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16 December 2006

PROUT SHORT STORY CONTEST

DEADLINE: March 31, 2007!

IMAGINE A SOCIETY IN WHICH...

...food, clothing, housing, education and medical care are guaranteed to everyone.
...most farms, banks, industries and services are run as cooperatives owned by the workers.
...there are no multinational corporations.
...different voices, languages and cultures are respected.
...there is self-sufficiency in food, medicines, clothing, housing, and local transport.
...the environment is protected and restored, all agriculture is organic, garbage is recycled and renewable energy is used.
...universal spirituality is valued, not religious dogmas or conflicts.
...leaders are selfless servants of the people.

STRUGGLE AND CONFLICT...
Naturally, such a society could never come about without great struggle. The richest one percent who control our world today would do anything to prevent it. They direct the multinational corporations and manipulate the US Empire, going to any length to neutralise such a progressive society. When it does come about, there will always be selfish people who would try to destroy it for their own personal benefit.

CAN YOU DESCRIBE IN A COMPELLING WAY...
...the people, the struggles, the sacrifices, the tragedies and the triumphs that would be needed to achieve such a society?
...in which part of the world such a society would first take root and what threats, opposition, and deceit that would be employed to undermine it?
...how living in such a society would affect people?

SHORT STORY COMPETITION DESCRIBING A FUTURE SOCIETY BASED ON PROUT!

Prout stands for the Progressive Utilization Theory, an alternative socio-economic model. In the words of Noam Chomsky, "Prout's cooperative model, sharing the resources of the planet for the welfare of everyone, deserves our serious consideration." To know more about Prout’s socio-economic model and its policies, see www.prout.org and www.proutworld.org.

The Prout Research Institute of Venezuela is hosting a short story competition about a future Prout society and the struggles needed to bring it about. Stories may not exceed 5,000 words and must be previously unpublished. Entrants may be located anywhere on the planet, but each person may submit only one story written in English, Spanish, French or Portuguese. The stories will be judged on whether the future society portrayed correctly represents Prout, as well as on good writing and originality.

Judges: A committee of four panelists, led by the published writer Devashish Acosta (author of "When the Time Comes" and "The Ashram", available from www.amazon.com), will judge the contest. To ensure impartiality, all stories will be numbered and the authors’ names will be removed until the final decisions are made.


A Proutist who wishes to remain anonymous has generously donated funds so that we can offer the following cash prizes:

First prize: US$500
Second prize: US$300
Third prize: US$200
Five fourth prizes: US$100 each

(Winners in economically developed countries will receive a check or bank transfer. Winners in undeveloped countries will be sent an international postal money order.)

The winning stories will posted on the PRI-V web site: www.ve.prout.org. In addition, the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela reserves the right to publish the stories in an anthology and in a Prout magazine.

Deadline: midnight March 31, 2007 Venezuelan time (GMT minus 4 hours)
Winners will be announced May 15, 2007

All stories must be sent by email to shortstory@prout.org. There is no entrance fee. Stories that exceed 5,000 words, that arrive late or that do not describe the struggles to achieve or maintain a Prout society will be disqualified from the cash prizes. After June 15, 2007, all authors are free to submit their stories to other competitions or venues for publication.

03 December 2006

News of the Prout Research Institute of Venezuela


We have begun! We are renting 50 square meters of office space and 18 square meters of residence space, plus bathroom and a separate entrance area. This is part of the upstairs of a large house in Caracas with a kindergarten. We have successfully set up our office computer system with Linux and Ubuntu Open Office file server, and a full accounting system that generates monthly reports that are available on request.

WEB PAGE: We have finished composing and uploading 18 pages of text in English and Spanish (only 3 pages are ready in Portuguese – we need more volunteers to help). This includes collective mission, vision and values statements, photos and short bios of our personnel, intern advertisement, and other important statements that represent the institute. We are still trying to improve its appearance. Please view the site at www.ve.prout.org and send us your feedback.

PUBLICATIONS:

1. Staff member Andy Malinalco has written a 7-page introductory article on "Is Venezuela Heading Towards Prout?" This clearly presents Prout's perspective on the following four pillars of the Bolivarian Revolution and compares them with the actual results: 1) providing basic needs, 2) cooperatives, 3) economic self-reliance of the country, and 4) participatory democracy. The Spanish translation is now being checked. Gregory Wilpert has agreed to post it next week on the popular www.venezuelanalysis.org web site.

2. Associate researcher Ron M. Baseman in New York has written a 19-page article on "What Makes Co-ops Successful?" This is a survey of 175 success factors from 30 original articles. It is very insightful. Both articles are available on the web site.

STAFF: One of our advisors, Matt Oppenheim, teaches at U.S. universities has helped us write the intern advertisement and design the application procedure. He has agreed to post this on university mailing lists, convinced that it will attract many interested young people. Even before it has gone out, six volunteers have already confirmed they are coming from Venezuela, Brazil, Colombia and the United States.

VENEZUELAN BOARD OF DIRECTORS: They approved the Mission, Vision and Values Statements and the legal PRI-V Foundation Bylaws that are now being legally registered.

INTERNATIONAL ADVISORY BOARD: Twenty senior Proutists from five continents are actively guiding the PRI-V’s work through monthly teleconferences and regular email discussions.

NATIONAL CONFEDERATION OF COOPERATIVES (SUNACOOP): We have met several times the director and the director of training to discuss how the PRI-V can contribute to the training and coordination of cooperatives in Venezuela. Several members of our Board of Directors have taken one of the best cooperative courses offered by a private foundation. We believe that researching and designing appropriate co-op training courses is one of the most needed ways we can contribute to Venezuelan society at this time.

SHORT STORY COMPETITION: A Proutist who wishes to remain anonymous has donated prize money for PRI-V to host a short story competition about a future Prout society. This is not science fiction but "Prout fiction"! Stories may not exceed 5,000 words and must be previously unpublished. Entrants may be located anywhere on the planet. The stories will be judged according to whether the future society portrayed correctly represents Prout, as well as good writing and originality. Published writer Devashish Acosta (author of “When the Time Comes” and “The Ashram”) has agreed to judge the contest and will accept stories written in English, Spanish or Portuguese. Writer Roar Bjonnes will assist in judging the finalists. The winning stories will be translated and posted on the PRI-V web site. The contest announcement with all details and dates will be posted and circulated as widely as possible very soon.

PLANS: I am presently touring Europe for six weeks, giving Prout lectures in 16 cities in eight countries. During this time the other staff members are recording interviews with successful cooperatives, cooperative trainers, cooperative association leaders and other foundations. The Institute will be closed from Dec. 15 until Jan. 10, when I return to Venezuela to work permanently as director of the Institute.

Brotherly,

Dada Maheshvarananda

Director