Web of ChangeSeptember 29, 2009 11 Comments
I have so much more to say than I can possibly write in one post, plus I’m just getting back so there is still so much to integrate, so much that is yet to unfold – Web of Change was AMAZING! It certainly was that retreat experience that so many of us are familiar with, the lovely high that comes up when we drop our guard together – yes, it was that, but it was also more than that. Web of Change was also a brief experiment in taking some of the best principles of life online and applying them to the offline world.
Change is of course the gathering call, the convening is meant to foster the intersection of social media and social change. We were surrounded by people who care, and who are also smart, and bold in their thinking. The fact that the convening is oriented to people using social media to make change means that they are inherently familiar with what the emergent paradigm feels like – it is decentralized, self-organized, open source, generous. I’m not saying that every single one of us can now live within this emergent paradigm, but there is an awareness of this transitional moment and an intuitive understanding of it.
I had what felt like the most privileged role in the space, I was asked to lead “the leadership track,” which was really our community building, opening of the heart experience. I was invited to lead our opening and our closing, as well as the beginning of every day. Now, the conference took place at Hollyhock, and Hollyhock is a sacred place – awe inspiring natural wonder and magic like few other places I’ve seen, and so the land itself did most of the work. But I was invited to step into that flow and the participants were completely willing to come along, so there was healing and there was love.
Communities of color were painfully underrepresented, and I know that serious efforts were made to make the convening more inclusive. We kept this awareness at the forefront and I have become seriously interested in doing something about it. I am looking forward to an even stronger partnership between Web of Change and the Interaction Institute for Social Change. My sense is that we have a powerful opportunity to foster a more diverse community at this intersection, and in my most hopeful moments I believe this could even be a space that helps seed a new narrative for how we will be together in the world we want to build.