Denver March 28-30, 2008
The fourth Springboard Gathering was held in Denver this weekend and was attended by seventeen colleagues (see the Participant List) and hosted smoothly by the Denver team from the Institute for Consensus Action (the Denver ICA) and metro colleagues. Because of the limited capacity for people outside the Denver area to attend it was decided to focus the work on one critical question. “How can we expand the active participation of the Springboard network through the creation of an interactive, user friendly website”? Although the dialogue on a single question kept the discussion focused, we found ourselves in deep discussions and with some very significant insights and images into the common task of the Springboard body.
Friday afternoon was spent sharing our engagements and broodings. We especially welcomed the time to hear from colleagues who had not been to previous Springboard events. We also struggled to find a way to get Internet capability into the meeting space, which was not connected through an accessible wi-fi link. Unfortunately, we were never able to get more than one computer onto the net at a time so did not host Skype participation as we have been able to do at previous gatherings. But we were keenly aware of the interest and prayers of colleagues during our meeting time and welcomed several enabling messages throughout the weekend. We found ourselves in dialogue with those responsible for the moving of the JWM files to their new home as well as poems that were brought and shared. The ICA hosted a fine colleague reception that evening.
Saturday we all worked together much of the day, well into the afternoon, in discussions of what it meant to be a participant in Springboard and what we wanted a web site to be able to do for us to enable active participation. We selected a priority list of capabilities. We broke into four teams to flesh out what would be done over the next four months. These teams are:
1. The meaning and expectations of being a Springboard member
2. The information we want to have in the Personal Profile database
3. The common study and research we would conduct over the next four months
4. The website development process and budget
All these products will be posted on the Repository website and links provided to everyone on the Springboard listserv shortly.
Sunday morning turned out to be a pivotal and profound session. Before we presented the work of the four teams we shared broodings from the night. Several people had significant reflections and Gordon Harper allowed us to have a breakthrough in understanding of what our task (and that of every Guild) is and an outline of how that would be accomplished. We are holding this with the name “What Springboarding Looks Like#8221; (see description at ). David Rebstock offered a more poetic name that could hold the task before us. He said we were the S.E.G.U.E. of history. The image conveyed is that of the smooth transformation of the structures of society into new forms to freight humanness and the care of the Earth. This is the song of the new creation. The initials stand for Social Enlightenment Guilds Unifying the Earth.
Where does this leave us? We come away from Denver, a year into this venture, in a new and exciting place. It feels as though we have a story now as to what this whole enterprise is about that makes sense to us and that we can actually explain to other people! We have a picture of what we are headed toward, what we hope to see come into being and a clearer picture of what we now need to do to get there. We can even see how those of us who sign on to this project can work together between our gatherings.
This is not to say that all our questions have been answered or that what we did here at Springboard Gathering # 4 is in any sense a final model of our venture. There are still lots of questions, and the models from this event are works in progress. Nonetheless, Denver has been a major step into the future of how we go about the task of caring for those who care. We have met the objectives we set ourselves for this meeting—and gone beyond them.