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Sender: Tom Atlee
Subject: Re: Decreasing traffic on the Transpartisan list
Date: Thu, Aug 14, 2014
Msg: 101096

This elevation of action over conversation is intriguing. Of course they are not mutually exclusive. Both collective action without conversation and conversation without collective action are unlikely to have much impact. The most powerful is a synergistic dynamic between the two, with conversation shaping action and action informing the next wave of action-shaping conversation. (This is a major dynamic of collective intelligence.)

One way to begin the process is to name an action and see who comes to the party - or how much spaghetti sticks to the wall (depending on your favorite metaphors).

It seems to me that generating transpartisan policy approaches to 10-20 major public issues by 2016 would be an action with tremendous potential impact.

Here are some variables in how this "action" might proceed (about which we could converse here, perhaps leading to further action):

Such an effort could be undertaken in many different ways by many different groups, coordinated or not. OR it could be done using one specific approach agreed on by many groups in order to demonstrate the potential of transpartisan coherence.

Issues could be selected by media survey, by legislative priorities, by public engagement ( is a great approach), by transpartisan committees, or by other means.

Establishing the transpartisan solutions could involve polling research - simply going with solutions already found to be attractive to 2/3rds or 80% of the entire US population, or doing new polls to identify current public opinion about such solutions. Or it might be better to use transpartisan dialogue and deliberation (perhaps subjecting the resulting recommendations to polls - and revising those recommendations - or not - depending on the polling results).

Such a conversational program could involve dialogue (simple conversation around an issue) or deliberation (more rigorous collective study and reflection about the issue and its various tradeoffs) or some creative process like Dynamic Facilitation that uses the group's juicy (and often conflicted) energy to seek a collective breakthrough. It could involve one group working over a number of issues, or each issue being worked over by its own group(s).

Whichever conversational approach was chosen, it could be done using bipartisan methodologies (liberals and conservatives co-creating solutions), a multi-partisan approach (people from 5-10 leading parties and independents working together), and/or a non-partisan "we the people" approach (e.g., randomly selected citizen councils/juries generating policy proposals). It could include diverse stakeholders, official decision-makers, and/or "ordinary citizens" in various roles and combinations.

It could involve initial research to establish one method that we believe reflects the most legitimate "voice of the whole" we can find - a sort of state-of-the-art approach that we'd apply to the 10-20 issues - or it could simply move ahead with whatever method(s) we (individually or collectively) believe in, given our assumptions and experience.

As noted, "we" could simply accept the results of what came out of such transpartisan interactions, or "we" could survey those results on the public to ensure they have at least 80% support. The program might involve the broader public and/or stakeholder leaders or networks in various ways before, during, and/or after such conversational processes.

The project could simply post the resulting solutions on a website and promote them to the public. It could seek political and/or celebrity endorsements of the policy recommendations. And/or it could market them to 2016 candidates from all parties, inviting them to adopt one, some, or all the proposals. This could be done in the context of a larger campaign to promote transpartisanship, per se, or keep "transpartisanship" implicit, rather than explicit, possibly using some other term in public promotion (a choice which might be determined by marketing survey). It may or may not strategically involve major creative initiatives with transformational journalists.

All this might or might not be linked to voter organizing to promote election of candidates who adopted transpartisan proposals (possibly as part of some strategic plan to make Congress more transpartisan). And it may or may not involve intra-movement or inter-movement organizing into a transpartisan "unconvention" in 2016 to parallel or precede the leading party conventions, perhaps promoting strategic conversations among transpartisans, perhaps with public fanfare to give the movement visibility, perhaps creating a "transpartisan platform" out of all the policy recommendations, perhaps involving music and celebration to attract and engage participation....

80% of the possibilities I've noted here come from conversations with transpartisan activists (such as Michael Maxsenti, John Steiner and others) as well as contributions people have made to this listserv. About 20% of the possibilities here come from my own experience, study, and perspective.

My intention in writing this is to offer a central strategy - the creation of transpartisan policy proposals by 2016 - around which action-oriented conversation might take place. For those who find that strategy attractive, I've attempted to name a range of approaches through which to further it, ranging from total diversity (for which Open Space conferences interspersed with Maestro conferencing and work on a shared Wiki would offer support) to a coherent shared approach (which could be identified by diverse transpartisan leaders, for example, engaging in a day-long World Cafe followed by several days of dynamically facilitated conversation seeking a breakthrough about which all participants were truly excited).

I have no desire or capacity to lead any such effort, nor am I attached to any of the possibilities I've described. I would be happy to be a thinking partner with people passionate about conversational approaches, especially if they center on ordinary randomly selected citizens, but I'm curious and interested in what happens with this realm of strategic possibilities on this listserv, and open to whatever happens to it and whatever might catch my attention.

I will note that this approach - any effort that would be truly effective at using 2016 to make a significant difference in American politics - would require a considerable investment of time, money, and passion to pull off. I imagine half a million well targeted dollars would have some impact noted in the major media. Several tens of millions of dollars has the potential to move the political trimtab, permanently shifting the whole democracy onto a different course.

The sad side of me suspects that that kind of money is only invested in partisanship - which we see vividly displayed this year and, probably, even more vividly in 2016 - motivated by greed/self-interest and/or fear/hatred, rather than by co-creative, life-affirming transformational vision. The energy meets the times.

Blessings on the Journey we're all on together.

Coheartedly, Tom


Tom Atlee, The Co-Intelligence Institute, POB 493, Eugene, OR 97440 site: / blog: Read EMPOWERING PUBLIC WISDOM - THE TAO OF DEMOCRACY - and REFLECTIONS ON EVOLUTIONARY ACTIVISM - Please support our work. Your donations are fully tax-deductible. ________________________________

On Aug 5, 2014, at 9:39 AM, Evelyn Messinger wrote:

> As one of those who was active early on and has been silent lately, I want to thank David Nevins and second his statement. I've been interested in the ideas posted here, but like David I've hoped for action. > > Applying our shared interest in Transpartisanship to a cooperative project is the only way to get to the next step, where we would grapple with the facts on the ground and see if a movement could be grown. A listserve can be very effective as a way for a team to coordinate when engaged in accomplishing a mission. But absent a mission, it is simply a place to speak. > > Thanks, Evelyn > -- > Evelyn Messinger > Executive Director, Digital Citizen > > +1.415.377.6278 > > > > On Tue, Aug 5, 2014 at 2:54 AM, David Nevins wrote: > Jacob, > > > > I should preface my remarks by saying that I am new to listserv and to the NCCD. > > > I am deeply involved with No Labels, a bi-partisan/transpartisan organization that is making major progress in the area of bringing members of Congress from both sides of the aisle together to dialogue, find compromises, and even agree on legislation to move our country forward. (No Labels currently has 94 members of Congress who are called Problem Solvers, 47 Democrats and 47 Republicans who meet regularly in attempt to bridge the partisan divide) > > To answer your question, as to why I think there's been a significant decrease in Transpartisan listserv traffic from the spring I can only present you with my own personal thoughts as to why I am not paying as much attention as I previously had. Perhaps my thoughts relate to others as well. > > > It is my hope that a structure can be brought to the transpartisan dynamic that is more than just an intellectual sharing of ideas, but instead results in the creation of an organizational framework that will serve as the conceptual plan for a powerful national political movement. My sense is that list.serv is the sharing of ideas, many of them provocative and certainly interesting, but with no direction or focus. > > > My personal orientation is to action, so I've been focusing my direction in other areas rather then listserv where I think the sharing of ideas results in a plan of action. Having stated all of the above I realize that the purpose of listserv may be designed for just the sharing of ideas, so I fully understand how my orientation might not be a feasible part of the listserv process. > > My desire is, and my focus is on making the transpartisan dynamic into a grassroots political movement based on the concept of bridging partisan divides and finding a higher ground. My ultimate goal is uniting the many individuals and organizations that share a belief in governance based on civil political discourse and critical thinking with the purpose of developing a call to action. > > Perhaps this analogy related to my involvement with the Aspen Institute will clarify my thinking. Every year the Aspen Institute holds an "Ideas Festival" which is a public gathering of leaders from around the globe and across many disciplines to "engage in deep and inquisitive discussion of the ideas and issues that both shape our lives and challenge our times." This is a valuable and worthy yearly event. However, the Aspen Institute has recently initiated an Aspen Action Forum which they have described in this manner: > > For over 60 years, the Aspen Institute has convened the world's leaders to pause and reflect on the critical issues of our time. We invite these leaders to do more than just reflect. We invite them to move "from thought to action" at the Aspen Action Forum. > > > The taking of an ideas festival to an action forum as the Aspen Institute has done, describes the essence of my thinking as to what perhaps could happen through the interactions initiated on listserv. > > That certainly was a long-winded way of answering your question. I hope it helps you in some way. > > Regards, > > David L. Nevins > > For Political Perspective Visit: > > > From: Jacob Hess > Reply-To: Jacob Hess > Date: Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 7:49 AM > To: "TRANSPARTISAN@LISTS.THATAWAY.ORG" > Subject: [TRANSPARTISAN] Decreasing traffic on the Transpartisan list > > Happy August all! I'm getting pumped about the fall conference coming up - more than all the previous NCDD's I've attended. > > I have enjoyed many of the posts on this Transpartisan listserv and have been learning a lot. Mark and Debilyn's questions have really got me thinking - although I've mostly been "sitting with" my thoughts and trying to absorb what others are sharing. I'm preparing a few things I'd love your feedback on via the listserv prior to the conference - including a Red-Blue Dictionary draft that Joan Blades and I are working on (credit to Steve Bhaerman and Amanda Roman for the idea). > > For now, I'm curious why others think there's been a significant decrease in Transpartisan listserv traffic from the spring (81 posts in March, 56 in April, 89 in May) compared with the last couple of months (19 in June, 17 in July). I assume this is mostly summer vacationing, although I personally have had more time to read this summer (after getting a bit overwhelmed with the e-mail flow earlier this year). More e-mails are not necessarily either good or bad - but I thought I'd point out the pattern and ask what others thought. > > Also, I'm curious about the listserv moderators' impressions - e.g., whether the guidelines are being followed and aims being achieved? I had thought our listserv discussion was building up to the conference - with July focused on action ideas initially. But the questions seem to be evolving from the initial plan, right? In any case, I'd love to hear the listserv leaders' updated thoughts.... > --Jacob > > -- > Jacob Z. Hess, Ph.D. > Co-founder, All of Life > 801-712-1346, > > > To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: > > > > To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: > > > > > > -- > Evelyn Messinger > > +1.415.377.6278 > > To unsubscribe from the TRANSPARTISAN list, click the following link: > >


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