The Free Press: Speaking Truth to Power Mon Sep 04 2006
Green Lifestyle 2002

Citizens Grassroots Congress: Consulting on the future
by Joe Keehner Jr. (Citizen)
April 12, 2002

I once met Joseph Sheppherd, an anthropologist, who as a university student had gone for a year of field research with a tribe in West Africa but ended up staying to live with the people for six years. The tribe led a peaceful existence on the banks of a river and it soon dawned on the young anthropologist turned member of the community that, unlike the culture that he had left behind in North America, the tribe lived without violence and inter-personal conflict. When queried about this, the people told him that they avoided such things by consulting about the future.

This idea of consulting on the future is one of the ideas behind the Citizens Grassroots Congress. Consulting together about the future is important for a number of reasons: the most obvious being that if you know where you are going then you are more likely to actually get there and if you can anticipate problems and issues ahead of time then you are more likely to avoid them or at least be better prepared to meet them head on with creativity and grace; if you can articulate a vision then you are better able to set appropriate goals and objectives and you will be able to visualize the outcome with more clarity and logic- this will help the community to facilitate its shared dreams, prioritize its activities, and inform public policy and decision making etc.; the synergy of a shared vision can also harness and guide the powerful influence of human will and intent, and this leads us to the most important outcome of consulting together towards consensus and shared vision, which is Unity! Without unity, all is doomed to failure. Community well-being and personal security is impossible without unity…

Recently, I have been reading two books that illuminate the importance and need of consulting on the future. My lunchtime reading The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: Waking Up to Personal and Global Transformation, by Thom Hartmann suggests that our current exploitation and trashing of the environment and our fellow living beings, be they human or otherwise, is culturally driven by the way Western Civilization has interpreted its religious stories. So to change our behavior and thereby build a greener more sustainable future, we must change how we understand and use our stories, and, of course, new cultural agreements require consultation to be effective. My bedtime reading, The Isaiah Effect: Decoding the Lost Science of Prayer and Prophecy, by Gregg Braden, looks at the idea of prophecy through the filter of Quantum Physics. As it explains, “through the science of prophecy we may glimpse future consequences of choices made in the present.”(p.120) The Isaiah Effect is “the expression of an ancient science stating that we may change the outcome of our future through the choices that we make in each moment of the present. …Quantum physics now gives us the language to give this sophisticated technology meaning in our daily lives.”(p.120) Through the power of collective human will and intent, we can influence the flow of time and change the future; through group prayer we can actually change the content and flow of the present, and at the right “choice point,” we can make a “quantum leap” to an alternative future, the idea being that there are multiple possible futures flowing together in time; by changing our belief systems, we can also change reality in the present. A choice point is a window of opportunity for such transformations to occur; consulting on the future keeps us on the ready and prepared for these community quantum leaps. I would suggest that we are currently living in one such threshold of time…

The mission of the Citizens Grassroots Congress is to engender a vision for Central Ohio based on the values of nonviolence, diversity, grassroots democracy, social justice, responsibility, and ecological wisdom, and to realize that vision through networking and education. The Citizens Grassroots Congress was initiated in the spring of 1999 by the Central Ohio Green Education Fund, which continues to give ongoing support and sponsorship. The inaugural event was an all day conference in October 1999 called “Realizing Our Vision for a Better Columbus.” Since then there have been half-day gatherings three times a year, autumn, winter, and spring, organized by a steering committee. So far the emphasis has been on education and networking…. The seasonal gatherings have covered a variety of topics and issues, such as bioregional planning, the history of grassroots activism versus the power of the corporations, the insecurity of living in our unsustainable economy, downtown revitalization, and the state of grassroots democracy in Central Ohio in the aftermath of 9/11, with participation from local organizations, activists and concerned citizens, and with a handful of invited guests from out of town such as David Beach of Eco-City Cleveland and Greg Coleridge of the Ohio Committee on Corporations, Law and Democracy. We have defined the Central Ohio bioregion as Franklin County and all of it surrounding counties along with the counties that include the headwaters of the Olentangy and Scioto rivers. Everyone is invited and challenged to join the dialogue and contribute to the visioning. For further information, contact Joe Keehner Jr. at P.O. Box 307376, Gahanna, Ohio, 43230 or

1240 Bryden Road Columbus, Ohio 43209 Ph/Fx 614.253.2571 Email

Green Lifestyle 2002

"Americans: Energy hogs"

"Bush administration’s nuclear policy termed “schizophrenic and dangerous""

"Chemtrails and military weather modification"

"Citizens Grassroots Congress: Consulting on the future"

"CO2 Emissions"

"Ecological Footprint"

"Family Environmental Activities"

"Feeble head reactors"

"Fight terror: conserve"


"Go organic"

"Stop the sprawl – save Darby Creek!"

"Take a Moment for Peace"

"The Afghan pipeline revived: The new agenda behind the War Against Terrorism?"

"The Nuclear Age Peace Foundation’s Top Five List of Nuclear Events in 2001"

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