A New Story of Us

Hello everyone

This is a longer than usual email as there’s so much to share with you … read on and prepare to be delighted.

As I say hello to each of you, and to the collective ‘us’ at this time of summer or winter solstice, I feel more than ever that change – deep, systemic, wondrous change with all the disruption and chaos that might bring – is in the air.

hands tending treeWhat is happening at all levels of society is truly game-changing – Pope Francis’ Care4Creation campaign and Encyclical talking of justice between generations, integral ecology and the principle of the common good; The Hague District Court ordering the Dutch government to cut the country’s greenhouse gas emissions by at least 25 percent by 2020 after 900 citizens brought their concerns to court; the G7 Summit of leading world powers committing to getting the global economy off fossil fuels forever, (only a commitment at this point but a BIG turnaround nevertheless); the Guardian newspaper’s work on fossil fuel divestment; the east-west launch of The Fuji Declaration, an international alliance of individuals and organisations to accelerate conscious evolution and to ignite the Divine Spark within humanity; and the outstanding work of Avaaz.org, a 41-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people shape global decision-making – and I could go on and on.

It’s exciting, heartening, uplifting and, as Dr. Ervin Laszlo said recently, change is not linear but abrupt and any breakthrough that occurs will come at the grassroots level, at the creative periphery, not from the usual centres of power (although shifts in these centres are also welcome and useful, I say).

I hope you feel as empowered as I do, being part of this creative periphery!

youth in original gardenThe future really is ‘a story of us’ and some friends of the Foundation at the Fenwick Foundation, also participants at the New Story Summit, got together with the Metta Centre for Nonviolence to create a short animation called A New Story of Us. Do have a look.

Exciting news is that in order to support young people, truly the lifeblood of this creative periphery and the future of ‘us’, the Foundation is offering three special £95 places for young people under 26 years on every Experience Week starting in July, August and September. That’s a huge saving!

If you are a young person or know one, please let them know to book Experience Week using this link and state clearly in the accompanying introductory letter that it’s an application for this special offer. Of course we’re very happy to receive more if a young person has the means and any extra will help support other young people to extend their stay in the community.

A group of young people already at Findhorn continue to empower themselves by using John Croft’s tool, Dragon Dreaming, to imagine the Findhorn Foundation in one, 10 and 50 years. From this they have hatched grounded projects such as a building school, food preservation and building a biodome at Cullerne. Watch this space!

GEN20image

The Foundation feels particularly vibrant and creative right now with the Global Ecovillage Network’s GEN+20 beginning on 4 July with about 260 participants from 80 ecovillages in 50 countries converging at The Park. And 31% of participants are under 35! Fantastic!

This is a community of communities, a network of trust, mutual support and knowledge transfer between people from all over the world. Very appropriately the event is subtitled ‘Living the New Story’ and demonstrates the power that can be harnessed at grassroots level. How wonderful that you can all join us at GEN+20 by signing up for the streaming of the whole event here.

The idea of a community of like-minded communities (and we are all part of a 20,000-strong global Findhorn Foundation community) brings to mind an amazing article by Meg Wheatley and Deborah Frieze that I read recently in that wonderful magazine, Kosmos, Journal for Global Transformation. The point is made that change happens as networks of relationships form among people who discover they share a common cause and vision of what’s possible. These relationships then develop the new knowledge, practices, courage and commitment that lead to broad-based change.

It’s good to be aware of the lifecycle of emergence – that living systems begin as networks, shift to intentional communities of practice, and evolve into powerful systems capable of global influence. (See Kosmos Journal.)

celebrating in the singing chamberKnowing this, I’m even more excited by the Foundation’s post-New Story Summit priority to pro-actively foster such ‘communities of practice’.

One such fellow community of practice is Hawkwood College near Stroud which is launching its Centre for Future Thinking in July, followed by the Seed Festival: Planting Big Ideas 17—19 July. This is a two-day immersive arts and environmental experience for all ages aimed at seeding change in people’s approach to environmental challenges with such inspiring people as Charles Eisenstein, Satish Kumar and Jonathon Porritt. Visit their website using the link above.

Another utterly inspiring and groundbreaking initiative is Positive News’ #OwnTheMedia campaign, creating community to support the positive form of reporting this newspaper has modelled for 22 years, shining a light on progress and possibility. Positive News, whose Editor-in-chief Seán Dagan Wood participated in the New Story Summit, is now pioneering a new way to fund and run a media business by becoming the world’s first global media cooperative financed by crowdfunding. Wow! The 30-day campaign finishes 8 July – anyone over 16 from anywhere in the world can buy ‘community shares’ so that we can own the kind of media we want. Another emerging new story of us! I can’t think of anything more exciting and creative to support so please do act on this quickly.

seedlingsIt’s so heartening to know that the Huffington Post recently announced its global editorial strategy to give more coverage to ‘what’s working’ – a decision backed by the fact that its positive content was receiving three times as many shares as other pieces. More proof of our power to influence and effect change.

I want to draw your attention to another creative venture when the Foundation was delighted to be the sole sponsor of the first ever TEDxFindhorn held at the Universal Hall on May 3. Joining the global phenomena that is the TED talks, the speakers all gave powerful talks, which can be viewed using the link above. Hopefully, this will become a regular event. (If you were given the opportunity, what would your TEDx talk be about?)

The community also got together with amazing speed in response to the Nepal earthquakes, raising £3,500 in less than a week through selling donated items and holding a well-attended sharing in the Hall.

And finally, great news is that the Care Farming Pilot for ten local people with learning disabilities, funded by The Moray Council one day a week for six weeks was so successful that seven have continued to come to Cullerne Garden at The Park one day a week for the foreseeable future.

So, as you can see, much is ‘on the go’ here and elsewhere in the world. I’m always happy to hear about what is happening in your part of the world so please feel free to let me know.

From all of us at Findhorn to all of you,
With blessings on the compassion and exuberance and ‘will to good’ that is ‘us’ as we all travel into unknown lands.

With love and laughter.

Yvonne Cuneo
For the Communications Team

2 July 2015