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Interview: Connect 2012 - long form v1.0
Interviewer: Ben Roberts
Interviewee: Anonymous
Location: United Kingdom

Question Answer
1 Describe your interest in being a change agent, i.e. working to create positive change for the greater good. How would you characterize your current activity level? (Choose one) Very active

2 Describe how this compares to the activity level as a change agent that you might desire for yourself. (Choose one) Actively looking for ways to do more

3 List any movements or organizations you are involved with that might be synergistic with other initiatives to create positive change. --Transition Chelmsford initiator. --Pachamama Alliance/Awakening the Dreamer --The Work that Reconnects --Royal Society of the Arts, Fellow

4 We are creating a database of projects and initiatives to support the emergence of collaborative work via Connect 2012. Is there something you are engaged with now, or might imagine launching or being a part of, that you would like to share? If so, please briefly describe the nature of this work, including its purpose and intended results. Geni-Us. Connecting unused skills talents and resources in Chelmsford around community projects and enterprises that bring people "alive."

Geni-Us allows people to discover the value and reward of doing co-creative meaningful work to assist the shift to a post capitalist economy. It scaffolds people to learn and evidence skills, builds a dual economy, provides a context for action research/learning and builds community.

5 Are there needs you have or requests you want to make regarding the work described in #4 above? --dialogue/mentoring/coaching/community of practice with others who have/are running ambitious / co-creative projects in the mainstream, to ensure best effect through learning/sharing practice. --Looking for funding for face-to-face design events --Opportunities to test and extend methodologies across sectors holistically --Technical eg Website assistance welcomed. --network for honing dual currencies --Want to link with heart centered organisations that are designing and impacting systemically. All kinds of entrepreneurial and business insight could be helpful. Wish to avoid setting up a large organisation, want to design something that is easily replicated, linked to an open source wiki space for sharing methodologies and lessons learned. Want to be in the conversation about synergy/ co-creative processes and participative design especially sharing effective practice for generating this in mainstream communities. --Really know that shifts happen through play and experience rather than through information. Want to be in the conversation with game designers (perhaps virtual world designers) who want to participate in designing transformative experiences a lá http://youtu.be/Y63tBoz01G8

6 List websites you'd like to share that relate specifically to your projects (including Twitter & Facebook if you wish):
(List each website on a separate line)
Other projects Leonie is involved in:

Transition Chelmsford. Part of the global transition movement which is a community led initiative to address climate change, peak oil and economic decline.

Be the Change (Pachamama/Work that reconnects). An initiative to create a world that is socially just, environmentally sustainable and spiritually fulfilling.

7 ** Return here to answer this question AFTER you've completed your interview. **

Do you have any comments or questions about this interview, Connect 2012 and/or Occupy Cafe?
Juicy questions--wish we had more time, or used a form for online for preparation

8 Q1(a): As you reflect on a time when people came together in a powerful way for positive change, choose one that stands out for you. Tell me your story about that time and any part you, your family and/or friends might have played in it [if relevant].

"After running two online communities of practice for educationalists and engineers in the automotive and aerospace industries, set up the""Talking Heads Project:"" online community for teachers. Pilot of 1000 new head teachers forming into an online community. Recruited 12 online facilitators. Scaled up nationally to 24,000 school principals and additional school leadership (mgt) (40k at time of hand over). Powerful and amazing.

Although no explicit doctrine- the methodology was experiential and Important because it embedded dialogue, overcame isolation, increased a sense of professionalism and gave people an experience of collaboration, empowerment, communicating beyond boundaries. Had a lasting impact on the teachers and on the facilitation team. Stretched people to work non-hierarchically. All learned together about transparency, fairness and collaborative design. the facilitators went on to set up a pre-grad uni course that was action research focused called Ultraversity. The National College of School Leadership (NCSL) as a consequence embedded online communities of practice into all their programs."

9 Q1(b): Why this is an important story? How has it influenced you? What lessons does it offer going forward?

Gave her a belief that we CAN make a big difference and things can "scale up." A desire to see a team become adventurous in the way people linked up--creative thinking beyond barriers, versus within our silos. So much potential/opportunity for this sort of inventive collaboration, although it's hard to get it to happen.

Studying this for 30 years, e.g. Asset Based Community Development and Family support networks.

With people now aware of the need for change, that opens doors. People are ALREADY inspired to change.

Learned that teams want to work differently- and as long as they have shared values and goals can achieve the objectives as they wish.

10 Q2: At this time in history, what challenges do you see in the way we choose to organize ourselves politically, economically and socially? What opportunities do you see in the ways that things might be shifting, awakening and/or emerging in response to these challenges?

Challenges: --decision-making is first and foremost --how people can be empowered to be "symphonic" versus a bunch of non-coordinated efforts, so that together we are skillful and working off of a shared vision and shared power (democratic/non-hierarchical) --David Robinson talks about getting the foundation right--the shared values. first, and then the shared vision. Take time with this, then let people act from there independently. --we're immature in connecting to shared purpose. meetings tend to be ego driven/non-harmonious. need to become good at connecting deeply, like Quakers, based on presence, stillness, heart. --"partisanship" in a spiritual as well as political sense. how do we connect if we aren't faith-based, to the bigger knowing? move beyond politics, into the good of all, "we are one" being completely self-evident. --global economic development, there is a common UK mainstream view that India and China all want to live like Americans-therefore ..."why should I change?" --finding an analysis that satisfies everyone about what is happening and what the solutions are. --people are commonly locked in silos of habit/belief. challenges within all our communities.

Opportunities: --we have incredible intelligence (when heart links with head) that we haven't fully exercised. when given responsibility and power ""with"", people can do incredible things. every community needs this to be welcomed --a lot of unemployed people with a lot of skill, who are in the habit of being valued --a lot of people are indeed waking up --2012 myth/expectation is creating a tool/ catalyst for action --technology! social networking-->immediacy. still just learning how to use it. --David Hawkins: "critical mass has shifted to integrity" --example of eco-villages being developed in China"

11 Q3 Context: Imagine we’re a few years down the line and people like you have been hugely successful in moving us towards lasting and far-reaching changes that benefit all people and the planet as a whole. Wherever you look, there are dramatic improvements in how leaders behave and how communities interact. As you walk through your city, town or village and talk with others across your country and around the world, you see evidence of positive change spreading everywhere.

Q3(a): Describe the differences you, hear, feel, and experience in your everyday life.

Feel in harmony with myself. Doing what I really WANT to do. See things that are loved in community. things shine because they are valued, and the people are too. Beauty. Public spaces feel like shared spaces--common ownership. shops that provide "real value:" things that last and are fairly made and that enhance people's individuality and allow them to be "magnificent." Evidence of people thriving, expressing their talents, passions, creativity, and above all, folks having time to connect- stop and talk and hear their own and each others' hearts.

12 Q3(b): Describe the differences you see, hear, feel and experience in the way we choose to organize ourselves politically, economically and socially.

Organizing is easy--people are empowered to do what needs doing, knowing that it is in alignment with the greater group. Places where people are free to be themselves. Singing. There is no longer a risk of inciting hatred. Freedom of speech/expression serves the community. Dissent is accepted as a generative force.

Without gate-keeping leaders, we have "key performance indicators" so we can respond intelligently to changing circumstances. We are also shifting to a gift economy, via dual currency- local community currencies supplementing ""real costs"" allowing folks to access the unused capacity in organisations and businesses.

13 Q3(c): What did people do early on that helped to generate such positive outcomes?

They listened. They stayed in their center. They were able to respond from unconditional (positive) regard. They were inclusive--realizing the central importance of equality. They remembered to celebrate and have fun.

We got really good at collaborative design and at agreeing on fundamental shared values and vision. Decision-making got better as a result, recognizing a higher purpose and that we are all connected. Different ways of doing things were accepted.

We provided digital literacy so that people were sufficiently connected to be fully empowered.

We linked up agencies, sought out synergies and designed systemically.

14 Q3(d): What role did you play in making this happen?

I inspired people with a vision for synergistic community learning and design. It was simple, accessible so that people discovered how easy it was to do stuff together that they really enjoyed. The "naysayers" were persuaded to become co-creators too.

15 Q4(a): What skills, talents and/or resources might you have to offer in service to collaborative work that emerges via the connect 2012 initiative?

"-- Research, staff development in inclusive design and ict for learning and teaching --Bold vision! --Experience with collaborative design and coordinating a team --A worthy ally for development and testing --Getting people to use tech for learning --3D worlds for learning --Research and media development "

16 Q4(b) What is the nature of this potential offer (as a paid service, barter, gift, a combination, etc.)?

Mix of gifts and paid services