So, having had a week to think about it, I feel quite ready to sum up the conference last weekend.
First of all, how nice to have a conference that does not completely clash with work and life! I could go for the evening, go home to sleep, and turn up for the morning; OK, so it did not exactly fit in with home life, and I did get very little sleep - but, no pain no gain - it was worth it.
2020 seems to be a strange creature.
The evolution of the movement thus far seems positive, and apolitical (VERY important). The "grown-ups" do seem to be keeping their distance, although hopefully they really are there in the background.
In my conversation with Hillel this week I think I found some of the fog clearing up in my mind. What bothered me more than I was aware, it appears, is the fact that I have a difficulty imagining 2020 moving in the direction of a successful movement based on the general impression I got at the conference. Don't get me wrong, the workgroups were very well run and the crowd present was of very high quality human raw material, but I would not yet describe what I saw as a movement.
My "words of wisdom" to Hillel were based around the assumption that a successful movement must be a grass-roots led initiative for which there is a passionate need amongst its target population, pulled forward by emmotive and charismatic leaders who naturally rise to the top and lead the crowds along with them hanging onto their every word. I did witness a gathering of driven folk, but they were put into a framework of management/leadership/participants that, in my humble opinion, stands contrary to the environment necessary for the spontaneous, excitement driven, enthusiastic initiative taking that allows movements to push their way out of the birth canal and become fighting, living, community-changing organisms (sounding very much like a virus here - but yes, infectious) that do have the possibility to change the face of a generation.
I was honoured to be asked to join the executive of the amuta, and do hope that it will develop. I'm sure there'll be more on this subject...
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