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Sender: Joan Blades
Subject: Self-introduction: Joan Blades
Date: Mon, Mar 24, 2014
Msg: 100873

Wonderful to be hearing from folks in this group! My basic bio:

I am a co-founder of, an open source effort to rebuild respectful civil discourse across ideological, cultural and party lines while embracing our core-shared values. I am also a co-founder of - over a million moms and people who love them working together to make our country more family friendly and - millions of members working for Progressive change.

Efforts to make work more compatible with parenthood have led me to be a Great Work Cultures champion and co-author of The Custom-Fit Workplace:Choose When Where and How to Work and Boost Your Bottom Line, winner of a Nautilus book award in 2011 and The Motherhood Manifesto, winner of the Ernesta Drinker Ballard Book Prize in 2007. A mediator (attorney) by training and inclination, I confess that last century I was a co-founder of Berkeley Systems- best known for the flying toaster screen saver After Dark and game You Don't Know Jack.

I have seen the dysfunction of partisan behaviors and believe we must and can do better. I have seen the good will, intelligence and power of citizens. It is time to rebuild respectful civil discourse while embracing our core shared values. Adversarial solutions will not suffice, to create the solutions to the big challenges we face this century. We must learn to engage in collaborative problem solving -holding the tension of our differences while working together with respect and an open heart I believe we will create solutions that are better than any group alone could devise. We hope that Living Room Conversations will contribute to this shift and look forward to working with everyone in this group toward that end!


Joan Blades co-founder Living Room Conversations

On Mar 22, 2014, at 2:00 PM, Steven Rubenstein wrote:

Figured I would introduce myself to the group.

I am relatively new to the community engagement scene. I previously focused on being an entrepreneur (hate that word) and trying to make a lot of money. Alas, it turned out I was not actually motivated by money (who knew?) but by solving problems and making the world a better place. is a platform for fostering compromise solutions to real-world problems. Like, it is open for anyone to post their problem. However, instead of trying to get people who agree with you to support your petition, Agreedis is focused on bringing people together who disagree to agree on a solution the majority can accept in the name of compromise.

We had 2 goals for building Agreedis:

1. Demonstrate that the majority of people are willing to accept compromise solutions to (finally) solve major problems.

2. Show people that how they label themselves does not define them, and that they have more common ground with seemingly opposite people than the media, politicians or even they would ever expect.

Like, Agreedis has a revenue model. We did not want to build a platform purely dependent on donations or grants. However, the goal is not to build Agreedis into a huge company and sell it, or go public. It is simply to ensure the platform has a sustainable business model.

The site was actually built with the initial purpose of solving the Israeli - Palestinean conflict. The goal was not only to craft a compromise solution that the majority of both sides were willing to accept, but also to prove to Israeli and Palestinean "leaders" that the vast majority of their citizens are interested in peace and willing to compromise.

In 2 weeks, I will be presenting at the Build Peace thru Technology conference at MIT Media Lab. So if anyone else will be there, I am happy to meet with you.

Steven Rubenstein Co-Founder

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Anger and partisan rage
Attention Economy
Basic principles for a Transpartisan movement
Collaborative problem solving
Common ground
Community conversations
Conscious business
Creating transpartisan consensus
Crisis of democracy
Dynamic Facilitation
Facilitated conversation/dialogue
For transpartisanism to be successful, people must transform their most basic beliefs
Holding the tension of our differences while working together with respect and an open heart
Integral democracy
Integral politics
Integral thinking
Internet support for dialog and action
Out of Many, One - E Pluribus Unum
Partisan bubbles
Partisan disfunction
Political revolution
Psychological overload
Public choice economics
Science and accurate thinking
Stratified Democracy
Teleology and cultural evolution
Transpartisan alliance on specific issue
Uninvolved citizen
Unity and diversity
Unprecedented new approaches
Us versus Them
Voter ignorance
Weave together a movement of many initiatives
What is "transpartisan"?
Wisdom Council
Wisdom in society
Work together to create an activist vision