Debrief Call—Gathering and Planning Process

SG Sally G Public Seen by 37

As has been announced elsewhere, the Occupy National Gathering debrief call will take place on Wed., Aug. 13, at 3:30 Pacific, 6:30 East Coast time.
The first post in this discussion is a statement from Jackie to give context. It was written after NatGat2013 in Kalamazoo, but still applies. It has been changed to reflect this year’s call time and registration link for those who have not previously participated on calls.
Please use this page to share information that relates to the gathering itself, overall planning process, etc. I will set up a separate discussion that is Loomio-specific.


Sally G Sat 9 Aug 2014 10:01PM

Here is Jackie’s statement, with this year’s date/registration information added:
The current NGWG has no idea where the next NatGat will be. This has to come organically from a local Occupy willing to host, with lots of energy for organizing, and a vision for a theme or work to be done there.

There is no central body. NGWG2013 collectively formed after Occupy Kalamazoo put out a Proposal for Endorsement. The first NGWG collectively formed after Occupy Philly put out their Proposal for Endorsement.

In both cases, the local GA decided to try and have a gathering, put out the proposal, which was posted widely, and then set up a conference call for those willing to get involved with the organizing. If Occupys did not endorse or people did not step up and commit voices, time and energy to the online side of organizing, there would not have been gatherings.
While all the organizing is, as one person at the first NatGat2 GA said, "monster organizing", in the end it is the folks on the ground who do the heavy lifting of finding spaces, dealing with local authorities, finding sources for supplies, and so much more, and literally give up their normal lives for the duration (as do many of the folks who support online).
It seems we have a tradition, with two NatGats in a row a year apart, and throughout the week suggestions were made for gatherings in Raleigh, Detroit, Oakland, Los Angeles and Vancouver, BC. The first NatGat came together in six months during a period of the high of the encampments to the wounds of evictions, the solidarity actions of Mayday, Nato/G8. This year's NatGat took nine months during a period of low activity and downsized Occupys. The energy on the ground at NatGat in Kalamazoo shows that we all are still craving interconnections, education, and ways keep the collective spirit alive.
We won't know when or where the next NatGat will be until the next Occupy on the ground calls for one, and gains support locally and virtually. It will be interesting to see whether this will continue as an annual event, or take some years to evolve, or whether the same processes will be used.

I felt a need to respond since I have heard many suggestions of where natgat should be, how it should be and needs to be. I wanted to clarify that there is no central body within Occupy or within the NGWG. Occupy is still an autonomous, organic thing that comes together to make things happen collectively.

One thing we do know is, it is monster organizing, and time consuming. To aid the next planners, some of the organizers hope to have energy and support to put together a package of documentation used, what worked, didn't work and could be improved upon.
To get involved with this project, or give feedback on any aspect of NatGat2, join the NatGat Debrief call Sept. 13 @ 6:30 PM ET (3:30 PM Pacific). Those already registered for the Planning calls do not need to re-register. New folks register here: http://myaccount.maestroconference.com/conference/register/YN4TISO2NWRI71L3


Cal Sun 10 Aug 2014 6:57PM

To clarify, the main purpose of this Wednesday's call is to debrief this year's planning effort and the gathering. There's much gold to mine (what worked and what didn't work) for our learning if we spend the time on the call wisely.

IMO, the debrief and our learning will likely get short shrift if we immediately jump into planning the future. I suggest a separate call (or a new call series) be set up to discuss future gatherings (including whether it makes sense to move towards regional gatherings), and the folks on that call may not necessarily be the same bunch who planned or attended this year's gathering. I suggest that we have a short agenda item near the end of this call to discuss having that call.


Jackie Tue 12 Aug 2014 4:23PM

email to group 8/9 -please add to Debrief Workpad, #96

Debrief the Occupy National Gathering 2014 Call
Wed., Aug. 13 @ 3:30 PM PT/6:30 PM ET

If you have been attending the planning calls, do nothing - you will receive a reminder for this call. If you have NOT previously attended a planning call, please register here:

Hey folks,

Time to debrief!

Reviewing the other years, the call debriefs the gathering event, the process; what worked well and what didn't, and what could be done better next time Occupy does something like this. The focus is on best practices and the future.

I've created a workpad where we can begin to log some of our thoughts and suggestions. This worked well last year, and was added to during the call. It helped us focus the conversation and will help the call/documentation team* prepare an agenda.
[*the facilitators, TAs, notetakers, admin-doc maintenance]

Debrief Workpad 2014

One question that arose last year (I'm not sure about 2012, but imagine so) was whether or not the National Gathering Working Group would disband and be re-created each year by the proposing Occupy and online supporters.

I wrote a statement about it last year after folks began asking questions about how to host the next national, what is the process? This year there is marked increase in these questions, and it seems a duty of this group to provide some kind of answer, or create a continuing subgroup to deal with such inquiries.

I still align with the statement of last year, though do see a huge need for a core admin team to maintain the infrastructure we've rebuilt last year and this. For those unaware, much of the first natgat's online structure was lost to us. It was a smart idea to keep last year's facebook page! (Thanks Tricia!); we should do the same for the twitter and the website and hub - have them minimally maintained and available for future natgats to step into. imo.

Please discuss these and other debrief topics on the workpad. Personally, I'd especially welcome comments on the call structure, which we've just built upon the 2012 each year. Are there other ways we should be debriefing?


Reference links from last year and 2012:

Debrief Workpad

Debrief Call Agenda 9-4-13

NatGat 2013: People's Kitchen Report

Organizing an Occupy Event - Project

NGWG Call: Debrief and Visioning Next Steps 7-17-12