Hello from the crew at FoO!
Over the last month we’ve been reading, analyzing, and honing in on the most vibrant conversations taking place in the Working Groups. Our February issue, the ‘Focus on Working Groups’ presents you with a number of blogs and essays highlighting exciting strategic ideas, specific proposals, and LOTS MORE bubbling up from the WGs. It is our hope that they will catalyze the cross-fertilization of innovative practices and ideas between the WGs, and evoke your comments and news that can benefit all of us!
The order we have presented our articles run from the macroscopic perspective of sense-making and strategy to the specific implementations of WG practices such as the art of blocking. If you are more interested in the concrete specifics of the WGs perhaps you could start reading the issue from the bottom, while if you’re more of a big-picture thinker, who has a fine taste for the integrated whole, then reading from the top holds the most fruit for you. In truth whichever way you read this issue of the newsletter, we trust you will find rich pickings in each and every article. Read, comment, share and enjoy!
The FoO collective
How (r)evolution carries itself forward by the Working Groups of Occupy
What can Occupy learn from the evolutionary dynamics of differentiation-integration-transformation? What can that triad bring to the epic question, how can the 99% win? In this essay, George Pór guides us through how we can make use of the understanding of that triad for discovering the answer.
Can Occupy occupy strategy?
How can a leaderless movement devise a strategy? Drawing on the work of the Strategy Planning WG Occupy Venice (California), this article explores the uses of strategy in internal coordination, collective self-education, and embracing the Commons, as an economic and social paradigm of a fair society worth championing.
Occupy the solutions
Here’s an article packed with ideas for moving the Working Groups out of the realm of mere discussion and into concrete solutions that harness the talents of professionalism whilst retaining communal participation. Furthermore it suggests the solutions are already out there, simply needing to be researched and introduced. It’s time for stage two: implementing them.
Working Groups: the self organising revolution
“Working Groups reveal the desire for a new manner of building community…” With them we could in fact be witnessing new systems of self-organisation that are creating an alternative to the current disempowering, unrepresentative democracies. This article points to various examples innovative practices introduced by Working Groups.
Is Occupy leaderless or leaderful: insights from some Working Groups
Can we inspire the leadership qualities in everybody to manifest, without having to have “followers”? This article explores the need for all of us to become leaders in a movement without hierarchy, and some suggestions for achieving this.
A responsible Occupation? the fun and hard work of Pittsburgh’s Working Groups
“It’s not that OP doesn’t challenge authority (many people have been arrested at OP actions) but perhaps it’s that they do so in ways that are seen as creative, thought provoking, and most of all, decidedly non-violent” This blog tells about how the Working Groups of Occupy Pittsburgh are creating actions that bring smiles to even the police and local council.
The dangers of Working Groups
How do we make sure that working groups are in a state of function rather than dysfunction? Here you will find some useful suggestions from Occupy London including WG health checks, the value of online forums and how to deal with the misconceptions on what the responsibilities of a Working Group should have.
Working Groups are sowing the seeds for a healthier healthcare infrastructure
Working Groups can be seen as social laboratories where new ways of doing things are tried out and improved. In the US, a number of active healthcare WGs have been built on the need for health systems that put people before profits. Collaborative efforts such as Occupy Healthcare and Health Justice for All are pioneering initiatives which stress the importance of listening to every voice in providing healthcare services.
A homeless and a businessman in the meeting of a Corporations WG
Occupy is life affirming! This beautiful account inspires a sense of gratitude with scenes from a Working Group in Occupy London. It bears witness to the participants’ incredible effort, the magic and sheer human fraternity transcending social barriers.
The community art of working with “blocking”
“Blocking” in Working Groups and GAs is the power of a single person to veto a consensus. What are the appropriate circumstances in which it should be used? When does this power get abused? This blog is dedicated to all Occupiers, who want to become wiser about “blocking” and how to relate to it.