Specifics

Are there other examples in history where simple agreements/ understandings made by ordinary folk (not officials or royalty), have had massive global implications?

As time pieces became more accurate and communication became global, there needed to be a point from which all other world times were based. 
At the International Meridian Conference of 1884 ordinary folk, sailors and traders made an agreement to understand time in a particular manner so that they could co-ordinate their global shipping activities and that agreement has affected how most people tell the time ever since.
(Zulu) Greenwich Mean Time 

What happens if someone wants to discuss a topic but fears that there may be serious repercussions if they do?

Anonymity is another vital aspect of this forum concept.
Not everyone feels free to speak out in their own voices at times, because doing so could have serious repercussions.
Therefore any member can at any time send an email to the admins requesting a second anonymous identity.
That profile’s details are not made public but in terms of the law, it is a legal identity of the person using it.

If a person doesn’t have much data or connectivity will their participation be outplayed by wealthy or more active members?

This ‘Re-set’ not only helps to hold the group’s focus but also prevents certain people from trying to affect the results of the discussion by hogging the conversations with excessive commentary etc.
Only the votes count and everybody can vote on as many topics as they want. If you don’t have much internet bandwidth, you only need to search for the topics that interest you and vote on those- you don’t have to participate in all the discussions.
USE THE INTERNET LESS BUT MORE EFFECTIVELY.
There is no reason why disputes need to escalate to the level of protest or petitions.

What about people who do not like or have the internet.

People who do not want to use the internet can continue to use all the other platforms available. The forum does not exclude all of our usual processes.
The online forum simply allows far more people to participate than was evr possible before.

In Jun for example the Mayor’s wife doesn’t like to use the internet so she goes to the local offices and fills in forms etc. The Mayor laughs and says that she doesn’t have to stand in line because everyone else is doing it online.

Is the forum just for discussions or actions as well?

Will everything be limited to online interactions?

Can this forum bribed or corrupted?

With our usual community structures the entire community can be bought by bribing the leading officials. With the online forum it becomes a whole lot more difficult. To influence the outcome of a discussion would require that the entire community or at least all the forum participants are bribed.

Can the forum get hacked?

The forum should be backed up regularly so there is little point someone hacking it. The BBpress plugin is protected by WordPress, the hosting site and additional security modules can be installed. 

*What happens if the forum has an local issue that requires a politician or a minister to resolve but that official doesn’t wish to participate in the discussions.

There will be many obstacles along the way, many more than one could imagine. And there will also be many solutions presented by a large forum of people that are beyond the imaginings of any individuals… When we group together in large numbers our problem solving powers increase tremendously but in real life conducting large/mass group discussions is not possible unless everyone has many months to spare discussing the many issues that arise.
That is why we give our problems such limited and poor consideration… everyone is very busy including, and especially our leaders.

Is it important for everyone local to participate?

In Taiwan for example, only 1 percent participate in the national forum (32 million population). Not everybody feels the need to. The President that introduced public participatory forums was re-elected earlier this year 2020, in a landslide victory. 70% of the population voted.
The same in Madrid…. only about 10% participate (170 000 in 2017), but they no longer demonstrate in Madrid.

What happens if the forum starts to make decisions that call for some kind of illegal action for example?

The local forum is a public arena so it would be foolish for people to use this type of platform to discuss illegal activities.

What programs can be used?

There are basically 2 free online platforms that can handle this kind of forum.
Joomla is opensourse but the good forums have to be purchased and the website designer needs to be Joomla fluent.
BBpess is the better option; easier to use, more flexible and it’s free.

*What is the best forum software available?

BBPress has a unique advantage over other forum software when it comes to customizing and the styling of the forum. Over the past 12 years people have publish many WordPress vetted add-ons written for BBpress that have greatly increased it’s scope: the way the information is presented and can be read. Consider all the options this BBpress tool kit offers-
https://ve.wordpress.org/plugins/bbp-toolkit/

BBPress forum software is focused on ease of integration, ease of use, international web standards and speed. It is a well-designed, robust yet flexible and user-friendly communication base.
Customization is easy.

There are many BBpress support forums and the online manuals are very helpful. To fully harness the possibilities BBpress requires a basic PHP, Block code and CSS design skills.

Is the technology ready?

BBPress was redesigned in 2010 by John James Jacoby as a WordPress plug-in using all the latest coding standards, conventions, and approaches.
* 30% of all websites today are made using WordPress and as a result, it is continually being upgraded and has advanced security protection. In 2017, there were 300 000 plus active BBPress Forum installations.
It is software written ‘by the people and for the people’.

Is South Africa technically ready?

SA has more mobile devices than humans. It also has more cell phones per capita than Europe.
The cost of Data and an internet connection is an issue. There will always be issues. Catching a taxi every week to go to the town hall is expensive.
The town councilors etc are paid to attend meetings and that’s why ‘they’ are organized and the public isn’t.

Can anyone make one of these forums anywhere in the world?

Yes, the technology is freely available online but it does require some WordPress experience, php, block coding and CSS styling skills.

Why is this website focused on Johannesburg SA in particular?

Many local leaders are calling for unity and the need for forums. Johannesburg is the most technically ready city in Africa.
That doesn’t mean that other places and possibilities are excluded from this site. Anyone interested in this solution is welcome….. hopefully someone will make and launch one somewhere- That is the primary objective.

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