Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Practical Visionaries and World Changers at Hollyhock

Last week I attended the Hollyhock Summer Gathering in Cortes Island, British Columbia, Canada. This event brings together an amazing group of practical visionaries and world changers. They presented their programs from the non-profit, for profit and government sectors. The presentations ranged form the history and future of solar energy, to the singularity, micro-financing efforts in Africa, youth empowerment programs, poverty projects, plastic pollution campaign and activism through the arts. A common theme is that these initiatives are working and making a positive difference in the lives of people throughout the planet.

What struck me about the participants was their stories of how they became involved in their efforts and their commitment to follow through from their vision through implementation. The location at Hollyhock, a learning center in a beautiful island off the coast of BC, is conducive to exploring out-of-the-box solutions. The structure which included plenaries in the morning and allowed the participants to offer presentations/workshops in the afternoon was a great way to have a wide range to unexpected topics covered. I enjoyed the valuable feedback and exchange of ideas that I received for my afternoon talk, "Creating A Thriveable Future."

The unstructured time during the conference was some of the most valuable ways of meeting new faces and establishing connections. Some of the greatest connections often happen at conferences during meals, walks or impromptu conversations. Kudos to the organizers for keeping the schedule flexible.

Below are some of the books and websites that I learned about and found most interesting:

Becoming Animal, by David Abram
Felt Sense: Writing with the Body, by Sondra Perl
The Singularity is Near, by Ray Kursweil
The Science of Delusion, by Rupert Sheldrake
Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Can Change Your Life, Your Company, and the World, by John Izzo
Voices of the Poor: Volume 1: Can Anyone Hear Us, by Deepa Narayan

A Network for Grateful Living

Co-Intelligence Institute

Compassionate Listening

Ian McKenzie: Penan

John Izzo

Marine Mammal Conservation Through the Arts (MMCTA)

Partnership for Youth Empowerment