The Emergence of the Gather-In
The Gather-In was conceived in the Autumn of 2014 by a group of NFA members at the Community Meeting. It was inspired by numerous events including the Foundation’s annual conference, the Deep Dive and a range of issues the community needed to address. Could we hold an event where all of us – organisations and individuals could come together to attend to the Community’s unfolding? Could the Community have a regular conference?
With diverse work/life schedules, it’s a challenge for community members to meet for a week. The Gather-In idea is to meet twice a year for a weekend. The Autumn Gather-In is a time to reflect on achievements, identify challenges and next steps before turning inward to dream upon these matters during longer, darker nights.
The Spring Gather-In is a time of awakening – of bringing forth projects and initiatives related to the ideas that emerged in the Autumn. Using participatory budgeting and a proportional voting system we collectively choose where to put our energy (including in the form of money).
A Community Gather-In? How to start?
Start small. Take the first step.
So we did. We started last March with a Spring Gather-In, a one-day event that consisted mainly of the Focus & Funding Awards (more about the intention of those awards in next week’s Rainbow Bridge). In addition to the Awards we also held an Open Space where individual members championed a topic for discussion – and the rest chose where they wanted to join. The upcoming Gather-In will include time for discussion on key community issues as well as the Awards. And in years to come it could be over two days, twice a year with plenty of room for discussion & planning for action.
As the world increasingly moves towards participatory democracy the Gather-In is an essential part of the movement. Gathering-in twice a year gives us all the opportunity to participate as engaged, Community members in visioning and decision-making that shapes our collective future. See you at the Spring Gather-In and perhaps we’ll get the Autumn Gather-In going in November!
If you’d like to assist in organising the Spring 2016 Gather-In or have questions or ideas contact Ariane 691841 or Dürten 692223