Tom Atlee: #OWS How Do You Make a New World?

03 Economy, 07 Other Atrocities, 09 Justice, 11 Society, Blog Wisdom, Civil Society, Counter-Oppression/Counter-Dictatorship Practices, Cultural Intelligence, Ethics, IO Deeds of Peace
Tom Atlee

Occupy Wall Street: What is involved in making a new world?

My sleep was cut short last night by waking up worried at 3:30 a.m. PST about NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s ultimatum that the Occupy Wall Street protesters leave Zuccotti Park – aka Liberty Square – at 7 a.m. EST so the park could be cleaned. I won’t share the nightmare scenarios my mind concocted, but I finally got up and was profoundly relieved to find that the intervention had been “postponed”. The Mayor’s office said that park owner Brookfield Properties “believes they can work out an arrangement with the protesters that will ensure the park remains clean, safe, available for public use and that the situation is respectful of residents and businesses downtown, and we will continue to monitor the situation.” When it was announced, the massive crowd of protesters went joyfully wild.

Apparently a number of factors made a difference: massive protest from many quarters (including Canadians protesting to Brookfield, which is a Canadian company); the occupiers thoroughly and very visibly scrubbing down their already quite clean site during the night; a LOT of supporters showed up overnight; and they were visibly preparing for a lockdown resistance – explaining on their site how to lock arms, bike lock themselves to things, etc. Many observers (including me) suspect Bloomberg’s “clean the park” project was a thinly disguised attempt to end or cripple the occupation, but at least he recognized what a mess it would make – in SO many ways – to proceed. So these determined interesting folks have made it over one more dramatic hurdle in their quest for a better world.

Several days ago I sent free copies of my two books (Priority Mail) to the Occupy Wall Street library. I’m happy they escaped the “cleaning” intervention. I encourage any other authors on this list to consider donating copies of their works. The ideas of people interested in co-intelligence should be made available to the protestors. The address is

The UPS Store
Re: Occupy Wall Street
118A Fulton St. #205
New York, NY 10038

While proceeding with work on my new book on empowered public wisdom, I continue to be fascinated by the ever-expanding Occupy movement. I find myself spending about half my time tracking it and its impact. It is quite a remarkable phenomenon. In this posting, I’m especially interested in their process.

Here’s what’s in this message:

First, I offer some fascinating charts about the inequities that inspired the protests in the first place and Senator Bernie Sanders recommendations of demands that would start ameliorating them – as well as news of some 1%ers supporting the 99%ers. Then I share a few key Occupy resource sites, including ones that will be linking up Occupy activities around the world this Saturday, Oct 15 into a “global agora” and “global general assembly”.

Following that is an article describing what’s happening at Occupation Wall Street site, with unusual insight into their “working groups”. I find it intriguing to contemplate the similarities between OWS’s use of working groups and the self-organized sessions in an Open Space conference. I wonder what other processes could be adopted for special use in this movement…

Then I share three interesting ways professional facilitators and coaches are engaging with the Occupy movement: Tree Bressen offers hot points on consensus process. Coaching Visionaries helps people decide on their best role in the movement. And Tim Bonnemann has initiated research into the Occupy movement’s group processes.

After those items, I share a video taken of a General Assembly in Occupy Atlanta where the group discusses whether to hear from civil rights legend Congressman John Lewis who has come to address them – and he ends up leaving. I share the commentary by the conservative group that filmed it, and then offer my own commentary.

Finally, I offer reflections on the shadow side of such ambitious transformational work, and its evolutionary role in learning what we need to learn to actually succeed at creating the world we want.

It is all incredibly rich, filled with problems and promise. If you are (or are thinking of getting) involved in the Occupy movement, consider using the Coaching Visionaries questionnaire to explore your thoughts and feelings. It just might shed light on other areas of your life, as well – and with a bit of adaptation, it could be reconfigured to help you do just that.

Blessings on this and all the other Journeys.


Read full message with all links and summaries.

Opt in for free daily update from this free blog. Separately The Steele Report ($11/mo) offers weekly text report and live webinar exclusive to paid subscribers, who can also ask questions of Robert. Or donate to ask questions directly of Robert.