OWS Movement Building Vision Session Dec 18, 2011

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OWS Movement Building Vision Session

Dec 18, 2011


This is designed as a guide for anyone facilitating or documenting on Dec 18, as well as a resource for anyone curious about how the day was structured.


Table of Contents:

1. Entering (historical timeline, sign in, welcome) (2:30 – 3)

2. Facilitation foundation/frame (3 – 3:15)

3. introducion exercise 1: grounding in excitement (3:15- 3:30)

4. introduction exercise 2: who are we? (3:30 – 3:50)

5. introduction exercise 3: we begin by listening (3:50 – 4:10)

6/7. gauging rhe room (4:10 -4:30)

8. vision process (4:30 – 6:20)

9. outro exercise 1: leaving with excitement (6:20 -6:40)

10. outro exercise 2: feedback loops (6:40 – 7)


1. Entering:

– sign in: have folks leave name and preferred contact, welcome them to the space, and direct to the timeline

– historical timeline: as folks walk in we build a collective timeline…how did we get here? what is the most likely future if we don’t change?

– have the major questions up on the wall

– leah greeter


2. facilitation frame (amb)

– intro myself (fcilitator, aligned with unify detroit,ninvites by movement building work group), facilitators introduce themselves (cliff tamara)

– make it transparent who has been participating, building this over past few weeks. felt like this as wanted.

– this is about listening, gathering, understanding (smucker)

– ak people to please trust the process, that is not the only one, but a time to be playful and thoughtful and experimental wirh vision. I know this is a bit different from OWS processes, more facilitated than other things. we hope to gives you more space to vision…(amb)

– make sure to reference what is and isn’t a part of this…planning, decisions, eliminating ideas are not part of this step. vision, ideas and questions are where we are here. (smucker)

– be joyful, have fun. if it feels like folks are moving away from fun, reground them in a spirit of curiosity and play. (amb)

– take care of yourself (amb)

– we want to see the process as valuable to sharpen our thinking, as a dialogue, for now. (smucker)


give overview of the time together: introductions, grounding, generating the themes and questions we have around this visioning, brainstorming ideas for the visioning process, and then closing out with feedback from yall. (amb)


3. introduction exercise 1: grounding in excitement (smucker)

– find someone you don’t know, pair up and have a seat

– take turns sharing: what we you most excited about? since sept 17?

– what do you see as the biggest challenges or learning edges?

– take turns sharing: looking ahead 6 months, excitement?


4. introduction exercise 2: who are we (leah)


part 1: who is in the room?

which working groups, places, visitors?

one person shout it out and other’s step in when they align with the answer

documentation note: need folks who can type answers and eyeball responses


part 2: what do you want out of a Movement visioning process?

shout it out and folks step into the big circle if they want that. (document if it’s useful)


5. introduction exercise 5: we begin by listening (amb)


this exercise, rooted in theater of the oppressed work from augusto boal, was developed by youth in detroit as a tool to raise awareness about how we are in space.bloke all things today, we invite you to try it on, see what we can learn together.


everyone starts with their own brilliant idea that OWS needs, (chaos.)

how many folks felt that sounded nice?

who felt comfortable participating and who didn’t?

what might be a better way to make a nice sund together, where everyone is bringing their unique contribution?

(usually will come up with: have one person start, we begin by listening)


for the process overall

this is about tuning in, listening, about leaning in and opting in….

sparks for growth


6. spectrograms (smucker)


set up with agree sign on one side, disagree on the other.

let folks know that where they stand is up to them. include that you can be moved by what you hear to change where you stand, just like in real life.


– this is to see how close we are, and where we differ

– what’s the timeline? may give us a senseof how close or far we are from consensus

– may help gauge: who is in the room revolutionary to reform? have folks cluster and discuss tactics from where folks are….


prompts from smucker:

– OWS movement is rooted in long term social struggles, (other groups should do actions and plan campaign in the name of the 99%)

– we represent the interests of the 99%. (of the 99%, of the vanguard)

– autonomous actions by individuals and groups have an impact on the whole movement

– we need a clear agenda ((achieving reforms is important (electoral))

– it is critically important that we continue to occupy physical spaces


additional potential questions:

– we are finding innovative ways to make our movement grow

– we should spread GA to communities everywhere

– we need a strategy to engage the electoral moment

– we need a strategy to have accountability within our movement

– we honor the work that comes before us

– we need an enemy


7. emerging themes of vision : (tamara, with amb on support)


brief presentation on organization vs movement (marianne and paul (5 min each)


Intro (15 min):


Explain the process to people! We created this process by collecting feedback from OWS, Community orgs and labor. Many feedback loops went into creating this process and we hope to have even more as we continue.


have a meta question that allows themes – when you think of vision, what are the things that seem important to vision around?


movement components (we put some thought into these, trust your instincts, if what you are passionate about doesn’t fit, go to self-organized space)


internal coordination (accountability, decision making)

trust/relationship building

interoccupatioj (communications, coordination)

social and political successes/wins/impact

outreach and growth

visioning process



visioning process (strategy, long-term thinking, this kind of process)

shared values/principles



there are some pieces of work which are a lens for everything we do:





organize the buckets on the wall around the room.



– one for each movement component

– get folks into small groups in their component, encourage people to cluster with folks they don’t know

– bring folks back into component groups

– help narrow to one question

– hand out post-its

– be available for small conversations during the gallery walk


Self select into group that interests you, then break in to small groups (5-7). Everyone in the room will have a chance to discuss all of these themes, but for the moment, just choose one.


In these small groups answer the following questions: (20 min)


1. Go around in a circle, say why you chose this theme

2. What are some things you’d like to see us do in the next 6 months, 1 year, 5 year and 10 year, and 20 years and beyond

3. what are questions in this theme area that we need to answer as we build vision?

4. Come up with one question for the larger group to put on the wall. Try to get one, if you can’t, more than one is ok.


Small group regroup (10 min) (facilitators!)


The small groups in each theme will regroup and share their question. Make sure their are no repeats. Each small group will write their question on the wall.


Gallery Walk/answer questions (30 min)


Everyone will walk around the room and answer the questions by putting a post it note under the question they are answering. It is important to remember to only include one idea or thought per post it note. You can put as many post it notes up per question as you’d like. facilitator, give examples of vague and specific answers.


While this is happening, facilitators stand towards the center of the room by each theme. If folks want to discuss the theme more before they answer the questions, they should head toward those conversations.


Finding themes (20 min)


everyone, get back into your original small group by your original movement theme. as a group, move to another movement component aandover a question to pull out themes for)


Everyone should regroup around a question. There should be 5 to 7 people in each group. As a group, organize the post it notes and try to find themes. Remind people: the idea here is to pull out themes and see where there is emergent consensus and tension. this is generative. Using markers, write up themes that arise.


As a group discuss what you found interesting and what surprised you about the themes that emerged.


Second gallery walk (15 min)


Walk around and look at the themes that emerged. Think tank facilitators will be towards the center of the room for each theme to host discussions if folks want.


9. outro exercise 1:

(tamara and cliff)


evaluative moment at the end.

circle where people share

in big circle, have folks shout out something they want to see us accomplish in the next year. Everyone who agrees walks into the center.

and in 10 years?

(facilitators: document these on post-its and build a second timeline of the future)


what worked about today?

what else would you like to see in this process?


10. outro exercise 2:

(smucker, adrienne)

pairs – what’s really exciting to you now? what do you feel you can begin to act on immediately


Announce having a next date for visioning session, and a feedback session on Wednesday 

Encourage folks to engage with their local communities when they are home for the holidays






– Signs for each movement component to place up on the wall

– A sign denoting the theme for each think tank facilitator

– sign in spreadsheet…digital

– The questions for small groups to answer on big butcher paper in every theme

– Agenda for the day written up and posted around the room

– butcher paper

– markers



Additional roles:


Greeter: greet folks as they walk in and orient them to what we are currently doing

digital sign in sheets…name, email, interested in coming to next session? interested in planning next session?


ushers: to get folks there



– one for each movement component

– get folks into small groups in their component

– bring folks back into component groups

– help narrow to one question

– hand out post-its






alternate plans we are not using, but documenting for posterity:


(alternate plan:

have a timeline on the wall, short term (1 year) to long- term (2050 and beyond)

along the timeline, write up the major questions…then have everyone gallery walk and give answers. if people want to raise a hand and discuss?

then original bucket identifies themes, then posts the themes nice and big

mix the whole folks, 2nd gallery walk. with folks who stay to host and explain.)


alternate viaioning process:

generate lots of ideas on post it’s for a vision process on a timeline.

(ideas dorbvisioning process:

– think tanks at each year

– timeline

– framework for the process as it relates to a planning process)











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