Session 1: What Is Y2K & Why Should We Care?



 Expanding our understanding of the "Year 2000 Problem" and how it may impact the community in which we live.

 Reflecting on the choices we will make in relation to Y2K.


"The Year 2000: Social Chaos or Social Transformation?," John Petersen, Margaret Wheatley, Myron Kellner-Rogers.

"Totally Buggin' ", Sam Williams, The Monthly, 1998.

"A Big Grocer's Y2K Nightmare," Anonymous.

"What if There Is a Technical Fix for Y2K?," Tom Atlee.

"I Once Was Blind But Now I See: The Amazing Grace of Y2K," Margaret J. Wheatley.


What exactly is theY2K problem? Can it be fixed? How serious is it, really? How might it affect your life and that of your family? What impact could it have in your neighborhood? Do we have any choice about what happens? What opportunities does this impending experience offer us? The Year 2000 Problem raises questions for which there are no certain answers and which challenge us to examine our deepest values and the behavior they lead us to. This session is intended to bring our own questions to the circle and to begin to explore how we want to respond to Y2K.

Petersen, Wheatley and Kellner-Rogers describe the year 2000 problem and the fragility of the inter-connected systems on which our present lifestyle has come to depend. They write of the scenarios which could unfold as we approach and pass 01/01/00, and recommend collaboration as a critical factor in how we weather this uncertain time.

Sam Williams warns that computer systems are vulnerable to more than the year 2000 problem. He draws on the work of computer systems engineer Daniel Kohanski, who says that we live in a society that will not function without computers, and that Y2K may be "Öthe jolt that makes us reexamine our reliance on quick-fix technology."

An anonymous supermarket manager provides a glimpse of how the Y2K glitch might affect her/ his store ñ a hint of what could occur all along the technology-dependent food chain.

There is no technical fix for this problem, we are told -- but what if there were? What if there turns out to be a technical solution? Does the vulnerability highlighted by Y2K go away? Can we sustain life on a path of isolation and dependence on technology? Tom Atlee challenges us to think about the transformational possibilities of Y2.

A second article by Margaret Wheatley ranks Y2K as her very influential "teacher" since early in 1998, guiding her to learn concretely of the fragile, complex interdependencies that support the way we live. She has learned of the difficulty we face in letting go of our comfortable belief in the "gods of technology, economics, and individualism."


ENTERING THE CONVERSATION (Each person responds)




CLOSING THE CIRCLE OR RITUAL (See "Ritual Resources" at the beginning of this guide)


 Awakening: The Upside of Y2K, ed. By Judy Laddon, Tom Atlee and Larry Shook, 1998.

Timebomb 2000, Edward & Jennifer Yourdin, Prentice-Hall, 1998.

Y2K Survival Guide, Bruce F. Webster, Prentice-Hall.

Video collection from August,1998, Y2K Conference in Boulder, CO: contact or call 303-448-8838