I recently attended my first ARNOVA (Association for Research on Nonprofit Organization and Voluntary Action) conference and, not surprisingly, encountered a good deal of discussion about the Occupy Wall Street movement. Elements of OWS were brought up as examples during research presentations (mine included), panel discussions, and roundtable sessions and a variety of “brainstorms in progress” were producing plans for researching the movement (check out Hector Cordero-Guzman’s initial draft report about users of the OWS website for an early installment on the research front).
Beyond the more formal academic thinking and discussion, there was also a substantial amount of speculation afoot about where the movement is heading and how it would respond to various internal struggles and external challenges. Everyone had a hypothesis about what would happen next. For an organization with official sections devoted to Community and Grassroots Association and “Pracademics,” it occurred to me that given the right opportunity, some of the conference participants could potentially have a say in that process. Continue reading