Media, People Power

InterOccupy: Toward a Democratic Global Communications Commons

The world is in need of adopting a radical new operating system. The challenges are vast. The sobering reality is that not a single person knows the best way through to greener pastures, or even if such a world is attainable.  

Most of us readily give our own personal power over to bosses, colleagues, family, governments, corporations and the mainstream media, or we tend to marry our own point of view, become outspoken and adopt positions of power in our communities. Those with amenable rhetoric and the ability to help us achieve security and status tend to be the leaders. Although competition, individualism and unhealthy hierarchy have been valued over collective thought and action, ‘following the leader’ has not solved our global challenges.

We need the emergence of a new narrative that can shift us to a collaborative, courageous and sustainable society. Emergence is a phenomenon in which something new evolves. Then a concurrent shift happens simultaneously in many different domains, sectors or locales. When these shifts connect to one another, a network forms that generates new results, and significant global change becomes possible. 

How will we create structures and new ways of engagement that will encourage and enable emergence? That is a question that InterOccupy—a communications collective that emerged out of Occupy Wall Street—has focused on since the autumn of 2011. The Occupy encampments can be seen as an emergent phenomenon. The culture that surrounded them had a radically different way of interacting and collaborating than what most of us are used to. 

This article was originally published in the Spring | Summer 2013 issue of Kosmos. To read the entire article, please download the PDF here.