Occupy Cafe is launching a systematic inquiry into the evolution of the #Occupy movement.  

NOTE: This discussion was part of "Round 1" of our inquiry and is now closed.  Our conversation continues with our "Round 2" thread here.  And help us harvest more from this round here.

The questions below were taken up during a Cafe Call on 11/15.  Participants in that call, as well as subsequent readers of this thread, posted their reflections here and then continued the conversation.

We are now pausing for a "harvesting phase," where we "listen together" and reflect on what has been said.  There is a discussion thread in our "Harvesting" group here, where we can share what we have gleaned.  Please join us in this collective meaning-making process.

Below is the post that initiated this conversation:

I first heard the term "Occupy 2.0" from Walt Roberts a couple of days ago, as he anticipated the dismantling of Occupy Portland where he has been active.  Occupy Cafe is launching an inquiry starting today into the question of what this might look like.  We plan to collectively craft a vision, or set of visions for the future of this movement as an offering of support to all those who have fought so hard thus far.  

To all those brave souls in the encampments: you have already succeeding in radically changing the dialogue in this country and around the world and our thanks and gratitude and admiration go out to you.  What might be possible now?

We begin with this inquiry:

  • What are the most positive things you have experienced emerging from Occupy 1.0?
  • What are the dilemmas/opportunities in the current situation of the Occupy Movement?
  • What question, if answered, might make the greatest difference in the development of an effective response to the clearing of so many #Occupy sites?  


Ben Roberts,

Occupy Cafe Steward

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Replies are closed for this discussion.

Replies to This Discussion

Rob, Where is Jitendra's note, other than embedded in your post?  It seems Ben, too, has mentioned it, but I cannot locate it.

It's here: http://www.occupycafe.org/forum/topics/occupy-2-0?commentId=6451976...

Looks like my link in the "Declaration" post was faulty--fixing that now!  Thanks, Dave!

How can we best organize to bring the conversation into our social networks, neighborhoods, work places, etc.

How can we then best facilitate that conversation to mobilize localized action that is regionally, nationally, and globally linked to bring about the change we need?

I am thinking the key at the local level is for all of us who are trying to put on "the mind of the 99%" to go out and connect with what is already bringing people together..take to those meetings not the talk we bounce around together here but the skills of listening and speaking that grow from our very different personal practices out to meetings that are alreadyy happening and be part of  allowing the meeting to find its own way to the common ground..to the base where all agree, to the place of common wisdom. When we reach the common wisdom we are wearing the mind and heart of the 99%.

Last night it happened at an elementary school meeting with concerned parents and citizens over a school employee being arrested for child pornography,  It was very well facilitated..everyone having a chance to speak and ask questions..everyone listened carefully attentibely to each speaker and almost immediately it became clear that the arrest incident had heightened parent concerns about exposure to strangers on the internet..it became immediately clear that parents who are not computer savy were very anxious about the risks of one lap per child..whether school issued lap tops could be used in a way that exposed their children to risk   (nothing to do with the arrest which arose from police tracking of internet trade of animated child pornography).  Parent concern about risks of dangerous stranger encounters also reflected to adult volunteers and how little information parents had about  adults who were to , to them "strangers" taking their children out of classrooms for mentoring etc. And very quickly all of that lead to an aswareness that this was not a problem wholly between the school and parents..that the whole community could work on ways to reduce the modern age risks of child exposure to predatory adults. 

I think there's a lot of power in meeting people where they are meeting..helping to make those meetings as widely represented as possible, helping to make the common wisdon emnate and be known.

 I think that may be more powerful and more transformative than  hosting mini versions of occupy cafe at our dining room tables  ( we sometimes forget we are the 1% to the rest of world..what  we here at occupy Cafe, at the Co_intelligence Institute at retreats etc.talk about and think about every day raises a big woo factor in most people..I'm only sayin'....)

I agree that taking the skills of listening and collaboration to the places people gather is crucial. I, and you probably too, have been doing that for a long time. However, I think now is the opportunity for a quantum leap forward in organizing for the grass roots action that needs to happen.

I guess my point is that I agree that we need the communication skills everywhere, but also we need to be intentional to organize for critical mass.


oh yes,  of course, quite agree...all fronts all levels and a visible , felt critical mass very important.

Being at the Seattle Occupy site my sense is that this is not at all about keeping the structures in place but is very much about letting new structures emerge in a broad self-organization.  Right now it is at a very local level but integral theory for instance can make sense of working from the more local level to affect enclosing holons (integral understanding of hierarchy is not vertical command hierarchy but is natural nested hierarchy which Ken Wilber calls holarchies).  I have been recommending that people take part in a local occupation in order to understand something more about how this can work instead of thinking only of reforming political structures and also economic structures that are now in place but not functioning for any sort of common good.


Occupy Café call, 4-6 PM EST 11/15/11

 Round three. Question: What question, if answered, might serve to powerfully catalyze the emergence of an “Occupy 2.0?”

Can we scale up the General Assembly process to be used effectively nationally or even globally?

What kinds of events or activities can we provide that will allow an ongoing Occupy presence throughout the winter months?


What if people from the Occupy movement started showing up in large numbers at major media studios? What if we create Occupy Media?

Can we create numerous sites where people with many different points of view can gather to share their stories and be listened to respectfully?

Beside occupying public parks and sites in cities and towns we need to ask, what else can we do?

How can we be sure that our energies are in alignment even though we may not  all agree about our priorities?

Thank you, Jane!  

These are WONDERFUL questions!  Great material for the next phase of this inquiry.  I think Juanita would be proud of the work we did today!  And I'm proud of you for sticking with it and figuring out how to post this!  Sorry it wasn't a bit more clearly stated in the intro to the discussion--I've edited that now based on your comments to me.

Notes from a small group on Question 3

Question: What question, if answered, might serve to powerfully catalyze the emergence of an “Occupy 2.0?”

 Is there a way for the Occupy Movement to become more fluid in how it is place based

 If people can connect, then can connect ideas and come up with a better idea.  How can we connect people in conversation.

 What is our strategic vision?  Is the 24/7 encampment the best way to achieve our vision?

 How can we build off the power and impact of the encampments using new tactics and strategies?

 One power and impact is that people can engage in, dropping in and dropping out when they can and want

 Power of attempting to occupy the commons without really defining what the commons are, would be awesome to have ways to do that 24/7 in person and on-line.

 How can we create spaces physical and virtual spaces for 24/7 dialogue and engagement.  Not only space, but creating forward momentum toward a vision, being effective about making change.

 Ask the cities that are holding the public space in trust for us, the public, for creative, common space without the crazy violence. What would a space like that look like, and what kind of agreements are needed to keep it a safe space, both within the group and from the cops.

 How do we respond to what is happening, do we respond angrily or compassionately, can we not compromise and stay compassionate,  would this help us avoid violence going forward?

 The goal is to be compassionate, but that might not always mean being nonviolent.  Nonviolent doesn’t mean being just a peacenick, its about committing to staying present.


Harvest of Full Group closing discussion

 Apologies for mistaken or missed names - tried to capture the essence of the ideas, and use as many of your words as I could, please feel free to clarify via comment on this post.  Thanks All. Peace.

Jitendra – is occupation or constitution right to assemble to address grievances with our government.  What is the explicit right to assemble to communicate with our government has gone astray.

Beau McDermott – are 24 hour encampments the best way to get where we are going what is the power of them that we can build off of and use?

Debra Yemm – Have been involved via facebook because can’t be physically present at an occupy camp.  The police repression is not a surprise, it happens in social change movements – can we use technology to connect the 99%. 

Would there have been evictions if 85% of Americans agreed with or knew what the demands were?

Jane Gignoux – what other ways, can we creatively be effective without occupying physical space.  Need to create more and more dialogs about what they are concerned about without it becoming a debate, being open to many points of view?  Our energies are in alignment, even if our life experiences and needs vary.

Getting a sense of a desire for convergence.  Offer suggestion that we might think about what is taking shape here, what is underneath what we are hearing, what is in the center of our concersn.

Holly Wells – How to expand this to a lot more people so that they begin to realize their power, the occupy movement has given us some terminology (e.g. GA) to hold onto in many different settings.  Idea of coming up with something akin to SALT or the Cotton movement in India (???)  What about a night of a million tents, tents in the commons, the front yards?  Potential powerful and hilarious action – tents have a purpose (i.e. the people in them provide a service to those who come to them, such as food, massage, counseling, etc,).

San Francisco Mayor just announced that the occupy camp is going to be shut down.  Need to build full-blown media campaign that asks questions to get people thinking about the issues and picking up where the camps leave off.

Craig in Portland – responding to why “camping” raises concerns, remember that camping infers that you have a place to go back to, and that many of the occupiers are the most marginalized and do not have a home to go back to.  What will it take to make the greedy stop tearing down the planet, the every day decisions we make are a vote for their greed (where we shop, where we bank etc)

A lot of discussion about economic action like boycotts, reminiscent of the comment above by Laurel Avery about French-style protest.

One of the inspiriting things about the occupy camps is how the most marginalized have been integrated into the camps, and served.

Unknown Commenter - How to make the ideas more accessible, for example the idea about night of a million tents, is there a way to connect ideas so that ideas can become a national action, for example a web site that lists actions that people can commit to, how can we tap in



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