By Richard John Stapleton, PhD, CTA, Moderator

The Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour will again be open for discussion this coming third Saturday of the month, October 19, 2019 during 11-12 a.m.

This Saturday we will again meet at the Eagle Creek Brewing Company.

Franklin Dismuke, entrepreneur, owner, and CEO of Eagle Creek Brewing Company, a graduate of the Georgia Southern Parker College of Business, agreed to us doing the forum while his pub is open for business.

Invite your friends who are also invited and drop by Eagle Creek Brewing Company at 106 Savannah Avenue in Statesboro at eleven a.m. this coming Saturday, October 19, for an hour of interesting and stimulating economic, political, and social discussion. We’ll have more room and better parking than we had at my office.

The main purpose of the Ogeechee Economic Forum is to provide an equal opportunity for responsible citizens to test their ideas for dealing with economic, political, and social problems and opportunities. If you don’t know a good answer for a problem maybe someone else in the group will. Hopefully the process will make us all better citizens.

The process utilizes a Classroom De-Gamer™. A spinner attached to the De-Gamer will select the LEADER OF THE HOUR who will create the agenda by answering three questions, whatever pops into mind, about what s/he thinks is the most significant economic, political, or social problem or opportunity right now.

What is the problem?

What are the alternatives?

What do you recommend?

Rarely will the De-Gamer select a leader who knows right answers for these sorts of problems and issues, since there are no “right” answers for them, or at least there are no provably-true right answers.

Once something is codified into a rule, law, or doctrine, it’s true that the rule, law, or doctrine entails such and such, and if one knows what is codified s/he knows a “right” answer; but it’s almost impossible to prove that what was codified should have been codified in the first place, or as it was. It’s even more difficult to prove, even with hindsight, that economic and political decisions were “right”, so anything the LEADER OF THE HOUR brings up will generate interesting and stimulating discussion.

Anyone can respond to what the De-Gamer-selected leader said with what s/he thinks are better answers, on a first-come first-serve basis, after the De-Gamer-selected leader stops talking.

One spin of the De-Gamer most of the time generates about one hour of back and forth discussion about what the De-gamer-selected leader said and about what others said. If the discussion runs out of steam before the hour is up we can spin the De-Gamer again, or quit for the day.

The purpose of the discussion is to learn and educate, not to indoctrinate, by co-constructing consensual answers. About the best you can hope for in most groups, organizations, and systems is to co-construct consensual answers that are good enough to satisfy most people affected by them.

The Ogeechee Economic Forum is non-partisan. Persons of all political persuasions and faiths are welcome.

The “Spinner” makes sure all participants (including me the moderator) have an equal shot at being the Leader of the Hour. If the spinner lands on me I will present and answer the three questions just like any other participant would. Once the De-Gamer-selected leader breaks the ice it’s free flow from then on. Anyone can become the LEADER OF THE MOMENT by diving in the discussion first. There’s no holding up of hands to get permission to talk to the whole group. No one can be interrupted once s/he starts talking to the whole group, assuming s/he does not talk too long. If someone talks too long I will clang my cowbell to give someone else a chance. There are no side conversations. All talking must be to the whole group. Anyone can get up and leave at any time if s/he has any sort of personal problem.

A major purpose of the group is to create democracy, not autocracy.


A major purpose is to learn how to create win-win economic, political, and social outcomes rather than win-lose outcomes.

Lastly, another purpose of the forum is to learn how to have fun while coping with serious problems.

Believe it or not, in most sessions this Game-free process generates a full hour of interesting, stimulating, informative, and satisfying experience for all participants, and the time passes quickly.

At the end of the forum hour Saturday I recommend recognizing the contributions of Coach Erk Russell, who named a drainage ditch running through Statesboro, that bordered his football practice field, Eagle Creek, who won three national championships during his tenure at Georgia Southern University, who stopped by my office one day and told me he appreciated what I was teaching some of his football players.

In the interests of full disclosure, I always wanted to be the quarterback of the team, as I documented here. http://www.effectivelearning.net/rjs-academic-vita.html

According to the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal in 1954 I was probably the youngest and smallest Class A high school starting quarterback in the US.

I think I could do a better job quarterbacking the US than Donald Trump, if only a great football coach, such as Joe Moring, my high school coach in 1954, or Erk Russell in 1985, or some sort of national presidential Classroom De-Gamer™, could send me in the game and put Trump on the bench.

It also seems to me most reasonably bright US adult citizens with decent educations could do a better job quarterbacking the US than Trump. I read recently his approval rating is now thirty-eight percent. If you participate with the Ogeechee Economic Forum you will have an opportunity to tell me and the group why you think Trump is doing a better job as president than I could, or why you think Trump’s doing a better job than a reasonably bright well-educated adult US citizen selected by a Classroom De-Gamer™ could.

Come to the Ogeechee Economic Forum Hour this Saturday to participate in some Saturday Morning armchair economic, political, and social quarterbacking. Armchair quarterbacking about Ogeechee Economic Forum problems and opportunities is more relevant and satisfying than armchair quarterbacking about football games. There’ll be plenty of time to watch and talk about football over the rest of the weekend.

Please share this invitation with your friends who are also invited.

One more time,

RJS, Moderator