Gratitude…and the radiant network

September 3, 2006

Tomales Bay from Marconi Center

It’s early morning, Sunday, September 3. I sit alone in my little sun porch room overlooking Tomales Bay— 5 minutes drive from the Marconi Center where the World Café Stewardship Dialogue was held. Here is our home.

I am still glowing, still feeling a deep sense of gratitude for and amazement at the mystery of life and of the spirit—both individual and collective spirit and how it moves and unfolds in the service of life.

My mind goes back 40 years—to 1966 when we first drove into Delano, California in our Volkeswagon bus to begin our work with Cesar Chavez and the farm workers movement…to work with “La Causa.” Our Stewardship gathering held some of that same spirit—the sense of possibility, of hopefulness in the midst of challenge, of fierce but gentle determination, of common purpose, of seeing ourselves as part of a larger whole that was alive and knew its strength…..even in the face of the precipice that we are collectively confronting as a species on this fragile planet.

To dance in the face of darkness, to hold onto each other as friends of the heart, to know that the smallest act, like the acts of local stewardship of this small Bay and the acts that each of you who were here and the many around the globe who were here in spirit are taking into your own lives, families, organizations, and communiities….this is what makes me glad to be alive even in this time of uncertainty and upheaval.

We need each other. What happened here at the Stewardship Dialogue, in my view, was not only about the World Café process or method….although that was present. It was not about the World Café community….even though a fractal of that community was present….rather, it was about the deeper work for which the World Café is but one portal.

It is that work to which I am called….and I feel honored that the World Café has revealed itself to us and others as a doorway (among many others) through which we can, together, find kindreds on the path….and to make that path together by walking on it.

I offer my deep gratitude to those who were able to be here for the Stewardship conversation….and, more importantly, to all of you who have been friends and colleagues around the world for this work over the last decade. Whether or not you were physically present, you were here in spirit and I hope that this blog and the photos of the gathering enable you to know that you are welcome, always, to be a part of what Peggy Holman and our friends from the Open Space world call the “radiant network.”

I am honored to be a steward of one small part of it…..

Fondest regards,

Juanita Brown


Community Dancing with Edgard Gouveia

September 1, 2006

Edgard Gouveia

One of the MANY highlights of the Global Stewardship Dialogues for me was meeting Edgard Gouveia of Brazil. His open heart and engaging smile quickly made everyone around him feel like an old friend. Throughout our time together at the Marconi Center, Edgard showed us all the importance of purposeful playfulness. On multiple occasions, he led the entire group in song and dance, weaving together story, laughter, fun, and connections — a true master at building a sense of community.

Edgard is deeply focused on facilitating positive social change in the world. I have no doubt that his exuberance, love of life and genuine compassion for his fellow human beings will allow him to continue to accomplish positive, creative change wherever he goes.

See also the Elos Institute workspace hosted on the Berkanna Institute website and the short video clip featuring Edgar (in Portuguese)

Closing morning

August 29, 2006

Tuesday morning

We were welcomed this morning in the big circle, the online photo’s shown on the screen. After some practical stuff, gratefulness was shown in many, many ways and to many, many persons.
As this is the anniversary of Katrina hitting New Orleans, Nancy showed us how she worked with art, newspapers, masks around the questions of leadership…

What is NOW in my mind, in my heart, in my body; in between us and around us; and how that influences how stewardship also can be?

No tables this time, small circles forming; on chairs, sitting on the ground… two, three, four, five…
Jenni Dunn
Finn said: We know how to do this! Indeed, we know. Without effort deep conversations start…
and smoothly new circles are forming…

We still have two hours to go and I don’t know if I will find the time to post something more. You will see in a couple of hours!

What are minimal, elegant and sufficient next steps?

August 29, 2006

Monday afternoon
Tom called a conversation around the question: What are minimal, elegant and sufficient next steps for the stewardship? This is not the original wording; Tom was much more precise about it, but anyway you get the sense of what he called a conversation about.

Tom talked about ‘the world café commons’: what are the few things that belong in the commons, that everybody has access to, draw upon, support to…
One kind of thing that can be in the commons is money… if participants were tithing maybe. The commons also contains the purpose and the principles and they permeate the network… Those core memes serving the whole are continuously inquired and renewed. Another thing that the commons might contain is the minimum social structure we need… We are here both into verbs and nouns: things and activities. Read the rest of this entry »

A certain kind of person

August 29, 2006

There was another reading this morning, a poem by William Stafford, that had particular resonance for me. It starts like this:

If you don’t know the kind of person I am
and I don’t know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

The poem speaks to me of a number of things… It points to the kind of knowing about each other we can have through dialogue (whether it be face to face or on-line), as well as to the importance of conversation deep enough to let us ‘know what kind of person’ we each are.

Read the rest of this entry »

David and Juanita’s story

August 28, 2006

David and Juanita celebrate their transition

David and Juanita were asked to share their story, their dream for the whole community yesterday evening, from a sensing in the design team.

David is speaking first, telling that he is first of all an emotional person. He learned, a very long time ago, that there are basically only four emotions. He learned to have his emotions on the front. “This community has given me the opportunity to experience these emotions. A lot of love, friendship, sadness, not so much anger…”
David and Juanita want to step away from the magician and the organizing. “I want to learn to steward this land, want to be with family, friends and live. I am ready! The letting go, at this point, is really easy. The dream will tell you… Read the rest of this entry »

A story told this morning

August 28, 2006

On a buffety, blustery early summer day, when the news was bad and the sky turned yellow, a strange thing happened in the town where I live. That morning, two grandmothers who had never met, not even by accident, put on their summer Sunday clothes, their most comfortable shoes, their favorite sun hats, walked to the park in the center of town.
Now that, of course, wasn’t the strange part because lots of people walk to the park, especially in summer.
It’s what the grandmothers did after they got there that set the whole town on its collective ear.
What, you ask, could two grandmothers do that would cause such a buzz on a buffety, blustery early summer day? Well, just wait till you hear. Read the rest of this entry »