A Strategic Question For 2012 – After Disappointment, What Then?

December 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

In 2008 – millions of people committed themselves to the Obama campaign. It was beautiful, generative and powerful. People had hope and envisaged real change.

In 2009 and 2010 – the White House utterly failed to use this movement to achieve what so many had believed was possible. People lost hope and change was too slow.

In 2011 – visionary leaders stood up and called for new levels of commitment (eg. getting arrested) on super strategic issues. People rediscovered their own power and inspired a new wave of political action. Most importantly – we had real impact.

This year has been extraordinary – the Arab Spring, Occupy, the anti-austerity movements across the world. It has been a year of possibility and promise.

Next year will inevitably be more difficult – the reality of change-making will be slow and difficult. It will be easy to lose hope.

What are the super strategic issues that we can ask people to risk more of themselves for? How can we take the step from changing the narrative, to changing the system?

What else?

§ 2 Responses to A Strategic Question For 2012 – After Disappointment, What Then?

  • Ben Margetts says:

    Some ideas:

    * Democracy: the arab spring is yet to thaw some of the toughest cases, and could yet spread farther afield.
    * Deliberative and accountable democracy: where we already have the big D in theory, we need to start making it working in practice. I think that could mean: legislation to stop political spending by corporates; citizen councils/legislatures in govts (like jury duty, relying on rotating citizens to exercise sound judgement — to squash problematic partisanship and encourage open deliberation), or at min innovations in that direction.
    * A big Keynesian hug: shifting policies to be more about jobs and essential services/products, and rather than retreating to protectionism, moving towards greater mutual independence and support globally.

  • cterkuile says:

    Hey Ben,

    Thanks for these – I love your thoughts on deepening democracy. This makes sense in terms when thinking systemically – we need to be actively living the solutions in order to be able to let go of the destructive former models. So –

    – do we start running our own deliberative processes without having tax money to be allocating?
    – do we start with peace-building/community-building efforts that are explicitly political?
    – do we share the stories of other countries/communities already doing this. telling a story of what is possible?

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