Movement Sense-Making

Originally published at

Introduction by George Pór for Enlivening Edge Magazine

Collaborative sensing and making meaning are two essential sequences in the emergence of collective intelligence in organizations, social movements, and human groups of any size.

The blog that follows is re-published from the Future of Occupy, the online magazine that was a sensing and making meaning organ of the Occupy movement.

The author of the blog, a pioneer of collective intelligence research and veteran of social movements, George Pór, was the founder of both the Future of Occupy (2011) and Enlivening Edge (2015).

The Future of Occupy project is neither about predicting nor advising the future of the movement. No one can predict or advise the emergent qualities of a living system.

What we do want to do is provide a useful service to Occupy, by curating the news and views related to its identity and strategy scattered in the Occupy media and on websites sympathizing with the movement.

You can read the heading of this section both as:

“Occupy Movement” Sense-making, and/or Occupy Movement Sense-making.

As we read it the second way, we see the movement itself consciously engaging with the process of sensing and making meaning out of what is emerging in the world as a result of its actions.

How could that happen? One of the possible ways was identified by a commenter on The Future of the Occupy Movement, by Jules Lobel:

OWS needs to develop a video and documentary record/ library of all major debates/decisions and its most valued (if not all) productions coming from Occupied encampments… This record/library needs protection from devilish manipulation/distortion so it should be periodically sent out (CD?) to trustworthy places/people all around the world far safe-keeping and then updated versions likewise. 

A humble think-tank like mechanism needs to be established/organized that will analyze this OWS library (#1) and produce more literature and actionable material (specific democratic processes, rules and procedures, dynamic manuals, etc.). 

Link #s 1 and 2 above with universities, movements, organizations, NGOs, etc. which are investigated and perceived as good partners in building a better future. 

Request contributions in material from heretofore fair players in distribution, like Truthout. 

Expand the discussion on the nature and the future of OWS in our minds…

While the details of what will actually happen will more than likely vary from the one introduced above, we trust that a process somehow akin to that will unfold sooner or later.

We intend to do what we can for that development because it is essential for the movement to become a force capable to transform society and guide our way out of the intertwined global crises we inherited from the obsolete systems of economy, finance, and governance.

Our mission is to serve the self-organizing collective consciousness and intelligence of the movement, and the co-creativity of Occupiers everywhere.

Collaborative sensing and thinking is a crucial part of the movement and essential to scale up and win. We want to provide Occupy with an enabling platform for discovering its future, emerging from the best practices and ideas of its present.

This online collection will not and cannot be comprehensive. Our focus is on the longer now and we select documents that have broader scope and relevance.

In the spirit of transparency, we have published the full set of our inclusion criteria, here, where we explain some of the specific things we take into consideration when deciding what to post. How you can get involved is shown here.

Collaborative sensing and meaning-making by all, not only by the few, is a critical component of the much needed social, economic, and political transformation.

The FoO collective is committed to provide equal access to discover and validate the patterns of successful practices and theories emerging from the materials we present.

Our aim is not to produce a uniform perspective on the future of the movement, but to present the diversity of existing views.

Our collective also welcomes people who may be critical to aspects of the movement, providing that their contribution is made in the spirit of creative friction rather than being destructive and confrontational.

We hope, the vibrancy of FoO will make the movement more resilient and contribute to its evolution.

If you want to learn more about sense-making, read this blogpost.

See also The Imperative of Movement Sense-Making.

See also Collaborative Thinking is an Essential Part of Our Movement.


George Pór is an evolutionary thinker and a strategic learning partner to visionary leaders in business, government, and civil society. He is the originator of Enlivening Edge, serves on the faculty of Meridian University, and is the founder of Campus Co-Evolve and Community Intelligence.

A select list of his articles and book chapters on the fields of collective intelligence, organizational and social renewal can be found here

Republished with permission.
Featured Image/graphic link added by Enlivening Edge Magazine. Image by user1518572209 from Pixabay