Ron, your post is very timely.
I have been struggling with a lot of the bad things that are happening in Aikido right now (yes political issues mostly), trying to justify how I can be a better man in an organization that is acting like children. I have asked people what we can do to help resolve these issues (after all, there is no organization without it's members, and in that we have some "leverage" over how or Aikido organizations operate and act) on the Aiki Journal forum for that very reason.
I see these Cross "Pollinization" events as you call them, the first steps toward (1) bridging gaps in our Aikido organizations, and (2) responding to its members needs.
Like it has been said on this and other forums, we (the practitioners) already seek out different teachers, in different styles, and harbor no "political" agendas -- we just want to learn as much as we can. The fact that our sensei are beginning to take heed (they have known it for a long time, but knowing and acting are two different things) is very promising.
One step at a time these sorts of events, and mindsets in general, will serve to strengthen and re-fuse Aikido into one whole again. Maybe the task feels as hard as getting the earth to spin, but she is spinning!
And anyone that suggests that beginners shouldn't participate or they will get confused is missing the point -- experts MUST participate because they ARE confused!