Our elite class system is the predominant political and social force in our country at this time. And it has been that way since the beginning of not only our country but virtually all Western societies.
In spite of this America is rich in democratic practices, attitudes, dispositions, organizations, systems, traditions, and committed people. In order to grow our democracy we must use and develop all of these resources as well as create more powerful ones.
In this section we list significant organizations and people who are behind growing our democracy, not just fixing what we have. Our list has four categories: Culture, Group Dynamics, Organizing, and Practice.
We see these as the four key elements in building a long-term democracy movement driven by everyday people in all of our diversity. These four categories are also the primary areas of concentration in our Growing Democracy Learning Labs.
We have begun this list in September 2023, and will add to it continuously. Please contact us if there are people or organizations you think belong on our lists, and tell us why.
Thank you and enjoy your explorations of our resources.
Digital organizing makes mailing lists and raises money. Relational organizing does that while it creates meaning and power. If we want to grow our democracy to become the predominant social and political force, everyday people have to organize on a scale that will meet the scale of the challenges.
“Using power with others… is about attending to more needs of more people, thereby adding both to their power, their capacity to mobilize resources to meet their own needs, as well as to the whole. Time and time again I am astonished by seeing that bringing in more needs results in solutions that tend to be more creative and more robust. I mourn how many people live and die without having this magical experience, because explaining it takes the life out of it…” (Miki Kashtan, “Transforming Power Relations: The Invisible Revolution”)
From their website: “Through Circle of Trust® retreats and other programs rooted in the Courage & Renewal® approach, we nurture supportive communities of reflection and practice to help people come alive with a renewed sense of purpose, build trustworthy relationships, and cultivate the courage to rise to today’s challenges, making a difference within themselves and their communities.”
Parker Palmer is a founder of the Center. See our entry about him in the People subsection of this section.
PM is an international organization of trainers and coaches. They offer a wide range and basic and original trainings, services, and resources.
Their website self-description has a flavor all their own:
“Possibility Management is upgraded thoughtware for catalyzing change and expansion in various inner and outer domains. It works by converting problems into fertilizer, doorways, rocket ships, or avoidable mud puddles along your path of evolution.
Possibility Management springs from the context of radical responsibility. With new thoughtware and a new way of living you can create completely new results without changing your circumstances.
Possibility Management builds bridges between modern culture which brings humanity to its limits, and the next cultures which are regenerative.Possibility Management is copyleft and open-code thoughtware.”