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Interview: Connect 2012 - long form v1.0
Interviewer: Suzanne Jones
Interviewee: Matt Ready
Location: Washington 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) 100% engaged

2 Describe how this compares to the activity level as a change agent that you might desire for yourself. (Choose one) Good where I am and also open to new opportunities

3 List any movements or organizations you are involved with that might be synergistic with other initiatives to create positive change. Occupy Port Townsend

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. I have some rough drawings of software to use to get online GAs going. The purpose of this projecdt is to bring the power of direct democracy to the public as well as having a beautiful online decision-making tool.

5 Are there needs you have or requests you want to make regarding the work described in #4 above? I could use one or more (up to endless numbers) of collaborators. Software developers who would be willing to work on it for free. I could use $5,000 to get a prototype up and running.

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)

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?
Curious about what you will be doing with this data.

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].

The occupation of the occupy movement. For example in Portland when they were given a deadline to be out by mdnight and 3-4,000 people showed up and they just stayed while the police came to drive them out - with horses. The most basic statement the occupy is making is that there is economic injustice in how our country works. There is a problem and we're not going to tolerate it anymore. Every time a group occupies or stands up to the police or government, I feel even more inspired. In Port Townsend, we've had one event already and another one coming up - taking a stand and putting pressure on the system.

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

I think this is important because our society and government can do better. It can be better. Our democracy can be more democratic. We can have more equality and we can have less suffering. The consequences of capitalism don't have to be homelessness, dying of curable diseases. We can have capitalism with a gentle landing. I don't care about those who win at capitalism, but the losers shouldn't suffer so much. Every chilld needs a warm home, a good education, and we should all have an equal voice in the government. If we have that I'm fine with capitalism. Nothing is going to change unless we put enormous presssure on the system to change.

Lessons forward: It's pretty simple. The genius of Ghandi and MLK's nonviolence and civil disobedience is to put pressure on the system. To wake people up and allow things not to go on. It's an amazing, powerful tool. It's not enough to do safe protests, letter writing. If you want to shake things up, you have to do civil disobedience. If you're fighting for the right cause, it can stir people up and eventually so many people will doing it, the system will have to change. At its core, the occupy movement has identified a valid problem, the economic and political injustice in our society.

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: Representative democracy (we need direct democracy). We need to make a transition. This is what drew me to the occupy movement.


1) We can change the way our democracy works and use technology to make dramatic changes so people don't feel overrun by the power consolidated in the hands of few.

2) The development of community like they do it at the occupy encampments. Everyone gets fed every night, there are medical services for everyone. I want to live in a world that is comparable to that. I think that's where we may be going in the long run.

3) If we fundamentally change the way we communicate, we'll have better intelligence, better decision-making. It’ll be more like the beauty of an encampment where everyone is getting food and medical help.

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.

I went to the Seattle encampment one evening - there was spirited dialog everywhere. It felt like a think tank; free communication and dialog everywhere not just groups of people locked into churches and homes. The future would be similar to that. Neighborhoods and towns have regular general assembles. Facilitated, nonviolent communication is the norm - that's not the way it is now. If people were more compassionate, you'd feel it as you walk down the street. Everyone would have access to drug and alcohol addiction services, teachers well paid, schools would be beautiful. No homeless.

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

See previous question

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

It starts with getting organized, using direct democracy, GAs in every town. The GAs connected with each other so people passionate about making a better world were in contact. The occupiers chose wise tactics and wise demands to put pressure on the system.

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

I helped get my little town connected and involved in the Occupy movement. I invented software to get people online together. I suggested tactics to the larger occupy movement.

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?

I am open to reading and giving feedback - open to in-person meetings - working with GA software

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

Not sure yet.

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

Maybe, I would need to know more.

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

Maybe, I would need to know more.