December 13, 2011

What Organized Labor Could Learn From Occupy Wall Street

AT A 'Personal Democracy Media' event held last night, panelists deeply involved in the labor movement repeatedly touched on what they called the failures of traditional institutions to adapt to the 21st century.

The wide-ranging, two-and-a-half-hour-long event covered territory ranging from the emergence of 'open-source brands' - the way "Occupy" became a prefix for dozens of related, uncoordinated, complementary efforts, spontaneously becoming unauthorized sub-brands of the wider movement because nobody's there to withhold permission - to the increasing power of personal connections and personal narrative.

But for several minutes, speakers with experience in the labor movement focused on the organizational arthritis that appears to now harry big unions like SEIU.

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