Welcoming Philanthropists and Major Social Venture Capital Investors to Partner for a “Culture of Human Rights and Responsibilities” Advocacy

December 10, 2014
By Majid Baradar

Injustice can easily become the norm and the law of the land. As the honorable Dr. Martin Luther King eloquently noted, “unjust law is no law.” Congruently, Thomas Jefferson noted that, “When injustice becomes law, resistance becomes duty.”

There is also a potent Persian proverb on justice, “Injustice all round is justice”.This adage points to a fundamental moral principle - precisely that of accepting personal responsibility. Our humanity calls upon us to be responsible and vigilant citizens. To prevent, counteract, and overcome injustice, conscientious and passionate voices need to be both present and proactive. In every society its members need to be continually empowered to become responsible and passionate voices of truth as well advocates for realizing, upholding, and securing freedom, liberty, and justice for all. The predominant principles are duty and commitment.

For the above reasons, there is a considerable need for inspired individuals, groups, and organs of society to persistently promote and cultivate principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and its culture.

While mindful of the immense challenges such a pursuit requires, 12Petals Media Group – an equitable advocacy entity – has been striving to be a positive advocate for a Culture of Human Rights and Responsibilities for everyone everywhere, and a firm advocate for individual rights and individual liberty (personal autonomy).

This socially responsible venture capital investment advocacy initiative proposal calling for the promotion of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, more explicitly its culture and empowering individuals can enable 12Petals Media Group to expand its current advocacy/outreach efforts. Jointly with the help of our benefactors, 12Petals will endeavor to foster a century of Human Rights for everyone everywhere.

12Petals has pledged to empower underprivileged and underserved individuals to embrace their (and others’) inalienable rights to life and liberty, to enthusiastically pursue and value individual dreams of happiness, and to constructively contribute back to the society, environment, and the world. 12Petals encourages vital contributions and grassroots initiatives for the wellbeing of humankind and the environment.

With this in mind, 12Petals Media Group provides its planned development strategy:

12Petals aims to be a US-based global grassroots, non-profit, and socially responsible advocacy entity. It intends to become a formal non-partisan and non-governmental organization. 12Petals’ advocacy commitment and aspiration is to cultivate a culture of human rights and responsibilities and a culture of tolerance (the underpinning of tolerance is humility.) Based on the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and through accessible social media platforms, 12Petals can amplify its advocacy efforts by reaching large audiences throughout the world.

From its inception to date, 12Petals’ core organizational culture has been inclusive and collaborative. Advocacy projects produced by 12Petals are a testament to the fine collaborative contributions of individuals wishing to promote the principles of Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Contributors are from many parts of the world (although primarily from the Iranian Diaspora).

While 12Petals interdependent contributors devotedly collaborate with other like-minded individuals, the lack of sufficient funding hinders this grassroots effort from growing and making vast organizational advancements. The time has come to transform 12Petals into a more meaningful, dynamic, and sustainable entity - an organization that can propel its wheel of progress (i.e., value attributed) to undertake many more prudent projects and significant actions.

To become a well-managed, and well-functioning advocacy entity, the following three strategic milestones are envisioned:

1st Phase: “Initiation and Entrepreneurship”
2nd Phase: “Intuition and Experience Growth”
3rd Phase: “Well-Planned and Managed Development”

The first phase has been completed. The second phase is underway, and the third phase is at proposal stage. 12Petals made its public debut in early 2007. Since then, it has found like-minded individuals interested in its culture of human rights advocacy mission. Through social media dialogue and participation, collaborators have come together and formed a meaningful interdependent core group. With this success, the core collaborators efforts have created numerous advocacy/outreach projects that have been widely broadcasted on various social media platforms. 12Petals has managed to advance its mission and goals through 12Petals Media Group Projects Portfolio, Website, Facebook, Twitter, and CafePress platforms. Each of these platforms articulates 12Petals’ works and goals. A Google search will also display 12Petals’ produced culture of human rights advocacy projects and web outreach activities on these and other websites by its supporters.

Beginning in 2007 and concluding in 2010, 12Petals scripted and produced a graphic short film titled, “Culture of Human Rights” that documents key events in the development of human rights throughout the world. Beginning with the Cyrus Cylinder in 539 BC and continuing to the present day – the history segment of this film elaborates that human rights is neither a Western nor Eastern concept and belongs to all humanity. This successful advocacy project brought 12Petals to the attention of many new contributors and supporters.

12Petals believes many of its culturally specific outreach projects targeting particular communities have achieved their initial objectives. It is important to note that the impact assessment of the 12Petals’ “culture of human rights and responsibilities” advocacy activities is very difficult to substantiate scientifically at this juncture. These advocacy projects that incorporate empowerment, capacity building, and self-determination strategies are often indirect and long-term. Seen through this lens, the following is some statistical information:

By January 15 2012, there were 3,831 Facebook pages (some users having hundreds to thousands of friends) that shared the “Culture of Human Rights graphic film. Since then, Facebook stopped offering its digital shared count number reporting. However, 12Petals is certain that more individuals and human rights activists and groups have continued to share this advocacy project. And, as of December 5, 2014, 12Petals’ YouTube view counter displayed 14, 345 viewers for this advocacy film. (Please note that the number of viewers on Facebook pages and other websites was not likely added to the YouTube’s view counter – Info here!) Majority of Persian websites and blogs facilitated its circulation as well. A quick search on most popular websites attests to this assertion.

The latest statistical information from the 12PetalsFacebook page insights (the digital data goes only as far back three months) reveals that “Total Reach” number is 176,966 for the prior quarter. For the week of (November 24 – November 30) compared to the prior week, the “Weekly Total Reach” is 11,249 - up 2.8%, and “People Engaged“ is 883 – No Change 0.0 %. As of December 5, 2014, the “Total Page Likes” is 26,909.

These numbers can surely increase considerably. Through these various electronic platforms and other available networks, 12Petals Media Group continues to emphasize the centrality of this universal culture to achieve human rights. This emphasis relies on ‘people power’ and calls for the empowerment of individuals – a bottom-up, grass-roots approach. 12Petals places trust in a people’s culture to propel their affirmation of a firm, viable, and responsible society that defines, respects, upholds, and promotes human rights. 12Petals believes that such communities and societies that are firmly committed to the principles of human rights can coexist in peace and harmony and appreciate and encourage their members’ contributions. And, as responsible and proactive citizens, they function on consensus and non-violent decision-making process. Additionally, they accept self-responsibility and demand collaboration, transparency, and accountability from their representatives and leaders.

Under the 12Petals’ current phase, the leadership stays centralized. With an influx of social and philanthropic capital investment, 12Petals' core collaborators envision a paradigm shift from a vertical hierarchy model of leadership (top-to-bottom) to the wisdom of all contributing collaborators, conducting horizontal (distributed) leadership.

This decentralization is a way of resourcefully distributing power and influence throughout the organization. 12Petals believes decentralization not only brings out individual and inspirational creativity, but it also creates imaginative variance while being an open-ended entity. 12Petals expects this decentralized stance and policy to continue once it reaches the well-managed phase.

Most recently, 12Petals has called upon its core contributors to step forward in order to transition from its second phase of “Growth” to the third desired phase of “Managed Development”. This third phase will mean a change in the nature of the top organizational leadership. That is to move from a highly reactive, individualistic style to a broader, more proactive, consensus-oriented, and progressive operation with a democratic-style elected Board of Directors. 12Petals also envisions having an executive advisory body. The main responsibility of the advisory body is to effectively communicate the plan and operational strategic objectives with top management to advance the business plan. Part of that Board and Advisory Body will include ardent social venture capital investors and co-founders, if they so desire.

With the partnering of social financiers, 12petals will be a well-recognized and well-operated non-profit advocacy organization. This re-energized organization will need legal assistance for incorporation, a concrete business plan, fundraising and marketing assistance, and an interactive website – all the elements of a highly professional business on the right path to success. The services of a highly proficient business center for the non-profit sector will be utilized. Under the direction of the Board of Directors, an executive director will be in charge of hiring a professional staff with backgrounds in the necessary fields to accomplish its goals.

The creation of new executive management for a well-managed entity implies that this organization will develop an adequate and effective structure, quality control mechanisms, and procedures to ensure notable performance, consistency, and continuity. The goal for 12Petals is to always serve the beneficiaries of its mission statement while also operate efficiently and ethically. 12Petals will ultimately be functioning as a hybrid socially responsible entity, centralized at the top and decentralized at all levels below.

Co-founders and the capital investment partners/philanthropists will optionally serve on the transitional board of directors of the 12Petals Media Group. The transitional board of directors would not assume permanent board positions. Their goal is to facilitate the successful transition from the “Intuition and Experience Growth” phase to the “Well-Planned and Managed Development” phase. Through this transition and beyond, the primacy of the mission will always be a part of the executive board’s fiduciary duties. The executive board of directors and executive advisors will ensure the best functional structure. It will be their responsibility to adopt articles of incorporation and bylaws to ensure this bottom-up grassroots entity will come together and continue producing outreach projects (12Petals has compiled a list of socially-relevant projects) for a culture of human rights and responsibilities advocacy.

From a mission-centric point of view and for a successful transition, 12Petals pursued two parallel and interconnected objectives:

1) Structuring the 12Petals Media Group as an advocacy entity; and
2) Creating an appealing promotional portfolio of advocacy/outreach projects devoted to a culture of human rights and responsibilities.

Creating an outstanding advocacy/outreach portfolio using a pool of like-minded individuals, professionals, artists, social entrepreneurs, and more has been vital to the health and sustainability of this entity (Please see the 12Petals’ introduced plan here).

To continue this highly desired activity, 12Petals will eventually reach out to the community at large to invite them to become active members and with rights and privileges to elect their most regarded and qualified executive board of directors and advisors for the 12Petals Media Group. Self-nominations or nominations for others are equally welcome and encouraged. 

12Petals is well aware of the challenging, and at times arduous, path it must withstand and endure in order to achieve its set desired objectives. At the same time, all collaborators understand and acknowledge that commitment to this individual and collective journey for cultivating a culture of human rights and responsibilities, and subsequently for prevalence of a culture of tolerance is a mutually rewarding endeavor.

For the 12Petals’ organizational strategic development, 12Petals welcomes your long-term commitment and help towards continuous improvement of its plan strategy. Together, this social enterprise can be elevated to one of the finest culture of human rights advocacy organizations in the world. The intend is to hold this entity to the most demanding code of conduct:

Commit to being fully transparent and accountable to the people it serves, to its funders, and the general public with the high level of scrutiny by independent auditors, frequent public meetings, and continual reporting.

With your philanthropic investment and partnership, the 12Petals will be developed into a leading nonprofit entity that advocates a culture of human rights and responsibilities. For this enterprise, competent and professional individuals with compassion and dedication to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights will be commissioned - they are the ones that will achieve all the organizational needs under the direction of a committed executive board of directors and executive advisors.

Can this vision come true?

As a dynamic, interdependent, and collaborative organization relying on the power of each individual and individual initiative for a culture of human rights and responsibilities and for individual rights and liberty (personal autonomy), 12Petals will encourage tolerance (humility), active civic participation, and invigorate the practice of democracy. With our own compelling narrative – together- the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts and an exciting synergy is produced - the 12Petals Media Group. 

With the hopeful wind blowing under the wings of the 12Petals Media Group and your philanthropic capital investment and intellectual participation, our goals will be instrumental in making this a positive global impact (removing barriers to self-fulfillment and safeguarding intellectual freedom), more explicitly for Iranians. Please be certain that your participation, contributions, and help are greatly needed and appreciated immensely.

Thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration. For all issues and concerns, please contact mbaradar@12Petals.org.

All the best,

Majid Baradar
Founder and Executive Development

12Petals Media Group

Artwork Credit:
Graphic Designer/Artist: Anna Felisha Ott


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