Monday, January 01, 2007

A Gathering of Evolutionary Hosts on Bowen Island

Council Of Hosts - video powered by Metacafe

From the hosting team
Our purpose is to contribute learning to the community of communities of practice who are seeing deep implication arising from their use of dialogue, collective intelligence and new practice. We aim to do this by learning together and practicing together and by harvesting wisely and usefully.

The simple questions on the other side of complexity....

The hosting team, along with many others around the world have been holding these questions and conversing about them for a long time. On the other side of the myriad interpretations, conversations and complexity lie these questions:

What is the pattern that holds us, what is the potential it holds and what are the practices that bring it to life?

...Pattern, potential, practice...
A slideshow and other pictures from the gathering.

Inquiries present on the first night

  • How do we hold space for human evolution to unfold trusting the wisdom is there – in babies, children, teenagers, adults and elders.
  • What can real also be?
  • How do the stories we tell ourselves keep us from seeing and feeling the light?
  • What patterns inform us? Visual, auditory, sensory
  • What are the principles of evolving, living systems that are formed from intimacy, proximity and love?
  • How is the practice of Hearing, Seeing, Loving -- Ourselves, Others and the Whole core to BodhiSangha (Enlightened Community)?
  • What do we need to lean about hosting from the grand patterns that host us?
  • How can I take part in and support raising mankind’s ability for being together and being wise together, not as a reaction to catastrophes, but as a proactive undertaking now.
  • What are the natures of organizational forms that arise from practice?
  • Designing for Emergence: What processes/practices facilitate the scaling up of social innovation?
  • How do we utilize Economies that Scale?
  • What practices deepen our ability to fully embody our evolutionary edge?
  • What do we need to learn?
  • How do we collectively learn?
  • What might burst open if we/I trusted our listening… together
  • What is the music within we need to hear?
  • What are the healing patterns of hosting… how are they connected to others we know
  • How many will you allow me to Be?
  • ? Living in communion-ity. How? Why?
  • Is it now becoming more important/essential – to think, choose and create with the future in mind? How can we quickly get better at this?
  • The function of “hope” amidst what’s happening.
  • How can new ritual/ceremony inspire and help sustain our way into the future?
  • Hosting – Sensing Group Soul
  • What are the deeper patterns to seed, grow, and evolve enlightened communities? What is the potential in bringing them to consciousness? What are the hosting practices that matter now?
  • Inviting presence. Inviting with presence. ?????
  • How do we BE evolution consciously and, in expanding and/or powerful collectives, become the ongoing conscious evolution of the world?
  • What does it mean for a system to wake up?
Statements that express core learnings from our World Café harvesting session
  • Invite curiosity and inquiry
  • Take small actions way up stream
  • Bigger intention – being in service to the greatest and highest good
  • A commitment that we practice (act) out of this learning
  • Transcending time (time meaning “the place we haven’t yet arrived at”). Bringing the future into this time and place. Embodying and presencing the future.. as a quality and an empty outcome
  • Stating and holding an intention for clarity. Inviting clarity by inviting inquiry around what is in the way and what is pointing the way
  • Have a few shared understandings. 1) we act from clarity. 2) Make simple wise decisions. Action out of a state of clarity will be interpreted as wise action
  • Right view. Right intention. Right speech. Right action. The word right meaning responsible to the field
  • Council – Act of challenging to attend differently (and to the sacred)
  • Invocation is bringing energy/spirit into form – opening the soul
  • Council – Leaning into the unknown through inquiry. Speaking from the edge of not knowing
  • It is through invocation that the energy is released
  • Council invokes the sacred in the collective
  • Breaking patterns is happening when business as usual is more frightening than not knowing
  • What would a council of hosts be/do to support the other needs and dreams of hosts?
  • What could a council of hosts also be? and do?
  • We don’t just take what work comes our way…
  • We are consciously hosting strategic gatherings
  • We are designers of systemic experiments addressing extinction level issues and the nature of systems that cause those issues
  • We are not only hosts, but human beings waking up at the edge of evolution with evolutionary gifts
  • We need a process for experimentation that generates prototypes in order to consciously host strategic gatherings
  • (this was on the paper with the diagram of Inviting Radical Conversation: Make the process explicit and give it away.)
    • Counsel of hosts senses into, identifies, discerns, and prioritizes optimal opportunities to be of maximum leveraged service with and in the people and groups that are dealing with and/or involved in extinction-level issues. The Council of Hosts then plans the deployment of “field agents” to work with those people and groups on those critical issues. The Council of Hosts monitors and responds to the impact of its agency. (plan – do – check – act – PDCA repeat)
Some transcribed notes from the recording of our World Café harvesting session

[7:45] We are not ONLY hosts, but human beings waking up at the edge of evolution with evolutionary gifts to give to the process. So we don't just take what work comes our way, but we are consciously hosting strategic gatherings, where we are looking at who is at a stuck place or who is at an opportunity place where a critical difference could be made in the extinction-level issues -- or the systems that generate those extinction-level issues -- and convening conversations with the intention of facilitating evolutionary breakthrough in that realm, and being conscious about who we are bringing together and how, for that purpose, rather than just waiting for who asks us to show up. And the question arises: What would we have to be collectively as a community of hosts, or a council of hosts, to do THAT.... [10:05] This is an expansion of the original convening of this [session] this morning of a council of hosts. We began looking at "What would that be?" and "What would that do?" if it was a longer term thing than just something [this retreat] which was here and now.

[11:54] VISA - Right VIEW, Right INTENTION, Right SPEECH, and RIght ACTION -- and "Right" meaning "responsive to the field.".... [12:35] In terms of the place to work this, the strategic place to work, talking about Paul Krafel's model of altering flow, where you work upstream of the crisis, so that you dig small channels upstream as distributaries for the energy way above where the crisis is, in the places where the small ones can make a difference. And then you offer these distributaries as channels in which the flow, the water can carry the soil and instead of carrying it AWAY, carry it TO. And so [we look for] small actions way upstream, and identifying those upstream places is a key capacity here.

These items were read:
* We are consciously hosting strategic gatherings
* We are designers of systemic experiments addressing extinction level issues and the nature of systems that cause those issues
Then an approach was offered:

[18:55] [We developed] an experimental process for hosts to engage in as part of what we've been talking about here. It simply is: We have a council meeting and we, as a council, move into "What's called for?" -- "What are the consciously hosted strategic gatherings that are called for?" and "Who are the people who should be invited to each one?" There a many of them; there is not one; there are many of them. Then we disperse, and we go and we do those. We support each other in doing those. And then we come together as a council again. And part of the harvest is: "What happened?" and "How does that speak to what's going on in the field?" And part of the harvest is also: "What does that say to us in this process of experimentation that we're engaging in?" And then [we] repeat [the whole process]. And out of each of those gatherings there is the potential for this same process to be offered as a gift to those systems that are engaging with us, so that they can take it and run with it, themselves. So, [along] with that is a question -- two questions, really: "What would a council of hosts be/do to support the OTHER needs and dreams of hosts?" Other than this [convening strategic gatherings]. [We have a] sense that the council could do this thing that we just described -- [but/and] "What ELSE would a council [of hosts] be or do?"

[Mark] I WILL perform this experiment [of convening strategic gatherings]. I will manifest a prototype. I am HOPING that people in this room might join me in that experimentation. But I am committed. You know my search for bodhisangha. To me, these are the experiments that open that up from the "maybe" to a "possible". So that's an invitation.
[George] Count me in.
[Peggy] I'm all about hosting the hosts. I'm thinking: spiritual leaders, journalists, storytellers. I'm already in that inquiry of "Where?"
[Gabriel] CEOs and stockholders.
[Mark] The Department of Defense of the United States.
[Chris] And why now?
[George] The European Commission.
[Mark] And why? Because every one of those organizations, every one of those groups of people, have a recognition that in some way they are facing extinction-level issues. That's the need.
[Tom] And there were two different levels at which this "strategic" consideration was. One was, "Who is working on or involved in extinction-level issues that, through adequately hosted gatherings, could potentially make breakthroughs -- evolutionary breakthroughs?
[Gabriel] [In other words:] Who lives at the headwaters?
[Tom} Yes. AND at another level, is "Who needs to be gathered strategically in order to help the society shift so that it can do this BY ITSELF as part of its regular functioning?" We are entering in, sort of [taking initiative, ourselves] -- there's the society, and there's us, you know, and we're trying to convene these gatherings. What would happen if, institutionally, society did this all the time? How would THAT shift take place? And what is our relationship to that shift?

[30:37] "If the field of the world is our client, how do we access its calling us to the gatherings IT most needs to happen?" We have a telephone that rings, or an email that tells us what our next regular client is. What is our way or ways of accessing what THE FIELD OF THE WORLD wants us to host? ...
This is a question about the clarity...because then the responses are strategic. And how do we invite us, individually and collectively, into that clarity? What is the work that feels [into that]?...
"If the field of the world is our client, how do we access its calling to us to convene the gatherings it most needs to happen?" How do we tell what the client of the world field wants? -- where a regular client calls on the phone or emails us...
Getting clear as a council of hosts: What are the convenings, the work in front of us?.... As we're offering the convenings, naming the ways in which we're accessing the calling, that yes, this is the calling. If we name the convening, that's HEARING the calling. But I'm wondering about the "how do we access..?" piece...

[34:10] When I wrote the question, I sensed that there are numerous answers to it, and that those answers are not mutually exclusive -- you know, various linear and non-linear ways to go about accessing that. And how we want to choose to do that, is something we co-create... [36:10] How do we get the guidance we need? ... The question came to me partly because I have some of my own individual ways of doing that, of thinking about this. I've never done it collectively. I don't know if other people have individual ways of accessing it. I can't even necessarily describe what I do, but I could try. I don't know how collective callings are accessed, other than brainstorming and voting kinds of stuff, but "sensing into the middle" is another way of doing it. It's in that inquiry: How do we find collective callings, particularly with this specificity: What conversation are we called to convene?

Other posts about this gathering:

Chris Corrigan at Parking Lot
Ashley Cooper at Easily Amazed


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