Driving home from work last week, I heard a story on NPR’s Marketplace about how a year after the Tunisian revolution, people were still protesting in the streets. The prevailing feeling, the commentator said, was that even though the government had been overthrown, nothing had changed.
“I have a Master’s degree in English and I’m still unemployed five years,” said one Tunisian man. If you read my last post, you’ll understand why this struck a nerve. But it also reminded me that a lot of Americans are in that same position — overeducated, underemployed and annoyed at the stagnant position our economy is in.
More than a year ago, a group of people upset with the bank bailouts decided to occupy Wall Street. In major cities across America, #occupy movements popped up like McDonald’s franchises. There were murmurs that maybe this was some kind of American version of the Arab Spring. Unlike the Tea Party movement, which was born of the same disgust with government waste and financial abuse but leaned towards the other end of the political spectrum, the #occupy movement garnered a lot of positive press. Even meetings publications started talking about how we should #occupy our old meetings format to drive change.
But you can’t #occupy change. And anyone who’s seen footage of their general assemblies can tell you why.