MAN Up 2016 Spring Tour #2 report – California

Hello!

Returning to my long-backed-up Spring tour reports…

Now we’ve gotten up to May 21! When I flew from Paris to San Francisco, was greeted bythe delightful Patricia Mikkelson and hosted at the Berkeley Co-Housing where she’s staying, and where Raines and Betsy and Lloyd and Maya and a number of other wonderful people live (sorry, I can picture everyone but spending the time to conjure all the names is beyond me at the moment)…

I rented a car and drove that morning to Asilomar Retreat Center, on the coast not too far from Monterey. Beautiful! I was there for the BALLE Fellowship first immersion training.

This BALLE Fellowship cohort is made up of 36 amazing individuals. We had a really intense time, some really great, some really tough. I’m not going to write any details here. Check out the fellows on the page I linked to and you’ll see what’s so great about this.

Our immersions are based in transformational development and who knows what that means. I’ll have to distill it more, over the course of more gatherings, before I’ll want to write about it for a general audience.  For now, I’ll just say that this fellowship and this cohort have the potential to be massively transformational, powerful (in an actively peaceful kinda way), and also really really tight-knit. Or not. Hopefully yes though. We’re a microcosm of many of the really intense forces playing out in our society and economy, and it seems we’re pretty committed to wading through that in a constructive way, which would definitely have benefits that can ripple far and wide in the rest of our worlds…

After that lovely and challenging experience I drove back up to the Bay Area for a few cool events that Patricia and her friends had organized.

Community Connect was the first, and it was fantastic. It’s kind of like a speed-date open space session, with food and camaraderie and some music at the end. Really really cool. Patricia is going to give a skillshare on hosting these events at the MAN Up Skillshare Summit, by the way! IMG_8158IMG_8156

I led a mini-open space on MANs and was excited to meet one of the organizers of  Omni IMG_8155Commons, and especially excited to learn that she makes community wireless networks among the many other awesome things she does. And check out that link for Omni Commons, it’s a really amazing collective space, hosting all kinds of events and lots of Capoeira.

The next day we held an informal MAN workshop at Berkeley InfoShop. It was an intimate and motivated group of about eight. A big highlight was Nikki and Emory’s posh-terity budget. They live very wisely and frugally on a small amount of money, use the timebank a lot, and are generally really smart and efficient about how they spend. And we still found ways for them to really improve their quality of life and reduce expenses even further by working in a MAN framework (applying timebanking more effectively, building more shared resources, availing themselves of current shared resources they may have overlooked, building or joining a savings pool). The group made plans to keep meeting to pursue creating a pilot site.

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From there we went back to the co-housing where Lloyd and I played a house concert (separate short, alternating sets) to a small and appreciative audience of co-housers. It was a lovely way to close out a very intense few weeks.

And that was it for the Spring MAN Tour… Now we’re all the way up to June! Much more to come..

 

 

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