The Great Turning Network

The Great Turning Network is a fledgling organization that I have started to catalyze the Great Turning Movement and also to provide a way to support and empower people who want to contribute to the Great Turning.

Great Turning Groups

I see the Great Turning groups as the heart of the Great Turning Network. According to Leslie Crutchfield (How Change Happens), who studied many social movements, empowering the grass roots and helping them to connect to each other is crucial for success.

These Great Turning groups will be cohesive, committed, and long term. In the groups, we are engaged in inner work for the world, though the groups will also include social action and social change projects.

They will foster the regenerative culture that we want for society—a culture of caring, mutual respect, connectedness, cooperation, empowerment of all, generosity, love of nature, appreciation of diversity, and active hope. These must not just be intellectual ideas but deeply felt values. This way they will infuse the Great Turning Network as it grows. The Great Turning groups will also provide a deep sense of community, which has largely been lost in the developed nations as the Modern Era has progressed.

I am emphasizing the Great Turning groups because I know more about them since I am a psychotherapist and group leader. I envision the Great Turning groups being self-propagating with aid from the Great Turning Network, as some people from successful groups start new groups.

Here is a partial list of activities the groups will engage in:

  • Capacity Building. We will work on developing our capacities for successfully building and strengthening the movement and for engaging with the public.
  • Group Bonding. For each Great Turning group to be successful, we must bond with each other in a way that keeps us connected and committed.
  • Study. We will study various topics related to social transformation and social movements.
  • Personal Growth as Change Agents. We will work on ourselves to become more effective change agents.
  • Finding Your Life Purpose. Each of us can explore our life purpose as an agent of the Great Turning.
  • Working through Blocks. Working through psychological and spiritual blocks that limit our effectiveness as change agents.
  • Power and Privilege. Understanding power and privilege and working to create power-with as much as possible.
  • Deep Sharing. We will listen deeply to each other, sharing our hopes and passions, our insecurity and pain, and any difficult emotional experiences that result from actions.
  • Working through Trauma. Many of us have been traumatized, and healing this can lead to greater empathy and capacity as an change agent.
  • Communication. We will learn how to communicate successfully with people in our group and the Great Turning Network, and also with outside people while waking them up, recruiting them for the movement, or engaging with them in other ways.
  • Local Resilience. We will learn how to make our local community resilient in the face of the social breakdown that is likely because of the climate crisis.
  • Taking action together. When an action project appeals to a Great Turning group, it will act together or as part of a larger movement action.

Click here for more details about Great Turning group activities.

Click here to look at the varieties of Great Turning groups that may develop.

I am leading the first Great Turning Groups, which are pilot groups, to help us learn how these groups can best function. The goal is for group members to develop the capacities to lead their own groups. We will help interested group members to learn the skills and attitudes that will enable them to start new Great Turning groups. We will probably have a training program for group leaders and maybe also for the groups themselves.

The first pilot group has started. It meets for 2 hours every other week by videoconference, though most groups will be in person.

Strategy Group

The Great Turning Network includes a Strategy Group, which is sort of a leadership group. In this group, we discuss approaches and strategies that will grow our organization and contribute to the Great Turning.

Task Groups

Task groups have a specific goal for how they contribute to the organizationo and the movement. We are just starting to initiate various task groups. Here are my ideas about what we may need. As you peruse these groups, don’t assume that you must already have the skills to engage in its mission. In many cases, the task group will learn how to do its job from people who are experts.

Collaboration. This group’s mission is to engage other aligned organizations in collaborating to foster the Great Turning. See Collaboration.

Publicizing the Movement. This group’s mission will be to make the Great Turning Movement known to the general public.

Spreading the Word. This group’s mission will be to spread the word through personal contact about the Great Turning Movement to people who are already awake to the dangers of our time but haven’t yet embraced the Great Turning.

Waking People Up. This group’s mission will be to wake people up through personal contact to the danger of breakdown and collapse and what we can do about it.

Artistic. This group’s mission will be to contribute to the Great Turning Network through art, graphic design, website design, videography, and other creative endeavors.

Technical. This group’s mission will be to contribute to the Great Turning Network through website production, social media promotion, editing, proofreading, video editing, and other technicall skills.

Power and Decision Making. This group’s mission will be to arrange the power and decision making in the Great Turning Network to be done in a way that is collaborative, democratic, transparent, etc. See Power and Decision-making.

Diversity. This group’s mission will be to promote the diversity of the Great Turning Network by making it congenial to people of color, people from very different cultures, and other oppressed groups, and by reaching out to these people.

If you have an idea for a different task group that you would like to be part of, bring it up in a Great Turning Network meeting or email us about it.

Local Chapters and National Organizations

As the Great Turning Network grows, we will probably have many Great Turning Groups in the same city, town, or region. Then it will make sense to start a local chapter in that area. These chapters can undertake projects that are bigger than any one Great Turning Group could engage in. They may work on local publicity, recruitment, working together with local authorities, and so on. Eventually, we will also need to have national Great Turning Network organizations.

Your Contribution

If you would like to contribute to the beginnings of the Great Turning Network, you could do it in the following ways:

  1. Join our email list.
  2. Contribute your ideas by giving feedback on our website or dialoguing with us in some way. Tell us about initiatives you know that are also aimed at the Great Turning.
  3. The Great Turning Network will soon be having open meetings where anyone can participate. Come to some of these meetings.
  4. Pass on our website to as many people as possible, through email, personal contact, social media, etc. 
  5. Join a task group that fits your talents and interests.
  6. Arrange for us to speak at gatherings, conferences, and so on.
  7. Join a pilot Great Turning Group where the focus is on creating a vibrant group while learning the skills and procedures to make the Great Turning Group culture successful. 

Please contact me at earley.jay@gmail.com if you want to contribute in any of these ways.