Occupy Cafe Home | Global Heart Collaborative

Appreciative Interviews
Connect 2012 / Global Heart Initiative

Interview PDF | Print Interview | Interviews | Answers | Register / Join Us | Recover your Password | Sign In


Interview: Connect 2012 - long form v1.0
Interviewer: Ben Roberts
Interviewee: Bruce Schuman
Location: 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) 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. Evolve Santa Barbara, Occupy Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Community Coop, Conscious Evolution, Interspirit network system, Ayni Circle, Santa Barbara Love Grid, SharedPurpose network system, Connect2012, Global Heart Initiative

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 share some broad ideas with others who have worked on internet development. Are there ways that internet tools can help support the emergence of a better democracy -- a "more perfect union"? Many of us are working in this direction, and a lot of interesting ideas and approaches are emerging.

I recently read an interview in Newsweek, of South American orchestral conductor Gustavo Dudamel, where he said that international society should be more like an orchestra.

“An orchestra is a model for an ideal global society—a symbol,” he says in his heavily accented English. “You have to create harmony. Everyone has to listen to each other, this large, complex group of people with different personalities that has to communicate. You have to have discipline. This is where The System works! The point is not to build better musicians. It’s to build better citizens, to see children building their lives from music.”

In the world today, we have "Babel" where we must somehow find harmony. Do we need to all honor the baton of a single inspiring conductor to realize this harmony?

5 In addition to being interviewed, are you also interested in conducting interviews as part of the Connect 2012 initiative? Yes

6 Is there anything else you would like to share with other Connect 2012 participants? As I continue to grow with this process, having worked through so many different approaches to internet organizing, I am becoming persuaded that the single most improtant element in this entire thing, at least for me, is "spiritual breakthrough".

There is a huge global movement going on -- which might simply be a broad sociological shift driven by globalization. There is no single way to organize this movement -- though sincere effort can help us all. What is the common ground of this movement? We can list many factors -- but in the end, the common ground is "deep spirit". We do need the activist conscious/intentional organizing and community building -- but at the core of the process, we need the energy and vision of spirit

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?
Thanks. The interview itself was a pleasure and an inspiration.

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 Occupy movement. Powerful. Tremendous positive energy and impact. Drew people out of the woodwork and we made a dent. Heard about the movt 10 days after it started in SB and was immediately drawn to it. Next step after the Coffee Party, which was very top-down by contrast. Reckless, and messy and immature, and still brilliant an beautiful and represented the Global Heart, reflecting a deep-felt energy. Heard the call and jumped all over it.

Built a "high level group behind the scenes." Parades and pot-lucks. Exciting and interesting. Next stage is calling, with greater sophistication possible. Circle process, vs. GAs.

Trying to figure out how to build a powerful sense of unity without denying our diversity. Self-selection. Diversity as a strength.

Important because it's a chance to be successful and the time is coming for sophisticate new insights on tough problems. A sense that we are waking up and I want to be part of that somehow. Some sense of destiny and a personal call. Feels it in his body chemistry--joy, peace and excitement.

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

Something like Global Heart Initiative. The power of Occupy isn't really anger at the banks, but more of a "call from the heart of the world" (the Bat Signal). An incredibly primal and common experience for all who are capable of love, compassion and caring for your fellow human beings, we want a place for you at our table.

Tapping the "universal spirit current:" sacred, holy, trusting, humble, loving, joyous energy coming out of the center of the process. "Dialogue is a conversation with a center, not sides."

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: --If we come together around traditional political framing, we're embedded in assumptions that will limit and splinter us.

Opportunities: --Learning how to shift this, e.g. circle processes that involve humility, listening and inclusion that can form/release tremendous energy

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.

A greater sense of joy and trust in relationships. TV is not wall-to-wall negative news. Sense that something great is happening, a waking up to one another. Great beauty and gentleness emerging.

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

Educational establishment: church state separation, bureaucracy, funding, ghettos etc. all are melting as problems and the lights are coming on

Business: corps decide it's more fun to build a beautiful world than to get every last nickle and park the money off shore. win-win between corps and communities.

Environmental problems: got very smart, saw the crisis and dealt with it.

Limiting bureaucracy's role and scale

Health Care: no longer about selling dangerous medicine, but about health and care-taking from the beginning. Not profiting off of human sickness. Fast food industry reforms.

Defense: Iran backs off, is friendly with Israel.

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

Discovered that "us vs. them" model is boring and "I like you" is much more interesting. Unleashed collective intelligence, Listened to each other. Peered out over our borders and walls. Invitation to work together and not fight with one another. This transmuted all the sectors of society.

Break down the walls of social protocol, e.g. transforming the corporate world. from the inside through things like Appreciative Inquiry. Bringing out the best in everybody.

Creating "namaste experiences" which our hearts connect with one another to create convergence and bonding that let us constructively engage around our differences.

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

I spoke about this a lot--articulated a powerful vision. Built internet systems that convened people. Was a humble facilitator of human congruence. A weaver, an activist for this vision. Daring to say that we have enough courage and humility to declare a set of core principles around which we can all align. I was FIERCE on this subject, in a gentle and magnetic way.

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?

Online database support Networking to groups I'm connected with

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

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


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 like to know more