As we circle back from our week at the Occupy National Gathering, our plan is to invite people to direct some of the new energy that is flowing towards the co-creation of the next iteration of the Cafe itself.  We have a wiki here where many of the ideas that have emerged to date are being compiled.  Our process will play out over the next month or so.  It will include sharing what is working well, visioning what we want to emerge and designing what is needed to get there.  

"Connect 2012"

1-2p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT
Click here to register  

On our July 24th call, we want to invite you into a "design conversation."   We invite you to collaborate with us to create a new Cafe Call focused on connecting with one another in a relaxed,  regenerative and "Cafe-like" context.  We want to host a conversation space where you can meet friends and strangers, share stories of inspiration and frustration, tell jokes, and maybe even sing songs and read poems.  Think of it as "happy hour" meets "networking heaven" meets "burning man."  

You are invited to help us create this new opportunity!  Step into ownership... What would you like to see happen on these calls?  What needs of yours, of the movement, and of the world might we help to meet in this way?

(Image from Ezra Magazine)

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On today's call. Jitendra suggests that if he was born in India, he would probably be a "sadu."

On today's Connect2012 call (1-3pm Pacific/4-6pm Eastern) we continue our "design conversation" for the Cafe, inviting you to help us co-create a space that serves as a powerful engine for transformation.  We plan to pick up on yesterday's "Invitation as a Way of Being" conversation, where we offered the possibility of forming an expanded circle of Occupy Cafe "stewards."

As always, weaving community and getting to know one another better underlies our intentions on all Cafe Calls  Please join us and help build that connection, as we explore together ideas for what you might want to see in the Cafe.  

If you are not already registered for this Cafe Call, please do so here (you only need to register once!).

(Image from

Ben, I don't seem to be able to make it to all the calls tho I'd like to.

Inspiration for the 8/21 call, drawn at random from the GroupWorks card deck:

Questions for 8/24:

What is a possibility that you find compelling and inspiring that we can invite people into as part of the Occupy Cafe community and/or to become an Occupy Cafe "steward?"

What is the hurdle we need to ask people to meet if they accept this invitation?

Jim Prues: 

  • It's about "building connective tissue"(versus protesting what we don't like)
    • "a little online neighborhood"
    • can include a request for a commitment
    • love the word "steward"


  • Attracted by my interest in communities and groups... the possibility of connection
  • Saw this happening in Occupy Philly--opportunity to create a new system of interdependence
  • Feeling of being welcomed


  • Gnome at the mouth of the guru's cave to keep out the "slackers"
  • "yes" to connection and...
  • being useful and productive is also key. taking a step closer to "the next stage" by getting more...
    • enlightened
    • evolved
    • open/vulnerable (to eachother and to uncertainty)
    • information
    • working out of our sacred nature ("I am" presence)
      • Jim: recognizing that we are life and part of the experience of this one and only moment of reality
    • aliveness
    • bugged by the system
    • honest and direct
    • options
    • of a capacity/container/context in which to choose (Shikha)
      • Shikha: and sometimes we don't want to choose!
      • Ben: reminded of Peter Block quote on Rebellion in Community: the Structure of Belonging (p.134), the last line of which never fails to make me laugh:
        • The community form of rebellion is protest. It is noble in tradition but
          still often keeps us in perpetual reaction to the stances of others. There is
          safety in building an identity on what we do not want. The extremists on
          both sides of any issue are more wedded to their positions than to creating a
          new possibility. That is why they make unfulfillable demands. The AM radio
          band is populated with this non-conversation. Any time we act in reaction,
          even to evil, we are giving power to what we are in reaction to.

          I have heard John McKnight say that advisory groups speak quietly to
          power, protestors scream at power, and neither chooses to reclaim or produce
          power. The real problem with rebellion is that it is such fun. It avoids
          taking responsibility, operates on the high ground, is fueled by righteousness,
          gives legitimacy to blame, and is a delightful escape from the unbearable
          burden of being accountable. It has much to recommend it.

Concern that "action oriented people" are not inspired by the Cafe.  Does this group share that?  Do you see ways that we might be having more external impact, or that we already are and might call that out directly?

  • Shikha: there's already a lot of "action" meetings out the--OC is a nice contrast
  • Jim: we are holding the space for peace and that is good enough
    • a newsletter would be nice
  • Jim: how do we connect the Cafe--being primarily a virtual space-- to local/on the ground community impacts?
  • Jim: reminded of some people who show up and express lots of frustration about what we "should be doing" and are not
    • Ben: yes. concern that this is an irritant to the community.  How might we create a more tangibly action-oriented space that will allow such people to direct their energies in ways that inspire others and build our collective energy?
      • One answer I have for that is the vision for an appreciative inquiry cycle grounded by transformational (e.g. New Economy) initiatives that are already taking place in various communities.  I've written about this in a few other places here on as well, most recently in response to Steve Imhof's blog post "Occupy: From Disruptive to Productive."  Jim Prues, who was on today's call, is connected to some activity in Cincinnati that might serve as one of the "nodes" of this dialogue. 

The CoreChange effort in Cincinnati is designed to 'bring peace, health and prosperity to our urban core.' It's perfectly aligned with Occupy Cafe and World 5.0, leveraging Abundant Community ideas and small group and appreciate inquiry strategies.

I'm moved to create a brick and mortar presence for our process of transformation. There's a building available in the Walnut HIlls area of Cincinnati I'd like to see awakened. It's been under-utilized for 10 years and has needed attention much longer. Here's the existing building...

And here's what I'd like to see happen. Who knows? It's a least a possibility. I invite you to join with us to make it happen, if only by holding the space for the possibility.

peace, Jim

Awesome!  Love the sketch and the vision.  Thank you Jim!

Can you say more about what you imagine "OC-on-the-ground" might look like there?

Occupy Cafe has a nice ring to it as a hangout. Would love to see the energy of OWS focused on community engagement and social service. As you pointed out during the call, Ben, protesting is a bit of a copout. How your engagement in a physical presence plays out, in the particulars, I have no idea. I leave such musings to much smarter folk like you and Jitendra.

WOW Jim! nice to look thru your eyes & heart if for a moment... or maybe eternity?  More!

Thank you Dyck. You can 'see thru my eyes' further at the World 5.0 website, and download the PDF of the book at no charge. 

peace brother...


Weekly Cafe Calls

Regular Calls are no longer being held.  Below is the schedule that was maintained from the Fall of 2011 through Jan 10, 2013.

"Vital Conversations" 

8-10a PDT | 11a-1p EDT | 3-5p GMT 

Tuesdays (except 10/16)
"Connect 2012"

1-3p PDT | 4-6p EDT | 8-10p GMT

"Occupy Heart" 

3-5p PDT | 6-8p EDT | 10p-12a GMT

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