I am an archaeologist by training, but found myself much more interested in the modern stories of our culture than any ancient ones being thought up by academics. In addition to stories, I’m interested in activism and transition. I am on a great team of community builders that is Transition Town Media, and with their support founded the Media FreeStore and Timebank Media. I am also passionate about issues relating to local food, herbal medicine, traditional cultures, new-story education and local economic resilience. For my day-job, I work in the gift with author/philosopher Charles Eisenstein.
Aerin Dunford is a writer, upcycling artist, urban farmer and yoga instructor. She is an independent consultant using Art of Hosting and other participative approaches as a basis for her work with organizations. Aerin is also a member of the Board of Directors of The Berkana Institute, an initiative has worked globally with local for more than 20 years in collaboration with communities and individuals on many continents; Berkana’s most recent work is “Gathering Friends”–supporting the creation of friendship groups to sustain us as warriors for the human spirit. Aerin is also a graphic facilitator and recorder for gatherings of all sizes; she loves to draw, dance and create.
Aerin’s burning question: How do we cultivate trust and openness to abundance in a world plagued with the scarcity mindset?
Aerin’s practice to share is Shop of the Open Hearts.
Time bank in Oaxaca: Central de Talentos: www.centraldetalentos.org.mx
Sergio Beltrán is co-founder of Universidad de la Tierra (Unitierra) and Herramientas para el Buen Vivir in Oaxaca, Mexico. Years ago, he walked out of his life as an up-and coming, young Mexican intellectual to work with the Zapatista supporters network. He developed a deep respect for the capacity people have to make a good life for themselves when they are free to take responsibility for their own communities. In 2010 he was part of the pioneering team of the Art of Hosting in Spanish and has hosted and organized multiple intercultural encounters around the world using these tools for conversations. Sergio is a fierce spiritual warrior who stands for peace, and for the rights and capacities of people everywhere. Currently, is focusing his efforts on encouraging people to take responsibility for their own garbage and helping people to recover the capacity to create the future they want to live in.
Yeyo’s burning question: How can we illuminate the difference between reciprocity and a transactional relationship?
Yeyo’s practice to share is storytelling in Spanish, sharing philosophy of Zapatismo and Buen Vivir.
Mona Rabie is a social alchemist from Egypt (her roots) and Canada currently living in Cairo, Egypt. Mona moved to Egypt just before the 2011 Egyptian revolution, and joined in the movement in Tahrir Square at that time. This was an eye and heart-opening experience, that showed her that power of unity and of the gift economy in action. Mona has been working with ‘The Hague Center for Global Governance, Innovation, and Emergence’ to bring forth a global movement starting in Egypt and Mexico for co-creatively building sustainable communities called ‘Mabaad-Juntos’ (meaning ‘Together’). She is integrating several inter-related projects into this movement, including ‘The School of Social Alchemy’ and ‘The Magic Canoe’. The School of Social Alchemy is based at The New Hermopolis (the birthplace of alchemy), and is focused on bringing Hermetic/alchemical principles of sacred co-creation into new governance and economic systems rooted in harmony, healing, and transformation. Through this work, she is working to raise knowledge of the mothering principle to bring harmony between the masculine and feminine values/polarity and working on developing these principles into governance and economic systems (The mother/The father principle, birthing the yin/yang harmonious social body). She has formed a partnership with the local community to co-creatively build a Global Center for Co-creation at the foot of Mt. Sinai, Egypt as a prototype of a sustainable community, integrating new sustainable technologies and systems. She loves de-coding patterns in nature, myth (especially Ancient Egyptian wisdom) and exploring and practicing how we might apply this to our current glocal transformation. She is currently working part-time at Heliopolis University for Sustainable Development/Sekem on the development of its ‘Social Innovation Lab’ for the co-creation of breakthrough solutions in all spheres of society that are inspired by the wisdom of ancient civilizations.
I would love to share knowledge about Social Alchemy, including the hermetic principles, and how we might apply them in the co-creation of our social systems, and its connection with the Mothering Gift. The alchemical process is analogous to the divine creative process, and its vessel of transformation is analogous with the womb of the mother. I could put together a short talk and experience (in partnership with Juan Carlos Kaiten and Anne Marie Voorhoeve) for people to connect with these archetypes within themselves, and to highlight the links between this process, creative laws of nature, and the role of ancient and modern Egypt as ‘Mother of civilization’.
Burning question: How can an economy rooted in the gift enable us to co-create the social body? What is the role of the ‘Father principle’ and the ‘yin/yang child’ in relation to giving ‘Mother principle’? How can we bring this into form?
practical burning question: How can we leverage Isis, a company of Sekem (where I work) that is the largest provider of organic food and a household brand in Egypt to bring forth the Mothering-gift economy in Egypt? http://www.sekem.com/isis.html
Weyakpa Najin Win
Woman Stands Shining
Woman Stands Shining, is a writer, artist, speaker, activist for Right Relations from the Dine (Navajo) People, from New Mexico, U.S.A. Called on for an ability to re-frame our collective relationship to Earth and to each other by drawing on traditional principles of ancient cultures, she speaks and teaches internationally. Her most recent work is carrying a series of teachings and workshop entitled: “Thriving Life: The Feminine Design and Sustainability.”
Ai Onodera is Director of Peace Boat Montessori Programme. She has traveled around the world nine times coordinating educational programmes on Peace Boat’s global voyages. Centered on the themes of children, education, and building Sustainable societies, she has organized variety of events in and out of Japan. Besides her work at Peace Boat, she is a founding member of Global Moms Network (Tokyo), Kindergarten of the Sea (Zushi), Children’s Handwork (Zushi), Public Campaign Director of “GROW” (Oxfam Japan), Coordinator of Don’t Laugh at Me Project (Operation Respect) in Japan, and a certified International Montessori Assistant Teacher. Loves surfing, cooking, and spending time with her husband and three children in Zushi, Japan.
Peace Boat http://peaceboat.org/english
Peace Boat’s Montessori Programme http://pbkodomonoie.jp
OXFAM Japan “GROW” http://grow.oxfam.jp
Don’t Laugh at Me http://www.operationrespect.org/educators/overview.php
Ai’s practices to share:
Peace Boat: With a chartered passenger ship that travels the world on peace voyages, we seek to create awareness and action based on effecting positive social and political change in the world. We pursue this through the organization of global educational programmes, responsible travel, cooperative projects and advocacy activities. Global voyages create a neutral, mobile space which can be a gift for all participants – Over the past 30 years, it has been enabled more than 60,000 people to engage across borders in dialogue and mutual cooperation.
Children traveling around the world: With Montessori school onboard Peace Boat, more than 80 children and their parents have traveled around the globe so far, embracing diversity of the world. Traveling the world at an early stage of life, without discrimination and stereotypes, is a gift that will stay with a child forever. Encountering all kinds of difference develops a real awareness and sense of humanity.
Ai’s burning question:
What made people outsourcing the work of life? How do we share the happiness and beauty of DIY in life, especially with children? Can we build an international network of people who are working on this?
Gaining back DIY in life is my challenge and gift at the moment. I am unlearning to consume and instead trying to hand-make everything around life with local children. Following the footsteps and wisdom of our grandmothers to give attention to the vanishing handwork in Japan, we are making traditional fermented food, preserving seasonal vegetables and fruits. By doing this, we are receiving the gift of a new way of thinking, and ideas that hold a promise of a better future for the many not just the few.
Sheetal Sanghvi is the founder of The Urban Ashram, an urban oasis in the heart of the city of Pune. It is a space for people to explore, experience, express their inner dimension; a space to facilitate the blossoming of love, compassion and wisdom within and a space for goodness to ripple out into the Universe.
The Urban Ashram, a space of love
Moved by Love, Expressions and experiments in generosity
Sheetal’s practice to share:
Over the last decade or so my practice has been planting seeds for communities to come together to create sacred spaces to share our stories, songs and stillness. Through coming together for Awakin circles, musical gatherings, pilgrimages, inter-faith story-telling, inspirational talks, gift-circles, retreats etc., we are making our life on earth a celebration for all beings.
Sheetal’s burning question:
“Inquiring into the subtle difference between gifts that are given for free vs the ones offered freely from the heart?”
as a Palestinian, I lived several kinds of occupation (military, knowledge, religion – meaning western Christ in place of the Palestinian Christ…) and thus a main struggle in my life has been how to heal and to unplug from hegemonic culture AND how to reclaim what has been real nurturing gifts in my culture (as well as in cultures I visited during the past 15 years and developed deep friendships with people there)…
Munir’s burning question:
What to do in the new dark ages (designed by dominant sciences) that we live in today?
A note from Munir:
During the first Palestinian intifada (1987-91), I needed to go to Boston. I went to Harvard to visit some friends. An editor with the Harvard Graduate School of Education Newsletter interviewed me about the intifada. One thing I said (which he chose as the title of the interview) was “when structures fall, people rise”. What really happened as a result of Israel’s closure of schools, universities, and other modern structures, people became “gifts” to one another; that was the main source of our strength and vitality. The inner strength in people and communities was the basis of our well-being and ability to do what needed to be done. As a result of the spread of that spirit, Israel acted quickly and harshly by criminalizing “neighborhood committees” (which sprang all over); Israel eventually had to call the PLO – its staunch enemy – in order to quell that reclaimed spirit: the spirit of mutual gift. In Rome, I will be 74 years old. Throughout my life, I increasingly felt that the best gift one can give – and take – is beautiful feelings which are in harmony with the well-being of people, communities, and nature.
Rita is a Portuguese nomad in love with the Azores where she enjoys connecting with whales, dolphins and the bright stars. She studies Tibetan Buddhism and Non-duality and is a Systemic Psychologist exploring Deep Ecology and Eco-Psychology. She loves a raw vegan life and believes in simplicity. Rita is dedicated to the vibrant Eco-village network and other webs of conscious connection. Rita likes to engage with the world in full Trust, and she feels like a pilgrim of the gift. She is part of the Findhorn community in Scotland and feels at home in the world. Rita is the founder of Olhos Verdes, working for a more beautiful world. She tries to live in Peace and has the ability to see Beauty everywhere and in everyone. She is the starter of Dreamland – the traveling community based in the Azores.
Ayşegül Güzel is a new mother who is trying to learn to juggle in life while taking care of her baby and her baby is taking care of herself. She started a time banking community in Turkey, Zumbara as well as ‘digital social community’, Things. She is a facilitator in Anatolia Jam community. After her baby her life changed magically, these days she is living very close to nature, learning to produce instead of consume in her kitchen, her garden and her house and just witnessing how the life is giving her a new ‘verse’ through mothership.
Ayşegül’s practice to share:
facilitating a mother circle
Ayşegül’s burning question:
dark sides of gift economy re- looking from mother’s perspective
Deborah Frieze is founding partner of the Boston Impact Initiative, an impact investing fund that seeks to create systemic shifts in opportunity for urban communities. She is co-author of Walk Out Walk On, an award-winning book that profiles pioneering leaders who walked out of organizations failing to contribute to the common good—and walked on to build resilient communities. Deborah is also founder of the Old Oak Dojo, an urban learning center based on gift culture in Boston, MA.
Audrey Lin is a coordinator with ServiceSpace, an all-volunteer-run organization that leverages technology to inspire greater volunteerism and to tap into the inherent generosity within ourselves and others. A graduate of Nonviolence and Social Change at UC Berkeley, her journey has been a continuous exploration in service and stillness. Whether holding circles for deeper learning, serving guests at Karma Kitchen, immersing herself in a Gandhian way of life, supporting groups in 21-Day Challenges on kindness, gratitude, mindfulness and beyond, or simply spreading Miles of Smiles on street intersections– her buoyant presence is a reminder of the power and joy that lie in small acts of kindness.
I’m passionate edge-worker and restless life lover.
In the last four years I’ve been living and exploring more than thirty countries with the purpose of learning how to empower people to unfold and express their full potential and life purpose.
Nowadays the journey continues embodying the art of conscious living and co-creating grass-root initiatives of alternative education, social entrepreneurship and community living.
All my work is based on the simple principle of connecting with our heart by getting closer to our feelings, communicate authentically, embrace intimacy and love this magical mystery called life!
Ilaria & Alfredo
Ilaria Farulli and Alfredo Meschi in 2008 created the first italian B&B&B a form of hospitality based on gift which has collected a great deal of interest from the main italian media becoming an annual event with its own website and more than 130.000 followers on FB (www.barattobb.it). After this experience they began to study and experiment the other many opportunities and the chances of living in “the Gift” and started to tell these stories in their books published by Edizioni Terra Nuova that also publishes the most well known ecology magazine in Italy. They live in the gorgeous island of Sardinia with their son Elia and their little dog Trudy.
Here it is the link for the free download of their book about Gift Economy.
And here it is the link for the free download of their first book “100 modi per cambiare vita ed essere felici”.
Their practice to share:
What we like to practice during the spring and summer is the “Free tea”. Many tourists and locals take a walk in the hystorical centre of Bosa so we placed a bench just outside our kitchen and when people pass by we invite them to take a break and to drink a fresh herbal tea. You can have an idea about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a6g2i_r6h8w
At 6’7”, Edgard Gouveia, Jr. towers over most people. An early career in professional volleyball in Brazil, his native country, was soon exchanged for training at the University of Santos in Architecture and Urban Planning. Upon graduation, he and his colleagues co-founded the Elos Foundation, an architectural firm dedicated to community activism. Pursuing their social mandate, they founded the Warriors Without Weapons program in 2000, a bi-annual five week training for young entrepreneurs to learn the tools of effective collaboration through supporting communities to identify and implement their own dreams, resources and powers without relying on outside sources of funding.
The strength of this methodology soon led Edgard and his colleagues to develop the Oasis Games, a three- to ten-day activism model that uses the same tools in short term projects, including catastrophic situations. Edgard has been active internationally in teaching this process of this playful social methodology for the past fifteen years, giving presentations at schools and universities and leading seminars on the streets world wide. Hundreds of Oasis games have now been played on four continents. For the past three years, Edgard has been actively engaged in the creation of a new project, PlayTheCall, a Global Game that merges the real and the virtual world to engage and connect young people around the world in local community activism projects. Drawing upon the passion of youth to use computer technology and to become engaged in their communnities in play, PlayTheCall offers to players a series of heromissions to be accomplished in the real world.
Through the power of social networking, PlayTheCall aims to activate 2 billion people around the world to save the planet through projects that serve the community, the region and the world, and build ever-larger networks of collaboration across the globe.
The Beta 1 test version of PlayTheCall was created and launched Dec. 21, 2012 by an all-volunteer team of young experts, attracting the attention of educators and youth leaders around the world. The Beta 2 version will be launched in Dec. 2013.
The game is already being tested in communities in Brazil, the USA, India and Europe.
Edgard continues to travel and lecture widely to spread the awareness of the Global Game “PlayTheCall” and teach the tools of “playing to save the world” in a way that is fast, free, fun, friendly —- and fantastic. He is both an Ashoka Fellow, a Berkana and a Trip Fellow. Edgard lectures and leads cooperative games at schools, universities, businesses and community organizations around the world.
A talk by Edgard.
An Australian, living and working for the Findhorn Foundation in northern Scotland since 2000. The Foundation is an inspiring 52 year old spiritual community, learning centre and ecovillage serving the evolution of human consciousness. Roles include Head of Communications, member of the Management Team, Experience Week vocaliser, Sacred Dance teacher, Fundraising, Building Bridges Team and co-convenor of the New Story Summit, a gift economy event for 325 worldwide participants held in September 2014.
Taamer Fasheh is a UNM student and raw vegetarian cafe owner in Taos, New Mexico, USA. He has traveled extensively, visiting and staying at many communes and has also contributed to the disaster relief efforts in Mississippi and Louisiana, establishing a camp there.
His interest in this event is to continue relationships that were established while visiting with the Swaraj network in 2003 and building upon his father Munir Fasheh’s influence in alternative life paths.
He hopes by joining this event to find better ways of sharing his skills and gifts with the world.
I grew up in many regions of the world and have worked on most continents. My education includes a PhD in innovation and learning from a business university, certification for coaching and leadership development, and training in systemic nature therapy to take groups out into the wild.
I am the co-founder of www.lifetree.co.uk and of www.personaljourneys.ch
About Personal Journeys:
Jeannine Brutschin and I set up Personal Journeys in 2013 as a gift culture initiative, founding our work on years of experience as facilitators and systems thinkers in sustainable and spiritual change. The purpose of Personal Journeys is to learn to live more integrally in harmony with Nature in our daily lives. We are now guiding groups in Switzerland, Thailand, Morocco and elsewhere. Questions that inspire us on these journeys that can also be relevant to the Giftival, include:
How do we stay curious and open?
How to allow ourselves experience Life directly, powerfully and beautifully by letting ourselves be supported by the magic and abundance that a Natural eco-system offers us?
What can we learn from Nature about leadership and living?
Based in Switzerland since 2008, I feel blessed to enjoy a pristine natural environment and a rich culture of progressive thinking in the region. I look forward to sharing this with Giftival participants in the future!
I would like to see if I could offer a simple experience in a green spot near the Giftival location in Rome, to introduce people to systemic nature work in groups.
James Priest practices artful facilitation, serving internationally as both trainer and consultant. An expert in sociocracy and co-founder of Sociocracy 3.0, he works internationally with individuals, organisations and communities wishing to evolve a more holistic approach to their organisation and development.
I come from a family of poets and public servants, and these themes seem to dance in all that I do and am. I live and work in Canada, Europe and the Middle East with what I can only say are the collective rites of passage of these times ~ and re-discovering deeply sustainable ways of living, working and being. I write about the wholeness that is borne from a seemingly broken world.
In my early 30s, I was executive director of a most exquisite organization in Montreal called Santropol Roulant. Imagined and run by young people to bring people together across generations and cultures through innovative approaches to food, it is now 20 years old, and lives and breathes like the living organisme. Its very way of being reframes social services as a catalyst for social change and urban sustainability. Underneath all this, is an infrastructure for intimacy, for how we grow our love for each other, this Earth, and ourselves through collective action that feeds our souls – daily – rain or shine.
I am the former executive publisher of the award-winning ascent magazine and timeless books, a Canadian spiritual publishing house. We pioneered a practice of “conscious closure“. To be sustainable is to know when and how to die, and so we did this as yoga and business practice.
So I find myself in moments and places where there are life transitions calling for attention. For the last 5 years, I have been in Jerusalem living in the heart of a conflict zone, and co-founding Living Wholeness Institute with my friends in Greece whom I met through the Berkana Exchange. We support, host and co-create emergent social movements and systemic transformation initiatives across the globe especially related to collapsing systems. We invite the participation of wider and deeper intelligences, and create Immersions and depth learning at Axladitsa-Avatakia, an organic olive farm and living arts centre in rural Greece.
I led canoe trips in the wilds of Canada, have a masters of architecture, am the founder and creative director of the studio of the extraordinary and the Conscious Kitchen, and co-founder of The SIZ (Systemic Innovation Zone – Greece). I am a master of hanging out.
Practices I could share – Conscious Closure, Dying as participatory leadership, Panarchy Loop and lifecycle transitions, Tarot and soul readings, Unfolding body practices, the Relationship Container, Dream Yoga, Chillaxing.
Burning Question – What are the edges and shadow-sides of gifting and the gift culture (burn-out, for example) and how to tend to these as openings to that which we don’t even yet know is possible?
A movement creates us. What is really moving you at this time? As humans, how can we learn to be and serve from a place of alignment of body, heart and mind and in deep connection with all life? Katrin is a Dancer of tears, love and life. Her heart strongly believes in the infinite possibilities of a more beautiful world. She is here to acknowledge life and has witnessed it while living in rural Uganda or when hosting movement-therapy for people recovering from addictions. She continues to be surprised and in awe about the mystery, synchronicities and AbunDance of this life. With embodied integrity, she creates safe and tender spaces to sense into what is, heal and transform what is holding us back, and to fully emBody the future, we dream of. Together with others, she seeks to co-create sacred spaces to be held in all we are and all we are becoming. She wishes to be invited to places inside of her and in this world where this appreciation and acknowledgement of a loving witness is deeply needed. To Giftival she brings her love for singing, her Movement Medicine and her softness and shyness.
My name, Silvana, means of the Forest. I love trees with deep roots. I am Italian, based in Verona, nomad at heart.
I am a Dreamcatcher in Movement. I trained with Ya’acov and Susannah Darling Khan as Movement Medicine Teacher (www.schooolofmovementmedicine.com) and with Alexandra Pope as Menstruality Educator (www.redschool.net). My background is in communication and I collaborated with international institutions in the field of global health for several years.
My main ongoing project, Women who dance with the Wolves, started in 2012. It’s an invitation to connect with the wisdom that comes from within, and it weaves together, metaphorically and literally, the stories and the roots of women from various countries: from Italy, my land, to Lithuania, France, Macedonia, Belarus, Hungary… and more to come. Le fil rouge of the project is the awareness of the menstrual cycle as tool of empowerment for women, through the movement. My dream is to share this dance with women in Sarajevo, in Jerusalem, in Palestine, in refugee camps. And with institutions and organizations that work on female empowerment.
In the incubator, two other projects.
Dancing for CommuniTree will focus on fundraising for the Rainforest, the Big Lung of our planet, and on bringing awareness on the interconnection of all beings, for all our relations, for our Ancestors and for the generations to come.
From I_llness to WE_llness, to include the heart in the professions that focus on healing the body.
Born and raised in Istanbul, I had the opportunity to attend the Gezi protests that were for me both a sudden breakdown and the confirmation of an ongoing transition towards a new story. I witnessed the spontaneous raise of solidarity and sharing that I couldn’t even imagine. A few months later I attended a retreat with Charles Eisenstein, and in following months I got married, quit my job and moved to Rome with my husband.
I’m now trying to digest those rapid changes and to leave behind the old story as much as I can and spending time in nature is what helps the most.
I now have the idea create an online platform about gift economy to gather and promote all existing initiatives in Turkey. Giftival may be an opportunity for me to find out what my gift really is and will maybe move me towards something I don’t know yet.
Robin McKenna is a filmmaker and storyteller based in Montreal, Canada. She’s spent the last two years developing GIFT, a creative documentary inspired by Lewis Hyde’s classic bestseller, The Gift. Trailer here: https://vimeo.com/78845545 and FB page: https://www.facebook.com/GIFTdocumentary?fref=ts
Previous “gift” life experience and research include living and working at Shakespeare & Co, the legendary Paris bookstore run by the magical and eccentric George Whitman- and living with a family in Cusco, Peru, researching the Inca tradition of ayni-reciprocity, and what remains of it in contemporary Andean practice.
She started making films with La course destination monde, a popular series on French-Canadian TV which sent young people around the world with a camera, making short documentaries. She travelled from Cuba to India, Africa and Russia, making 15 short films. In 2003, she spent 6 months living in Argentina working on The Take with Naomi Klein and Avi Lewis, about the “occupied factory movement” arising out of Argentina’s economic crisis (American Film Institute Best Documentary, 2004).
She’s currently making a short animated film, Crow, about the crow as messenger between the worlds of the living and dying. She has also worked as a filmmaker-mentor with Wapikoni Mobile, making short films with indigenous youth.
Her other long-term labour of love is The Jungle Prescription, about ayahuasca and the treatment of addiction, with maverick Canadian doctor Gabor Maté. Trailer here: https://vimeo.com/23521647
Accepting a last-minute invitation to Giftival in Istanbul was one of the best decisions she ever made; her friends in the international Gift mafia have become accomplices and co-conspirators in many projects and adventures since. She comes to Italy with many new stories, and the inspiration to co-create the next chapter.
GIFT will (hopefully) premiere in 2016.
Who am I? My parents were Italian migrants in Switzerland, where I was born. This partially explains my love for differences and complementaries, for migrations, for inclusion.
I worked as a nurse for 16 years in a neurosurgical ward and in neurosurgical intensive care, with the curiosity of how our brain and neurological system work, trying to create a connection between the traditional approach to health and disease and a more integral/holistic way of taking care of the person.
At one point I decided to change area of intervention, not only curative but also promotion of health.
I have been working in the last 9 years with Medicine sans Frontieres, first abroad, in the field of education, networking and promotion of health and then the as career manager based in the office in Rome.
I trained in Movement Medicine and I started to teach it last year, in few cities in Italy, with the intention to go where this practice is needed and requested. It’s a strong tool of empowerment, to discover our unique gifts and offering them to life.
In my teaching there is all my learning as student and as human being in this magical path that we call life in this earth.
One of the my main dreams is to bring the Movement Medicine and the dance as tool of awareness, stress management and team building in the cooperation and humanitarian area, for the staff, so they can help the others, from a space of embodied taking care of themselves first and for beneficiaries as strong tool of empowerment.
My home of Evanston, IL, USA, has a wonderful food community of urban farmers, family plots, school gardens, Northwestern University sustainability and food programs, entrepreneurs, and other leaders who are committed to building a healthy local food system. There are new and established projects that have great plans, directions, and visions. However, most are working in their isolated silo worlds unaware of the possibilities of collaborations, co-creation, and sharing. I helped found the Evanston Food Exchange, an organization that is the hub, convener, and resource for this food community with a shared vision: to help reduce hunger and poverty. A long term goal is to create a space for year-round markets, education programs, cooking and community meals.
My past career was in charitable fundraising. Having left the institutional world of fundraising I have been on a new path. I am working on how we can become more at ease and effective on our ability to ask–to make the request with a comfort and even joy. I have adopted a term called “Generous Space” which explores how, in our interaction with our guest/prospect we can create a space of integrity, play, curiosity, and joy. In this space, we are seeking a common ground, which may or may not end with “success.” This is a different conversation from the old fundraising paradigm of “selling the product”, “convincing the prospect” or “making the sale.”
My commitment to Giftival is to partner with my fellow gift activists to help organize our events and help in our three-year journey of exploration, inquiry, and emergence on how to spread give worldwide.
My interests are: hosting friends, cooking, reading, gardening, progressive politics, bicycling, and partnering in the gift community.
Nick Joyce, aka N’Joy, is a systems thinker and strategist to the core. He has always had a predisposition for creating clarity out of chaos. Since entering the field of sustainable communities, he has paid particular interest to bridging the wisdom of experienced individuals and established organizations with the ingenuity of startups and enthusiasm of newcomers. He lives to spread the story of interbeing across the globe and ground it in tangible ways. He hopes to not only change the world directly, through his own projects, but also to motivate others to create positive change. He attempts to innovate and express in ways that go beyond affecting surface behavior; right to the core of questioning deep-seated beliefs. He recognizes that only together, from a place of deep understanding, can the innovation necessary to ensure the future of humanity be realized. Find out more about Nick and check out his projects at www.NicholasJoyce.com
After an intense spiritual experience, I began a morning practice that was part Qi Gong, part Breathwork, and part Toning. This practice has allowed me to move energy through my body and attain clarity in a way I had never imagined. I would very much like to share this gift with this powerful community of gamechangers.
I find myself experiencing a transition towards the gift, yet still find many obstacles in relation to the current financial/capitalistic realities. How can we better build a bridge between those who possess financial assets to empower those who steward visionary projects and strategies?
Ashley Cooper is guided by her playful curiosity and reverence for life. As a Founding Partner and Programs Director at Mycelium, she designs and facilitates learning programs that foster relevant learning, authentic living, strategic partnerships and meaningful action in service to the greater good. Ashley specializes in hosting experiences where people feel inspired to be genuine, work together across differences and find the courage and confidence to take the next necessary bold step in their life and work. She supports individuals and groups as they deepen their capacities to collaborate and act with integrity. Over the the last 15 years, Ashley has worked in a variety of settings from organizational strategy with foundations and non-profits to curriculum development and programmatic implementation in schools and communities.
Ashley has produced and facilitated intimate community events and collaborated on large initiatives like Seeds of Compassion, a five-day event with the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu and other leading scientists. Her experience has demonstrated that meaningful change comes from diverse groups collaborating for a shared purpose.
Ashley holds a Bachelors degree in Sociology, a Masters of Education in Counseling and has extensive training in facilitation skills, expressive arts therapy and social and emotional learning. She has worked as an educator, school counselor, coach, consultant and facilitator.
Who am I ?
In mind a storyteller, with body a pilgrim, through heart a seeker.
“Jump and the net would appear”, I had always believed. Left India to find my passion and became a filmmaker in US, and then left US to find my stories and became a wanderer in India. With a gifted camera and free spirit, life took me from one ashram to another, made me humbled in presence of one teacher to another till finally one of them said ” go find your own truth”….in an effort of doing that..one story at a time.
These experiments led to the birth of MAM Movies, an organization to inspire youth to make films for social change and use media for transformation.
Currently volunteering with Moved by Love, with an effort to create a culture towards a greater sense of trust, connection, and community, and engaged in a film project ‘Our experiments with love’.
Kevin Flanagan is an Irish activist and artist whose work focuses on the
Commons and P2P as paradigms for social change.
Kevin works with the P2PFoundation.net
Currently the P2P Foundation are focused on the development of Open
Coops, CopyFair License and Commons Transition.
A humanitarian with a lifelong commitment to making the world a kinder, more compassionate, more peaceful place, Toni sits on the board of directors of the Pay It Forward Foundation, is a part of the World Kindness Movement and has been invited to be a founder member of the Association of Transformational Leaders. In order to support her belief that young people awakened to their own potential can effect massive positive global impact, Toni is the Founder of Incredible Me, a powerful, cutting-edge set of emotional wellbeing and global empowerment programmes for children, young people and the adults in their lives. She is called to speak, train and consult globally on this work.
She works tirelessly to spread the word that change starts with each of us, with positive individual acts which, multiplied by 7 billion, have the power to completely transform our world, and holds the fundamental belief that young people awakened to their own potential, more than any other generation, have the power to bring about this change. She firmly believes that collaboration is the key to the global “tipping point” and currently splits her time between training, speaking and writing to inspire a global shift in consciousness and connecting individuals, groups and organisations that are aligned with this purpose.
I am a social architect – a host, facilitator, convener, organizer, advocate. I am passionate about creating environments and processes that engage all stakeholders in meaningful conversations to foster understanding, build relationships, strengthen communities, identify common goals and lead to wise action. Much of my work and energy focus on community safety and resilience, organizational development and participatory leadership. I design processes and host conversations that draw forth the diversity of voices, experiences and ideas within groups and organizations and lead to co-creation and ownership of results. As a steward of the Art of Hosting, I am committed to creating spaces in which we can listen deeply to each other, focus on what matters, understand our differences and use our collective wisdom to address the complex challenges of our times.
I am a social entrepreneur – a catalyst, innovator, program developer. I have led design teams of staff and community residents to create programs, businesses and initiatives to address community concerns where residents and participants can strengthen their capacity to earn a living, learn new skills, and contribute their gifts and talents. I led a design team of parent leaders to create Parent Cafes which are conversations led by parents with parents about keeping our children safe and our families strong.
My burning question for Giftival Italia 2015:
How can we encourage others to shift from ‘me’ to ‘we’? from ‘mine’ to ‘ours’?
Shammi has been living off his bag without a place of his own for the last seven years and has been lovingly nourished and taken care by various friends communities as he moves around mostly in India and other countries.
He has experienced abundant generosity and has also initiated and inspired various communities and individuals to successfully take leaps into gift culture practices. He dreams of a future where gift culture is a mainstream way of living and not just one off or a fringe activity done by some ‘nice’ and ‘sacrificing’ people. He is seeing the power of requests in gift culture and has experienced abundance when we are able to make clear requests to our communities. He has trust in the goodness of all and is creative in his strategies around gift culture and dealing with money. He is trying to bring in mutuality, mindfulness, responsibility and trusts in our gift culture practices and has plenty of stories to share about all of it.
A film-maker since 1994, he gradually moved to self-healing and sustainable food practices in the last one decade, and now, for the past five years, has been travelling extensively in India and abroad, bringing Nonviolent Communication (NVC) to individuals and communities that are working towards bringing in transformation in our inner and outer worlds.
In his extensive work with alternative communities spanning more than a decade, while he saw immense beauty, strength and the spirit of community, he also comes across a lot of pain caused by disconnects in such communities, causing people to lose heart and leave often with resentments. His healing work has gradually brought him to a realisation that disconnects happen not because people are bad or mean, but because we lack ways and systems of communication and decision making which allow for deep listening and skill full power sharing.
Inspired by day to day challenges in communication in communities as well as his own personal life, he began to explore Nonviolent Communication (NVC), Sociocracy and Restorative Circles. He is also inspired by Mahatma Gandhi for his ability to work with inner power and Kabir for his thoughts on universal oneness, and draws connections between NVC and their world-views.
An inspired and creative learner and a teacher, he brings life into his sharing NVC through compassion, humour and plain dedication. He intends to work in the immediate future to bring NVC in India in regional languages to make it more accessible to various sections of the society.
Alpha Lo is a social architect, facilitator, and cultural experimenter. He founded the community-building gift circle project which guides people to share their needs, and help each other in a gift economy manner. He is the co-author and co-editor of the Open Collaboration Encyclopedia which surveys the variety of non-hierarchical and alternative economic social structures, organizations, and projects. His background is as a physicist where he studied complex self-organizing systems. Currently he is working on the facilitator improv project which enables a group to co-facilitate itself, and emerge new behaviors.
Farah Daghistani: is Executive Director of the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD).
Ms. Daghistani graduated in Middle East Studies from Oxford University and has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School at Harvard. She is committed to making the linkages between theory and practice and takes a lead role in promoting research to capture the reality of the grass-root living situation and to channel this information to decision-makers. Ms. Daghistani took a lead role in JOHUD’s production of the 2004 National Human Development Report (Promoting Sustainable Livelihoods). This radical report uses qualitative research with the poor to challenge the dominant models of poverty analysis. Ms. Daghistani has spoken at numerous international events, especially focusing on governance, the role of women and youth in development.
JOHUD is one of the oldest and largest community development organizations in Jordan. Established in 1977, it established a network of 50 community development centres throughout the country, each committed to enhancing local participation and socio- economic wellbeing, particularly for poor and vulnerable groups. Believing in an integrated approach, JOHUD’s projects and programmes include micro-enterprise and loans, to pre-school, health, women’s rights and the environment.
Increasingly, JOHUD’s knowledge of the field, and its needs, means that it is able to compliment national policy and planning processes. JOHUD is committed to promoting sustainable human development, through its own practice, and by influencing and advocating at the policy making level.
Based in Madison, Wisconsin, Stephanie Rearick is founder and Co-Director of the Dane County TimeBank (DCTB) – a 2500+-member timebank in Madison, Wisconsin, devoted to building a just and inclusive economy – and Project Coordinator of Time For the World, the research and development arm of DCTB which has resulted in the creation of Mutual Aid Networks. In addition to her work in timebanking and promoting grassroots-up economic and community regeneration, Rearick is co-owner of Mother Fool’s Coffeehouse. Rearick worked for Greenpeace for six years of young adulthood, helped launch Madison Hours local currency in 1995 and served for several years on the steering committee of independent local political party Progressive Dane. Rearick also works as a musician, performing since 1993. She currently has 2 keyboard-based solo projects, Stephanie Rearick and Stephanie Rearick Jr. (on Casio, trumpet and loops – it’s beatier, bouncier Rearick). Rearick also plays drums and shares vocal duties in Ladyscissors, a jangly guitar, 3-girl-singers 4-piece rock n roll band.
Organization: Dane County TimeBank http://danecountytimebank.org and Mutual Aid Networks http://blog.timeftw.org
A practice that I would like to share: Reimagining community economic life by connecting people and work in Mutual Aid Networks
Burning question about living in gift is – what does that mean?
Life fascinates me. This earth – our Home – and the mysterious unfolding story on it amaze me every day. With wide eye wonder, I walk my path, making it a journey to come closer Home with each step.
Let me learn, let me serve, let me love…
to live in service is to live in the gift for me. I cannot not offer my gifts to the World, my life has meaning as I give and receive.
I would love to live
Like a river flows,
Carried by the surprise
Of its own unfolding.
Alessandra Pomarico is the founder and artistic director of Loop House, a non-for-profit organization in Southern Italy. Since 2000 she co-curates international and multidisciplinary residency programs for artists that became the catalyst of a number of art exhibitions, cultural exchanges, summer schools, and out reach projects.
In recent years Alessandra has collaborated with international partners to design and develop collaborative and participatory art projects with a focus on social change and transformative artistic practices. Bridging with the local institutions, governmental bodies, and cultural actors from Lecce and abroad, the partnership resulted in a fruitful and long-term involvement of Musagetes Foundation (Canada) to create and support art initiatives that strengthen the social fabric of Lecce, its positive transformation and the cultural growth of the region. In 2013 this collaboration brought to Free Home University (FHU), a pedagogical experiment created by an international group of artists and thinkers focused on generating new ways of sharing and creating knowledge by experiencing life in common. The name refers to how a horizontal, inviting, energy-liberating environment (Free), within a protected and intimate space (Home), can provide an alternative way to deepen and share learnings (University). Always with Musagetes and local organizations, Alessandra founded Ammirato Culture House -ACH, a non for profit organization, and social/ cultural space, a hub for collaborative practices and socially engaged art projects, in a formerly dismissed building owned by the Municipality of Lecce.
Social artist with skills on global collective intelligence, leadership, social networks and organizational transformation. Holds a Master in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability at Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden, where he did his research thesis in Social Bio-mimicry, developing a model for Large Scale Collaboration called “The Magic Canoe”, which unveils the principles and the DNA of a Co-creative global community.
Has extensive experience in business and social entrepreneurship in Mexico and abroad. His current focus is to research, develop and implement new technologies and opportunities for social innovation that will enable us to operate from the new holistic paradigm of interconnection, unity and interdependence on a social level and the entire planet.
Member of The Hague Center, organization based in the Netherlands with its main focus on Global Governance, Innovation and Emergence and currently has been leading the implementation of the Wheel of Co-creation with Barbara Marx Hubbard in Monterrey, Mexico and in Egypt with Mona Rabie from Mabaad, an Egyptian organization fostering peace and unity.
As part of the process of the Wheel of Co-creation he is launching the School of Social Alchemy with Mabaad and The Hague Center. It is a model to foster Social Synergy by developing the necessary skills and new social architectures in society in order to articulate our Collective Social Body and strategically move towards a more thriving humanity.
In the past two years he has been working for the Federal Government of México, delivering workshops on Community Networks development as a way to prevent violence and strengthen the social fabric in several municipalities around the country. These trainings have been a laboratory to implement several collective intelligence tools as the Meshwork and the art of participatory leadership with great success, helping communities to develop their resilient capacities as self-determination and self-organization.
He is a member of Initiatives of Change, a worldwide NGO based in Switzerland (www.iofc.org), where he is a co-leader the Caux-Hub, aiming to foster synergy amongst their yearly program of conferences and programs aiming to build trust across the world divides.
Has been a pioneer in the area of Social Networks and large-scale collaboration working as a coordinator of the implementation of wiserearth.org for Spanish-speaking world and introduced to Mexico the symposium “Awakening the Dreamer” Pachamama Alliance, as a way to create consciousness in action towards a comprehensive sustainability.
I grew up in a very conventional -old paradigm- context until I realized that nothing was making sense. So, I decided to walk out and walk on and from working for P&G I ended up in Bhutan volunteering for the Gross National Happiness Centre. In-between, I spent a year in Schumacher College studying Holistic Science and learning about life. Nature became my most important teacher. I became passionate about integral community development, social enterprises and impact investment. I have been working, consulting and supporting that kind of projects around the world and taught a few classes on Ecological Thinking too. Now, I am about to start working with rural farmers in Bhutan. Also, I have been studying and practicing Ayurveda, Yoga and Buddhism for many years.
My burning questions are:
How can we unleash our highest potential?
What are the necessary causes and conditions?
What can we learn from Nature?
What does it take to walk out from a reductionist, competitive, fearful and greedy mindset/paradigm to a holistic, cooperative, trustful and abundant one?