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Interview: Connect 2012 - long form v1.0
Interviewer: Jon Denn
Interviewee: John Teeling
Location: North Carolina United States

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) Somewhat 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. I am not involved at the moment.

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. Yes, I am interested in asset based community development in neighborhoods, workplaces and in recovery communities. The goal is to engage people as citizens and neighbors in these communities.

5 Are there needs you have or requests you want to make regarding the work described in #4 above? Yes, I would like to connect with others who want to impact their community for collaboration of ideas, resources etc.

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)
I will respond to this at a later time.

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?
Yes, I do have some comments.

My interviewer Jon was terrific - a great experience of appreciative inquiry questions which were positive and explorative. I feel further engaged with Occupy Cafe and I want to continue.

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].

In difficult times when friends rally together that is when healing is possible.

I have experienced times when friends have gone through difficult times. I have experienced when I have gone through difficult times. Going through difficult times with friends at best makes the dark times a little less dark and at worst not being alone in the dark times.

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

It is important because I imagine myself in the other person's shoes in the difficult times. We don't know how badly we need each other, until we need each other badly. In the midst of a dark times it sometimes feels hopeless but people can help each other to emerge from these dark times, and that is the healing process. No mater what the difficult times are, (loss of health, loss of job, loss of loved one through death or relationship ending, loss of finances etc.), there is always hope.

The lessons are: we must prepare for the inevitable losses in life. The way to prepare is to develop vibrant and mutually beneficial community where we live and work, with our families, with our friends and with our neighbors. The lesson is that we are not supposed to do life alone.

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?

We have become professionals at streamlining disconnection. We have made it possible to live independently of each other. In the last 50+ years, individualization has been idealized. But the reality is—it is a myth. The situation is people are lonely, separated and empty and unaware more than ever. We, who choose to believe that communities can flourish far better than individualism, can encourage and support one another to bring this awareness to those around us, with the help of technology and other tools available to us.

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.

More people understand what it means to be a citizen and there is a more engaged citizenry. When this is the case people are more understanding, and they are more appreciative of the necessity of giving and receiving. Necessary components are when community assets are recognized and appreciated for their worth. The definition of wealth is changed from growth community product (GCP) and broadened to the health and wellbeing of the community. The Open Source Model which is an online community model is experience in living and working communities. Neighbors are engaged with neighbors as citizens and as friends.

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

The way we choose to organize ourselves is by find what people do best instead of being in positions for the goal of power and prestige. People doing what they do best because it's their passion.

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

Conversations! Talking is making manifest the positive outcomes. Bringing together people who are outward focused on society, not just themselves. Is there democracy in corporate America, in church, in families, and in marriage?

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

Facilitating democracy by affirming the dissent and conflict in organizations and communities. Helping people come to conversations from a position of humility instead of absolutes. Identifying assets in and among communities and then facilitating collaboration to best utilize these resources.

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?

Facilitating conversations.

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

Gift when able to donate the time. Collaborative sharing.

17 Are you interested in developing the infrastructure of Occupy Cafe in support of this initiative or in other respects?

Yes. Getting the word out part. I am willing to explore other possibilities.

18 Are you interested in collaborating on the production of a short video or a blog post based on your stories and vision?