of diffent emphasis on the relative importance of different values, partly because we attack the problem from different angles and holds different ideas about the problem.

        In discussions about certain opinions I think we often fail to see that behind the disagreement we actually have built both of our opinions on the same set of basic values. An example; In the case of abortion the anti-abortion part overwhelmingly seems to believe that pro-abortion people just want to have sex without having to think about the consequences, while they actually are basing their argument on something much more similar to the anti-abortion part: the right to a life worth living. Another problem I see is that religious often seems to assume that atheists main reason for critizising religion is that the atheist wants to pursue their egoistic drive, while that very often not is the case, and the critique much more often are along the lines that there is side to religion that seems to be harmful to humanity

        Missconceptions about the underlying motivation behind a certain opinion often makes dialouges not get as deep as they need to attack the real problem, and both parts seems to feel missundersood. No wonder as both holds missconceptions about the other persons underlying motivation.

        So my hope were to find if there actually is a set of values that we can assume almost every person shares, so that in the future we can avoid assuming that others don't hold these values and move dialouges behind the point of missconception of the underlying motivation.
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        May 27 2011: Even if we only have TED community participants, I would therefore hope that we not forthmost concentrated on finding secondary statements such as "development is needed to make the world economy sustainalbe", but rather first hand values such as "the world economy needs to be sustainable".

        Wongmo,I agree.

        Debra, I try to make a push, but then I see where everyone else goes and tries to follow. :) And yes, or at least all the ideas you collected in your thread has been transfered.
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          May 27 2011: There are other though Kristofer,
          I would not know how to put in the Charter of Compassion,

          These two are Sietse's:
          we learn by exchanging ideas"
          "(small groups of) individuals can initiate global change"
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        May 28 2011: Sietse added has allready added his own contributions to the document.

        I read through the charter for compassion but could not come up with a condensed sentence that summarized it.
        http://charterforcompassion.org/site/#
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          May 29 2011: Since lots of folk in this conversation rsonate with the charter of compassion may we could take a crack ad summarizing each elemnt of it and posting each elemnt in our google moderator.

          I think our ljumbled list is very good for priposes of this conversation but I would like to see us viist the Charter for Compassion as its own Ted Conversation... we could post each element exactl as it is as a separatee comment in Ted Convestaions and ask people to shpw agreement with a thumbs up and disagreement with a comment below. Would be very interesting and I thnk we could make it work within a Ted Convesration framework

          I see we have stalled out on our google moderator for this conversation..nogrowth or change in a few days.
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          May 29 2011: wouldn't that simply be the golden rule: '"treat others as you want to be treated"?
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        May 30 2011: Sietse, that was my first thought too. But I hesitated as I didn't know if the particular wording could be sensitive in this case because it is expressed different in different religions. So I read through the charter once more in order to find a neutral wording, but realized that there was more going on in that text and that as Lindsay say, it may be possible to also break it into a few statements.

        But I would certainly agree on "treat others as you want to be treated" and adding it is probably a good idea.
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      Jun 7 2011: I guess you are the moderator for goo.gl/mod/0073..can you expand that so we can all comment or question what is there?

      also how come when there is a sort by popularity the length of the bar doesn't correlate with position in the list? Doesn't the length of the bar indicate the number of afformative votes?

      I have referred people in two of my conversations ( freedom of religion and foundations for a global alliance) to the moderator here and a few have visited.

      I invite those who have posted here to join those two conversations.

      The freedom of religion ones explores in depth one of the "values" posted at our moderator..whether freedom of religion protects "hate speech"

      the foundations for global alliance is exploring two specific questions closely interconnected with our google moderator list.

      (1) global concerns that supercede soverignty ( one of the specific values in our list)
      (2)foundations for a global alliance is exploring what we would consider tobe universal human rights. All of my addition son our list and may of the others are being explored there. Provides a good opporunity to look at some o what we have listed in our moderator in depth ina context of universal human rights.
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    May 23 2011: we prefer

    piece over war
    abundance over shortage
    pleasure over pain
    love over hatred
    health over disease
    succes over failure

    And we can make other very broad universals in humans....

    Though I don't know why one needs a broad-based agreement... as that will lead to a low common denominator.
    And there is so much more on which we ought to agree upon (when it comes to facts) while we don't...

    That said... can we all agree on math? or thermodynamics?
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      May 23 2011: I can agree with all of your preferences, Christophe and I would add them to my own list. I also think that many of us will agree on many scientific facts (although there will be a subset of people who will not) and that demonstrates a lot more common ground.
      I do not see this as the lowest common denominator but rather as a lifeboat in a wide ocean where people can stand to build their lives in harmony.
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        May 23 2011: I agree Debra,
        though how small do we allow this subset to be?


        (this touches upon principles that relate to democracy vs technocracy... very interesting!)
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          May 23 2011: Excellent question. I do think it comes down to democracy. If we cannot come to consensus we have to have a more direct form of democracy that allow us to go with the majority opinion.

          I think that is what is happening here on TED conversations in a unique way. We vote with our attention and choice to argue our view points on this site. There are some questions that I consider fools bait and I avoid them- as they are building a very different kind of raft. I know there is a point of view or agenda that I do not choose to invest my time in. ( I used to tell my kids when they were frustrated that your knowledge belongs to you and it is a gift when you share it with others. The flip side is that it is also a precioius gift when they share theirs with you.)

          However, where there is good will but wildy opposing views I am very keen to discuss why a person sees things so differently from the way I do. What do they know that I don't or that I did not rightly see. That is fabulously productive for me and I grow and I learn and sometimes I agree to see the world differently but always I come away better for it (even if some others observing on the site have heart attacks because I ask the questions that are at the heart of the matter and deemed to hot to handle!)

          We cannot control the size of the subset. We just get busy doing our own thing, leave them to do theirs with a eye out for radical stuff that we can confront and time and science are on our side. We can hope that their raft floats with good will. Having said that - our case is best won by being truly fine examples of human behaviour ourselves.
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      May 23 2011: Thanks Christophe, and I agree with your list.

      Even though there are more things we ought to agree upon than we are able to. I think a good starting point for understanding each other are to get rid of a few false presumptions that we have towards each other.

      I have many times to often listened to friends debating right vs. left wing politics with the left side accusing the right of only wanting to make monies, at the same time as the right accuses the left of only wanting "the system" to take care of them without them having to work. At the same time as the left and right wing themself would like to argue that their corresponding motivation actually is that "we should take care of each other" and that "a free market is the quickest way to development that benefits everyone". But discussions never geting that far because each part assumes that the other is arguing from egoism alone.

      Similarly I find religious people assuming that non-religious only are interested in fulfilling their own pleasures. While non-religious assumes that religious people are utterly unwilling to accept facts.

      Very often preasumptions like these seems to make us unable to get past the very first step in a conversation and is a hurdle to getting to understand what the other persons critique of a certain ideology, religion, etc. actually is. I think most people in the conversations here at TED have been very able to listen to, and consider other persons perspectives. And I therefore thought it would be worthwile to explore what I actually can assume that most people do agree upon wherever in the world I would travel, or whoever I would like to engage in dialouge with.
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        May 23 2011: Great premise, great question- you have my full cooperation in this task!
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    Jun 8 2011: There are a couple of other discussions which are going great distances to establish common ground!

    I am so impressed by the efforts being made by many people to help us all gain compassion and understanding of places and of societies many of us know little about. The Taste of series started out as Wongmo r's idea. It has been taken up by others as well and we now have three sites to enjoy and learn from:

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/3131/a_taste_series_to_explore_t.html

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/3350/a_taste_of_iran.html

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/3403/a_taste_of_laos_the_land_of.html

    http://www.ted.com/conversations/3132/a_taste_of_afghanistan_can_

    Please check them out!
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    May 23 2011: Since we're all humans, why not focus on humanism?
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      May 23 2011: I think I ask this question very much from the perspective of humanism, but I don't think that either the TED community or people in the world as a whole would embrace all of humanism.

      From Wikipedia[1]:
      "4. A secular ideology which espouses reason, ethics, and justice, whilst specifically rejecting supernatural and religious dogma as a basis of morality and decision-making."

      I don't think we can assume that everyone (most) is willing to accept that.

      [1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Humanism
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        May 23 2011: Kristofer/Tim/DEbra..I like the wikipedi definition of humanism....what about it would be objectionable as a basis for a "global morality", "Global ethics", "Global Values", "Universal Values" Wonderfully brief and clear as a standard, no?'
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          May 23 2011: I really like that definitiion. I think Kristofer is worried that the word will be divisive.
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        May 23 2011: Kristofer, I want to be sure that I am complying with your wishes for this thread.
        Can I go ahead and add Christophe's and Lee's points to my own to begin to make a aggregate list that we believe to be common ground? And people can then respond to what they cannot support from the list if they wish?

        If this is not the direction you wish- no problem, I have no wish to overstep.
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          May 23 2011: Yeah sure!

          I allways think it is interesting to see in what direction people take any subject and I don't want to restrict the conversation in any way as long as it seems relevant. I posted the proposal because I thought there had to be a lot of other people that was thinking about similar things. One motivation for it was because I many times have been a passive listener in many discussion where I have realized that two people that claim to have completely opposing views very often in reality seems to share very similar values, and rather only disagree in the details or the relative weight that should be given to any particular issue.

          Maybe Jonathan Haidt's presentation on moral roots of liberals and conservatives[1] explains what kind of questions I am trying to center the discussion around. Not restricting the discussion liberal vs conservative though.

          [1] http://www.ted.com/talks/lang/eng/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind.html
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      May 23 2011: Dear Tim! You have to tell us YOUR definition of humanism!

      PS and your common ground ideas too!
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        May 24 2011: OK. How about this for common ground? We start with the wikipedia definition that Kristofer pointed out:

        "4. A secular ideology which espouses reason, ethics, and justice, whilst specifically rejecting supernatural and religious dogma as a basis of morality and decision-making."

        And drop a few words:

        "A[n] ideology which espouses reason, ethics, and justice, as a basis of morality and decision-making."
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          May 24 2011: I think you just made it aceptable to a couple of more people. In the billions! =D
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    May 23 2011: I think that "The Charter for Compassion" is our common ground. If we can all commit to living it's premise "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" I signed it and am trying........how about you ?
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      May 23 2011: Count me in, Helen.
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      May 23 2011: Yes I hope so, and if so I am very hopeful for the future. Can we expand and find even more things we have in common?
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        May 24 2011: Kristofer..................The more we truly understand each other, say for instance, why we do things, the easier it is to forgive perceived slights. We can be instruments of peace for each other.
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          May 27 2011: Yes, the more willing we are to listen to, and try to understand each other, the easier it is to see that those with different opinions than us not are plain stupid or evil. But rather has had different experiences than us, and are attacking the problem from a different angle.
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    May 23 2011: Here is my attempt at this challenging question:

    Because we are all human-
    Everybody gets hungry.
    Everybody needs water.
    Everybody needs to be loved.
    Everybody needs to be warm enough.
    Everybody needs to feel and be safe.
    Everybody loves to laugh.
    There is a lot of beauty in this world.
    Something needs to be done to change the outcomes we are now headed for.
    Everybody needs freedom and slavery is just plain wrong.


    I am starting at the most common denominator and I hope we can add more common ground.

    Edit and addition from Christophe Cop (above)

    we prefer

    piece over war
    abundance over shortage
    pleasure over pain
    love over hatred
    health over disease
    succes over failure

    edit and addition from Lee Wilkinson (above):

    That a good and appropriate education is needed and is a good place to start.

    2. Love will conquer many problems

    3. Empathy towards ones friends and foes is a good starting point in solving problems

    4. War is a terrible but sometimes necessary evil

    5. That creativity and not more of the same will take us forward out of this mess

    6. A good TED Talk can inspire us to be better than we thought we were

    7. Inspiration looks like many things to many different people

    8. That we can agree to disagree
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      May 23 2011: are you saying thi sis the common ground manifest on our ted community so far? That tis is what we have to work with so far as commong groundmainfest here? If so, that is excatly what I see too. That our common ground rght now here at Ted is not yet alned with the valuespromoted by Ted but that through our willingness to enage here united on the most elemental ground of being guman..we may be able to get somewhere else together...or as yu out it so beuatifully

      "add more common ground"
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        May 23 2011: Maybe what I am saying is that we should be working from two directions to capture this concept. I will start from the very bottom and try to build up step by step with what we can all agree with while others (and I love this) work from a higher order of thinking and gather what they feel is established based on their experience of this community. I guess my goal would be to get both a foundation and a framework so that it can withstand the debates that will come.
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      May 23 2011: reminds me a george carlin standup

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgps85scy1g
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        May 23 2011: Haha, very funny! =)
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        May 23 2011: Love that! Krisztian I posted this with Richie when he asked for any links that educate us!
        Great minds.........(but i like to remember that it ends with ..........but fools seldom differ!)
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        May 24 2011: hilarious
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      May 23 2011: Thank you Debra! I can agree on all your points, and I share your hope that we can add to it.
  • Jun 16 2011: "Finding common ground: What do we all agree upon?"
    the only common ground of all humans is:
    WISDOM
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    Jun 10 2011: I think what all of TED really will put their two cents into, is any topic on interpersonal and intrapersonal happiness.

    What it entails to be happy, what is involved, what can make you more happy, or anything happiness related, seem to be where a lot of traffic goes.

    I find there are many wise people on TED, even in the youth of TED, our future. Wise people usually seem to pull out the humanistic values in any topic they participate into. I would say wisdom and happiness go hand in hand, but so can the opposite. However the wise appreciate and do not take their happiness for granted.

    This is just an observation I had.

    This conversation has a lot of ideas around what makes us happy to discuss and to think about, but no one directly states happy-filled conversations, interesting.
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      Jun 10 2011: That bothred me at first on joining Ted..seemed like an aversion to tackling serious issues but now I see most of them as having a purpose. The discussions on ego, fear, freedom, radical empathy have been especially fruitful and looking at the hwole hive it seems that through those conversations we are better able to communicate and tackle the more serious subjects we take on more fruitfully. Even some that don't seem that compelling at the time..like the on eon advertising, end up covering some very good ground,

      It's fascinating thing Ted Conversations has going here. And I see changes. I saw a woman whose birther comments used to be peppered everywhere all of a sudden quoting rumi. It's magical. Defies Analysis but its magical.
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    Jun 1 2011: Common ground? Coffee.
    • Jun 1 2011: Here's mine - Let us save the Earth. It is the only planet with chocolate.
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      Jun 1 2011: COFFEE! brilliant.
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      Jun 10 2011: I can definitely agree on chocolate. But coffee, no. I drink a lot of tea though, so maybe caffeine?
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    May 30 2011: Hi Kristofer, hello everyone !
    Great idea you got here, i just voted and added a few statements. I hope a lot of people will join the experience.

    Special thanks to Debra for pulling my french sleave ;)
  • Comment deleted

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      May 23 2011: food for thoght and think a very accurate description of our community
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      May 27 2011: Yes, I see sharing and listening as very important at the moment. The world is shrinking so quickly that if you don't are willing to listen to others, you seem destined to run into some quite nasty controversies with others who disagree with your opinion.
  • Comment deleted

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      May 23 2011: I like the metaphor of rough diamonds tumbling together. That is what it is like many times but I really like seeing the sparkle come through!
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      May 23 2011: I think you captured much of my feeling of what TED is about there! =)
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    May 23 2011: I alined with your challenge in a very similar, I think to many other commenters to date. I read it as asking have we as a community noticed among ourselves, through this community, a unity in diversity..a common ground on which we all stand.And to my version of your question I would say "no" I don't see that common ground. I don't see it emerging even. What I see is the beginning of a process through which, in our dversity, in our daily give and take with each other, with our differences, we will eventually discover that we have been on common ground all along or we will work our way to that. But right now I don't see any sense of common ground manifest in the Ted Community.I just had a stunning personal encounter through this community that I think illustrates how it might work that this process we enage in here at Ted might eventually help us see our common ground. I read this on global energy by a member of this community, Adriaan Kamp.( http://energyforoneworld.blogspot.com/2011/05/3rd-may-oslo-balanced-world-large-and.html?showComment=1306078170725#c1064006190950532120t ). This powerful writing is froma place I wasn't and if I was getting there it was the slow way. This writing..that I came to through this community, made me realize that even though I thought I was thinking and talking about global energy in a global way I was really, with no awareness, framing my views from a nation-centric place, So that encounter moved me a little further along in being able to get out of my own little forest..a little closer to being out in the clearing where Ie can actually see that my little forest was actually growing out of that common ground all along.When I speak about the Ted process here with freinds who aren't yet among us ( I am calling them in) I speak aout it as a bold expereimnet in finding unity in diversity..a process through which that may actually be possible but we aren't there yet.
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      May 23 2011: Hi Lindsay.
      I am a resiliant optimist. I see that we all keep coming back and working to address questions. In my mind I am showing you all my marbles and pieces and toys and facts and I am hoping to see all of yours so we can see what we can build together.
      In just being willing to come to the table and to share ideas, I think we take a valuable step on common ground and as we build that common ground it could become the sacred ground on which a better humanity is formed. As with the construction of any building or bridge there are many phases. The earliest ones all have to do with the exchange of visions and of ideas. From there we get to blueprints but even at that early date we might have people making the steel that will become the girders (our contributors with scientific knowledge) or people with ideas for the style and function (our artists, architects, designers and engineers).
      I could go on with the analogy but I hope my point becomes clear that huge humanly conceived projects cannot be judged in the early stages where order begins to be formed from the chaos of many sincere and invested minds coming together.
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        May 23 2011: Just want to pull this beautiful thught of yours out to stand on its own

        "In just being willing to come to the table and to share ideas, I think we take a valuable step on common ground and as we build that common ground it could become the sacred ground on which a better humanity is formed" ( debra Smith

        It says very simply and very eloquently what I was trying to say with all my words to which you have replied.
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      May 23 2011: Thank you Lindsay. Even though I after having read the first couple of comments realized that my question might have been interpreted as "What do we as TED community have in common", I was actually more interested in trying to find out what human values that trancends religions, cultures, nation boarders, political factions, etc. And I found the TED community to be a fairly hopeful place to explore this question in.

      I do think that in the spirit of your comment "[...] we will eventually discover that we have been on common ground all along [...]", we as humans very often have much more in common than we at first believe. And that a big problem in discussions with each other is that we interpret what the other persons means according to what we believe that he/she is saying. And that we make a lot of extra assumptions about the other persons intentions.
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    May 23 2011: And there in lies the beginning of peace. I believe that to answer this question (and it is a good one) we must accept that 'All' may not be a literal number. For me I would say what I think I have in common with a large majority of my fellow TEDSters?

    1. That a good and appropriate education is needed and is a good place to start.

    2. Love will conquer many problems

    3. Empathy towards ones friends and foes is a good starting point in solving problems

    4. War is a terrible but sometimes necessary evil

    5. That creativity and not more of the same will take us forward out of this mess

    6. A good TED Talk can inspire us to be better than we thought we were

    7. Inspiration looks like many things to many different people

    8. That we can agree to disagree
    • May 23 2011: A good list but, in the end, the question is rather loaded. The only point I can agree with is #8. Agree to disagree.

      I've never had love fix a broken computer and shareholders of a Defense Contractor probably hope for small wars.
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        May 23 2011: Hi Bob..I am meeting you for the first tim ein this conversation..don't think I have run into you before..welcome and nice to meet you..

        I think so far most of us her have assumed the framer of his conversation did so with refernce to our expereince here at TED.
        It's a kind of grand social expereiment.. a meta conversation..

        Lees list I recognize as arising dircetly out of our shared expereince in this meta conversation that is Ted..thi big social expereiment that is Ted. I like Lees list becauseit points our diversity as a community..how it plays into and across different conversations we take up..and what we as individuals take home with us from that.

        So is your comment..agree to dsagree all that youhave expereinced here at TED as common ground?
        What have you seen here at Ted?
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        May 23 2011: Hi Bob!

        Lee didn't say Love solves all problems, right? Don't you agree that it is an important ingredient in solving many problems?
        • May 23 2011: I know Lee did not say all problems which was important but I don't even believe love solves many problems.

          TED is a great environment that brings together great minds and distinctive ideas from around the globe to talk about large and small problems.

          -Education reform
          -The place of technology in our world and our lives
          -Climate and environmental concerns
          -Entrepreneurial endeavors

          While I have only been a member for a short time. I have been watching TED presentations for years. Throughout all those presentations, love was almost never an ingredient in the resolution of the problem.

          The reason I respect the TED site and community is not because of love but because of an open-minded devotion to creativity and adaption. A curiosity about the world and the desire to make it a better place is truly refreshing.

          I suppose one could argue that TED is a place for the love of creativity and that helps solve problems. In that case, one would have to better define love.

          note: I missed #7. I can agree with that since it is variable to each person.
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        May 27 2011: Is the desire to make the world a better place not a manifestation of love?

        In my definition of love that desire is included as long as I don't only want to make the world a better place for myself, but also for others.
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      May 23 2011: Thanks for the list Lee, and I agree that with 'all' we have to mean 'most'. Do you think that especially 2 and 3 is quite prevalent also outside of the TED community?
  • Jun 27 2011: "Out beyond ideas
    Of wrong doing and right doing
    There is a field
    I’ll meet you there. "

    Let’s all accept Rumi, the Muslim Sufi poet, accept his invitation and meet him there in the field of acceptance, tolerance and coexistence, THE COMMON GROUND.
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    Jun 7 2011: I am flabbergasted to see a couple of the results!

    ""Children have the right to live in a safe environment, protected by the adults around them. They are ours to guide, not to use or abuse.""

    The bar indicates about a 50% approval rating (What's that about??)

    It scored at about the same level as this one:"in a modern world , a global community, we cannot tolerate the continuing resurgence of enmity, war and oppression arising from ancient cultural and religious vendettas of any kind."

    And this one is at less than 50% !!!!

    "Women have the right to live as free, independent human beings without fear of being harmed"
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      Jun 7 2011: I think what we are seeing at our moderator is partly confusion about what he purpose of the survey is....especially now that we are inviting people frorm other places to vote there important to have a statement instead of a reference back to this conversation ( with a link back here)

      It says "what do we think the common values are here at Ted ..in our community..in other words not what we personally hold as values but what we see fromour daily gathering here the Ted Camp Fire as shared values. Very different question.

      I haven't seen any discussion of childen's right in the Td Community..it is one the issues nearest to my heart and a long term focus of my work and avicacy but by the "what have you observed in Ted standard" I didn't vote yes for that or the womens rights one. on my favorites personally Karen's "harmony rather than one" I


      So if we clarify eactly what we are asking for the results will be more understandable perhaps.also asked Sietse to open up the comments and questions to other han the moderator if possible. ( see my post below)Also I had some confusion about the bars being longer for some things that are further back in the list..a sort by popular vote should have all those that have longer affirmative bars at the top, no?I think a clarifying opening comment would help reslve what you are pointing to..and having more people able to question and comment would certainly get at that.
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      Jun 7 2011: one more thought on this..whatever we decide now is what we are soliciting
      (1) Yes means I hold that belief or value too or
      (2) Yes,my expereince at Ted i s that these are widely held values, common ground, in the ted Community .

      gen we finsh this version..we should do a second on ofn the other dimension. Would be really interesting to compare the match between what we as indoviduals hold as our highest values, opinions, beliefs and what whether we see that in the Ted Community based onour daily work here.
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      Jun 10 2011: Debra, I think some of the statements that have been added later not have been voted on by some of the early voters.

      Lindsay, my intentention was to see if we as humans had any values in common. I also think some of the statements with long bars that seems to be pushed back have been so because they also have some negative votes. The list seems to be ordered according to how they score on "agree minus disagree" which I find fine.
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        Jun 10 2011: no I don't see that ordering Kristopher ..values with long bars and no negatives are pages back from shorter bars..there is something wierd with the sort.

        also I think we want to try and make nay sense our of this daya we need to clarify whether people are simply agreeing with the statements there or syaing they see these vaues on Ted..
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          Jun 10 2011: Yes you are right, but it still seems to be something like (agree - 3*disagree) or some similar quite simple relation. Don't know why though.

          In my opinion people should vote on their own values. The idea behind this conversation was to make away with some assumptions we may have about other peoples values. For example; If I assume that most people here at TED except me thinks greed is a good thing and I was taking into account what I thought others here at TED valued in my voting, I would not vote for "greed is bad". But it was these kind of assumptions about others values that I wanted to get around, and therefore it is better if people just agree or disagree without thinking about what others may value.
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    May 31 2011: Too bad I don't have a Google account, so I can't vote. I'd like to ask everyone which way they face when taking a bath: facing the faucet, or with their back to the faucet. So far, everyone I've asked over the last 10 years or so has said they sit facing the faucet. I think we can all agree on this one. (Actually, I met one guy who said he sits with his back to the faucet, but only because he didn't have a plug for the drain.)
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      May 31 2011: Not unless you are bathing alone!
      Steve, given that I have given you my answer- its very easy to get a google account. Why not participate?
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    May 31 2011: I just added two new "global values" to our google moderator ..two insighst that came to me this morning after a long and winding conversation on the 1967 borders between Palestine & Israel

    They are both along the lines of the very great difference between "everyone is hungry" and "freedom from hunger is a basic human right".

    Too early to analyse but I am interested to note that folk dont seem to resonate with the idea that freedom from exploitation, and a gurantee of fair wages and safe working conditions are basic human rights.
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    May 30 2011: I think that each of us needs to contact at least three people by TED email and ask them to participate in the voting and question submission. We will use the 'Pay it Forward' exponential growth tactic! Contact three and ask them to contact three!

    Who is with me?

    I have contacted four already- One young, One sci fi, One in France, One eclectic. Your turn!
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      May 30 2011: yes..good idea..I have been doing that as well..and we are starting to see something emerge.. would be great to get as many as three hundred "voters"..

      I think we are going to have from this a basis for a follow up question with out top 10 "shared values" asthe centerpiece.

      I see thi swhole google moderator thing as a possibly useful extension to our ted community in general and to facilitating/furthering many disciussions.

      We should add toour outreach that those who have alreday voted should cjeck back as newitems are added as people vote. We want all items to have an equal chnace to be considered by all who come to the moderator.
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    May 29 2011: Kristofer,

    Hope its OK with you that I put the survey in the 'what can TED do better?' question and suggested that there be an update box where exciting developments from TED converstations could be posted. I am hoping a few people will notice it because I do not think anyone but us has used the survey yet (we are all being given credit for each click and choice.)
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      May 29 2011: No problem. I think like you that people don't notice it. I know from my own experience that I pick a little among which discussions i choose to enter, and then I keep ignoring those discussions I initially not choose to enter. Can't keep up with them all.

      Seems like a few more actually have taken the survey now. So thanks!
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    May 25 2011: WE need to add to our list of items that we feel constitute common ground. Please help us and look at the compiled list to see what you agree with, what you don't and what you can add.
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    May 24 2011: "The different movements, which now embody the different possibilities of the future, have to learn to come together and reinforce each other's identities and contributions. Societal transformation will only come when the different identities learn to create synergy among and between each other, for these synergies are often the shape of the future society wanting to come into manifestation. "

    another quote from the same source..perhaps a little more accessible

    http://www.cadi.ph/Editorials/Editorial_Butterfly_Effect.htm

    I apologize that some of the language in both of these quotes may be initial barriers for the humanists amongst us. I hope you can just leap over that, or set it asude just for a moment, suppress your woo factor recation, just for one second... and get to the heart of what I am suggesting we consider as our common ground.. that is bound in stewardship for the earth now and in the future, that it is fluid, dynamicc. chnaging every moment with every encounter we have with one anoher..that what happens here we take into our lives different that we were before, more deeply connected ti thta stewardship.
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        May 24 2011: Good morning Wongmo. Yes you are right..simplify, simplify, simpliy

        I guess. simply put I am saying that the common ground is both the process we engage in with each every day here at Ted and the way that changes us in our "real lives"..what we take back to our real lives..and hopefully also a common commitment to stewardship for this world..the poeple and ceatures we have with us right now..and to the peoples and creatures who will inherit the earth we leave behind"

        I would say that for me personally ,the process of engaging here at Ted oustide of a community where there is clear consensus, clear shared values ( My international conetmplative community) has expanded and stretched and honed me in ways that enable me to engage in my tiny little bit of stewardship for the world more effectively, with more wisdom, with more awareness and importantly with a better skill set/mindset for navigating difference and opposition. The more willing we are to engage here on important ideas in a settimg of differences and opposition, in a setting where theer is no clear consensus the more we grow as individuals and the more valuable our lives will be to others in even the simplest exchanages

        .The common ground is our engagement in that process.
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    May 24 2011: This is what I thik Ted is all about..this is what I hope we can all agree is our purpose here at TED and in the wolrd"One of the most powerful ways to harness the opportunity of chaos is to identify the imaginal individuals in society who carry with them different aspects of the future. Often these are the individuals who are achieving excellent and inspiring work under the most challenging of circumstances. We need to have the eye of the spirit to see the hidden connections, the invisible pattern which links all these different initiatives together and find a way for each imaginal individual to also see the whole"
    http://www.cadi.ph/Editorials/Editorial_Butterfly_Effect.htm

    In otherwords, I guess I am saying that "common ground" is a fluid, mercurial, process whereby we somehow begin to move from wherever we are, whatever our lives are about to an engagement that is about the human condition, about being mindful that what we do now affects not just us and the creatures we have with us now on earth but all who follow us all the creatures of tomorrow.Here we seem to be looking to a steady state model of common ground..we seem to think that it's important to agree of the particulars, to state our common values ( and that is soi f we are forming a community ora government..even here ta Ted we are bound by the values of the Ted Agreement). But if we are about what Ted is about in the wolrd we are not about anything that is steady state in any way. We are about growing awareness that is beyond our own self interest, we are about becoming imaginal cells in a world that is broken and needs every one of us.,Our community , our common ground is our commtment to become imaginal cellsin all we do, in all we say, wherever we are, whatever we do.
  • May 23 2011: Maybe start with some cliches?

    "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder"

    "Anything worth having is worth working for"

    Are statements universally accepted? I believe them to be true and don't see an obvious arguement to either. I am finding it difficult to come up with an original thought that may not have a dissenting opinion.
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    May 23 2011: Hi Kristopher..Ok I got it..not about our community here at TED ( although we are having agreat exchange on that oand on how community works that I hope will continue) but what are rhe univeral values that are global?In his Mid Esat Speech President Obama rceognized ..referred to the existence of certain "universal values" and lsited a few. So there is this idea that there are in fact a set of universal values. Thinking in terms of global values, inalianeable by nay soverignty, and just as a basis for discussion I put together this list http://lindsaynewlandbowker.posterous.com/charter-for-a-global-democracyIt is pretty much in synch with what the Humanist and Ethicists put together for the milennium Global Democracy Project.I am curious as you seem to be to know whether ther is an identifiable list of universal values.. Here is a link to the IHEU project.

    http://www.iheu.org/node/352
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      May 27 2011: Thanks for the link to the Charter for Global Democracy Lindsay, it is interesting reading and I think the principles of openness and accountability; environmental sustainability, and justice seems to be very good to pillars to build upon. Your blogpost was thoughtful too, and I do agree that we in one way or another have to come up with a solution to all these problems and stop thinking in national terms. I do identify myself as nothing less than a human, and nationality seems to be a quite utdated ideal. Not that the idea of nations are outdated, they did serve an important role in unifying smaller regions in the 19th century and do at the moment serve a very important role in making society structured. But I think we have to focus on getting past the point where nations are the largest coherent actor and make some decissions truly global. Not that everything has to be decided on global level, but for some questions are just to big for nations to act independently on. (The first link didn't work without removing the last two letters)
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      May 23 2011: Hi Edwin, I feel you are trying to say something important here. but I do not understand it yet. Would you be able to give us a summary statement in words and then lead us through your way of thinking step by step. I will stay with it until I think I understand.