We initiated Virtual TSI events (Ideas that Matter) in September 2020, launched by our dear colleague, John McKnight. We had announced that the Summer Institute of July 2020 would be the final Institute. But due to the Covid 19 pandemic, we postponed that plan hoping to gather in person in July 2021. That couldn’t be either. We wanted to continue the momentum and spirit of the Summer Institutes, so we invented Ideas that Matter and later, a 3-day Virtual Toronto Summer Institute event July 12-14, 2021. Below are the links for the four (4) broadcasts of Ideas that Matter in September, November, January and March. There are ten (10) talks across these events and nine 90-minute more in-depth sessions that followed the Ideas that Matter events.
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Virtual Toronto Summer Institute Launch with John McKnight & Friends – September 18, 2020
Virtual TSI World Cafe & Story Harvest – October 15, 2020
The Unlikely Evolution of Darwin Ness Gail Jacob; Randal Wilkins; Peter Leidy
Citizen Centered Leadership: A Decade of Learning
Pathways to Citizenship: Exploring the Bridges & Tunnels that Connect Us to Community – Carol Blessing
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Holding True to the Mission
in the Midst of a Pandemic
Hope Leet Dittmeier & Whitney Kays
The Gentle Art of Noticing
Creating Practices while
Discovering our Neighbourhoods
Patti Scott & Kim Brown
The Back Story of the Virtual Toronto Summer Institute
As a result of the Pandemic, with fear and trepidation, we decided it was essential to maintain the spirit and the ethos of the Summer Institutes – and since we cannot meet personally (yet), we decided to do what many of us have done – leap into the unknown of Virtual gatherings.
We further decided that we could not/should not attempt a multi-day event, but rather, select some of the ‘elements’ of the Institutes and in a series of events offer opportunities for us to renew and sustain our learning together. One of the core traditions is the concept of ‘open space’ – the Learning Marketplace – where we make offerings and choices within our community. We don’t think we can duplicate that flexibility, but we assure you, this will not be preprogrammed on a grid. We will be making some offerings, and we will be looking for your suggestions and input. In short, we will be inventing this future together.
On Sept. 17, 2020, we began our journey by honouring several of our ‘rituals’ that are now Summer Institute traditions… Gerima Harvey drummed our welcome with a heartbeat rhythm. We acknowledged the original peoples whose lands have been stolen, resulting in our privileged positions. We greeted each other by sharing our intentions – thus becoming more fully present. And we listened to John McKnight tell us stories about three libraries of wisdom that we can draw on: Marsha Forest, Judith Snow, and Pat Worth. We made space to let this wisdom find a deep home in our souls by talking to each other in small group conversations, and then we shared some of those emergent learnings in a Harvest of our reflections.
We were privileged to listen to the dulcet tones of Heather Simmons – while scanning TSI images photographed and composed by David Hasbury. Then we drummed each other out, led by Gerima Harvey, our percussionist. None of this would have been possible without remarkable collaborators: John McKnight; John O’Brien, Beth Mount, Patti Scott, David Hasbury, Bill Rollo, Gerima Harvey, and Sylma Fletcher – and of course Lynda Kahn, Cathy Hollands, and Jack Pearpoint. Deep gratitude to all the collaborators up front and behind – and to all those who came for a TSI Visit and Reunion.
We will not go back to normal.A poem from Sonia Renee Taylor.
Normal never was.
We normalized Greed, Inequity,
Confusion, Rage, Hoarding,
Hate and Lack.
We should not long to return,
We are being given the opportunity to stitch
a new garment,
One that fits all of humanity & nature.