From February 11th to 15th , 2009, at the American Citizens’ Summit in Denver, people from across the political spectrum gathered to speak and identify priorities demanding attention at a time of converging global crises. Processes included meeting in circles, listening, open space, and innovative feedback technologies that allowed everyone to vote on issues, ideas, and positions–anonymously and instantly–and to reflect the information to the group.
An interim Sunshine Cabinet–including Cynthia McKinney (2008- Green Party candidate for President), Congressman Ron Paul, Grover Norquist, Liberty Coalition co-founder Michael Ostrolenk, Barbara Marx Hubbard, humorist Steve Bhaerman and Committee for a Unified Independent Party director Jackie Salit–spoke about their top priorities. They included transparency, dismantling the national security state, a non-interventionist foreign policy, peace, justice, dignity, promoting liberty, following the Constitution, creating a Peace Room, and addressing the collapse of the economic system by creating a local/global sustainable economy that values solar energy, food, human invention and love.
The history and evolution of the Transpartisan Movement was mapped. Processes, some of which were developed from high school classroom ground rules and from rules adopted at the first Bipartisan Congressional Retreat, were explained. Spiral Dynamics allowed everyone to understand a framework to help people consciously transcend the limits of bipartisan thinking. People were encouraged to leave their egos at the door and to be open to all points of view, deeper truths, and surprising synergies, so they could create space in which ideas or solutions drawn from the collective wisdom of a diverse group of people could emerge.
Mark Gerzon, a pioneer in the movement, candidly admitted that the Stimulus Bill (which President Obama publicly signed into law February 18th, 2009, in Denver), was a result of bipartisan thinking and give and take, creating ammunition for future arguments and battles between Republicans and Democrats. A genuine effort to rationally examine measurable effects of past efforts to improve the lives of individuals, communities, and regions–to meet people’s needs and ameliorate economic conditions–was thwarted by Congress.