a powerful, visionary, exciting, FUN gathering of representatives from close to 100 different Occupy locales. The encampments are gone. So be it. The future of occupy is in the people already in it and those who discover it and who the current people awaken, who will act as catalysts, moving the people of the world from a top down culture of dinosaurs to a bottom up, horizontal, direct democracy world
Occupy Wall Street Metamorphosizes-- And it's Beautiful and Fun
I spent four of the five days at the Occupy National Gathering and my here's my overall impression;
It was a powerful, visionary, exciting, FUN gathering of representatives from close to 100 different Occupy locales. Marches through Philadelphia, aimed at Comcast and big Banks, in heat reaching mid 90s temperatures, had upwards of 300-500 marchers.
The goals of the gathering, described on the official website were, "for a week of direct actions, movement building and the creation of a vision for a democratic future." There was also a lot of sharing of ideas, tactics, strategies, resources, between occupiers, for example, on how to help people being foreclosed on and thrown out of their houses, or how to take over unoccupied buildings.
The last day focused on a visioning process. Hundreds of the occupy representatives participated in discussions aimed at defining a positive vision for a democratic future. I participated in the process.
This visioning was interesting to me because I've spent many years in the world of positive psychology, long enough so I own the website www.positivepsychology.net. With positive psychology, we take an approach that goes beyond diagnosing and fixing what's broken. We look at how people can be taught and empowered to reach towards optimal functioning, towards ideal ways of being. I felt that the same approach could be applying to visioning for an ideal future from an Occupy perspective.
photo by rob kall
First, the whole group of Occupy #NatGat listened as the coordinators explained the process.
People were broken up into groups of 45. Then, further broken into groups of three who were asked to generate a lists of visions for a democratic future. A scribe for each group of three was to write them down. Next, three groups of three were to come together. First, a new scribe had to be chosen for each group of three. Then, they had to collage the ideas into a single list representing the nine people, and then, the nine had to vote, with twinkle fingers, on the different items.
Next, the lists created by the nine people were worked on by another group of scribes, so the visions of the 45 could be pulled together. This was not always easy work. One group might have had an item-- "get rid of for-profit prisons." Another had, "end all imprisonment." They weren't the same! There were some ideas that each group had come up with that were very similar--- "direct democracy," "horizontal approaches wherever possible," "free healthcare and education." Now, please keep in mind, these are my personal observations and recollections, not the official report that will be issued, soon, by the group that organized the visioning process.
On the last day of the gathering, Elise Luce Kraemer displayed and helped to create the Occupy My Soul Quilt, a beautiful collection of images and words.
Here's a video, taken by Kevin Gosztola, showing some of the discussion in the visioning session.
People wonder what the future of the Occupy movement is. I left the gathering very optimistic and hopeful. The energy, creativity, dedication and passion manifested by all ages is extraordinary. The encampments are gone. So be it. The future of occupy is in the people already in it and those who discover it and who the current people awaken, who will act as catalysts, moving the people of the world from a top down culture of dinosaurs to a bottom up, horizontal, direct democracy world of little mammals. That's how evolution happened. That's how the metamorphosis of Occupy will shake the world and, from the bottom up, make the biggest changes seen since civilization began.
Rob Kall is an award winning journalist, inventor, software architect,
connector and visionary. His work and his writing have been featured in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, CNN, ABC, the HuffingtonPost, Success, Discover and other media. He's given talks and workshops to Fortune
500 execs and national medical and psychological organizations, and pioneered
first-of-their-kind conferences in Positive Psychology, Brain Science and
Story. He hosts some of the world's smartest, most interesting and powerful
people on his Bottom Up Radio Show,
and founded and publishes one of the top Google- ranked progressive news and
opinion sites, OpEdNews.com
more detailed bio:
Rob Kall has spent his adult life as an awakener and empowerer-- first in the field of biofeedback, inventing products, developing software and a music recording label, MuPsych, within the company he founded in 1978-- Futurehealth, and founding, organizing and running 3 conferences: Winter Brain, on Neurofeedback and consciousness, Optimal Functioning and Positive Psychology (a pioneer in the field of Positive Psychology, first presenting workshops on it in 1985) and Storycon Summit Meeting on the Art Science and Application of Story-- each the first of their kind. Then, when he found the process of raising people's consciousness and empowering them to take more control of their lives one person at a time was too slow, he founded Opednews.com-- which has been the top search result on Google for the terms liberal news and progressive opinion for several years. Rob began his Bottom-up Radio show, broadcast on WNJC 1360 AM to Metro Philly, also available on iTunes, covering the transition of our culture, business and world from predominantly Top-down (hierarchical, centralized, authoritarian, patriarchal, big) to bottom-up (egalitarian, local, interdependent, grassroots, archetypal feminine and small.) Recent long-term projects include a book, Bottom-up-- The Connection Revolution, debillionairizing the planet and the Psychopathy Defense and Optimization Project.
Rob Kall Wikipedia Page
Rob Kall's Bottom Up Radio Show: Over 200 podcasts are archived for downloading here, or can be accessed from iTunes.
Rob Kall/OpEdNews Bottom Up YouTube video channel
Rob is also published regularly on the Huffingtonpost.com
Rob is, with Opednews.com the first media winner of the Pillar Award for supporting Whistleblowers and the first amendment.
To learn more about Rob and OpEdNews.com, check out A Voice For Truth - ROB KALL | OM Times Magazine and this article.
For Rob's work in non-political realms mostly before 2000, see his C.V.. and here's an article on the Storycon Summit Meeting he founded and organized for eight years.
Press coverage in the Wall Street Journal: Party's Left Pushes for a Seat at the Table Talk Nation Radio interview by David Swanson: Rob Kall on Bottom-Up Governance June, 2017
Here is a one hour radio interview where Rob was a guest- on Envision This, and here is the transcript. .
To watch Rob having a lively conversation with John Conyers, then Chair of the House Judiciary committee, click here. Watch Rob speaking on Bottom up economics at the Occupy G8 Economic Summit, here.
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