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Cafe Connections—Inspired Conversations with Lifelong Learners

coffee and laptopDo You Want to be Part of an Exciting Movement of Lifelong Learners?

  • Join any/all of the conversations from January through March.
  • Conversations have themes guided by SelfDesign Graduate Institute faculty members.
  • You’re invited to ask questions and share your insight.
  • Be encouraged to author your own life!
  • Connect with a diverse community of learners.
  • Go deeper than what pop culture encourages.
  • Be valued by a growing and authentic community of lifelong learners!

We invite you to grab a cup of coffee, paper, and pen as you take the time to chat about and engage in wholehearted learning. Give yourself a gift of one hour of undisturbed time to connect with a meaningful conversation as you author your own life! Invite your friends to join in with you. There are limited spaces available for these conversations to inspire a more personal and rich community rather than simply attending a seminar. You’ll want to connect early to save your spot!

We look forward to journeying with you as we each embrace lifelong learning in our own, unique ways!

Take a look at the variety of upcoming Cafe Connections:

January 20

10 AM Oral Based Literacy (From Sound to Symbol Praxis)
Fleurette Sweeney

When we sing a song, we use both oral language and music. During this session we will explore a sequence of symbols that are multi-sensory, aural/oral and written.

January 21

11 AM Contemplative Activism—Emergent Wisdom
Jonathan Taylor
What happens when we synthesize contemplation with activism? What is the wisdom that can emerge from this experience?

4 PM Seeing the Invisible: Living Wholes, Speaking Chunks
Pille Bunnell
How can we expand our awareness and expertise for acting with the invisible and unnamable relationships that contribute to learning? We can see evidence of learning, but we cannot see learning itself. Language chunks experience into nameable bits. What goes in the chunks? What falls between them? We are not limited to language; we have the ability to flow with more than what we speak about.

5:15 PM Personalizing Learning: Considering the Means and the End
Michael Maser
There is a lot of talk about ‘personalized learning’ in public school circles these days both in the US and in Canada. But what does ‘personalized learning’ really mean? When is personalization authentic and meaningful?

January 27

10 AM The Family as a Learning Community
Fleurette Sweeney
How do we have aesthetic experience in family play? In this session, we will explore the intergenerational richness in playing folk song-games as a family.

11:15 AM The Lived Experience of SelfDesigning as an Adult
Laurel Tien
How is selfdesigning experienced as an adult? How do people find themselves here? What skills/thoughts/ processes/beliefs lend themselves to entering this place of chaos and transformation?

January 28

11 AM Adolescent Health, Empowerment, & Happiness
Peter Berg
How does an exploration of a holistic view of adolescent health lead to empowerment and lasting change? Delve into Western and Non-Western philosophies of health and medicine as they relate to adolescent health, happiness, and empowerment.

4 PM Seeing the Invisible: Sensing “Betweens” in Behaviour
Pille Bunnell
This is the second part of a three part series of conversations. Please see above description for, “Seeing the Invisible: LIving Wholes, Speaking Chunks” (January 21).

7 PM Mentoring for Social Change
Renee Poindexter
What is mentoring? And how can we mentor in ways that promote social change? Be empowered to be the change you want to see!

February 3

10 AM Biomimicry: Nature as Designer
Jonathan Taylor
How do the concepts and uses of biomimicry, the imitation of the models, systems, and elements of nature help us solve complex human problems?

1 PM Appreciative Inquiry: A Tool for Transformation
Karen Leckie
What is Appreciative Inquiry? And how can we use its tools in our lives to nurture relationships and organizations?

February 4

11 AM Best Practices in Integral Distance Education
Laurel Tien
SelfDesign Graduate Institute creates spaces for learners to engage in self-authoring in community, supporting connection between individuals from across the globe. What is the quality of relationship needed in interactions with others in a virtual world/at a distance? Is it possible to have connection when we may never be present with one another in person?

4 PM Seeing the Invisible: Conversation with Glimmers of Learning
Pille Bunnell
This is the third part of a three part series of conversations. Please see the description for, “Seeing the Invisible: LIving Wholes, Speaking Chunks” (January 21).

February 10

10 AM From Babbling to Orality
Fleurette Sweeney
What are the parallels between the two processes of learning to speak, and learning to sing a song? Our conversation will include considerations of the similarities in both the acoustic and social qualities of these processes. This conversation’s particular point of reference will be playing folk song-games.

4 PM Conscious Parenting from Soul to Soul
David Marshak
What is the experience of parents who apprehend their child(ren) in ways that transcend the realms of sight and hearing?

February 11

11 AM Integrated Leadership for a Just and Sustainable World
Peter Berg
Examine paths to holistic, integrated, and authentic leadership and experience techniques for holistic and authentic leadership that integrate several philosophies, including authentic, contextual, holistic, and values-based leadership with your authentic self.

4 PM Is Death a Friend?
Jonathan Taylor
What do we know about death? What do we believe about death? There is a strand in technological culture that wants humans to live forever—or move our identities into artificial intelligence. Yet for thousands of years, death was an ordinary and valuable element in human life. ​How do we experience death now?

February 17

10 AM Designing Economy of Place
Fleurette Sweeney
When I first learned that one of the root meanings of the word ‘economics’ was “caring for … or stewarding … the household …” I became very interested in ‘economy of place’. My understanding of ‘household’ has grown to include the local bioregion. What types of care does our current ’household’ need us to design for the sake of the children under our care?

11:15 Children’s Perception of Death
Ba Luvmour
How do children’s perceptions of death change over time? At what age does death become ‘real’ for children and what impact does this new reality have on children’s psyche? How can we engage with the child ​to support her/him at this significant moment in her/his life?

11 AM Parenting as an Evolutionary Act
David Marshak
When parents orient their parenting to tuning in to the soul of the child, as expressed through her/his will, they participate in the evolution of consciousness in our species. So what do we do with the child’s will as parents?

4 PM Using Spiral Dynamics to Make Sense of Our Complex Times
David Marshak
Why is there so much violent conflict on the planet today? Spiral Dynamics is a research-based developmental model that explains why people see reality in such radically different ways.

February 24

10 AM The Lived Experience of SelfDesigning as an Adult
Laurel Tien
How is selfdesigning experienced as an adult? How do people find themselves here? What skills/thoughts/ processes/beliefs lend themselves to entering this place of chaos and transformation?

February 25

11 AM Paradox as a Door into Integral Consciousness
David Marshak
What happens when we experience paradox? How can an assertion be both true and false at the same time? Paradox is an opening into a more complex perception of reality.

4 PM SelfDesigning Your Elderhood
David Marshak
The concept of elders is being revived as Boomers experience old age. What happens when we use the tools of SelfDesign to nurture folks as they evolve into elderhood?

March 3

10 AM Partnership in Education…Faculty-Learner(Alumni)
Anne Adams and Clarissa Tufts
A truly integral window (360 degree)/ (panoramic view) into the Self Design Graduate Institute. A Faculty Member, Board Member, Cohort Member -Learner, Alumni and Learning Consultant bring to life the dynamic dimensions (perspectives) of SelfDesigned Learning

11:15 AM The Creativity of Enki Education
Beth Sutton
What is Enki Education? What can it offer to your family?

March 4

11 AM Prescription for a Healthy Learning Environment
Peter Berg
This conversation will focus on the aspects of a school or learning environment that are often overlooked but are vital to the health of a school or learning environment. We will consider practical techniques to evaluate and implement changes to your school or learning environment to make it as healthy as possible.

4 PM Listening for Possibility Thinking
Renee Poindexter
‘Possibility Thinking’ means being open to the emergent, the creative, the unknown…yet. How do we learn to listen for Possibility Thinking rather than be caught up in old and familiar patterns?