Most Successful Presentation Yet

Yesterday, we arrived at twilight at the Possibility Alliance, a small intentional community located in Amish country about 20 miles from our house, and dedicated to changing the world through living in radical simplicity (they don't use electricity at the PA, nor fossil fuels), service (their primary "work" is hosting free workshops about various aspects of social and ecological change, as well as going out into the larger community to provide help and companionship wherever it is needed). The PA is also dedicted to activism in pursuit of mindfulness and gratitude, whether that be on the scale of genuine, heartfelt person-to-person connection, or promoting the wise course of prioritizing joy and generosity over acquisition and defensiveness on a large scale, through non-violent demonstration and civil disobedience. They are our friends and neighbors.
We had come to the Possibility Alliance to deliver our presentation to the permaculture certification class that is currently holding its course out in the woodland "back 80" acres of the PA. As the sun set, we walked along the footpaths through the pastures, into the edge of the forest, and found the outdoor kitchen, classroom, and camp area for the permaculture group.
As it turned out, most of the course participants didn't return for the dinner and presentation until dark, so our presentation -- which was already going to be different in format due to the absence of the slideshow, on account of having no electricity -- was now going to feature no visual aids at all, not even the whiteboard we had brought so I could draw some charts by hand. In the end, this emphasized the narrative form of the presentation over the evidentiary, and the result was that we were able to deliver the information with heart, with emotion, and with more human context. The audience participants (about 20) were very engaged, despite that we were sitting in the dark, save for a couple flashlights, on a cold, autumn night.
They asked detailed questions about several important points of information, and were eager to know what they can do both as individuals and as instigators of the social movement to halt climate disaster. They were also genuinely moved, and shared, in a group setting, a kind of collective process which migrated from despair at our planetary situation, to flinty resolve, and left with a sincerely activated sense of urgency and determination to make measureable progress on spreading the news of our peril and our hope.
Whereas when we started the presentation, I asked the group how many of those sitting there were convinced that global warming is the most critical issue facing humanity right now, and about half the audience raised their hands, I do believe that, by the end, almost everyone in attendance was persuaded.
I plan to pattern our future presentations on this new format, starting with our next event: a presentation at Pacing the Planet Headquarters in Edina this coming Saturday, Oct. 13, at 4 p.m. Everyone and anyone is invited to attend our talk-and-discussion, which we call, "Climate Change: the Present Emergency."
Please contact either Dana or myself (Gavain) if you are interested in attending Saturday, and we can provide directions. We look forward to seeing you!

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