Tell us about a meaningful experience you have had with self organizing and or ways you are engaging with new forms of leadership and organization. Iíve coordinated numerous citizen-based, grassroots projects outside organizational structures to bring about legislative actions in Hawaii. These have included a Democratic Party grassroots conference in 1993 that led to landmark ethics and campaign reform legislation; 1998 grassroots campaign that eliminated a constitutional provision giving winning incumbent senators longer terms than challengers in elections; 2002-2004 campaign to repeal a legislative rule giving a committee chair veto power over a majority vote of members; and a recent petition drive and YouTube? video program to pull civil unions legislation to the senate floor for a vote (bill was successfully brought up for a vote, but a procedural tactic defeated the bill).

To eliminate a long-standing fiefdom power system among senators, in 1997 I helped institute a committee co-chair system that reversed communication incentives from secrecy to collaboration. Four years later, senators who sought to foster collaboration were removed from leadership positions by traditional uses of political power.

When you think about leadership in a self organizing world what questions are cooking you? What do you hope to learn at this gathering? I am interested in receiving feedback from others on what I have learned in my 20 years in the Hawaii legislature, that: political power and fear have addictive qualities that can be released; as the addictions are released, leaders are able to empower themselves using vision-based actions to communicate authenticity, integrity, and accountability; empowered leaders can be carriers of a new political culture that resonates with collective energies in the community and serves as an alternative to the prevailing control- and fear-oriented culture; and every person can be empowered similarly to express themselves through their actions as a way of living life, beyond only seeking to accomplish goals.