Exploring the vital link between personal and global change
A remarkable multi-national, multi-generational planning team has launched this week’s conference in Caux, which is billed as a ‘vigorous exchange’ around the ‘vital link between personal and global change’. It will draw on the past and present of Initiatives of Change experience, and ‘aims to shape inspired action’.
Two of the large Australian contingent welcomed the some 100 participants in French and then in English. The participants from each country were invited to give a greeting in their own language, before forming small groups to say what they were hoping to discover in the coming days.
The organizers hope that all present ‘will reach for a transformation of mentality that fosters sustainability and collaboration, creates space for dialogue and trustbuilding, and places integrity at the heart of decision-making’. A new member of the board of IofC in Denmark said he, a Christian, had come with ‘a Muslim brother from Denmark, to experience this together’.
The planning team was all introduced. Some of them had met for the first time in Caux, after months of preparation via Skype across a host of time zones. Mike Brown, also from Australia, and one of the organizers, gave some of the many stories ‘layer after layer, that the lady on the chimney could tell us: stories of people working for change in their societies’. ‘What can we find to make that realistic path between our personal experience and the change we want to see in the world?’ he asked. He went on, ‘It starts with a simple encounter with the divine presence.’ There were three levels, he suggested: within us, and then between us, bridging the divides, and finally among us, taking on tasks together. A young Italian woman in the organizing team read from her diary on her only previous visit to Caux, in 2009, about her experience of silence and listening.
The programme will include learning from IofC’s history, case studies, and study of the IofC methodology; then participants discussing the hopes that are important to them, and participant-led dialogues and workshops.
This is the second-to-last conference of the Caux conference season. The final public session of the 2012 Caux conferences is ‘The dynamics of being a change-maker’, from 2-8 August, a series of training courses offered by IofC in different countries. It is not too late to sign on for this last conference.