In their own words:
The Symposium explores the link between three of humanity's most critical concerns: environmental sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment. Using video clips from some of the world's most respected thinkers, along with inspiring short films, leading edge information and dynamic group interactions, the Symposium allows participants to gain a new insight into the very nature of our time and the opportunity we have to shape and impact the direction of our world with our everyday choices and actions.Upon arrival I quickly noticed that I was one of three or four "younger" people in a room of about 100. The average age was probably 50... and I was excited to get to spend the day connecting with some of my elders.
The day was how they described... the video segments depicting the state of the world were well done. For example, it was good to see that in the "social justice" segment they keyed in on institutional racism, among other things, not just focusing on education, health, etc. as many groups seem to do.
The event seemed felt to me like a great introduction to a lot of these issues, and seemed to be focused on letting people really experience their feelings (anger, grief, sadness, resolution, inspiration, etc.). My personal desire was to delve more deeply into the action side of what we do with this knowledge, but when I asked one of the organizers about this, he said that they wanted to give people plenty of time to incorporate the information before pushing into next steps... he said there would be further forums for this.
These Pachamama sponsored events seem to be spreading across the country, and I very much appreciate the niche that they fill: deep introduction to the messes of the world and how we got there, geared to boomer-age, spiritually-inclined, open-hearted people. The opportunity then, as I see it, is to make intergenerational connections and to find avenues for action and further discovery after this initial introductory event.
It was great to experience another groups' method of cross-pollination, education and nationwide community building!