There are so many different walks of life and sectors of activity coming to this training. We have healthcare, private sector, government, community organisers, youth workers, consultants, tech, environment, industry … the list goes on. We are all exploring how to shift our own leadership and the places we work to be more participatory. It's incredible when I look at the list and realize this is truly a movement for change that transcends so many of the silos that have kept us apart. We get to come together and train; take our practice to the next level by bringing our work into a well hosted container. A container that has provocative teachings, good conversations, personal reflection, music, delicious food, celebration and community. Awesome. Sounds like a good time to me.
I am going to look around this room and see so many people I love and respect. There are folks who are coming that know me and my journey from before coming to Nova Scotia. There are people I have met since moving here that have become friends of mine. There are people I have mentored and people who have mentored me. There are folks coming who started out as clients, became colleagues and are now friends. There are people who have I travelled with through the vicissitudes of change work over time. It is a real gift when these types of long term friendships and working relationships come together in one spot. I think it is not just important for me but also for our field of work. This event will connect us further, give us space to be in the types of conversations we don't normally get to have in the normal run of our lives and allow us time to really dig into some of the content and experience we all bring. I feel honoured so many of these people have decided to come and excited by the possibility it presents to us all personally and to our shared work.
Chris, Caitlin and Tuesday have been rocks of friendship and learning over the last ten years for me. As my work has evolved I have constantly turned to them for support, advice and brought them into work with me. We have not shied away from tough conversations with each other or from incredible invitations into work in the world. Each of us works in very different contexts yet we are united in our exploration of how to build a more participatory and equitable society. I love these people: their vision, fearless application, commitment to learning and generosity of spirit. They know shit too! These folks are my teachers as much as they are my colleagues and friends. I am excited to share what they know with my networks here in Nova Scotia. I have benefited so much from their clarity over the years, it feels great to bring that into the heart of my work right here were I live. I get to share them!
This is happening in my home village. This where I do my grocery shopping, go down the pub, go out for fancy dinners when me and my wife have something to celebrate (Mateus is catering for us - it is going to be delicious!). I get to invite an event of this importance to me and my work right into the heart of my daily life. We are running the training in the same building where I go to work at the HUB South Shore, where my son does Tae Kwondo, where I go to the gym for a work out and play football. The playing field out back is where I play touch rugby on Sundays, the trails are where I go running and walk my dog … and so on, you get the picture. I love this place and this community. I have chosen to live here and raise my children here rather than anywhere else in the world. I am proud to show it to and share it with everyone that comes. I think it is amazing that a village can be a venue for an event like this. There may even be a business model in there for a bit of rural economic revival. This event made the local paper and is being sponsored by local businesses. It is of this place. It feels special to do it here, this place is a big part of this gathering.
With friends and mentors
We all be the welders
On the edges of the new creation
The builders of the new space station
Right here in the arms of the mother
Where the heroes gather undercover
Sensing the future with sonar sound
The builders of boats abound
Readying for the coming storms
Trainers of the warriors who break the norms
Yield to the field
Drop the shield
What are the skills we need to survive?
To be one of ones alive
Who looks back
“holy shit how did we survive that?”
What does it take to make the warrior caste
To see our future comin’ on fast
Then look back and know it as the past?
This ain’t about seekin’ thrills
We need to know the survival skills
Get into training
I’m not exaggerating
I wish I was
This is real,
It’s time to get clear.
There’s no more prizes for predicting the rain
It’s time to build the arks