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TZM Regional Townhall Meeting 2011, June 21 in LA, CA

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[Peter Joseph] Why the name 'The Zeitgeist Movement'? As some might know, I'm a filmmaker and I've used that term but it really has nothing to do with it. The term 'zeitgeist' is defined as the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era. The term movement simply implies motion or change so The Zeitgeist Movement by definition is an organization, which seeks to change the dominant intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of a time for reasons of which will be discussed in a moment. The Movement was founded in 2008 and since that time it's gained over half million subscribers with about 1100 chapters across 70 countries (in a very short period of time which is quite impressive in my sense of history). Originally the movement was partnered with an organization called The Venus Project and we're still very much in support of the work of Jacque Fresco, of course, absolutely [Applause] but this relationship has disbanded for a number of reasons and the two organizations coexist with very similar pursuits. The Zeitgeist Movement chooses not to be grounded to a singular institution or figure, or even data set. Rather, we're interested in developing an emerging train of thought and highlighting that train of thought for others to absorb and identify with and expand upon in the emergent nature of any type of intellectual development. The model of The Movement is really nothing original. It's fundamentally based on the Civil Rights Movements' structures that have proven effective over time in different areas of the world. This includes the use of educational programs, events and eventually, as our phases unfold mass, non-violent protest actions. Jason is going to be talking about the basic structure and activism of The Movement later on but I want to quickly throw out that The Zeitgeist Movement is really defined by its chapters. Everyone listening that's in a chapter, or maybe isn't in a chapter please understand that this is a chapter-based movement structure. We have project teams that emerge out of those chapters and the actual projects and events themselves are just another attribute of that of the communication process that we work on. The structural goal, which isn't something that's brought up very often for those that follow The Movement is what you could call critical mass on a global scale: a mass strong enough to affect the operation of society by its collective efforts from a grassroots level. The Zeitgeist Movement isn't a political movement nor, for many reasons I don't have time to explain do we identify with the political structure and the way it unfolds. It is basically an elitist structure coming out of a long history of elitist mentalities and it's been an illusion that this sort of democratic process that everyone throws around has actually served the majority of the population. Why are we here then? I'm going to present a very generalize statement as the basic goal and then work backwards to define the terms that comprise this. As stated: "We seek a new economic model based not on the movement of money and the dynamics associated with such a system but rather on truly objective scientific resource management and allocation strategically seeking to enable an equitable distribution of all goods and services to meet the needs of the entire, global human population while ensuring maximum environmental sustainability over generational time." That's a big mouthful. Let's break this down. What does this mean? First, we have the concept of an economic model. What is economics? The Greek root of the word basically means 'management of a household' also implying concepts of thrift or conservation hence the term 'economize'. Therefore, an economy is a method of organizing materials that seeks to reduce waste, hence increase efficiency in its process of providing for a population. Simple enough. Next we have our qualifier. Where this economic model we speak of is quote 'not based on the movement of money and the dynamics associated.' Why are we ruling out the monetary system? Because as radical as this may seem the model cannot be logically considered a true economy by the definition we've just described. The inherent strategies associated with the monetary model actually reinforces the opposite of what a true economy is supposed to be as we just defined. The notions of preservation, efficiency, sustainability hence the need to economize, are actually the enemies as I will point out, of our current model. We live, in fact, in an anti-economy. The first thing to understand is that the only thing that keeps you employed in our system is constant or cyclical consumption. The fuel of our world economy is the interest to keep buying and consuming and buying and consuming. The more turnover, the greater our GDP and so-called 'economic growth' we keep hearing people talk about as though it actually represents something tangible in an empirical sense. If a computer company actually decided to make strategically optimized products (Apple Computer for example) if they decided to create goods that would evolve they would be designed to last, not to be replaced. Product development would be with the most durable design scientifically evaluated, enabling structural updates to current equipment that's already in existence in the interest to extend the life and maximize preservation and efficiency rather than the constant replacement of things. I can assure you that computer company would suffer tremendously in profit not to mention the labor levels they have would drop substantially. This train of thought goes for all industries. I would say the core driving force of the system today is really inefficiency. Efficiency and sustainability are the enemies and this issue is more apparent today than ever before because of the tremendous advancement in technology. When the monetary, market-exchange model as we know it began many centuries ago this inefficiency that's inherent was masked by the fact that there was a great deal of raw human labor involved in the production of goods and services. Imagine the amount of time and energy it took for a farmer with a plough to plant and harvest without the modern equipment we have today. When you compare the two you begin to see something very interesting. What's happened essentially, is that our technological ingenuity our ability to create tools that help us to ease our labor and make our lives easier in abstraction has 'shifted the tides' from people being actually required to do work to get the necessities of life in a very real, tangible, utilitarian way to the existence of this advanced automation society that we're harboring into where we now have to invent arbitrary occupations over and over again, structurally purposeless jobs (if you're willing to take the time to see it even though it's very hard when you're born into this to recognize them as such) just for the sake of monetary circulation alone. That's what is needed to keep this model going and unfortunately it's not working. We can't do it fast enough. Inefficiency in a broad scheme is now the current path, whether advertent or not for keeping consumption and hence the system (outdated, archaic system) going and it comes in many forms. Fortunately for the system itself yet to our human and social detriment inefficiency is built right in to the structure, as noted prior. 'Cost efficiency' is defined as: productive, relative to the cost or being effective without wasting expense. This modern economic concept based on money has nothing to do with materials or with design. It's about saving capital, not resources. This is a classic example of how our system is utterly decoupled from any natural state or processes. One of the most misleading statements about this capitalist system that we all share is the classic phrase you might have all heard in Economics 101: "The role is to produce the highest quality goods at the lowest possible prices." If you really think about that statement it is an explicitly circular rationale based only on the observation of money and the intrinsic value of money but yet completely decoupled and devoid of any physical reference or scientific integrity. It serves to support the false idea that market competition is a good thing. The result in short is the following: 1. Every item produced in our society is immediately inferior the moment it is created. It is a mathematical impossibility to produce the most strategically, conscious goods we can. This system simply will not allow it. The result is copious waste and pollution. 2. Jobs will always be mechanized when it becomes cheaper than human labor. This is an ongoing, unstoppable process called 'technological unemployment' and is currently reducing employment and purchasing power at an accelerating rate even though very few people will ever have the nerve to talk about this in the economic or news media. 3. Environmental negligence is built in. It's constant. Not only [are] disposal methods not done correctly in a scientific, appropriate way due to the need to cut costs (the cost efficiency mechanism) but there is also, elusively, a built-in indifference at the end of the day to the natural order and preservation of the environment. Problems generate profit. Industry thrives on problems and solutions, which are again a form of efficiency is the enemy. Tangible physical efficiency is inverse to actual market economic efficiency. If you took all the money spent today producing bottled water on this planet... I was just joking to someone earlier. I was like "God, we've got to get rid of these bottled waters on stage." But what do you do in this society? You walk around; this is what people do. It becomes normality to be so inefficient where you just accept it because our lives... It's built into our structure and it's hard for us to be conscious or sometimes to even be active with the type of preservation methods that are required. But if you took all the money spent on bottled water production on this planet for drinking and applied it to a massive public filtration system desalination, clean infrastructure channels I suspect it would be paid for many times over. But pollution, as alluded to prior is another form of inefficiency to be capitalized on. Pollution creates jobs and markets just as any other form of inefficiency does. Just as all of us having more cancer would improve the GDP of our country, because we'd have to be treated for it. A final form of inefficiency that I'm just going to throw in there is the creation of false needs for the populous. This is done through advertising and marketing. If you can convince a person that a $5000 handbag has more use than a $10 one, even though there's absolutely no real utilitarian difference between the two just because of relative status notions you've created a new level of emotional and status inefficiency to exploit and false needs to be filled to conform to the culture and this is a very rampant thing and you see this epidemic everywhere. The movement of money through the mechanism of systematic and intrinsic efficiency cannot be called an economy [and] therefore is not valid as a working methodology. Coming back to our statement "What would define a true economy?" This leads us to the next point where it says: "For the economic model we speak of needs to be based on truly objective scientific resource management and allocation." What does that mean? Throughout the course of human history we as a species have taken on many worldviews from superstitious notions of demons as the cause of illness to countless controlling gods that rule our lives. Humans have been seeking since antiquity to understand the causality of their lives. Fortunately, after much turmoil we've been guided by evolution to discover something truly useful and it's only been with the past couple of thousand years that this has emerged. This tool has stood the test of time providing us with continual confirmation of its effectiveness and we see it all around us and that's scientific causality. If we recognize science as a tool and process a verified method of viewing the world and acting upon evidence rather than faith or blind assumptions we see that a true economy can only exist if organized and orchestrated within the confines of scientific discipline. For instance, science has shown us that we live yes, on a finite planet, with finite resources. We understand the Earth as a single biosphere system literally symbiotically balanced in a natural order. Truly one system and hence, should be respected as such. We understand that each one of our resources, the materials we use have properties which are conducive to certain applications and simply not conducive to others. Just as we have the law of gravity which we use to calculate making airplanes fly the natural laws that govern human life and good health on this planet must be observed and when observed and identified, obviously must be respected. Nature really just doesn't care what any of us actually think or believe or have faith in and we can either listen and align with what we learn or we invariably suffer the consequences. As simple as that notion may seem the great majority of people on this planet refuse to acknowledge this. Out of this comes a new, yet obvious, train of thought. First, inefficiency is unacceptable on a finite planet. We need to calculate industry. We need to calculate society. The free market is a haphazard and dangerous anarchy and the grace period of our irresponsibility is coming to an end. We either unify and get strategic in our management of the Earth's resources or we face immense hardships. We need a global resource management system to account for a dynamic equilibrium and keep balance. We need to account for what we have. We also need to apply science in how we actually create our goods. Imagine that! strategically making them as efficient as possible meaning that they are made to last, not break down made with the expectation for updating, not replacement. These are very simple, obvious, fundamental truths. We also need to use the most efficient methods for producing those goods and in this case, deliberate mechanization. Technological unemployment, I've talked about this in length and I'm not going to go into too much detail here but it is now inverse to productivity in most sectors. The more people are displaced the more mechanization comes in, the greater the productivity. That's an amazing change in the paradigm as far as the way we've been operating for thousands of years. This means it is negligent, literally irresponsible for us not to mechanize on every relevant level if we wish to be truly efficient and respect the nature and habitat that we live in. This brings us to the next concept of our goal statement: "Strategically seeking to enable an equitable distribution of all goods and services to meet the needs of the entire, global human population." There's plenty of food to go around in this planet as stated many times over even by institutions you'd be surprised that would state such a thing yet over a billion people are starving. Every five seconds a person dies from starvation on this planet. But, hey! What does that have to do with me? You know, well... It has everything to do with you for in the end, there's nowhere to hide. Our safety and security can only be as good as the safety and security of the world we inhabit. The more deprivation that occurs the more resentment, anger, and inevitable destabilization that will follow. It's not an altruistic notion to help others in this type of perception. It is a socially unsustainable practice not to. I personally don't even really believe that human altruism exists in the poetic context that many speak of. I think that deep down people know when they behave in seemingly selfless ways that they are actually personally at risk at one level or another if they do not act in those ways. Our self-interest can only maintain integrity if our societal reality is actually stable. The cliché staple of the modern-market, capitalist theory "Live for yourself only, do only things for you" and somehow magically by the invisible hand it will work out for society. This is an incorrect, provably-so, truncated and utterly false concept. Self-integrity can only be maintained if the habitat you live in and the society you inhabit the world itself, maintains an equally high level of integrity. And that's one of those radical notions that, as obvious as it is will still be derogatorily associated and you can just be communist or... Even Martin Luther King Jr. was called a communist when he was attempting to bridge the difference between the blacks and the whites. He was a communist apparently to try and create that and the exact same propaganda and inhibited mindset is exactly what stops us from trying to make an economic unity on a tangible level in society today. Any time people throw out the communist stuff you have a tool to use. The majority of wars on this planet have always been about resource and territorial control. Most acts of so-called 'crime' are related to money and property. We must level the playing field. Meeting the needs of the human population is the first step. Notice I didn't say wants. Wants are contrivance. Wants are a different subject all together. People need their needs met and there's a lot that can be said about that which I'm not going to delve into at this time. We know we can provide the basic necessities of life for everyone on this planet. It's a scientific reality because of our advanced technological methods. This is one of the genius notions put forward by Jacque Fresco that really should be understood and everyone needs to understand this. We need to simply devise a system to do so and get it done in accord with the most scientifically efficient and responsible methods we understand hence the nature of a true economy. Finally we have "... while ensuring maximum environmental sustainability over generational time." This simply goes back to what the definition of an economy requires. We have the kind of specter of recycling initiatives and so-called 'green' industries. It's just a sad attempt at true ecological respect in a system that has no ecological respect and can't have any for it to operate. A true economy doesn't have a notion of a 'green' practice. The fact that we even have such an idea that we even comment "Ooh, how sustainable!" that's a tremendous signpost of how far we've come. A true economy doesn't utilize anything for example, recycling is an afterthought. Even after all the years of our recycling practices very few initiatives are made in the production capacity by industry to actually think ahead about this because it isn't profitable for them to do so. The majority of goods have no capacity to be updated you know, the computer enclosures... I can go on long tangents about very logical, simple things that could be done to extend longevity but again, it will bring down cyclical consumption bring down the circulation of money, drop GDP, drop labor, etc. Recycling mechanisms are going to be built-in in the future; they would have to be, in the production phase. Landfills would be an anomaly, not normality. To conclude my section of this meeting let's quickly take a look at where we are now. What is the consequence of all this inefficiency we speak of? As much as I hate to say it, our society rests on the edge of a cliff with a gigantic abyss underneath. The consequences of the monetary market model are no longer mere inconveniences or theoretical assumptions put forward by people. We see what's happening now. It's a cancer that's slowly eroding the fabric of our stability. As many know, very briefly money is made out of debt and interest is charged on that debt. Anyone familiar with banking or the stock market knows that money is now treated as a commodity It always was, but more so today than ever and it's bought and sold. The profit generated by the sale of money comes from interest. However, unannounced to most. something you won't read in a Time Magazine or any economist's manual is that the interest-money charged doesn't exist in the money supply. It's not there! There's only so much there and every time they charge interest that money has to come from somewhere. It has to come from more monetary creation which is loaned out at interest again. There's always more outstanding interest than there is principle debt. If anyone's confused why we have skyrocket debt defaults across the world: personal, corporate, sovereign this is fundamentally the reason. It's not the sole reason. It's perpetuated by other things that are happening in derivatives markets, but it's an inevitability. The global market is one gigantic pyramid scheme and one way or another it's going to come crashing down if it's not literally stopped in its tracks which is something, frankly, I advocate as difficult as that may seem. However, we're not only faced with ongoing, systemic, global debt defaults we're also faced with a coming labor collapse or a growing labor collapse across the world due to technological unemployment largely ignored by economists, who choose to see basically what they prefer to see, as best I can tell. The invention and application of technology is what has caused every major shift of human labor throughout history. Given the exponential (literally) rise in our development in automation and computer technology, artificial intelligence I'm sorry to say... or actually I'm very happy to say that humans actually don't stand a chance to compete with what we've created. We can't personally evolve as fast as our technological ingenuity is and the effectiveness and application over time is just powerful! Either a shift happens or we just continue this constant grind down of destabilization through global unemployment. The final component, briefly worth mentioning is our energy collapse. Peak oil is very real and it is essentially here and the problem oddly is not really the 'running out of oil'. It's the market psychology of what's going to happen when the public finally awakens to this very real reality. The psychology of this scarcity, when it finally hits is going to cause a unique form of panic. The combination of these three factors are on pace to causing a severe integrity problem, to put it mildly. Each one is not problematic on its own but the fact is they feed into each other. The more unemployment occurs, the less likely governments are going to be able to gain taxation support not to mention the less money in the economy itself circulated as purchasing power inhibiting consumption and economic growth triggering more personal, corporate, government defaults. The more energy prices rise which is inevitable in the hydrocarbon economy we have the less accessible it is to gain and that creates an even more stifling economic effect on circulation since oil, among many other things is the sole driver of transportation but not to mention so many other facets I don't have time to go into. All it takes in the West Coast is for one big trucking company to get fed up with the oil prices and want more money from their going-bankrupt company to go on strike and then see a stifling of incredible amounts of materials and then systemic turmoil and panic. You don't have to think very far to see how it just takes a few little dominos to fall. We're in a very fragile state at this point in time. I hope people understand that. This is precisely, in a nutshell what The Zeitgeist Movement hopes to counter and find a way to adapt before we meet the proverbial 'point of no return'. That concludes my general overview. Thank you. [Applause] Now we're going to bring up, Jen? Yes, Jen Wilding, our US State Coordinator? [Applause] [Jen Wilding - US State Coordinator] Thanks for coming out. I'm so happy to see so much interest in an event like this. We're hoping to do them regularly. So... The Movement... Look at you. The Zeitgeist Movement is comprised of pretty much two components. There is the portion that Peter was going into pretty much the body of ideas, the train of thought the idea that the Earth should be declared the common heritage to all of the Earth's people using the scientific method and technological innovations in the service of social concern and for human betterment. I'm all for that, which is why I'm here. I hope you are too. That's one piece of the meat of The Movement and the other piece is the people that are comprised in the structure of activists. Basically, right now The Movement is geared toward awareness activism: helping people to learn these ideas, to understand the problems and to bring them along to talk about the solutions. That, to me, seemed to be the way to go and so what you're doing here what we're doing here is all part of what's considered 'what the Movement does' and The Movement has a structure. We have a holographic structure which means, basically, we're all tapping into a lot of the same material that talks about the ideas. We use Peter's films as tools. We have a lot of tools that are created by activists involved in The Movement that are shared and we basically are creating a structure that is replicating itself to spread awareness about these ideas. We have, pretty much a two-way flow of information. We have things that we are doing here: presentations that are going to be used by other chapters and other teams in their activism. Come on in! We also have materials that are created by activists that end up getting adopted by the other pieces of the structure. There's a beautiful way that the information is flowing in both directions in that we have activism that happens on a local level that, when it's really successful and people are excited about it gets picked up and adopted on a global level and resources are shared to make that happen. There are, right now, approximately 1100 chapters across 7 countries so we're coming up on about three years. [P.Joseph] 70 countries... Oh, 70! [Applause] 70 countries. That's a big difference. (She's reading it, so she was caught up. She's ahead of me. You could even come up here and finish this). 70 countries, which is pretty impressive and we're going to hear some more talk about how exciting that is when we actually do global events and the part that plays when Shar is telling us about our screening events coming up. And basically the components of the structure are in teams. We have global teams and we have regional teams and the global teams are where people can utilize their talents whatever various talents they have to plug in and help us with awareness activism and the teams are: The Linguistics Team They do translations into all sorts of different languages so the information that is created is translated and used in 70 countries. Also they do proofreading: We have people that just go through and proofread a lot of the things before they're going out and especially when you're doing translations proofreading is important. We have a Developers Team, and that's development in the sense of mostly website development right now and they're working on web and communication platforms. We have a News and Public Relations Team. We have that team that does a newsletter that was by-monthly for a while. I don't know when but I think we're getting ready to release a new one coming up. We also have a Technology Team and one of the things that they're known for is the creation of a website called zeitnews.org which is a good place to go if you're looking for information on how technology is coming up with so many different breakthroughs that could be used in a global Resource-Based Economy for those people who are just thinking "No, I don't really think we could really do that. It's not quite feasible." There are things that could blow you away that you can uncover on this website of developments that we have now even in a monetary system, that just need to be used in a global sense and for the benefit of basic human needs. We have a Media Project Team and they have a website: zeitgeistmediaproject.com where a lot of people create artistic materials or flyers and brochures and they even do videos. They can upload them to the Zeitgeist Media Project website and they can be picked up for use all over the world and that's really exciting. Something that you might create could be used by people all over to help further the education of new people to these ideas. Then we have regional teams which are basically the Chapters Team. It is a team but it is quite a bit of the expansiveness of The Movement of actually getting into your community and interacting with people on a local level about these ideas and being connected to the global sense, the global teams and part of the global communication structure. The Chapters Team is sort of the circulatory system of The Movement in the flow of information. It's where people are getting together to volunteer. They're exchanging ideas, they're having meetings and getting all on the same page so that we know what's happening globally. When we're having global events we can do events all on the same day and know that they're being done in so many other countries at the same time and feel a part of something really big and getting bigger all the time. So with that I would like to... I want to show you one thing that... This is an image that is what I think of when I think of the chapters' structure and basically it's sort of a communication network that branches out like the branches of a tree. We're all rooted in the same values and people who support these ideas have volunteered to be a part of this structure to be a part of our efforts of activism and connect in the structure with other activists to educate their communities. We're all connected in the sense of being on online platforms and having local interactions. I'm going to introduce, in a moment, Jason Lord of the California Chapter who is going to continue with the discussion on what exactly a chapter is that would be a part of this tree part of this living, breathing entity and give you a little bit of background on what that's about and hopefully encourage you to get involved with a local chapter, especially the Los Angeles Chapter if this is your area. If you've traveled in, thanks for doing that. There may be a chapter in your area and we can get you connected with who may be close to you so you can be involved in that. Without further ado, Jason Lord. [Applause] [Jason Lord - California Coordinator] I guess we're all sitting this evening. I need notes so I wrote it down. I don't know if she remembered to introduce herself that was Jennifer Wilding. She's the coordinator of the United States for The Zeitgeist Movement. She helps pull this all together on a national level. I just wanted to make sure people had a reference of who was just speaking to you. Hi, my name is Jason. I volunteer to coordinate The Movement at what we refer to as a state level. I'm a state coordinator and there are multiples of me all over the place. If you travel across the country more than likely there's a Movement chapter in that area. I just wanted to give people a sense of how we're organized and how this all comes together. I'm just going to dive right into some notes I wrote down quickly. We use the term official chapters, and there's a reason for that. Official chapters are recognized as self-motivated groups of individuals that advocate and support The Zeitgeist Movement and the solutions proposed in our materials. The chapter structure consists of international national, state and local chapters (Los Angeles is a local chapter). Our structure is a communications network which is worldwide. Each new chapter that pops up in a specific region gives people a place to go to engage in these ideas. At the moment, The Movement's focus is on awareness activism of not only The Movement's presence in the world but also of the root causes to persistent social problems and a sustainable solution which can be briefly named a Resource-Based Economic Model. The chapters themselves are focused on on-the-ground awareness projects and social interactions in regards to this direction. This event is an example of that in action. Our greatest challenge isn't the technical application of the solutions that exist to create an access abundance for the world's population. It is the value systems which are perpetuated by established institutions that comprise a large part of our society namely the monetary, political, and religious establishments. The hardened value systems that are created are the most difficult for us to address. Someone I admire stated to me once "The truth isn't something that is told to you. It is something you realize through taking in new information." The purpose of the chapters is to be holographic, as a network and in on-the-ground and in-person presence which takes on the task of engaging the public inputting new information into the current value system communicating with people as best we can so that the possibility of a sustainable world can exist beyond the ultimate decay of an over-consumption model such as we have right now. As noted before, our structure is holographic in the sense that each chapter contains the same information and the purpose of The Movement itself engaging in awareness activism in their region. Having organized in this way helps keep the internal noise of conflict and opinion to a minimum. We have chapters which are comprised of volunteers. We're all volunteers who desire to forward The Movement's direction. Projects and events that are accomplished by members that show merit to The Movement itself and success in the communication of these ideas to new people tend to get picked up by other chapters as we go around the world. The usefulness of feedback becomes self-evident and ultimately is brought to the attention of the global and national coordinators and then the whole feedback-loop of communication is flowing both ways so we can all stay in touch and move together. I introduced myself as the California coordinator and the term coordinator is a descriptive title of what actions one is doing within The Movement's chapter structure. Coordinators as well as all TZM members, again we're all volunteers. Our time and efforts are purposed by the necessity of transitioning out of the current monetary market paradigm into a sustainable resource-based model. Our meetings consist mainly for planning of activism events for feedback, for a completed project as well as being a communications portal for the movement-wide efforts that are happening around the world. We've done some global events which you're going to hear about in a second from Sharleen. We learn effectiveness of our activism by experience and we work with the resources available within our chapter regardless of its size. Everyone goes through a growing process: We started out with a couple of people in a coffee shop. Then, we moved to four people in someone's house and then for our first global event I had people come over to my house to watch Zeitgeist:Addendum and now it has blossomed into a group of about 400 people that are interested in this Movement, in the direction that we advocate. Now these events can be a little bit larger and reach out to more people at one time. There's an efficiency in doing that. On a fun note social aspects are certainly part of what we do. This is a social movement but our focus is on engaging social values via public awareness campaigns which is a race against time in regards to the mounting bio-social pressures forming in the human experience that we call civilization. You could see some of those that Peter addressed at the end of his lecture with the debt collapse energy collapse, and the like. These pressures can show up (I've made some notes for this too) as physical, which would be a resource depletion example. They could be abstract pressures, like monetary inflation. They could be physiological pressures, such as stress on individuals or environmental pressures, which is ecological degradation. (We're polluting the environment at an enormously fast rate.) This also shows up as the ultimate human failing which is warfare with other nations. These pressures, along with many others can be referenced in a recently published book from the UK called 'The Spirit Level' and I can let anyone know how to find that afterwards. We use the designation as an official chapter. There's a reason for that: The event that you're at now has been put on by what we acknowledge as Los Angeles' Official Chapter, Official Group. Just to note, it's not necessary to really maintain the status. There are a lot of people that get into this that don't have the time don't have... really they have other causes they wish to address. They may want to fight something single-focused like pollution in the oceans or the homeless specifically as a single focus. While these things may tie into what we advocate as The Zeitgeist Movement they are not what we are about on the whole because we're trying to address the social issues on a global scale. Finally, to wrap things up (I think that's it for me actually), I just wanted to lay that out so people had an understanding of how we organize what a chapter is and what we're doing. This event is an example of the Los Angeles Chapter in action so thanks for coming. I think we're going to move on to having Eva and Brandon who are the coordinators for the Los Angeles Chapter (again all these terms and names in place). There's a structure here, so people they are involved in the in-person, in-face, on-the-ground engaging of the public, of people like yourselves and trying to get this information out there in as fastest time as possible so I'd like to introduce them. [Applause] [Eva Omori - Los Angeles Coordinator] Hi, good evening, my name is Eva and I am the Los Angeles coordinator along with Brandon, here tonight and again thank you from the LA Chapter as well. I had a series of notes of things I wanted to talk about and most of it's been covered very thoroughly so you'll hear the words such as efficiency, root cause things such as this. Let me talk a little bit about my experience as someone being introduced initially a couple of years ago through a friend, through a DVD and then finding myself a year later coordinating the Los Angeles Chapter. What the Chapter really is at this level, as a local chapter is where we get an opportunity to actually put into action the goals and tenets and the ideas that have been presented. Now that's kind of a big stretch because everyone shows up with their own idea of what that's supposed to look like so as a coordinator, what we do is we facilitate those ideas showing up at the table: your idea, your project and seeing how far we can go with it. We've had projects such as the Z-Day which is a global project that we had at the Convention Center recently. We assisted with Zeitgeist: Moving Forward as far as that being a global release. We're pretty much up to whatever anybody shows up with but there's a certain amount of personal education that goes along with this. I've heard quite often "It was like all the pieces were there and when I saw the movie someone put it together for me." That application of putting that together, that learning, never stops and that's one of the things when you become or when I became active in The Movement I had the ability to further. What I'm saying is: These are ideas that are presented and you may with agree some, all... I had some I put on the back shelf and waited until I had a better understanding of the terminology and uses and really, actually just looked at the world around me to see if maybe that is a correct interpretation. Maybe I need to just shift and look. We're not here to try to convert or convince. We're presenting information that gives you a better tool to look at the world as it is. OK, what does that mean 'as it is' ? That's something that you yourself have to determine and that is one of the things that I highly value: your individual ability as well as mine and to come to an agreement and actually take action on this. To me that is what we do. We've had many opportunities, Brandon and I, out on the streets. Brandon is one of those who'll go up to complete strangers and just start a conversation about The Movement. I'm one of those people that goes up "How's your day going?" standing in the grocery line, there's fifty of us, right, one cashier. You get kind of tired of this and I kind of work my way into that conversation. So this is a great place to start. It's because it is local. We're in your neighborhood and if we're not, we'll come and visit you and we'll assist. That's part of what we do at a local chapter. That's part of our commitment. It's a personal commitment that's not everyone's commitment but how else are we going to get the word out there? How else are we going to have these discussions? How else are we going to flush all this out? How else are we going to learn this? Our ideas are bound as well whether they're workshops or understanding the material or presenting the material or understanding fallacies when they're presented. How do you deal with someone when they're just up in your face and won't listen to anything you have to say? All of it's OK. That's a big part of it. We've been so conditioned to think that things aren't OK with us and there must be something I'm doing wrong. This is an opportunity to step back, relax take a look at the world in a different viewpoint. Take your time with it. Engage with like-minded people. [You] have an opportunity to redesign your life and with it, the world. The whole humor aspect of changing the world to me isn't humorous any longer. It seemed at some distant point "Yeah, OK one person changing the world." That's not how it's going to work. What it is, is one person willing to look at things differently willing to change their mind willing to look at things a little bit differently. It is a step-by-step process. Now this step-by-step process I'm going to let Brandon talk about a little more in the most literal sense of what we physically are doing out in the real world. Brandon [Applause] [Brandon Kristy - Los Angeles Coordinator] Hey everyone, good evening. My name is Brandon Kristy. I coordinate the LA chapter with Eva and I'm going to do a quick run down of what the activism is like for the Los Angeles Chapter, and in The Movement in general. Our main purpose with the activism is to engage the public in the ideas the concepts that Peter laid out and Jason and Jen. It's the logic and the reasoning behind that lies at the core of our communications which is sustainability and peaceful coexistence and the world working together as a whole to benefit the integrity of the whole and adapting and being emergent to the best way the best methods of what we know of and hopefully these concepts become a major part of the culture. That's really, at the end of the day, what the activism is about. This picture up here is... we do a lot of different things... This is a picture of us at UCLA and one of our main things is to have discussions. We hand out materials, obviously information. We're an educational movement. I'm sure you've heard that before. We're really focused on awareness so we talk about things with people. That's one of the main things we do: discuss and, at the very least, get people thinking in that direction. The idea here is that a critical mass or a massive movement worldwide will take to this and a lot can happen at that point when we get a massive, dedicated, committed, determined movement behind us. This is just one picture here. We do banner activism. I coordinate 'The Banner Project'. I see some faces here in the audience that have done that. We go over freeway bridges. We display these massive banners. (Actually you can see one right over there.) We display them over freeway bridges. Hundreds of people see those when they drive underneath the freeway bridge. We go to busy intersections because sometimes we get kicked off the freeway bridges. We, you know, busy intersections... we go to... so also in a California-statewide coordinated effort and because a lot of the chapters in California actually have banners we all go out on the same day and just display them. It's building where more chapters start to do it and it makes more of an impact, more of a message out there. The banner project is always fun to get out there and talk to people because it sparks discussion. It sparks conversation and people, when they see it, eventually look into it. So the colleges here... We're trying to get into the colleges, speak and attend events. Speaking of events we also do sustainability events about green festivals and energy. We're trying to be everywhere because this movement touches every subject out there. There's nothing that it doesn't relate to. We're trying to be everywhere. We're going to be at the Abbot Kinney Festival in September and we... Am I leaving anything out as far as events? We do screenings. This is an event right here and just to show you to describe what it's like to put on an event: booking the event, it's committing to a date it's getting the team together, it's getting an RSVP function it's promoting it, it's doing a webcast. There's a lot to it and this is all a volunteer movement. It just goes to show how much we can actually do if we come together and work together as a chapter. Individual efforts are always fine, are always great: sliding a card in somewhere a little Zeitgeist business card but when you work together with a chapter it really just makes more sense. It can make more of an impact and I encourage everybody to get involved in the Los Angeles Chapter and work with us to create a massive movement throughout Los Angeles. People out in the world that are tuning in right now to the webcast I encourage you to join a chapter and let's create a massive movement. Thank you. [Applause] I just want to add one little thing to this before Shar steps up and talks about the global event coordination that she's been very active in and that is: Currently, you can go anywhere in the world and go to the zeitgeistmovement.com and from there, go into your country, go into your state and then find these local chapters. That's why typically I don't talk about the LA Chapter. We have URLs. We have all that good stuff. We have websites and stuff like that but always look for the zeitgeistmovement.com and you can find us. Shar [Applause] [Sharleen Bazeghi- Event Coordinator] Hi, welcome everyone and happy first day of summer and for our global audience, happy winter solstice! You've just heard about The Zeitgeist Movement the history, the definition, the chapter structure. I'm here to tell you about four events that we've done and are doing the rest of this year that illustrate how 2011 is really the year that The Zeitgeist Movement flourished as an operational organization capable of pulling off, simultaneously coordinated international, multi-country, multi-language top of the line, state-of-the-art productions. [Applause] It's no small feat when it's all volunteer. It's as Jacque says "The best that money can't buy." We skipped off the year January 15th with Peter Joseph's third movie featured film 'Zeitgeist: Moving Forward' and that was premiered internationally in over 350 locations over 60 countries, over 30 languages and tens of thousands of people saw the movie during the premiere. Hollywood would be impressed. The places we got in vary from Singapore, Mongolia, Africa We were all over the map. Every time zone brought us in so that was a huge event and then just two months later we went into Z-day which is the intellectual and educational event that's done annually. That was over 300 events worldwide, multi-language, multi-country. Then just a few months later we're kicking off with you all tonight the monthly, global Townhall meetings. Thank you for being part of our kick-off tonight. [Applause] Then finally we're kicking off another new event in September. It's globally the weekend of September 9-11 and that's the The Zeitgeist Media Festival which is a different way to approach the public through the arts, music, dance, by-passing the intellectual and going on the creative level (socially-conscious art, music and dance) but that will be at the Music Box in LA, Sunday September 11 (worldwide throughout the whole weekend) You can find out information about the bands and performers on ZeitgeistMediaFestival.org. I just want to say that I'm very honored and privileged to be part of helping coordinate these global events. To see The Movement be able to pull off these kind of productions worldwide is astonishing because I've worked on other productions in the entertainment business and there's something about the passion of volunteers doing it. These translators alone, they've turned around hundreds of pages I think of text from the movie in record time over the holidays, like two weeks. It's really impressive to see that and everyone feels so fulfilled from doing that. I just want to end with saying two things that I saw 'bumper sticker wisdom' but could tie into prompting you for questions tonight because really what we want is you to ask questions to understand that there's alternatives. Usually when you tell people there is a way outside of money they say "Oh no, we can't live that way. We're not going to go back to trading chickens and cows and stuff" but that's not what we're talking about so please feel prompted to ask, but just two short things. These are quotes that I actually heard on Facebook which is like the new bumper sticker wisdom if you have socially-conscious Facebook friends. "Humans are the only species that pay to live on Earth" and secondly, "Without money we'd all be rich." Just to get you started thinking on these concepts, right? Yeah! [Applause] So... Without any further ado, we'll bring up the panel and get started get you guys energized! Summer Perry can you come up, sweetie? She is going to be a roving moderator with a wireless mic so just raise your hand and she'll go up to you and please feel free to ask any questions. That's why we're really here. Please stay tuned for the announcement on next month's monthly Townhall. We're hoping each month to increase it so we may get to larger and larger spaces. Most of them, unless we have a special guest or something we'll be mostly just interactive with the public. Thank you so much for being here. [Audience questions and answers not transcibed]

Video Details

Duration: 59 minutes and 22 seconds
Year: 2011
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: The Zeitgeist Movement
Views: 298
Posted by: ltiofficial on Jul 5, 2011

The Zeitgeist Movement's Townhall Meetings serve as a community forum for the public to engage the Movement's coordinators about root-cause understandings to social problems and the solutions we advocate culminating in what can be termed a 'global, resource-based economic model'. Note: This 'working location' is currently open for translation into all languages. Once acknowledged, all completed and proofread 'official' translations can be found at the Repository location at: http://dotsub.com/view/9f515822-dfda-4e96-81eb-3f8e238f9204. To join/help with these efforts: http://tinyurl.com/LTcontacts

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