Last week was a whirlwind at Ruckus, what with interviewing potential new staffers, waiting to hear that Satya was safe (read below) and then getting to hug his safe and untortured body on Friday, preparing for 2008 planning sessions and preparing for this week’s program in Vermont.
I am in Vermont at Knoll Farm, home of the Center for Whole Communities, a retreat center for Whole Thinking Retreats. The usual work here is grounded in a whole systems approach to land centered work and environmentalists who have worked in various specialties (clean water, protecting forests, etc) have come here for years to learn to weave together a larger vision for their work.
Ruckus was asked to co-facilitate the Next Generation Leadership Retreat this week (with the Center, stone circles and Common Fire), bringing a perspective of action to how a next generation of leaders (in environmental and social justice work) are intentionally developed. It is one of those rare times I’ve been to a retreat with a real emphasis on the retreat part. Participants will have extended periods of meditation, silence and reflection woven into dialogues on the meaning, values, vision and transformational aspects of the work we do, the theories of change in our work, looking at all of it with a more wholistic approach. The space, this gorgeous farm overlooking the Mad River Valley, has real sheep (and a llama!) that were quite talkative yesterday while I chatted with loved ones in Japan and Palestine. They grow blueberries here, and there are composting yurt-johns all over which remind of the ‘shitters’ at our Ruckus camps.
I am excited to be a part of this conversation and many more (paired with action) that place direct action into the larger context of how change happens for up and coming leaders. I will try to post here some of the key lessons as we go along!
In other news: Karl Rove is out of the White House and Brooke Astor is dead at 105, proving once again that nothing lasts forever.
- adrienne maree