"Organizing Zone" Conversation Suggestions & Harvests through 11/28/11

Please use this thread to harvest any key thoughts, questions, etc. that emerged from your Cafe Call conversations in the Organizers' Zone.

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My conception is whole people and whole places everywhere, in mutual care.

In this vision, none have to solve problems of places they don't inhabit, even if they love the planet.  Humans have it covered.

Got trust?

Maybe it went without saying, since it's a vision:  on the way, crimes against uninhabited places would cease.

Some notes from the 11/28 Cafe Call:

Iwanka Kultschyckyj and Jack Strasburg (w/Ben Roberts)

  • How can we get more people participating at Occupy sites?
    • What if we asked citizens to spend just 3 hours at a site to get a better sense of what is going on and to connect with/participate in the Occupy conversation
      • 1 hour for yesterday, 1 hour for today, 1 hour for tomorrow
      • Moving out of public space runs the risk of letting people forget, or "go back to sleep"
    • Power of people coming together and talking especially about their challenges (e.g. unemployment)
  • How do we move from a limited set of legislative demands to a whole system paradigm change?
    • Encampments are potentially an example of the new paradigm in miniature
    • "Permaculture" and intentional communities and Occupy.  
      • models for organizing the new pardigm
  • 12/10 "Think Tank" gathering being organized in Philly.
  • "Jobs" as a wedge to divide and conquer the public
  • Idea of Occupy Cafe leading to a community that models an alternative economy for 100-500 people, and can be replicated.
  • Overall importance of a vision for something new to replace the current system that is failing us.  Especially economically (triple bottom line).

If you're wondering how to put that to use, The 8th Habit, a book by Stephen R. Covey is remarkably related, but much less jargon-y.

I signed in Dr Covey's page, met you there, and found only advice for personal use (In "8th Habit offer list"). As far as leadership is concerned he seems to have different or even contradictory view then most people here.

I don't feel motivation to read the book, but if you tell me how it can give a boost to the process of common vision design I can change my mind.

This is what the book develops.

Yes, Covey's view of leadership, lit by the whole person paradigm, is different than that of most people.  It is a choice; it is not about rank or title.  It is aligned with leader-full, not leader-less.

Note:  The four intelligences are those of body, mind, heart and spirit (simply the ancient view, not a rejection of Gardner or any other modern identifier of intelligences).

All the time since you posted I have been searching the objective and synthetic way to express my reservations about Dr. Covey’s teaching. As usually Wikipedia has helped:

Covey adamantly refuses to conflate principles and values; he sees principles as external natural laws, while values remain internal and subjective. Covey proclaims that values govern people's behavior, but principles ultimately determine the consequences. Covey presents his teachings in a series of habits, manifesting as a progression from dependence via independence to interdependence.

Can we discuss the principle of our (human) cognition? We experience ourselves as separated from the reality around us. 

This experience is false (state of the planet is the consequence), but on the other hand it is inevitable, following the principle of our observations.

To act effectively as interdependent agents is our goal – I am sure we agree here. Progressing towards it through independence is an inapplicable vision.  We are the children of the Universe; we must depend on the "family" to sustain


Alternative vision has been presented by Rudolf Steiner, more than 100 years before Covey’s. As of 2011 there were 1003 Waldorf schools following his vision of human progress. Biodynamics (a method of organic farming that emphasizes the holistic development and interrelationships of the soil, plants and animals as a self-sustaining system) is practiced in more than 40 countries worldwide. Demeter International is the primary certification agency for farms and gardens (4200) using the method.

I do not expect you blindly switch from Covey to Steiner, but can we open rational discussion? The idea motivating my activity is the upgrade of Steiner's vision, following recent development of science..

"Progressing towards it through independence is an inapplicable vision.  We are the children of the Universe; we must depend on the "family" to sustain"

My children attended a Waldorf school until 14 years old.  We were aware of Steiner and biodynamics, and learned some more about both during those years.  Since I began my studies of ecological land care and permaculture, I have learned even more about biodynamics.  I haven't rejected any of it, and I have strategically embraced (with Covey) an old, yet popular, view of the human being that is different from Steiner's.

I do not know specifically what irrationality you wish to leave behind, but I will say that my selection from your post is to remind me to state that what Covey means by independence is the ability to make promises and keep them.  He does not mean what you mean by it.  It pertains to emotional maturity, not about the air, water, foods and residents that sustain the human organism.  I buy Covey's assertion that interdependence of the social kind is a choice only for independent persons.  Others need luck in order to enjoy the fruits.

Be assured that Dr. Covey does not satisfy me 100%.  He finds lessons, but apparently no imperatives, in nature.  If I could amend the eighth habit, it would read Find your voice and place, and inspire others to find theirs.  I fully agree (with you) that the culture is mistaken about our connection to all other beings and in our disconnection from terrain and soils where we dwell.

"I have strategically embraced (with Covey) an old, yet popular, view of the human being that is different from Steiner's."

I confess that I don't know how much different.  I'm happy to go into comparisons.


It would be a great service if you would describe a path (we could splice into that diagram - or not, if you reject the point of departure) to something other than Greatness and Mediocrity that you believe/think is wonderful/fit.

As you know, I've made peace with acting on two fronts (person, place) for the time being, making Covey's diagram good for now.


Rudolf Steiner, “Philosophy of Freedom” – my point of departure:

"It is true that we have estranged ourselves from nature; but it is just as true that we feel we are in her and belong to her. It can only be her activity that lives in us.

We must find the way back to her again. A simple reflection can show us the way. To be sure, we have torn ourselves away from nature, but we must still have taken something with us into our own being. We must seek out this natural being within ourselves, and then we shall also rediscover the connection to her. Dualism fails to do this. It considers the inner human as a spiritual being, quite foreign to nature, and then seeks to attach this being to nature. No wonder that it cannot find the connecting link. We can only find nature outside us if we first know her within us. What is akin to her within us will be our guide."

For the first time since 2007 (this is when I started to explore the global social network, having arrived at the dead end locally) I can hope someone wants to listen to what I think (my “voice”?;-).

All over this time my deliberately chosen principle was “process thinking” – as opposed to “idea broadcasting”.

Your post is important for me in two ways – as powerful stimulus to move on with hope, and also as a challenge provoking summary of the path behind me, certain phase of understanding (point of departure for the next phase) .

So – as I have no ready idea to paste – please give me a time to answer. Any feedback upon the quote from Steiner would be of great help!


If one has a pulse, breathes and takes water and food, if one loves, if one has a thought of one's own right now and a conscience, one is a spirited, natural being, with potential for increasing intimacy with Life.

Much has been achieved through fear, especially in the last 400 years, to prevent and dissolve that combination in most people, but it's not really far off.


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

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