Ch22 A War Room for New Colleges Project (2032)

dg-individual freedom vs. social responsibility

By Nov. 2032, Women In Congress (WinC) realized they needed a lot more strategic muscle. Less formal “panels” and “committees” were simply unable to make good decisions, delegate mandates effectively; nor, supervise a large subordinate group of writers.

A “War Room” was needed. This would be a small group whose primarily focus was strategy only--as much as possible. Several women mentioned a War Room was used to plan the D-Day attack on Normandy Beach in WWII. That War Room had been led by General Dwight Eisenhower. The comparison to D-Day felt right to women.

New Colleges Project would likely require considerable sustained effort until it might become self-sustaining. The effort would require scores of interns. Hundreds of women volunteers and activists would ask to contribute. A central War Room was needed, if for no other reason, to keep Public Relations on an even keel, respond to attacks, and to journalists' questions. Maybe they could also oversee Human Resources too?

A War Room was needed to:

- First, identify, What are the “rocks”? What are the “pebbles”? Which “big rocks” go into the jar first, and

- Second, evoke the respect and cooperation of lesser groups to align with the New Colleges vision.

This was needed yesterday. Paradoxically, the most problematic male trope of all, “war,” supported women to be less fearful about the many-headed-hydra they faced: prepping for and deploying, five new college campuses with totally re-worked courses, teaching methods and faculty-admin relations.

Women did not like impaneling women who would form a body with power second only to Women In Congress on this project. Still, everyone was able to cooperate with the necessity.

Women In Congress interviewed 25 candidates, eventually hiring six women and one man. The War Room Mandate was to oversee the New College Projects in all details, to delegate smaller mandates to new workgroups as needed.

A big part of chartering a War Room was conceiving of and documenting procedures to terminate individuals in the War Room, when and if, power went to their head, instead of to their heart.

A procedure was also crafted for Women In Congress to terminate the entire War Room staff and start over with a fresh group. These procedures allowed more women to feel safe enuf to trust the process of creating a new body to oversee strategy and have authority over lesser bodies producing New Colleges.

The War Room Mandate described the “heavy lifting” of creating New Colleges as:

- Identifying the “big rocks” of New Colleges; and, supervise-guide the Writers Room to include these in all core courses,

- Conceive of a new kind of ideal graduate, describing this in measurable terms as much as possible, without losing sight of a heartfelt look and feel,

- Supervise the Writers, to re-conceive core courses, based on a transformed values structure, and

- Imagine five new campuses, determine where to put them; and then, the logistics of building them out, enrolling students, for the opening semester, hopefully in the Fall of 2035.

Work begins

War Room principals were hired in part on their prior experience working on teams tasked with big projects. Collectively, they had five decades of teamwork experience. Before firing off mandates for others, they knew it would be an error to start without first doing their own group work. Their group work To Do list included:

- Sharing biographies,

- Coming to consensus on the Governance of the War Room (organizational model),

- How they would work together; and, how to handle interpersonal conflict when it arose (Blueprint of WE. For more, see an early chapter of this text).

Given many had experience with such exercises, these preliminaries were completed in four days.

Put our cards on the table

The next task was to share personal assumptions, which methods and models each believed most useful for the project at hand. This took two days and many powerpoint presentations. This was the beginning of forging common language for War Room process. Later, these same preliminaries were proposed for faculty and admin at New Colleges, to use in forming new campus admin culture.

War Room: personality preferences

In MBTI terms, the seven War Room principals were all either Diplomats or Analysts. - Most identified as Cultural Creatives.

The Diplomats in the War Room had all read and were fans of:

- Marshall Rosenberg's Compassionate (nonviolent) Communication (NVC), and

- Claude Steiner's, Emotional Literacy; Intelligence with a Heart.

The Analysts in the war Room were more engaged by Wm. Ury's, Getting to YES with Yourself and other Worthy Opponents. This is what started the topic of always having a Plan B, the best alternative to what you want from your opposite in a negotiated agreement.

Neither group thought much of Daniel Goleman's Emotional Intelligence (1995) or EQ 2.0 (2018).

Both Diplomats and Analysts liked and encouraged use of the Hexaco Personality Inventory. HEXACO is a post-MBTI development addressing the main deficit of the MBTI model. MBTI has no way to identify and talk about truly toxic personalities and sociopaths. HEXACO emphasizes measuring the qualities of honesty and humility in personality profiling. Individuals low on both honesty and humility were (privately) deemed poor candidates for hiring. HEXACO was a terrific tool for evaluating new hires to the Writers Room and other staff positions.

To Learn More

Individual needs vs. group needs

Both Diplomats and Analyst groups agreed on the big necessity to address the conflict between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group. This was quite possibly the most central deficit of male-centric college group process and administration. Did you see the pumpkin pie image above?

A week later, the War Room had its first meeting. It was held in a “fishbowl,” held within a larger group meeting, in Senate Hearing Chambers. All WinC members involved or interested were present to have their own first-hand impression of the new War Room look and feel. In this first meeting, observers only observed. Afterwards, written and verbal feedback was collected from observers.

Out of their first meeting, their first communique back to Women In Congress was, “The War Room realizes the bottleneck of anxiety is today's priority. We are on it. We remind you to recall:

- The greatest fear most people have is interpersonal conflict, and

- Psychologist William Glasser says, "No one does well in a crisis."

We honor this opportunity to serve and support Women In Congress and your vision for New Colleges.

War Room Analysts quickly came to consensus on a proposal, “We need a Writers Room of people who like to write, revise old curriculum, research and write new curriculum. This task is central. The War Room can not engage in this deep, wide task without losing its focus on overall strategy.

The War Room Diplomats agreed. They added, these writers were likely to be Cultural Creatives. Yet another discussion ensued, catching up people unfamiliar with the role and function of Cultural Creatives (many new ideas had to be explained repeatedly as more and more people were involved in New Colleges).

In this first War Room meeting, the first draft of a Writers Room mandate was hammered out. Writers would take the lead on curriculum. They were to produce; first, all new core curriculum texts. Second, to produce the new teacher-texts for each core course.

Finally in this first meeting, the War Room set a meeting date to work out how to hire interns from the Paid Year of Service and employ them for the roll-out of five new campuses.

Many women breathed a sigh of relief once the War Room began to function. "To be or not to be" anxiety about fixing colleges diminished. Even tho, from time to time, Women In Congress wondered if the inmates had taken over the asylum, progress occurred and deadlines were met. The War Room proved it was safe enuf to try, safe enuf for another step in this trust-walk towards the highest good of all concerned.

Don't Want~Do Want exercise

The War Room was so impressed with Sarah Peyton's exercise, granting women permission to voice “What we do NOT want!” which then makes room for voicing, “What we DO WANT!” They wrote this up and assigned a facilitator to lead the new War Room thru the exercise.

Not surprisingly, they came up with with many of the same items. Yet, new items emerged, crucial for setting up, managing and guiding the Writers Room in their tasks:

Roll back the stranglehold of cheap pop-culture

- They did NOT want New College graduates to swallow corporate pop-culture as their main culture. Pop-culture is culture which rarely challenges viewers to think for themselves. Instead of challenging the status quo, commercial pop-culture is largely restricted to variations on “rose-colored glasses” view of earlier, happier times: nostalgia (Marvel Cinematic Universe, we are looking at you).

The War Room DID WANT grads to be exposed to, practice with; and when they graduate, embrace real culture:

- evidence-based Best Practices, in whichever field they specialize in,

- Best Practices for reducing interpersonal conflict; and,

- Best Practices for increasing interpersonal intimacy.

Traditionally, pop-culture serves none of these functions.

Replace Patriarchy with wholeness

We DON'T WANT Patriarchy as our social operating system.


Terry Real: In Patriarchy, a person can be either powerful or they can be connected. You can't be both at the same time. Let me say this again. Under Patriarchy you can be connected, accommodating, accepting, affiliative (feminine). Or you can be powerful: assertive, independent, (masculine). Yet you can't be both at the same time.

Why? Because as defined by men, “power” is always POWER OVER; not, power with. In patriarchy terms, when you step into power, you step out of relationship. [you hold yourself above all constraints of relating and connection].

The new paradigm is to stand up for yourself, stand up for the relationship and stand up for your partner--all in the same breath.

Most often when a partner in a couple steps into their power, they step out of the relationship. This is a losing strategy.

“I don't like how you're talking to me.” vs. “I want to hear what you have to say. Can you change the way you are speaking to me so i can listen to you?”

end Q

To Learn More

Within a Patriarchal operating system, women are systematically excluded from full participation in political and economic life.

We wish NOT to support patriarchy within New Colleges admin, within the faculty nor within classrooms.

To paraphrase therapist-trainer, Terry Real's 2018 statement, The essence of masculinity is one-sided valuing of healthy, traditional male values and behaviors; opposed to and with contempt for, healthy feminine values and behaviors.

Terry goes on in the same 2018 interview, “After WW II, especially in the 1970s we began to want--women began to want--more intimacy.

“Intimacy is a good thing. I stand up for intimacy. I stand up for not being in a relationship where one or both are suffering more than they are benefitting. The old rules of Patriarchy are not going to get us there. We need to re-configure who we are both as men and as women. Frankly, we need a new vision.

“What we DO WANT is a new vision of wholeness.” Terry goes on, “The vision I work with, my plumb line when I'm working with boys and girls and men and women--is wholeness. I want to undo this “halving” process. I want girls and women to be strong and sexy and feminine and confident and kick ass and inviting and all of the above.

“I want men and boys to be strong and big-hearted and vulnerable and sensitive and confident and aware and heartfelt all at the same time. What we need are whole people. Feminism gets this concept in relation to girls and women.

“Yet people still do worry about boys and men. If boys and men get in touch with their "feminine side," oh my gosh, they're going to lose their spines and other parts of their anatomy...”

To Learn More

“Renowned Therapist Explains The Crushing Effects Of Patriarchy On Men And Women Today” by Kathy Caprino (2018)

Replace “markets” with Community

Before 1900, in the West and elsewhere, our social organizing hub was local community. Since about 1960, in the West, local communities become weak and inward-turning (see Neil Postman, Douglas Rushkoff). Worse, thinking about intentional community did not evolve; except, among a very few Cultural Creatives.

Into this void corporations flowed. They used computing to organize everything and everyone into markets, to be manipulated with advertising. To a corporation, your spending habits are the most important thing about you, more important than your values, your aspirational values, your religion, your race.

The War Room wanted to find a way to employ New Colleges to reverse this one-sided trend dominating-distorting our social sphere.

What else do we want? In the 1970s, Cultural Creative women wanted more healthy “intimacy.” Few people could understand this when stated as a demand. In the 1980s, Cultural Creative teachers termed this “multiple intelligences.” Multiple Intelligences did get thru to a minority of academics and K-12 teachers, 1980s-1990s.

In the late 1990s, some Cultural Creatives re-named “intimacy” “whole-brainedness,” the use of intelligences in both left and right brain hemispheres; as well, the use of intelligences in both our gut-brain and head brain. This was as successful as a lead balloon.

In 2031, it seemed easier to simply call talk about “wholeness.” Stop trying to define intimacy. Instead, give examples and more meaningful, embody wholeness when two or more are gathered, demonstrate it, as Iain McGilchrist does, as the Gal Godot Wonder Woman portrays it.

dg-Gal Godot © DC comics

Finally in this first meeting, the War Room set a meeting date to work out how to hire interns from the Paid Year of Service and employ them for the roll-out of five new campuses.

With these items added to the Don't Want~Do Want list, the War Room felt it was in good shape to begin to create and delegate to a sub-group, a group of 20 writers.

With a War Room in place and a Writers Room coming for the biggest task, women were calmer about accepting the consequences of their momentous choice. Their conviction was re-enforced, "We have reached a Choice Point: no way to go back to male-centric colleges; no way to stand still. The only way is forward."

Women were ready to move, to protect their young adult children; women were not waiting for permission.



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Bruce Dickson

Bruce Dickson

Health Intuitive, author in Los Angeles, CA