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  • I organized a panel discussion of working artists, writers and cartoonists, who incorporate political and environmental values into their work. Shannon Wheeler was part of the panel, a cartoonist who recently collaborated with Steve Duin on a graphic novel about the oil spill in the Gulf. The book is called Oil and Water. Matt Bors is an editorial cartoonist. Lidia Yuknavitch is a memoirist and author who confronts life as she sees it, as a woman and powerful thinker. Nora Robertson was our moderator. I'm in the black and white suit. I write about things, and try to keep a focus on what matters: humans, the environment, ideas. As part of this panel I hoped to give the entire audience a voice. I wanted to minimize the difference between the speakers and those attending. Good ideas can come from anybody in the room. To break down the divide, I asked everyone to answer a few questions on paper, to tell us who was there, what they were thinking about. The results are on the wall behind us: that's the voice of the crowd.
    I'm kind of in love with the voice of the crowd.
    After this event I launched the Sense-Us Bureau, an ongoing exploration, the pulse of collaborative moments.
    Listen to those voices. Every one of us is walking around with ideas, thoughts, goals and anxieties. When they're all together as one collective voice, it's not about individual concerns so much as it is about what it means to be human.
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