On the occasion of this “Harvest Fund Drive,” I find myself reflecting back on what has been an incredible personal journey in which the Foundation has played a key role. A year and a half ago, I began an inquiry into the power and joy of engaging in “conversations that matter,” in the context of my involvement in the political initiatives of “the Coffee Party.” This led me immediately to The World Café as a process and to the work of the Foundation. There I found an inspiring array of resources and an incredibly responsive, sincere, generous and dedicated community of practice that was eager to support me. Talk about “creating hospitable space!” You can read a series of posts in the StoryNet section of our wonderful Online Community describing my efforts; here are links to part 1, part 2 and part 3).
As I learned more about the magic of large group dialogic processes, my interest quickly morphed from excitement about finding a set of tools to apply to this specific political initiative to a sense that I had discovered new and fertile ground for my life’s work in a much broader context. I became especially taken with the possibility for weaving these processes together with the incredible convening power of the internet. Here, the Foundation’s director of global communications Amy Lenzo proved to be particularly supportive. One of the world’s most experienced hosts of emergent dialogue online, Amy generously volunteered to teach me, connect me with resources and even to co-host many of my earliest efforts in convening virtual conversation.