An open space for global conversation
With 111 posts, "What core conversations would you like Occupy Cafe to host?" is one of our longest discussion. And it's one whose ideas we can use to seed a new round of conversations. What would a simple method be for this group to collectively glean the pieces we find most interesting and get them onto a brief summary?
Here's a suggestion. Go through the thread and see you can identify three to five things worth harvesting. They might be specific phrases, paragraphs or posts, or more general ideas, themes, patterns or questions you find compelling. Or things that surprised us. Or challenged you in some way. Post what you come up with here to this discussion.
Try taking fifteen or twenty minutes and see what you get. Many hands make light work!
I appreciate the suggestion that Occupy members volunteer in their communities each week, to make visible the commitment to building a community based on meeting needs, and to "allow many community members to "put a face" on the Occupy movement.
For my conversation starter tomorrow, I hope to be able to pull out some "golden nuggets" as we say in the harvesting world from both my earlier conversations on the calls and from the conversation threads. I haven't been able to keep up with even half of the dialogs on line, but I'll spend a little time perusing today to see what I can find. Thanks for this invitation!
I realize that you may not have the ability (technically-speaking) to moderate a discussion on this platform, so once a discussion-thread takes off, it can be difficult to keep people focused.
And if that conversation is allowed to "run free", then many ideas may be presented but, in the end, there is no agreement (consensus, majority, or even plurality) about any of them.
As such, every idea that been presented is still "on the table". And with so many thoughts and ideas, it becomes hard to say which should be "harvested". i.e., are better than others.
Perhaps the first "core conversation" should be deciding what is THE fundamental problem that Occupy wants to solve (i.e., what is THE generative question).
In other words: What problem, if solved, would make it easier to solve all other problems? That's what I want to talk about ... first.
Love this question/thought, Stephen. I wonder if it can be reframed positively. But even if not, it's the question I'd really like to explore first.
Another form of this thought encountered resistance a few weeks ago on this site.
Good cross-pollinization, David. Thanks. Looks like it was mild resistance ("how could we choose just one question??), followed quickly by diversion to a different track.
I posted somewhere else on Occupy Cafe this morning about the value of a single anchoring concept. Plurality of questions is healthy, but it also prevents concerted action. In a living system you need divergent parts, but if they don't come together in service to a convergent whole, then they remain a shapeless crowd. If they do converge, then we get new, more powerful emergent characteristics and capabilities. So I'm strongly in favor of the search for a convergent question.
And at the same time, my sense is that this convergent question is there, beneath the surface of everything happening in the world, whether we identify and articulate it or not. We're all working toward the solution that will make it easier to solve all other problems. We're not as shapeless a crowd as it may seem.
And I notice that we're not answering Ben's gathering question here! This is supposed to be a conversation about key points that we would harvest from the "What core conversations..." discussion. Ben - help! :-)
I think we're pausing to challenge Ben's hope/expectation that some will sample as broadly as necessary. I first resisted joining this group, but fell in, after all, when Stephen dissented.
Oh, David, you trouble-maker you! First you bust me for challenging Ria, and now this!
Stephen's question, it seems to me, highlights again the need for processes that begin to make some meaning, to create some convergence from among the multiple threads filled with fascinating ideas that we find here (many of which, in classic on-line forum style, diverge from the initial topic!).
I offered one simple process idea, which was that a group of us read through a discussion and offer up nuggets that we found to be particularly compelling, or challenging or representative of a pattern, etc.
That may or may not lead to convergence around a single question, let alone a single answer. But it will allow us to feed back to the larger group a set of ideas that can seed the ongoing conversation and help it to move forward.
I'm open to other suggestions about how this could work as well, especially since my initial one isn't exactly going viral!
I would also add that this side thread IS a form of harvesting. Y'all are seeing a pattern and you're asking what is moving beneath the surface, or perhaps in the middle of the table. That's some of the BEST stuff to glean, in my view.
Reading across many different discussions I actually begin to see a convergence..or actually a common ground that was already there just masked with different language and anchored in different traditions.
In some way I see what appears to be divergence and difference here at Occupy Cafe as parallel to what happens when people on the same spiritual path but in the context of different wisdom traditions have trouble recognizing the commonalities.