A layered construction
Self-organization, up to the top
In order to organize a campaign, a flow of letters of support, or any other activity, members of the Socio-Ecological Union need NOT ask for permission from the leadership. The information system of the SEU is constructed in such a way so that to achieve this it is enough to send communication to a well known electronic address (email@example.com) and it will appear in the electronic post box of the majority of the other members of the SEU.
To participate or not in the proposed undertaking, how specifically, and when is decided independently by each member of the SEU.
Center for Coordination and Information
In accordance with these principles the real axis, around which the life of SEU «rotated» was, and has remained, the Center for Coordination and Information, which by 1999 has turned into a developed, technically well-based structure.
The role of the Center for Coordination and Information in the realization of such activities consists of cooperation by publicizing the activity in the press, attracting the attention of the foreign community, if that is necessary, as well as helping those members of the SEU who do not have access to electronic mail.
The armchair of the chair is absent
One would wonder, as a detail, is there, in the organization, a position of «the head», a position of «the first among equals» or something like that, or not.
In the Socio-Ecological Union from the moment of its founding the position of chair of the Council is absent, and all members of the Council are equal, they all have the authority to speak in the name of the Council if necessary, signing - as a sign of respect to the traditions of the environment as co-chair of the Council.
Such a uniqueness had to be several times defended during arguments with those official organizations which wanted to have business with the most highest boss (then was thought up «all are co-chairs») - and yet already 12 years the SEU hasn’t had conflicts concerning the right to rule.
Access to resources
No less democratically constructed in the Socio-Ecological Union is the access to resources. No, not to money — in the SEU there are no membership fees nor, as a result, no common account. We are talking about access to all types of information, or, more specifically, to sources of reliable information. During all the years of its existence the Center for Coordination and Information is busy every day with linking activists of the ecological movement with experts - specialists in different spheres of science, with jurists, with organizations which are responsible for preserving the environment, with journalists, with other public organizations in different parts of the world. And, on the other hand, uniting employees of governmental ecological organizations and journalists with activists of the public «green» movement.
And when, in the post-Soviet space, the first charity funds opened up, the CCI of SEU began to help with information about where and how to receive financial support for one’s work.
SEU was the first organization in the former USSR to publish instructions about how to write good requests for grants. In 1993 a book was published with the appealing title — «How to ask for money». Ever since 1993 to this day CCI of SEU by all accessible means distributes, free of charge, to all those who want it (and not only to its members) information about funds, programs and other forms of financial support to the public movement in the CIS, in the form of a book «Sources of Financing» and a data base which was put on a diskette and is now also in a form directly accessible data base on the Internet.(http://www.ecoline.ru).