Think Tank Logistics meeting: 10/28

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Minutes
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Q  = Question or action for follow-up
OT = Off-topic

- Q: Concerns about people leaving: Hannah, Lily.  We need more people to staff the booth.

- In the interest of streamlining people’s time, we’re moving towards a more efficient transcribing / coding system
- This also includes expanding on people’s ideas, maybe adding things they didn’t explicitly say, but perhaps meant.

- There is a written process being developed for this.
- Q: Who is working on this? Where is it being posted?

- Q: Have we noted every topic of discussion so far?

- Q: Also need people to code conversations on website and in email
- This content is getting out of control; trying to file it as best we can right now

- Q: Looking for volunteers / reearch assistants to code according to our system
- NESRI has a list of contacts here, happy to reach out once we develop a training system
- Labor archives offering research assistants to transcribe, and loaning us microphones
- Q: Where do we store the microphones?
- They are not necessarily going to code it, though

- As we systematize the gathering of input, this will free up time for the conversation

- Need someone to be in charge of archiving emails
- Q: Can we combine the email / web-forum?
- Some back and forth about what the best way is, some sentiment that both are useful
- Internet forum has been established at thinktank.NYCGA.net
- Concern about the stability of the forum when NYCGA shifts to the new version
- OT: New version is called Federated General Assembly, can allow any other Occupy to clone our site
- Q: How do we moderate the forum?
- We may split off a group of a couple of people who will spend some time establishing the WordPress site

- Suggestion for website: Allowing people’s ideas to be tagged so that they are notified when their ideas are incorporated into individual research groups

- Some discussion about how to direct googling for “Occupy Wall Street” to NYCGA
- We are reserving occupythinktank.org and occupythink.org
- Q: Who is going to build this site?  Will just forward to thinktank.nycga.net?

- What is the intended output of a research group? Policy/action suggestions, or distillation of information for the public?
- Idea is both: these are not policy _suggestions_, these are the _options_ of how to address a civil/societal/financial problem

- Part of the recorded data is the emotion / passion people feel for the issues
- Q: Video recordings possible?

- Anecdotal support for the value of ThinkTank
- In the discussion groups, the criticism that the movement has no direction seems to actually be reflecting a passion for the movement to represent their specific interests
- When dispassionate outsiders are told about ThinkTank, they offer opinions for topics to discuss

- Lily Update from trip to OccupyNewHaven
- Yale Law school wants to offer resources; unclear what this means specifically
- One idea is they will provide legal research to back up the specific-topic discussion groups
- Constraints of the law, feasibility of policy proposals
- Summaries of existing code relevant to each topic area
- e.g., corporate personhood working group, can assess viability of constitutional ammendments etc

- Cathy expresses reservations about engaging with lawyers
- More a concern that how we communicate with lawyers be framed in a manner that is not eliciting “constraints”
- Afraid that might be counterproductive, given the natural inclination of lawyers to think about constraints
- She is a lawyer!

- Meeting with Outreach on Sunday, goal is to have ThinkTank in other Occupies
- 1pm, Sunday, at 101 6th Avenue, anyone is invited
- Part of all of our jobs is to promote ThinkTank

- NYU Anthropology department meeting on their relationship to OWS
- Q: Lily inviting us to “crash”, she will email with date/time/location
- One goal would be to recruit anthropologists to help do field outreach / suggestion boxes
- Extending this, Cathy suggests training community organizers in our process
- There are existing community organizers coming *to* OWS, let’s leverage them
- Another suggestions: Recruit people to do outreach with bankers / finance professionals / business schools
- Interface with “sociology of finance” people
- Goal is to ask them okay, what policies *should* we focus on?  Train our

- OWS has 300 video people who are interested in helping to record
- docs on NYCGA under media

- UN Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty (a chilean academic) wants to do a US mission
- she will come for a very specific number of days
- wants to go to many occupies
- can we get someone to facilitate / video this?
- Cathy will follow-up with her, get a list of her needs

- Bronx GA at 11am Saturday, we will be interfacing with them

- Before we outreach, we need to lay out a set of structures for new people
- What are roles
- What are procedures
- Q: We must schedule a meeting for this explicitly
- Shut down ThinkTank
- Tomorrow afternoon: Outcome is a visual explanation of the structure of the group

- Q: Add phone numbers to logistics team’s contact list, owsthinktank@gmail.com
- Q: We must schedule a regular meeting, on the email CC list

One Response to “Think Tank Logistics meeting: 10/28”

  1. Jade Heilmann

    I’m so sad I can’t be there for all this excitement.
    Is here a way to comPile a short document outlining the goals of the think tank its “rules” and what to do with the data so that I may pass it on to the occupations I go to?!? Spread the seed in an organized manner?!? Right now I’m just giving people the email address

    Let me know

    Thanks

    Jade