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Interview: Connect 2012 - long form v1.0
Interviewer: Suzanne Jones
Interviewee: nita k.
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) Somewhat active

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. MoveOn Move to Amend Song Lines Choir in Port Townsend, WA Occupy Port Townsend Facebook Connections to Occupy - getting the facts out for more people to know what's going on about Occupy Kripalu Center Spiritual Center

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. Not at this time

5 Are there needs you have or requests you want to make regarding the work described in #4 above? None at this time

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)
Not at this 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?
No questions at this time. I'd like some deeper questions like do people think we have to do acts of civil disobience in order to affect change? What do people need to do to create a tipping point for change? What do you think might make people come to a GA? How do you view participation.

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].

Krupala Yoga - I lived in an ashram for 14 years and incredible change happened there. Teaching people to live a yogic lifestyle. People came in for 2 to 4 months but then could continue to stay if everyone agreed for a year or two. I was a counselor/teacher. Taught 11 women how to live the 8-fold path of yoga - teaching how to get fulfillment through service and work, balancing energy through action. How do practice nonviolence. Bringing people to their own hearts, opening them to more expansive and positive change. 1,000s of people came through the center so we affected the yoga movement in a huge way.

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

It's a path that brings me into my heart. Creates a wonderful, personalized journey - never boring, always opening to new revelations. You're always moving on to bigger lessons so you're always opening to more joy, relaxation, and peace. As one does this, it ripples into the world on a nonverbal level. Lessons: even with the best intentions as a community commited to peace, there are always humans that have destructive energy, want to manipulate. Where there's light, there's dark. Even with these people, you can still get things done.

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: I believe in direct democracy but it has to happen within the group and people don't really want to do direct democracy, they want leaders, and this leads to a battle of wills about whose voice is strongest. People are conforming to fit in. If the predominant voice is into civil disobedience or violence, they wil go along with it and even leave silently (walking papers) rather than speak up for what they believe in. I'm afraid it might be this way in many occupies.

There's the manipulation of keeping things secret so that people can do what they want to do without getting agreement with the whole group.

I think Occupy is at a crossroads and I really don't know if it's gone too far to pull it back into balance.

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.

You can get online every day and there are e-mails for free things given away by community members. Foods are exchanged more on a trade basis. People are connected to more sharing. More and more ideas are popping up to make a better community - not necessarily me coming up with these ideas, but it's just happening.

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

Barriers have come down. People are more united and on the same page more. Very inclusive. New systems are forming. Major issues don't go to Congress, they go to the voters directly. States are proud of themselves for the changes that are happening. They are role-modeling for other states, modeling constructive behavior, cities are empowered because they can vote for state banks - not stuck in the system. We didn't have to destroy the whole system, we were able to rebuild - we have gone through a rebuilding process. People who have means want to have a fair system and take care of the poor, the sick, the needy. More money is going into a way to help them rather than into charities.

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

The spread of information was very valuable. Once you're informed, you cannot turn off the light bulb and pretend you don't know it anymore. So through facebook and other social media, awareness of what was really hapapening was brought to people, teachers, organizations. People began to stop voting for the passage of budget cuts. Hospitals decided to give free service. They were role models for other organizations. People start saying "this is unworkable for me." They stop making the effort to make it work when it's so lopsided. That became a tipping point and it started opening everything up. Things tipped into something more workable, relateable. So, people felt much braver to come out with products where people could get a better deal - fair market value in our society. And all the cures that had been block were let out of the gate. In general, a lot of creative energy can live.

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

What I'm doing now. I put a lot of energy into my group of friends - a lot of sharing of information through facebook. People became more and more into signing petitions. I didn't really even have to leave the house to have a major affect. People occupied their families - spoke up and opened up the family dynamics.

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?

Right now I'm reevaluating my priorities and I'm not clear where I want to put my energy.

If I did connect with Occupycafe, I could offer these talents: Organizing & Management skills- events, banquets Systems training (the life of an organization and how healthy organizations should proceed), how to bring the voices in the organization out, rather than top-down management, really listening and improving the system. Brainstorming and discussion.

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

Gift If a gift economy/system was going to work, you'd need to go into every group and really listen to what everyone needs, what their concerns are. A little of this is happening at our GAs.

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

Not at this time

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

Not at this time