Democracy has to be born anew every generation, and education is its midwife.

—John Dewey



The Occupy protests have accomplished a great deal. They have raised awareness of the glaring inequalities that now characterize American society and galvanized many forms of public response. We are in sympathy with those protests. In the end, though, it isn’t this or that park or public space that we aspire to occupy. It is nothing less than the future of this country that is at stake and that we hope to help shape—to occupy—through our actions.

For this broader Occupy movement to grow, it will require other groups outside encampments to mobilize other constituencies, by other means, around other issues. That is what we, a coalition of faculty, staff, undergraduate, and graduate students operating under the name of Occupy the Future, intend to do at Stanford. We call on the entire Stanford community to come together with a host of groups from our surrounding community for a rally in White Plaza on Friday, December 9 between 1:30-3:00 pm. We do not, however, mean for this to be a one-time event. Instead we mean to embed the rally in a sustained series of activities that point to the future.

Read the full Occupy the Future statement.

Attend Occupy the Future Events

Attend the Teach-In, Rally and Public Forum on December 9

See full schedule of events.

  • Noon–1:15 pm: Concurrent teach-in sessions addressing specific issues raised by the Occupy movement, to be held in central campus area. See the flyer.
  • 1:30–3:00 pm: Rally in White Plaza. See the flyer.
  • 3–5 pm: Public Forum Discussion at the Oak Room, Tresidder Student Union

Watch a live stream of the rally.

Film Screenings, Arts and Discussion

A series of teach-in style events and discussions, some organized around films that touch on issues related to the inequalities, are described below.

  • December 3 - Screening of Inside Job at 3 pm. The fiom will be followed by a discussion with the director, Charles Ferguson, in Cubberley Auditorium. See the flyer 
  • December 5 - Screening of GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth from noon–2 pm at Herrin Hall T-175
  • December 6 - Screening of Mother: Caring Our Way out of the Population Dilemma from 4:05–6:00 pm at Herrin Hall T-175
  • December 7 - Screening of Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction from noon–2 pm at Herrin Hall T-175
  • December 9 - #Occupy Poetry: Reclaiming Our Words, Stanford Spoken Word Collective Open Mic and Fall Showcase from 7:30-8 pm (open mic) and 8-9:30 (showcase) at Black Community Service Center, Brandon Family Community Room

Admission to all teach-in events is free.

Read Occupy the Future Short Essays

Stanford faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates have volunteered to write a series of short essays focused on the tension between our country's grandest and most cherished ideals and the actual practice of our institutions. Faculty address the general issue, and students provide a personal perspective on the issue. The faculty essays are available at the Boston Review, and student opinions are published by Stanford Daily.

Are we entering a moment in which the glaring inequalities between the "1%" and the "99%" have cast the disjuncture between our principles and our practices into especially sharp relief? Are new developments, such as the rise of extreme inequality, opening up new threats to realizing our most cherished principles? Can we build an open, democratic, and successful movement to realize our ideals?

Our simple purpose is to lay out what our country's principles are, whether we're living up to them, and what can be done to bring our actual practices into better alignment with them.

Additional Perspectives


The Occupy the Future effort at Stanford University is being led by a growing group of faculty, staff and students. Learn more at @OTFStanford, or subscribe to the EndInequality listserv.

This website will provide updated information about the Occupy the Future teach-in and associated activities. Please send web page updates to Clayton Hurd.

The Occupy the Future events are the product of distributed leadership among Stanford University students, faculty and staff. In addition to the faculty authors of the short essays above, the following individuals have been actively involved throughout the organizing and planning process.


Graduate Students Undergraduate Students
Ron Alfa Dan Ashton
Allison Anoll John Haskell
Karina Kloos Emma Ogiemwanye
Joshua Loftus Kelsei Wharton  
Rachel Wright