WG/Strategies/SOP/Process Proposal

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Noah McKenna 10/13/11
Proposal of a Process for the Drafting of a Statement of Purpose

I believe it should be a priority of our movement to draft and eventually to adopt a statement of purpose. As a movement with aspirations to reach a broad swath of the population, we must take control of our message. A statement of purpose, in my opinion should be a document to explain the reasons we are here and what we plan to do about it. I don't think it should be a list of specific demands because each has the potential to alienate a section of the 99%, nor do I think it should be too vague.

My proposal aims to establish a process by which we can create and agree upon a statement of purpose. I am aware that individuals and groups have been working on this for some time. My aim here is not undermine or trivialize your efforts, but rather to ensure everyone who wishes to contribute can be included in a transparent process. I believe that only such a process can lead to a document that the GA will ratify.

The Proposal is as follows:

  1. Everyone who has written or is writing a statement of purpose post the working draft on this billboard as well as upload it to the Wikispaces website so that people can read and comment on them.
  2. At regular intervals, the author(s) re-post their proposal to the reflect the comments left online and on the billboard.
  3. After the drafts have all been posted, depending on how many and how different they are, I propose the groups of roughly four authors or author groups meet to merge their proposals until we have one or possibly two documents.
  4. After more time to comment, the merged drafts should be brought before the GA to be discussed and voted on.

If I may, I would like to address a few questions and concerns preemptively.

I take inclusiveness very seriously and will do my best to ensure that everyone can contribute and be heard, regardless of language or technology access concerns. I will take responsibility for helping with the posting of proposals both online and in physical form. While I'm here, which is most evenings and weekends, I will volunteer my laptop for the posting of proposals to the wiki as well. Media has also expressed a willingness to help people post their proposals. I will also, hopefully with help, take responsibility for typing up the comments posted beneath the physical copies and get them to the authors.

I would suggest that people try to write their proposal segments representing single ideas to facilitate the comparison and eventual merging of the proposals.

I will also work with media to create a connected online and physical space that is for other documents which might inform the authors. As an example I have begun transcribing some of the posters and turning them into word clouds. If you have any ideas about creating resources for the authors, I'd love to hear them but I would ask you to find me later rather that take GA time.

Clarifying Questions from GA:
1) Clarify conception between a statement of purpose and list of demands
2) Where will this be online? occupyboston.wikispaces.com. click Participate/statement of purpose

Strong Concerns and Objections:
1) yoo many words/ideas will be proposed - ideas will be voted on one by one
2) paper versions in case internet crashes - will be posted on the wall with space fro comments
3) other occupy messages included - feel free to post documents from other Occupy locations
4) people outside movement and media creating controversy - inclusiveness more important
5) bad ideas becoming media sensations - as Brian said, we shouldn’t cater our message to the 1%
6) enemies of the movement derailing our debate - we will have to keep it focused
7) no pretending we’re perfect - ???

6)Noah filters proposals - rejected

Based on: SOP Process Proposal at wikispaces