"Throughout the centuries there were men who took first steps down new roads armed with nothing but their own vision."
Collaborative Enterprises is a small, self-sustained and highly committed association which believes that the Georgian President's proclaimed aim of turning Georgia into a new Switzerland is achievable, though not solely as a Georgian initiative, and not without considerable effort and abrupt changes in attitude from all sides.
There needs to be a paradigm shift, especially in terms of those with Georgia's relationships - with Russia, and with the Republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, in particular. There is little doubt in our minds that the Government of Georgia should serious re-think their whole strategy towards the new political landscape along their northern borders, with the long-term view in mind, as continued corrosive rhetoric towards Russia will only serve to push back the date when the emergence of this so-called Shangri-La can be realised.
We would like to see open borders between Georgia, Russia, South Ossetia and Abkhazia. We would like to see Georgia take the lead in promoting the ideal of a new Switzerland which is not solely Georgia - but that it includes a reconciled Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as the lesser republics in the North Caucasus. All sides, instead of furthering the mutually destructive line of antagonism towards each other should consider the alternative - that a United Caucasus can not only bring great benefits to the poor peoples of these countries, but that it can serve as a role model to drive world peace. It should be controlled by neither East nor West and all people should be welcomed to this crossroads of cultures.
We also fervently believe that it is necessary to cleanse the whole region of parasitic organisations and institutions who are relics of a bygone era, prolonging the Cold War with hidden agendas which are driven under the guise of international development, and who serve no purpose other than to justify their own existence at the expense of real development and true democracy. While billions of dollars in economic aid have poured into the region there are people still scavenging through trash cans for mouldy bread and empty bottles; community care for sick and elderly people is woefully inadequate; drugs, weapons, and human trafficking are probably the only growth areas; both energy vouchers and food stamps have been introduced in an lame attempt to paper over the cracks of a collapsing economy in which FDI has plummeted and any thoughts that there are millions of rich tourists ready to flood through the arrivals halls are simply delusional, and where old-world inequalities and practices driven by suspicion and corruption are still major grievances in the hearts and minds of honest and hard working people who scrape by in a world without apparent hope.
Collaborative Enterprises wants to help provide that hope. We appreciate that, to some, we will appear to have set the bar impossibly high. We happen to believe otherwise, and that it is time for small grassroots organisations such as ourselves to work together for the common good. However high the bar, and regardless of how long it takes, there is only one solution to the problems of the Caucasus and to the world. People who understand the fundamental difference between right and wrong must unite, do the right thing, and be true to their own hearts.
Collaborative Enterprises seeks active partnerships with government agencies, non-governmental organisations and the private sector in achieving its strategic objectives. Contributions and support from various organisations and individuals are welcomed. Please spare a few moments to view our brief presentation and read over our Code of Practice.