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Interview: Connect 2012 - long form v1.0
Interviewer: Ben Roberts
Interviewee: Mitch Gold
Location: Ontario Canada

Question Answer
PRE-INTERVIEW
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) 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. Scottish Synergy Salon: brings together people with diverse backgrounds for cross-pollination. A Scottish Parliament Cross-Party Group on ‘real prosperity and joined-up thinking’ led to this group – sharing opinions of NGOs and public bodies on alternatives to GDP.

Many organisations such as: LETS (Local Exchange Trading Systems) Greenspace Friends of the Earth Scotland World Development Movement Transition Towns


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. Homeplanet Virtual University:

Using the co-creation wheel of The Shift Movement to leverage the the Occupy, Shift, Zeitgeist and Cultural Creative movements. An organically forming and coordinating expression of the values of these movements.

Creates an integrated platform for exchange as an alternative to money-based systems.


5 Are there needs you have or requests you want to make regarding the work described in #4 above? Indiegogo fundraising of $24,000: http://www.indiegogo.com/homeplanet-virtual-university-1?a=420291


INTERVIEW
6 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].

He was invited to speak at a major event for the peace movement, with many world leaders--The inaugural meeting for The Foundation for a Culture of Peace in Madrid, Dec. 2000. Had the "unity drum" of chief Arbol Looking Horse that he played on before his talk. And the drum didn't just play, but began to "sing." An awesome transformative experience.

Then he goes into the meeting. Afraid he won't be called up after all this travel and work to be there. But he was. Gives his presentation, and it was OK. Read a prepared statement. Federico Mayor Zarragosa, former Sec'y General of UNESCO, who had initiated this meeting, picks up Mitch's paper, waves it at the audience, and says ""this is what we're gonna do."

Many leaders signed the document Mitch read. It set things in motion, but the actual mission he outlined was not actually carried out. So the message ultimately may be not to trust these leaders to be able to follow through on what they promise.


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

An example of the way that major institutions are blocking things, e.g. ISO 26000. The UNGC (Global Compact) in particular. Still, ISO 26000 has been through five years of process and is now published. A tool that refers to and supports that program he presented in Madrid in 2000. So while it has been frustrating and taken a long time, there is positive movement.


8 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?

The challenge and the opportunity lies with the Occupy movement, the Peace Posse Cafe, etc. Something in every city that can facilitate change. Use the medicine and co-creation wheels, chakra system, etc. Look at everything along physical, mental, emotional and spiritual dimensions. Economics, ethics, energy and health are additional dimensions. And all this is going on all around us right now. These discussions relate also to how we teach the ISO 26000, which touches on these dimensions so that it becomes relevant to our daily lives.


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

Food, energy, housing, etc. is more equitably provided. Economic system crumbled and was replaced by a new one. Technology connects us globally--e.g. smart phones everywhere.


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

People had conversations like this one, with Mitch in Mexico and me in CT. People embraced transformation. Four steps: 1) They recognized where they were, where they were going, and learned to think in a more holistic way. 2) They began to pay attention--they had "an impossible task" that gathered them--the ISO 26000, i.e. "The Golden rule for Corporations." 3) Then they formed an INTENTION to have peace, feed everyone and agree on the scale of the global population we can support sustainably--perhaps 6 billion. 4) The creative process that produces "aha" moments.


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

"Story about going to a Mexican high school and giving a talk. Much later, he hears that his words really had an impact. He decides to collaborate with someone from the school and a project emerges inspired by this talk, to plant trees.

Occupy Cafe takes over from Peace Posse and brings forth... something wonderful!"


12 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?

One hour per week of consulting on medicine wheel-based process for organizational development.


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

Will work in exchange for Home Planet Trading Units (a new alternative currency being developed)


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

Interest in developing face to face cafe processes and linking them via radio and internet.


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

Yes