Coming Home to the Art of Collaboration

In a few short days, I will be flying out to join some of my larger tribe at the European Art of Collaboration,  an edgy and inspiring gathering taking place in Donostia, Spain — also known as San Sebastian.

I have felt HUGELY excited, from the moment I first learned about this gathering. At the same time, while not exactly ancient yet, the older I get, the harder it feels to travel — especially when my plate is already overfull. So for weeks now, I have felt torn… and so initially my strategy was to e-mail some of my German and Austrian Dynamic Facilitation colleagues , hoping that they might be able to bring our particular “piece of the puzzle” to this larger gathering of so many different “collaboration tribes”.

Yet when that didn’t work out, the strong feeling of “being called” persisted. Yes, I would like the Dynamic Facilitation tribe to be represented there: even though we are still small in numbers, I know the value of what we offer. At the same time, on an even more basic level, I want to be there, coming home to the country of my Basque ancestors, and taking part in this historic convergence….


Now that I’ve decided to go for it, one of the many things I am excited about, is the Zegg Forum workshop that will be one of several intensives being offered this weekend.  Here’s the connection: last time I taught my “Creative Conversations Across Differences” workshop in Hendersonville, North Carolina, one of the participants came up to me afterward and mentioned that our work reminded her of the Zegg Forum. I was curious, as I had never heard of Zegg before. Yet as anyone who knows me, knows — I am always interested in learning something new!

I’m also excited to connect with the Deep Democracy folks that will be there, as I recently attended an awesome Co-Resolve workshop with Sera Thompson and Aftab Erfan, two powerful young teachers whom I highly recommend. I had attended a Deep Democracy workshop with Arny and Amy Mindell in Boston several years ago, but it was definitely time for a refresher; also, I was curious to see how others were teaching this approach.

In the recent workshop with Sera and Aftab, I was fascinated to see both the parallels and the differences between Dynamic Facilitation (or, as I’ve begun calling my own form of this work, Empathic Inquiry) and the Deep Democracy model and methodology. I imagine it may be a similar experience with Zegg — discovering both parallels and differences.

Yet beyond the rich diversity of approaches that will be present, I am particularly intrigued by the call to explore together, what the potential synergies may be… what may come out of, a “collaboration of collaborators” in the CoLaboratory aspect of this larger gathering.


Of course, I am now regretting not having blogged about this sooner!  I was feeling so stuck between my deep desire to go on the one hand, and the heap of responsibilities on  on the other — not to mention my on-going intention to cut down on air travel, in the interest of both planetary and personal health.

Yet here I am… having delegated some things, said no to others, and made last-minute plans to jump on a plane on Wednesday.  Please wish me well, and do let me know if by any chance, you plan on being there, too!


3 thoughts on “Coming Home to the Art of Collaboration

  1. I appreciated being able to read about the process that brought you to this decision.
    Needless to say, I miss you.
    Happy trails to you ’til we meet again.

Leave a Reply to Mona Betz Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s