~~Portland Cross-Pollination Project!~~

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December 03, 2006

More REFLECTIONS on cross-pollinating

Bottomline: amazing things happen when we take the time to listen to each other.

Some reflections (in no particular order):

* If every activist took just an hour a month to learn about “other people’s” forms of activism, everything would automatically integrate a whole lot more.

* Just mentioning the concept of cross-pollinating seems to plant a seed, open a door of perception, get people thinking about the systems of social change.

* You never know what will inspire or help someone ... sometimes the most powerful ideas are mentioned in passing, like using twinkly fingers in meetings (to show silent affirmation) or doing a citywide assessment of property that could become community gardens (which Tucson is doing now, inspired by my conversation with Tucson's OSD)

* People need to feel affirmed. I was a person, and an outsider (and
therefore extra special somehow) that listened to and validated their story, connecting them to something larger.

* People have a much stronger tendency to start something new rather than clean something up. How can we build from our own histories?

* Cross-pollination is great for technical support... sharing innovations like TLC Farm's organizational structure, or our secrets to successful grassroots fundraising, or City Repair's lessons in neighborhood organizing

* People do things upon referral from a friend or trusted source... we have heard this so many times, and it's just a good reminder that this is how the world works! So keep talking to people!!!

* The power of an "outsider" to shed light on simple truths... amazing!

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