The Connect 2012 inquiry draws its initial energy and inspiration from one-one interviews conducted on the phone or in person.  The output from these interviews is posted by the interviewer to our Connect 2012 platform on the "Shared Purpose" system.  Great thanks to Bruce Schuman for his programming efforts to give us this sophisticate tool for compiling and sharing people's responses.

This discussion thread, along with our Connect 2012 Cafe Calls on Tuesdays, begins the process of "mapping the positive core" that is emerging from the interviews as we continue to conduct them.  On our calls, we have been reading from random selections of answers to various questions and then identifying any themes or patterns that are emerging.  Some of the output from the 3/13 call is posted in the first reply below.

Please consider joining us in this phase of the inquiry by reading from the interview output--you can see the contents of entire interviews here or view all the answers to a given question here-- and then posting your thoughts on what you see coming through and how that might illuminate common ground and a positive core of aligned intentions and actions that is working now and can inspire action going forward.

We plan to create one or more mind-maps based on this work.  And as the C2012 initiative expands, we plan to develop other tools and spaces for such synthesis to continue.  For now, we can do an initial harvest and here on this forum thread.

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On today's C2012 Cafe Call, we read selections of the answers to questions 3(c) and (d).  From this, two themes emerged quite clearly around our shared vision for achieving systemic change.

1. Coming together around what unites us rather than what divides us.  There is a powerful desire to move beyond ideology and to find ways to connect and collaborate with others across the divides that often separate us. Indeed, our differences can become a source of strength.

One example where this seemed to be manifesting tangibly is in the movement for local food and sustainable agriculture.  Big Ag is opposed by a diverse coalition of people, and supporting local food production, farmers markets, CSAs etc. is a way to build community as well as to grow the resilience of our local economies.

2. We have great skills/tools for dialogue, facilitation and other conversational processes. These support our ability to cross ideological divides, as we learn to listen to and respect one another, value diverse viewpoints in our gatherings and become more skillful in expressing and responding to dissent.

Expertise and training in specific processes is widely available to us. These include:Non-Violent (Compassionate) Communication, large group dialogue processes such as Appreciative Inquiry, World Cafe and Open Space Technology and Sociocracy, among others.

Our Connect 2012 Cafe Call today produced more input for the Positive Core Map.  Notes from our Collaborative Tablecloth can be found here.  Below is a summary of themes and patterns we saw:

--Cities where powerful action is taking place

  • Cincinnati & Philadelphia came up during this call
  • Locations that emerge as leaders/models/inspiration/centers for dynamic thinking/action

--A desire for people to take things into their own hands

  • Questions: How do we do things together? What structures do we need?  How do we get all the voices heard? Letting go of the notion that we know better than someone else.
    • Tools: NVC, Sociocracy

--Urgent desire for action

    • What are the most important and impactful things we can do?

--Distributed solutions are needed, not a monolithic “one world government” approach.  How can we be advocates for an agile and peaceful transition?

    • “Glocal” action/ecology.  Actions that are localized and are also plugged into a global network that allows them to be part of  the greater transition/solution
  • Alternative currencies/new economic structures as key tools

Hi from Suzanne Jones. This weekend I had a chance to read through the Connect 2012 interviews and I decided to focus on Question 1(b), what people saw as important in their examples of times when people came together in a positive way to create change (examples were from Q1(a). The salient idea that ran through these responses was that we can change our society; we are capable and already have much of what we need in place. And that we can make big differences. A second idea was that something is happening, dynamism is in the field, people will mobilize. If we build community and create and complete collaborative projects, we will encourage more collaborative projects. Our society can do a better job of taking care of its people. We may need to focus more on spiritual practices such as mindfulness and empathy. Core awarenesses need to shift. We need to attempt to hear everyone's voice and to touch one another. We are, in many  interviewees' minds, already there (in the future). Progress has been made, although it has taken a long time. There are, though, organizations and companies who are already operating in a concsious and green mode.

Thank you Suzanne!  I agree that these ideas are coming through.  The bit about how "if we build community and create and complete collaborative projects, we will encourage more collaborative projects" is particularly interesting.  I think it's worth highlighting the dual function of our ongoing work: it creates change in and of itself and it also models the possibility of change, which may be the more potent effect overall.  If enough people can shift their consciousness into a place where systemic change is seen as possible, then I believe the change can happen relatively quickly.  Some would call this a shift in the context out of which we operate.

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