Connecting for Change 2009 – Participant Thoughts

Participants were asked for reflections on the most memorable moments, the most challenging moments, the gifts they received, the next steps and what changed personally as a result of attending the Dialogue. Here are a few responses.

The most memorable?

  • The dinner dialogue was the most memorable and exciting for me because the conversation was so honest and engaging.  I love when a “think tank” or brainstorming environment occurs in a condition of safety and shared vision, in which ideas morphed from a germ to an offshoot to a new direction to a collective vision… it felt very exciting to watch something beautiful and organic emerge from a pure energy of trust and shared commitment. – Janice Levine, MedWish International
  • I had the immense honor of getting to know Jody Williams in our object sharing session at the very beginning. Through the course of the days together, I was totally floored by her presence and achievements and during the last day when she came back with her fellow female laureates, I had the occasion to give her my object (an angel) as a gift from me which she accepted. – Stephanie Hanford-Hass, Connectivity Consulting

The challenge?

  • My challenge is in following up with individuals after the Vancouver sessions. Life happens to you when you return, but these synergistic encounters are far too rich to ignore. – Kathleen Yosko, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital

The gifts?

  • Seeing how people of such diversity could come together to create community. – Richard Reoch, Shambhala
  • The increased recognition that we are all part of this global community. There simply are no accidents. – Kathleen Yosko, Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital
  • I think one of the greatest gifts was the concept of the possible. Surrounded by many people who have dreamed big and accomplished great change and improvements in their communities was not only inspiring but motivating and a reminder to me that no dream is too big. – Richard Jaffray, Cactus Restaurants Ltd.
  • Experiencing heart-to-heart communications with varied individuals whom I did not even know before September 26th has shown me that not only is it possible to feel the solidarity but also to actually collaborate in solving difficult problems. – Tatsi Okaya, Ecstasis Consulting LLC

What’s next?

  • There was a comment that had a profound impact on me, ‘one foot forward in mastery, one foot forward in risk’. Another was a comment that we are in ‘transformation rather than reform’. I have been talking with colleagues as to what both of these statements might mean if we were to use them as principles for our current work. No answers yet, and there is good conversation as a result of raising the questions. – Elizabeth O’Neill, Big Brothers Big Sisters Edmonton and Area
  • What story shall I tell to my community?  What actions shall I take to express my humanity and move towards fulfilling my purpose: to spiritualize existing socioeconomic structures so that each of us has more MEANING in living, more HEALING to receive, and more sense of BELONGING? – Tatsi Okaya, Ecstasis Consulting LLC
  • How do I get my community to reconnect with themselves individually? How do I get the individual in my community from I to we? How do I translate what I have learnt in three days into meaning and action that is going to propel us forward? Who are the next leaders who are going to bear the torch for our community? – Robert Kalyesubula, Nakaseke Community Development Initiatives

What’s changed?

  • I am aware of the level of compassion and forgiveness that exists in the world that I never knew before. I am inspired and encouraged to continue on the path. – Anna Catalano, Willis Group Holdings
  • I am very aware of the global connections, the richness of diverse culture with me included, and the joy of deeply caring and sharing. – Eva Maddox, Perkins+Will

What actions will I take?

  • Going forward with my vision which was partially developed at C4C, to use the skills, network and people that we have in business to assist others and ourselves in contributing more with the resources we have. I believe that businesses and individuals can succeed more by contributing more. I am working with my team to develop a strategy of using our knowledge, not just our financial resources, to enhance our ability to make a difference. – Richard Jaffray, Cactus Restaurants Ltd.
  • One area of action is to listen more, to allow the full concepts of others to have a fuller voice and then to think with my colleagues as to what direction or solutions may be needed so that the outcome is a shared process and ‘owned’ by many as oppose to a few of us. IN sharing the ownership we have a larger stakeholder group to shepard the work forward. – Elizabeth O’Neill, Big Brothers Big Sisters Edmonton and Area
  • I will journey down the path on both feet!  I will speak up without fear! – Eva Maddox, Perkins+Will

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