The Art of Community Conference Summation

Submitted by Eli Winterfeld on November 16, 2012 - 12:44pm

This past September, Tamarack gave me the opportunity to travel to northern California and attend a conference about community building.  I of course jumped at the chance.

The Art of Community: Connecting People Place and Purpose was hosted by the Fellowship for Intentional Community.  This gathering could not have come at a better time for me.  I graduated university in the spring and had just finished up a fifth (and final) year of working at a summer camp.  Needless to say my life was characterized, at this time, by transition.

The conference was a boost of inspiration and connection that has propelled me with hope into my new life as a non-student member of society.  There, I was surrounded by new ideas and people.  Though some specific concepts stuck with me, I was most impacted by the general sense of optimism and innovation fostered at the event.  This group of folks, though aware of the statistics, found no use in dwelling on the doom and gloom of the many issues that plague our planet.  Instead we sought only to share new ideas and passions in order to inspire each other.

When this many idealistic people get together there is often a high risk of simply fantasizing solutions and not exploring specific and realistic pathways to a better world.  Because of the nature of the general atmosphere and the content of the individual workshops, the event, on the whole, gave me hope as well as innovative methods with which to deal with that feeling.

I am very grateful for the opportunity and for the people who put countless hours into planning and facilitating the event.  Now, I need to start trying out new approaches to community building and begin drawing on my existing support/accountability network


what next?

So what are you going to try first? A music video about dumpster diving? Okay. What next?

We'll see...

Living with 5 others.  Internship at the Working Centre.  Greater distribution of foraged food.  dreaming.  dinner parties.  blogs.  homebrewing.  getting to know neighbours.  figuring out what I want to do with my life (the next few years at least).  

Any suggestions?  I could

Any suggestions?  I could become a cobbler as you suggested when I graduated highschool :)