Present: John Adams, Arne Collen, Larry Davis, Tiffany von Emmel, Debora Hammond, Josh Holcomb, Todd Johnston, Eugene Eric Kim, Alexander and Kathia Laszlo, Doug McDavid, Gregory Mengel, Michael Stone, Art Warmoth
I. Overview/Discussion of planning process to date
Alexander, Kathia, Todd and Debora provided a brief synopsis of a meeting held on Sept. 21 to explore ideas for a more interactive format for plenary sessions. In addition to these four, Gail Taylor and Josh Shults were also in attendance. We began with the metaphor of the red thread, which is the hidden thread that connects the various pieces of a carpet (or project), bringing them together into a coherent and more vibrant whole. Alexander shared some comments from Gail about the sense of energy and play that she experienced, and about learning from nature, finding the difference that makes a difference � what she refers to as the �escape route to a higher order,� and honoring different ways of knowing.
We talked about the four ways of knowing that Kathia had brought to the previous discussion (need reference): experiential, presentational, propositional, practical. Larry mentioned Jungian typology as another way of looking at these differences and Michael shared the work of Jeannette Armstrong, which has been influential in the work of the Center for Ecoliteracy, which includes the paired categories of Tradition & Vision and Action & Relationships.
There has been a strong desire expressed at all four meetings to move away from the traditional format, with the �participants getting a sense of themselves as a system,� and an emphasis on transformative learning. Someone mentioned �world speaks� (note � I tried to find this on the web; what I found was essentially a political blog; is that what you had in mind?).
Also, we discussed the importance of documenting the work/play throughout the week, and reporting back from the various breakout sessions. Larry talked about the idea of feeding forward � not just reflecting on the foundational work of the past, but envisioning where we are going from here. We talked about the idea of a �red thread� team that could help to facilitate an on-going feedback process. Other ideas included �guardians�; �attractors for interaction�; and opportunities for World Caf� or Open Space sessions. Art talked about the balance between content and process, and the importance of having a clear idea of the audience.
We did not discuss the plenary, evening and afternoon breakout sessions in detail, and that will be the focus of the Oct. 26 meeting. However, Doug pointed out that technology is an important focus area that is not really represented in the plenary sessions. I think the program subcommittee needs to work closely with Gary Metcalf to integrate the SIG topics and other forums into the larger program. There is a SIG on Systems Specific Technology, chaired by Vadim Kvitash, who is in San Francisco, as well as the Business/Industry SIG, chaired by David Ing, and the proposed forum on complementary economics, organized by Georgia Kelly and Art Warmoth. It might be useful for these three groups to coordinate their efforts prior to the conference.
II. Call for Participation and Web Site
Regarding the Call, we agreed that participation was a much better term. Doug thought that the importance of the 50th anniversary needed to be highlighted, and everyone seemed to agree that we needed to foreground our efforts to alter the traditional format, and to change the language to reflect the sense of play, creativity, innovation, etc. that has surfaced in the planning process. Debora will work on that, with input from others. Alexander also requested that the call mention the Vickers award.
The same general comments applied to the website as well. We discussed the need for someone with graphic design skills (John recommended Eileen Klegg), but questioned whether that was the best place to invest limited resources. Art suggested that we needed imaginal and narrative grabbers � some of this could be added relatively easily. Ideas included photos and testimonials from the 2005 conference in Cancun.
Todd mentioned something about patches within the program subcommittee, but I don�t remember details � Todd?
III. Proposed Committee Structure
Eugene thought it would be important for the web content people to work closely with the program planning subcommittee, and he will attend the program planning meeting on Oct. 26. He also agreed to create a listserv for keeping in touch with each other. I will send all current e-mails with these notes. Josh agreed to work with the outreach and promotion group, and has volunteered to take the lead role in that area (thank you, Josh!). He suggested sending out postcards, flyers, and brochures. Some of these mailings can be sent with ISSS mailings to members (which won�t come out of the conference budget). We also have numerous organizations that have agreed to send out information to their members, so following up on these connections would be an important part of this subcommittee�s focus.
In connection with the local arrangements and logistics group, we discussed the role of student interns, and Tiffany, Art, and John offered to help articulate the various needs to be addressed. After the meeting, Tiffany and Debora identified two key roles as project management and meeting facilitation. Position descriptions should be available by mid-November, so students can plan for this in their spring schedules. Larry asked about the possibility of offering an on-line course and we can discuss this further if it seems appropriate. Someone suggested the idea of having students become part of a �red thread team� (responsible for feeding back to audience, highlighting patterns that connect, integrating various topics within conference; this also applying to possible role of artists) � and this might be something that could be made into a course during the summer session.
We spent quite a bit of time discussing how to integrate the arts (as part of opening day, as well as interspersed throughout the week), and other ways of knowing, including indigenous cultures. Mike mentioned Madeleine Oldham as someone to contact; she received an MA in whole systems design with a focus on systemic dramaturgy at Antioch University in Seattle (in a program founded by a former ISSS President) and is now the literary manager at Berkeley Rep.
With regard to outreach and promotion, Josh volunteered to help produce a promotional video. Michael Toms (New Dimensions Radio) has also volunteered to help with audio/video documentation. These would be valuable resources for future organizers as well.
We reviewed the proposed budget briefly. The main issue had to do with targeting our audience. There was a sense that we would not have trouble attracting 300-400 people, and that we should be selective in our outreach efforts, inviting representatives from key organizations.
V. Co-sponsors and affiliated organizations
Eugene added Blue Oxen Associates to the list of participating organizations. There was some discussion about how to identify the most important partners, particularly in the area of business and local government, once again highlighting the importance of moving away from the traditional academic focus and format. Other organizations that were mentioned included the Institute of Imaginal Studies, Presidio World College, Wisdom University (formerly Naropa), State of the World Forum, ABAG, Bay Area Council, Jared Blumenfeld (Director of Oakland Dept on Environmental Issues, ref. John Adams).
Someone suggested that we distribute flyers at Bioneers (Deborah Grace will do) and the Green Festival. Other ideas included asking for donations from vendors, publishers, socially responsible businesses, etc. � for advertising or tabling opportunities.
VI. Next steps
The program planning subcommittee will meet on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 10:00 � 4:00, at 1366 Mission St. (between 9th and 10th) in San Francisco. Gail and Todd will take the lead in facilitating this meeting.
The local arrangements/logistics subcommittee is tentatively scheduled to meet on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 3:00 � 5:00, at Debora�s home in Cotati. Tiffany and Debora will be meeting earlier in the day to lay out a detailed timeline (thank you, Tiffany!).
It was suggested that the outreach and promotion subcommittee meet in early November. Debora will be meeting with Josh to follow up on this area on Tuesday, Oct. 18. Once Eugene gets the list set up (thank you, Eugene!), it would be helpful if everyone could indicate which of these meetings they plan to attend.
In lieu of the pre-conference party suggested by Jackie Wells, Eugene invited us to the Blue Oxen party on Dec. 9, as an opportunity for networking.
Please let me know if I have left out anything important.