An open space for global conversation
As a local Occupy organizer I am focused on the evolution of Occupy. Our local Occupy group is a progressive and spiritually conscious group made of mostly of Unitarian Universalists and Unity members along with a healthy representation from the local ACLU and a local women's organizations. We are not so much into “occupying” as much as collaborating and co-creating. It seems dissent raises awareness but without pointing to a better way a movement of only dissent will become tiring to the public. So what are we doing?
As a successful businessman I realize I have failed miserably at something: retirement. I sat around for one year drinking beer and surfing channels before I realized - retirement is not about doing nothing. Retirement is about being free to stop doing what I'm required to do and start doing I want to do, even if it is work. So I have evolved from builder and developer to a teacher. I now offer three work shops. One is The Q-Effect by Dr. Gary Simons which helps people identify and integrate their “shadow” so as to overcome unconscious and limiting beliefs (issues) and live more authentically. The other two are my personal passion and creations: "Bridging Science and Spirituality" and more recently "Birthing the New Economy".
I recently created the “Birthing the New Economy” workshop as part of my Occupy activity. I was moved by the realization that complaining about the way thing are without offering solutions is unproductive, even irritating. Knowing there are some wonderful things happening like the Evergreen Cooperatives modeled after the famously successful Mondragon Cooperative, it seems appropriate to inform our communities about these alternatives. So having made the commitment about a month ago I lined up a location, put out the announcement, and feverishly began development of the material. It is work, but so much more gratifying the beer and TV.
This workshop first explains what is wrong with the present economy: crushing debt, unsustainable consumption, interest on debt requiring unsustainable growth, loss of commons as well as social ills due to wealth inequality. It next focuses on Conscious Capitalism and the new corporate tools emerging such as B-Corps and L3C's. From there the workshop spotlights worker/owner coops and their phenomenal success. It finishes with workshop with about an hour of brainstorming local market needs as far as services or products that would also offer social benefits.
To promote the workshop, I invited our occupy group, unions, notified the media and this past Sunday I presented the morning spiritual 'message' at Unity of Panama City promoting the New Economy. I linked it to Unity International's collaboration with Barbara Marx Hubbard's Birth2012 movement. That afternoon we had a wonderful group of about 30 people. It was very well received by the group. One attendee, Dr. Jim Claunch, was so impressed he insisted that, perhaps, my part in birthing the new economy would be to take this workshop on the road as it not only raises consciousness but moves people to action.
From disruptive to productive: the last hour of the workshop the group was asked to help co-create the new model. We brainstormed: What need could we fill with a profitable business founded upon conscious capitalism that would enhance social and ecological health? As a result we have a new group formed that will meet again this Sunday to develop our Values and Vision. Several will be downloading the 'Kit' available at Evergreen Cooperatives. Many will be seeking more information regarding local needs. All have moved from to berating to creating.
What will develop ultimately is impossible to say. We have at least raised consciousness. At best we will eventually produce a business caring for the triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profits. As a bonus we may one day have a local business model for future social entrepreneurs. What do you think? Is this the direction for Occupy to evolve?