Some of us are talking now about the invitation to a Chicago Summer 2007 conference that would be the extension of our Giving Conference in 2004 and Omidyar Member conferences in 2005 and 2006.
In writing the invitation, I suggested we focus on what it is we’re interested in, and who we *would* invite, rather than the groups of people that we think *should* be there. Too often, *should* begins as a fantasy and ends up as the excuse for NOT acting, not inviting. Better to focus on what we already care about and the people we already know or really want to meet and connect with.
Here is my interest and what/who I’d like to invite in Chicago:
…i’ve just finished the city’s conservation corps training. i’m giving a lot of attention to food, transportation and water practices. i’m also thinking about the nature of practices and habits. i’m still interested in a less visceral way in philanthropy and education.
i’m most interested in spending time with a group that would be willing to identify, share, expand and strengthen the body of things they are doing that seem to be part of the ‘solution.’ everything from turning off lights and faucets to conserve, buying organic, recycling, to organizing new foundations or community projects — or growing old ones, blogging and connecting other ideas, homeschooling, housing coop. whatever. i’m just into hearing more and more about what others are doing NOW that seems like it must be part of “the world we want.”
when i first went to outward bound, winter mountaineering in colorado, the told us it wasn’t about ‘survival’ skills… but about learning to be comfortable and easy in strange, quite often harsh, conditions and surroundings. that’s what i’d like now… to be with a bunch of folks who are good at a bunch of things that SUPPORT LIFE. i’m interested in things that help us feel more alive, as individuals and communities. how can we unfold more life and power out of the things we already have, already know, and already are doing? what are the simple things we can do now or next, to cultivate more LIFE — to be more comfortable and easy in the world we want?
i’d be most interested in spreading an invitation around chicago networks that i’m connected/ing with and at the same time having our central question or theme (different from design or outcomes) be something that is universal enough that many might choose to come from afar. giving, more good things happen, personal power and action, community connections… the sorts of broad themes we’ve had in the past work for me because i could be working on growing and inviting a chicago group of people and still invite and include friends and colleagues from afar. to the extent that any local group(s) would grow and prosper, it could be a easily replicated elsewhere.
My own proposal for theme: ALL AT ONCE.
more and more, we are being asked to do many things at once — not just multi-tasking, but be aware of many different views and realities at once, to function in conflicting roles, to accept conflicting realities, and change many habits… ALL AT ONCE
what are the issues and opportunities for practicing all of the things that we need to do personally and socially to cultivate and support more and more LIFE in ourselves and the world, working and living together to create the world we want. all at once is for all the things we do… and all the groups and networks in which we do it. what if we could do and gather all of those… ALL AT ONCE?