Zeitgeist Movement supporters started pouring in from chapters all around the world as the doors opened to the very appropriately named New Globe Theatre in Brisbane, Australia, Saturday morning on the last weekend of March.
Organisers scurried excitedly, setting up the various areas, including: the merchandise space; the questions for PJ booth; the vegan food buffet; the bar; the workshop space, scattered with comfy chairs and recommended readings; and of course, the main stage, where presentations would be continuously running over the first two-day Z-Day main event.
Check out this great overview of Z-Day – Day One – by one of the very talented New Zealand coordinators, Wiri Te Moni.
The volunteer technicians, and chapter coordinators – Jason Lord from LA and Michael Kubler from Adelaide, worked tirelessly, making sure we had quality recordings of each presentation for later viewing on the TZMGlobal YouTube Channel. Audience members got comfortably acquainted and seated. (Links to presentation recordings will be added to this post as they are uploaded.)
As soon as everything was ready to go, Z-Day Global kicked off, starting with my opening presentation, where I spoke about the theme of this year’s Z-Day: Towards Global Unity and Abundance, as well as advice on creating a sustainable and successful chapter, the amount of work involved in making Z-Day happen, ways to avoid economic bigotry, and concluding with a certain framing of encouraging a unified quest to understand the nature of reality rather than personal ambition to win over your perceived opponents.
This was followed by the very knowledgeable and insightful Franky Müller, National Coordinator of the German chapter. Franky shared TZM Understandings – important information about The Zeitgeist Movement, refreshing our minds and filling in important gaps in knowledge for those still learning about the tenets and train-of-thought.
See Franky’s presentation here.
After Franky, the second of our presenters, Cameron Reilly entertained the crowd with a tongue-in-cheek questionnaire asking the audience about their own psychopathic tendencies and giving them the opportunity to measure it according to their results. He talked about the specific traits of psychopaths, touching on the idea that people who fit into this personality type are not changeable and will always be born. Additionally, the system we have created actually encourages people with these tendencies to acquire positions of power, hence the title of his presentation, the Psychopath Economy.
Simultaneously, we had set up a workshop space in the adjacent room for Z-Day participants who were more interested in being involved in activities and discussions. The first of these workshops came from Caroline Rentel, author and activist, who shared ideas about a relatively new writing genre, Solarpunk, basically based in a future society beyond scarcity and hierarchy, where humanity, nature and technology are integrated.
Caroline and Cameron’s presentations lead into lunch time, where a selection of delicious vegan foods were provided as part of the Z-Day ticket. Curries, cakes, sushi, burgers and snacks were available for all participants served on eco-friendly plates with serviettes and cutlery. Thanks to the lead food volunteer coordinator, Vicky Syme and everyone else who worked so hard to make food available for everyone. For future Z-Day organisers, I would suggest that having food available at the venue is very important in keeping the audience members together to collaborate and be on time for the presentation straight after lunch.
Our first presentation after lunch came from Rich Penney, who we flew in from Toronto, Canada. Rich has attended several Z-Days as one of the most intruiging and informed presenters within the Movement. This year he shared the very clear Contradictions of Capitalism, in a way that allowed us some insight into Rich’s life living with disability, as well as intellectual gifts that can’t be easily monetised in this society. This is a fantastic introductory presentation to help people understand the core problems of the way we have structured society.
We were next graced with the presence of two of the very talented guys from acclaimed Aussie band, Dead Letter Circus, Kim Benzie and Luke Williams. As I have personally been a long-time fan of DLC with their unique sound, emotionally evoking and incredibly conscious lyrics which fall in line beautifully with the tenets of the Zeitgeist Movement, it was amazingly awe-inspiring to hear Luke and Kim talk about their personal experience and journey as artists against oppression. The uplifting conclusion of their presentation of their song ‘While You Wait’, together with lyrics and the comically-titled ‘anti-establishment drum solo’ moved the audience to a standing ovation.
While these presentations were going on, Oliver Koslik from Canada presented interactively in the workshop space on Emotional Suppression: A short course on how to recognise and deal with gas-lighting/ambient abuse.
The fun continued on the main stage as we introduced the next of our international guests, Euvie Ivanova from the Future Thinkers Podcast. As a co-host of the Future Thinkers Podcast, Euvie promotes technology, science and consciousness for social concern.
Here is a quick overview of the premise of the Future Thinkers Podcast.
Euvie’s presentation was particularly focused on consciousness development, as she spoke pragmatically about ways in which we can explore our consciousness using methods from a variety of doctrines. This was particularly interesting to the audience as something that hasn’t been discussed in detail in regards to TZM.
The other half of the Future Thinkers Podcast, Mike Gilliland, followed Euvie’s presentation. Mike shared his thoughts on the potential of blockchain technology, beyond the limitations of bitcoin. Topics such as decentralisation, security and developing intelligent management systems were explored.
During Euvie and Mike’s presentations, the Melbourne chapter coordinators Brad Cini and Sonny Vice sat with an intrigued group in the workshop space as they spoke about their upcoming Zero Waste/Minimalisation project they are in the process of creating, and hopefully recreating in cities outside of Melbourne.
Everyone was ready for another break to debrief and snack, before moving into the final presentation of the day from ex-Italian coordinator and futurist author Federico Pistono. Federico presented Ethics of Technology, sharing an alternative look at the world’s state of affairs, suggesting ways in which technology is already shifting humanity forward, and new ethical considerations that need to be taken into account regarding this. He shared some controversial topics for discussion that lead into his concluding statement about exponential empathy.
Just before the panel, Gilbert Ismail shared a brief update on the global chapters administration and new website. Mark Enoch shared his method for marketing the RBE message in the workshop space, followed by Matt Peddie and Vera L Te Velte from the CryptoParty who showed audience members ways to make their devices more secure.
After all the presentations, I was fortunate enough to lead the Day One Panel, where audience members had the opportunity to ask the speakers questions from the first day’s presentations on the main stage. This included a lively discussion where panellists authentically shared their thoughts on activism within TZM, as well as a range of social, economic and environmental concerns and ideas for consideration.
Z-Day 2017 in Brisbane was the first Global event to have presentations as well as workshops. It was also the first with evening performances. A big thanks to the beautiful Anita Diamond for MCing and organising the evening’s performances. Roger Smith shared his spontaneous outbreaks of reason, with his passionate funk/blues/rock sound, bringing urgency to the message of the Zeitgeist Movement. This was followed by other local artists including Aceso and The Duke. The evening was complete with DJ SAMARI, coming in from Auckland, New Zealand who shared his Zeitgeist Anaglyph.
Enthusiastic minds entered the New Globe Theatre for the second and final day of the Z-Day weekend with presentation and Q & A from Zeitgeist Movement founder and Zeitgeist film creator Peter Joseph. For a quick overview of the second day, check out Wiri’s vlog below.
Californian coordinator Jason Lord, kicked off Day 2 with his presentation, Defining Root Causes – a short tour through common surface associations where people fall victim to seeing “persistent problems” as individual outcomes that need fighting or resisting. Jason’s presentation explored how to see these problems as symptoms – pointing to a systemic problem and helping people see how the system view can help shape your actions when it comes to activism and discussion with peers.
Jason then introduced Peter Joseph, TZM Founder, who started with his concise presentation titled “Train of Thought” before delving into questions I took from the PJ booth and the audience. Just some of the topics discussed include adapting to natural laws, the victims of our structure – particularly our social system, human nature, white imperial self indulgence, biodiversity, how every life support system is in decline, abundance producing mechanism, corporations, techno-capitalist apologists, structural violence, discussion about the Interreflections trailer, managing the Movement and its role in activism, philanthropy and consciousness.
Watch Peter’s Q & A in the video below.
After Peter, the audience once again enjoyed a delicious vegan lunch, before coming back for the final presentations, which were focused around the fight and the build towards the Zeitgeist Movement’s ultimate vision of a Resource-Based Economy (RBE). Richard Ostmason of the Money Free Party New Zealand, shared the work he has been doing within the political establishment to engage people into thinking about the potential of actually seeing an RBE in the short-term, particularly in New Zealand.
Next, Adelaide coordinator, Michael Kubler’s presented about the Price of Zero Transition, making a very important point that we can’t wait for collapse and then expect to grow the world we want to see out of the ashes (coined the Phoenix Model). Rather, we need to start making systemic changes now in a variety of ways if we truly want to see an RBE.
This was followed by Ziggy Tolnay of the Sydney chapter, who shared a concept called the RBE10K project, about creating a physical community in which people could participate in as a transitionary method towards a global RBE.
By this stage, the crowd was growing exceedingly weary after two full days of learning and sharing, but were very fortunate to be jolted back to the present – with the very talented and insightful Eleanor Goldfield, with her emotionally evoking and painfully accurate spoken word performance about capitalism and activism. This was followed by her presentation, which rounded up the whole two days worth of events as she shared her very honest and authentic thoughts on the importance of the fight and the build that needs to happen as we work towards a post-capitalist society, making clear that capitalism will die, but whether we die with it is up to us.
During the main stage presentations, a generous portion of the audience had made their way into the workshop space to engage with a very interesting and important presentation with one of the most experienced, thoughtful and knowledgeable ethics and systems designers, Richard Mochelle. Richard shared his thoughts on a tangible way to acquire land for a Resource-Based Economy, outside of the current methods of land acquirement, which requires submission to the current economic paradigm. Richard suggested that this land could be acquired through creating an RBE trust, in which baby boomers ultimately give their land to a cause in which promises are made to care for their land and not sell it back to the banks.
The audience had another quick break before joining us again for the final panel with Day 2 presenters, including Peter Joseph. A range of topics were once again discussed including UBI, as well as other concerns and questions regarding transition.
I’d like to put out a big thanks to Vince and JV, who have attended every Z-Day Global since its incarnation, and have worked on the door every year, providing a significant help to coordinators, including myself.
A big thanks also to my wonderful local chapter team who managed the merchandise stand, who helped set up and pack up the venue, who managed the workshop space, and generally made everything run smoothly. Particularly to James Pauly, Karl Hansen and Lara Jordan. Thanks also to the New Globe Theatre for providing the wonderful space.
Thanks also to the lovely vegan activists who spent two full-days at the event sharing their knowledge about the environmental and personal benefits of a direct active change Zeitgeist Movement advocates can make towards ethical consumer choices, including a vegan lifestyle.
Thank you also to all of the other people behind the scene who found the power within yourself to volunteer your time and energy and provide assistance without any expectation of personal gain, but purely for the message of TZM. This includes those who lent and donated needed funding, anyone who bought a ticket, anyone who was offered a free ticket due to your circumstances, anyone who asked a question, participated in any way, who offered an idea, a question, who bought merchandise or a drink, who offered their assistance in any way shape or form, or even sat passively as an audience member. Bums on seats count, and matter particularly to organisers, presenters and performers. Thanks also to our global online audience who made a weekend of it by participating in the online streaming from afar.
Another big thanks to Jason Lord, Michael Kubler and Paul Doyle who made sure the video content including streaming and videos for later viewing would be available to our global audience who couldn’t make the big trip to Brisbane. This is a significantly huge job and anyone with technical skills is always encouraged to help in this regard to make sure our content reaches a larger audience and forever into the future.
I’d also like to extend my gratitude to all of the other people behind the scene who found the power within yourself to volunteer your time and energy and provide assistance without any expectation of personal gain, but purely for the message of TZM.
A special mention to Zac Syme for your support – as well as opening your home for the presenter social night and providing a home for so many people leading up to, and over the event. Thanks to others who opened their home to travelling guests, including Simon Cole, Caroline and Karl, Ricky, Grant, Anita and Tim, James, Lara and Jack.
Thanks again to Paul Doyle for offering your studio ‘Frequencies TV’ where we recorded podcasts with coordinators and the Future Thinkers Podcast hosts Mike and Euvie, as well as for the public social night on Friday night before the event. More photos of the Pre-Z-Day Party here.
Regardless of how far the Movement may or may not have come, we still have significant momentum, and your support however much or little you can give makes a differences to our ability to spread the message. I’m eternally grateful for all of the support and truly believe with the mindset of the participant’s in this year’s Z-Day we can make the drastic change we need to see to truly create a unified, abundant world.
More photos by Michael Kubler and others here.