We believe that human beings’ most powerful skill is collective learning.
The societies we live in are the result of the knowledge, skills, values, and resources transmitted across generations. We support shared learning that honors the wisdom of experience and the importance of craft in building social movements and communities.
Many of us are encouraged to give up on learning at a young age, when we are taught not to ask too many questions. By recovering our curiosity and focus, we recover our power as thinkers, artists, healers, organizers, strategists, and institution-builders. In other words, we are able to take initiative -- an innate power all of us have -- and lead from a truer, deeper place.
We believe that a long view of history affirms a deeper identity for us as humans, as animals, as instances of life within a larger ecosystem.
The challenges we are confronting in the world today -- oppression, exploitation, and the accumulation of resources in the hands of a few -- are not unique to the last 50 or 500 years. These problems make appearances much earlier in human history.
The long view is about looking back thousands of years to begin restoring our memory of the past and planning for the future. It is about delving into our evolutionary history to draw a fuller picture of who we are as human beings; looking at how we've altered our environment in that time and evolved in our relationship to animals, plants, things; enriching our understanding of what happened in different civilizations, from Ancient Egypt to Mesoamerica, and how those events continue to make themselves felt today; and lifting up Third World struggles of resistance.
Culture & identity, as values, invite us to lift up the lessons we’ve inherited and understand our identities as multiple and interwoven over the course of millennia.
We live in a time of mass migration into countries founded on forgetting. As a result, our peoples have been encouraged to forget their stories, languages, pain, and wisdom, leaving us especially vulnerable to empires we live in. Reclaiming culture and identity is a practice of storytelling, grieving, and celebrating, where what’s even more important than the restoring memory is the decision to reconnect with who who we really are. We challenge each other to honor what we do know-- and we know more than we can say.
Relational, Respectful, Reciprocal.
Our survival for thousands of years relied on our ability to be relational, respectful, and reciprocal with all forms of life. Our ancestors studied the stars together; they built villages and cities in coordination; they learned interdependence with plants and animals. While modern Europe cast interdependence as weak and backward, we are lifting it up again, putting it at the center of our work together. We believe that when we are open to giving and receiving, our lives-- and life itself-- blossoms.
We believe that popular movements are the most powerful vehicle for effecting dramatic social change and are necessary for people to realize their own power.
Popular movements change the common sense, making what is normal in one epoch of history-- denying women the right to vote, or enslaving African people-- inconceivable in the next. In order to transform our society, we cannot simply settle for what’s winnable within our current political climate: we must create the political climate to win what we truly need.
Momentum is our primary community of practice that nurtures popular movements through dedication to the craft of organizing for liberation.
To bring any project to scale with integrity, we need to harness the intelligence of everyone involved.
We believe popular movements are bigger and stronger when they encourage self-organizing through principles of decentralized organization. Organization operates along a spectrum, from fully decentralized (Alcoholics Anonymous) to partially decentralized (Wikipedia) to fully centralized (the military). We believe popular movements are most successful when they have an intentional structure that uses the principles of decentralized organization.
Mass training is a crucial tool for bringing a movement to scale and ensuring that its principles are embodied in practice.
It lays the groundwork for maximum creativity and unity, so that each member of a movement is free to take action as she dreams but according to the movement’s principles. Mass training also wakes people up to their own power, giving them the tools and support to step into leadership.