“I became enchanted with the stories and images revealed in the dozens of interviews we gathered – the details of an interaction, the honesty and depth of a speaker’s voice, the courage to speak about ideas not yet fully formed. In these collective stories I saw patterns, often involving an unexpected turn of events, a transformation, a healing, a clarity that spirit can be made manifest in action.
Was it possible to reflect the whole by linking together excerpts from a subgroup of the interviews we gathered? I began with a story that I thought was immensely engaging, wise, and grounded in social reality. Then I began to search my mind for a second tale that could follow this first one and also take us in new directions. I would sit imagining the effect each story might have on a reader and what new riches might be found in the next tale. My role became that of weaver and guide into material that together demonstrated the range and depth of the field of collective intelligence.
I found myself hoping that the readers might experience an emotional resonance with the material, even a heightened sense of themselves as part of a larger community of seekers and mystics.”
~ Alan Briskin
The Least Qualified Among Us: Listening for the Wisdom in the Group
From Juanita Brown, co-founder of the World Café:
“The year is 1966. The grape fields of California are ablaze with conflict and tension. Cesar Chavez and his fledgling United Farm Workers are seeking negotiations through collective bargaining elections with the DiGiorgio Corporation – the largest grower of table grapes in the nation. Many new workers are frightened, already indentured by the company who paid their way from Mexico and now living in DiGiorgio’s labor camps. They support their brothers and sisters in the United Farm Workers who are seeking a better life but they have children to feed and have no passage home….”