NAME:  Michael
AGE:  51
PROFESSION:  I do backstage work for Broadway shows.
DESIRED PROFESSION:  I want to be at home, be with my grandchildren and work off the Internet.  I have a small Internet-based business that I want to blow up so I can just spend more time with the family.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  I believe that we should dissolve the monetary system, do away with the Federal Reserve and finally create a resource-based economy, so we could take away this false scarcity between the “haves” and the “have nots” and finally be able to breathe.  For all of humanity to be able to take a fair share of what is deserving to us on this planet.  It’s funny how we’re the only animals on this planet that have to pay to live on it.  It’s not right. There’s enough for everyone’s need but not enough for everyone’s greed. We’ve got to get rid of greed.


NAME:  Nina
AGE:  24
PROFESSION:  I’m a model and a bartender. Here, I’ve been helping with the media tea.
DESIRED PROFESSION:  I’d like to be a documentary filmmaker.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  I could have a lot of different answers but in general I think the most important thing is that people need to be conscious and aware and treat each other with care. I think that needs to be the basis of any society that people treat each other in a humane way.


NAME:  Jordan
AGE:  26
PROFESSION:  Odd jobs.
DESIRED PROFESSION:  To work in the construction industry, which is what I studied in college.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?: It should be a place where 1% of the people don’t control such a large portion of the money. I believe any system that you create starts with the greatest of ideals but it’s like a white pair of sneakers.  It looks fresh coming out of the store but slowly over time it gets nicked up and dirtied just like a political system or a religion starts with the greatest ideals becomes more and more corrupt over time. People find loopholes in the system and eventually it gets to the point where things are not for the greater good.  As you can see right now, people who have all the money are hoarding the money. Corporations are doing well but people aren’t finding jobs. A lot of people don’t know where the blame really lies. They blame each other. You have people blaming illegal immigrants for our not having a job. They blame ageism, they blame racism, but that’s why I feel it’s important for me to be here because I’m a white male with a college degree in civil engineering. I’m ambitious I work hard and if I can’t get to where I want to be… I have many friends who also have law degrees and degrees in many other fields, where they took out thousands and thousands of dollars of loans to improve their life and now they’re stuck saddled in debt working at Starbucks, working at Home Depot just trying to make ends meet.  So I just feel that that’s not really the way that the systems meant to be. It’s really not for the greater good.


NAME:  Natasha
AGE:  21
PROFESSION:  I’m a painter.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?: Well I definitely would like there to be more transparency. I think that a lot of why people are so confused, why we’re doing this, is because there’s so much this country has hidden. You really have to educate yourself, do your own research to figure out what’s actually going on. So I just hope there’s more transparency 'cause I feel like that’s really the only way that everyone who isn’t doing their own research can really understand what’s going on. 


NAME:  Joshua
AGE:  21
PROFESSION: Unemployed college student.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  The future should look a lot like this. This is a good, small working model for what I think you want to see on a grander scale. It’s a sense of community and help.  Everyone really does a lot of favors for each other and looks out for each other. I’ve never seen anything like it, it’s so moving.  Back in my hometown, there are neighbors I’ve had for years that I never talk to or don’t know anything about. You see them everyday and you don’t even make an effort to get to know them.  I’ve only been here a week but I’ve met people I would call best friends, people I’d want to be in touch with forever.  It’s awesome.  This is what I want the future to be like.  People coming together and really making a change.


NAME:  Grace
AGE:  63
PROFESSION: I’m a filmmaker and a political, spiritual, animal rights and revolutionary activist.
It should look like a shared world where all the resources, the wealth, the means of making more wealth and the land are equally shared and distributed amongst all the people and all the beings including the non-human animals.  The plants as well are respected, everybody’s rights are respected and we share, and we take a village to raise our children.


NAME:  Karen
AGE:  43
PROFESSION: I’m a reiki healer.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  It shouldn’t be so imbalanced.  We really need to get a little bit more balance. I have a problem that there are billionaires when millions of people are suffering. This doesn’t make any sense at all.


NAME:  Rob
AGE:  54
PROFESSION:  Artist, musician, writer
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?: I know quite a bit about business and finance and if we don’t get hold of it and rethink the way we’re doing things, get business out of the way, restore democracy, particularly economic democracy, then we’re sunk. Right now we have an oligarchy that’s ruling, a small group of people who are making an amazing amount of money over the last 20 or 30 years. They now own the political system, they own the economic system.  Unfortunately, three generations are in debt slavery right now, people who borrowed money for houses and student loans.  I’m here to try to make a difference. I’m hopeful.  I see this an inflection point. If we can get a critical mass going here to reorient the direction of the world and the Western world then we stand a chance.  People can meaningful lives. The alternative unfortunately, is that a lot of people are going to live in debt slavery and increasingly, political slavery.


NAME:  Jessica
AGE:  23
PROFESSION:  Unemployed.
DESIRED PROFESSION: I want to be a social worker. I want to go to school but unfortunately it’s very expensive I don’t want to put myself in debt in the process.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  It would be a lot less unemployment. There wouldn’t be as much taxes on everything.


NAME:  Bennet
AGE:  75
PROFESSION: I’m retired.  I’ve done all kind of work, everything from driving a truck, to working on the Alaskan Pipeline as a welder. I’ve been a psychotherapist, and I’ve been a journalist.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  I’ve seen these demonstrations for 50 years and this is a very unique one. This is the first demonstration since the 1930’s that is an economic protest. All the other demonstrations that I’ve covered in detail were single issue.  Civil rights, I’m for it, gay rights I’m for it, women rights I’m for it, anti-Vietnam War I’m for it.  But they did not go to the heart of where social justice comes from.  All social justice comes from economic justice.  And that’s what this is all about.

I have a very pessimistic vision of the future.  I love what’s happening here, but I know the opposition is just trying to figure out what it’s all about. They’re not dumb and they’re gonna start figuring things out but I don’t know what they’ll come up with.

I wrote a whole book called Daylight America in which I said something like this is gonna happen. I’ve been waiting for it.  What’s unique about today is that you have labor joining with student activists and cultural revolutionaries for the first time. Usually they’ve been in opposition. Something historic is happening today. And so about the future, the problem is that in the beginning, movements are full of optimism. They really make you happy and rightfully so. There’s hope. You really want things to be better. People aren’t here for individual glory. But once revolutions begin to take hold and begin to mature they start to change.  Later, big egos start vying for leadership. By 20 years later the movement is degenerated.  I’ve seen that with every movement. Egomaniacs get involved and the principles get diluted. That’s want I’m worried about even if this is successful. What could we do?  What kind of mechanism could prevent that kind of aspect of human nature to come forth and corrupt a really meaningful and justifiable sentiment and desire for a better world?


NAME:  Burton
AGE:  65
PROFESSION: I’m retired. I use to do masonry and grew organic garlic.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  I like the present. But at least in the future we’ll hopefully not have any fracking. They don’t totally understand it.  They’re messing with forces they shouldn’t, and it seems they’re only interested in protecting New York City while the rest of New York State is going to be a guinea pig. I believe in nature. I like to grow things and I don’t think they have a right to do it.  I think Cuomo made a bad mistake.  


NAME:  Owen
AGE:  22
PROFESSION: I’m a visual artist. I do assemblage, sewing, painting, drawing, sculpture.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  I asked a lot of people to write messages, their dreams and their nightmares, on my dream catcher.  Somebody wrote recently that this is the start of a very long fight. I believe that and I believe that it is a fight worth fighting.  It may take a while but eventually more and more people will open their minds and their hearts and begin to live compassionately.  There’s so much greed going on in the world that is not making anyone happy. It’s not making the people who are accumulating all this wealth any happier to have it, and they’ll start to realize that and realize that they’re much happier giving rather than taking.


NAME:  Dave
AGE:  30
PROFESSION: I’m a writer and consultant. 
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  I write about design, urbanism and engage in issues of land use and development for the state. I’d certainly like to think we could build a greener, cleaner more efficient future. I believe in cites. I believe in density. I don’t believe in sprawl. I think sprawl is part of what got us into this disaster, Wall Street trying to capitalize on suburban development. I want less of that more of the other.  


NAME:  Ian
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  I think the future looks kind of like this. The future looks like a place where people actually trust each other and can come together and cross the lines of class, race, education and we could share the knowledge that’s already here in this country and that’s how we could get stronger in the country and on the planet. And that’s how we can actually solve problems like the global economic crisis and the global environmental crisis. We have the knowledge but we are divided up.


NAME:  Shawn
AGE:  22
PROFESSION: Right now I’m working and living in a community in Reinbeck called Omega where we do volunteer work and they feed us give us a place to stay.
DESIRED PROFESSION: Looking for anything really like that community just helping out. I’m really into naturalpathic medicines so something like that would be really up my alley.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  Everyone giving a shit about each othere, something where everyone helps each other out.   Communal living is extremely important.  If things were to happen most people don’t know where to turn and what to do. When you are surrounded by people who love you things are a lot easier.


NAME:  Yoel
AGE:  35
PROFESSION: I’m a journalist and a computer programmer.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?:  First of all, I participate because politically, I am a humanitarian socialist.  As a Jew I’m working on building grass roots friendships with Muslims. I’m an anti-Zionist and I’m trying to promote progressive values among more traditional Jews.

The future should be stateless, classless, united, and peaceful.  People should love each other instead of competing with each other. People should share resources and use a gift economy instead of a market economy.

Communism existed for thousands of years before the invention of the state. For example, bushman tribes in Africa were living in peace without wars, without leadership, almost with no hierarchy whatsoever.  That was communism.  When most people hear “communism” they think, Soviet Union.  But the Soviet Union wasn’t communist at all.  It was a large corporation, basically. It was state capitalism. If you picture a large corporation, say Microsoft, taking over this country, where everything is made by just one corporation.  And they can say, we provide you work, we provide you with everything, you just have to follow rules.  Join our corporation or you die. The Soviet Union might have had some elements of socialism but actually it was an example of what happens when a corporation grows too big.  Communism, I believe, can only built from bottom up.


NAME:  Zack
AGE:  22
PROFESSION: I’m currently unemployed, I graduated from undergrad in May and so for the past couple of months I’ve been living with my parents.
DESIRED PROFESSION:  I studied philosophy so my dream would be to teach philosophy at some university somewhere.
WHAT SHOULD THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?: I’m a fairly old school Marxist, and as a philosopher I think about it in abstract terms.  The whole idea we have of owning things, you can talk about it in so many different ways, that we have “rights” over these objects, to me it doesn’t correspond to anything real. It’s all in our heads, basically.  In my opinion, in an ideal world, we wouldn’t have money. The problem with Capitalism is the idea of profit. I believe there’s an Edward Abbey quote that’s something like, “continuous growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”  Our whole drive for profit is what has been fucking us in the ass. It’s the entire reason why we’re not living in anything resembling a sustainable way.  So my worry is that most people here think that if we just tax corporations, tax the rich, increase regulations, then we can go back to business as usual. But that’s just delusional to me.  To me the ultimate argument against Capitalism is global warming.  I have no other way to explain how we are doing this to our planet other than to say that we care about profit and not the resources that we’re using or sustainability.