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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

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