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Dec 02, 2004



Dear Evelyn Rodriguez,
Now that is something I so strongly believe in! I am a creative director (or whatever it is called) at a communication/television/events/film/etcetera production house, dealing with creativity on a daily basis.

Of course I read the books on how to enhance creativity, but the best best best thing there is really is those sessions in retreat, where you preferrably get many types of thinkers together. People who think on the same roads but in different fields... I have now set up mini-sessions of my creative co-workers every month that they can fill in how they want - I can tell, it is a huge succes.

Anyway, I love your blog, I would love to go to the Blinker-session - but Holland is a little far off... I will read your posts closely thanks for sharing!


Evelyn Rodriguez

Hmmm, Holland is a bit far off, but perhaps you are doing the same for yourself it sounds like. I did have the idea to jot down how the whole "structure" (um, or unstructure) of the advance and then write an article about it so others could replicate some of the best parts for themselves wherever they live.

I'm hoping this "advance" will draw in a lot of diverse people too as you mentioned "many types of thinkers" -
draw out people from their fields of specialization and be immersed in "the intersection" of a lot of different areas (I'm using The Medici Effect term).

Specialization is something Buckminster Fuller complained a wee bit about in Synergetics as denying us and humanity a holistic and comprehensive understanding.

Perhaps you can just join in to the yahoogroups list - we'll be talking about preparation in terms of practices and it may also give you ideas for exercises, etc. to try out.

Jory Des Jardins

I'm interested. I think it would be very useful to post an agenda as you get closer. I hate to always be the ROI wet blanket, and this is not a measurable outcome, but I'm curious to know--and would be happy to contribute--to the intention and activities.

BTW: I was at a weekend retreat this summer and my bfriend did the shopping and a good portion of the cooking for 40--he's a good one to ask.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Jory, I understand about the ROI. I'd have to reread this post, but clickthrough above on "a clarity quest or incubation retreat". EVERY significant BREAKTHROUGH idea I've come up with has been after an incubation retreat. I've only done three so far - but they have been well worth the time. "Idea" doesn't convey it though. It's as if all the pieces of all my interests fall into place and make total logical sense. A path is cleared. I come away with a clarity of purpose accompanied by fearlessness and commitment.

I realize these days that time is more important than money. I'm sure the cost will be closer to $300 if it's not catered...but in this day and age we worry about if we can "afford" 4-5 days off not $300. Meanwhile we get on a (often billable hour time-is-money) treadmill to pay the rent rather than finding a few days to create a viable system that will really set us free and allow us the time to pursue our passions and make an impact and create our legacy. With preparation (that's what the blog and the yahoogroups email list will be for) it only takes a few days off the treadmill to access the wisdom that will allow us to create something a bit more sustainable and joyful in our lives.

I just read yesterday a snippet from Thich Nhat Hanh where he asks, Do You Have Time to Love? Ah, what in the world else are we doing I wonder. That's a question for me too.

Evelyn Rodriguez

OK to answer a question I got offline. Much of the group stuff will be in smaller groups of 7-8, not typically all 30. Intentionally planning on solo time (again it may be structured and sometimes not) of at least three hours during the sunny daylight hours.

What you learned doesn't dissipate after the weekend's stimulation - you'd be learning new practices that are tailored for you individually and you can utilize in your own life for making timely decisions, creating and innovating, perceiving opportunities, overcoming fear and obstacles, and being focused and crystal clear in your endeavors.

Zane Safrit

Count me in, at least as far as looking at my schedule to see if it can work. I just got my intro-AARP card in the mail awhile back, so bunk beds caught my eye....

Matt Homann

If my schedule allows, I'm in.


Won't be able to make it, but please post as many details (both pre- and post-) as you can. I'd like to try to host an East Coast version.


Wow, Evelyn, what a fantastic idea. Jon ( over at Business Evolutionist had questioned the value of institutionalized training sessions and what could be done to make learning more relevant. This is such a cool idea - creating a meeting of the minds with people who so obviously share your passion, as they freely join in dialogue here. I'm sure great things will evolve from such a retreat. I am sorry I can't make it.

Evelyn Rodriguez

All the pre-advance stuff will either be blogged or emailed to the yahoogroups as prep for participants - and everyone is free to join up. As far as post-advance, I'll do my best (perhaps we could spread the duties of recording the how-to-do-your-own-advance on a wiki among the participants).

Aleah, about institutionalized training - yep, I've been giving a lot of thought to education lately (more later).

BTW, permalink to Aleah's reference to Jon's post is:

Mike Rohde

Evelyn, how open might you be to recording the sessions as Doug Kaye at IT Conversations has been doing for other events? I wonder if Doug might be interested in attending to record them?

That way the folks who couldn't make it can glean ideas from the discussions.

Maybe it's a nutty idea, but you never know... :-)

Evelyn Rodriguez

Mike, I'll throw it out to the participants - but I was kind of hoping people would be really open about personal doubts and stumbling blocks or whatever they want to talk about in a safe, confidential environment - which is not conducive to any recording, or some blogging for that matter. (Blogging about the structure or your personal impressions is different but sharing other people's revelations isn't.) However, there might be one hour per day that is more of a lecture (i.e. one talking head broadcast) format which is recordable. Everything else is highly interactive however.

Jefferson Berlin

Evelyn, I'm so ripe for something like this, I'm ready to fall out of my tree. I can't tell if I've made your 30, but if so, I'm there.

Brett Stuckel

If I'm in the country, I will be there.

Shawn Borton

If I have the funds and time, I'm in.

Gerard Van der Leun

Sounds like a good lever for becoming unstuck.

Kerry Studwell

Sounds fascinating. Please put me on the list!

Connie Sartain

Have you met Harrison Owen, the original spirit behind Open Space? If not, I recommend his books and perhaps you've read those as lists several (although their descriptions are weak.) He's been just below the radar for years and has a wide fellowship of creative souls. My experience was that the process (open space) is highly creative, and the antithesis of most groups or organizations where control is the issue.

Mary Nations

I would love to participate - please sign me up!



I'd love to participate-- Can you keep us updated as it progresses and as it starts to fill up. Here's my dilemma: I'm scheduled to go to an industry conference that week that promises one-on-one time with a lot of industry folk who could really help us out, in a forum where they're actually likely to listen.

At the same time, I think that I would personally get a lot more out of the "advance" (love the term).

So, I'm going to have to do a "Blink"-esque ROI to make the call, and my head is to crazy right now to do that.

Evelyn Rodriguez

Yes, I plan to keep all of you updated as to the progress. Also, I'll be using the yahoogroups list mentioned in the post for some (optional, but VERY helpful) prep work. In fact, you could say the Advance starts the day you commit. And for those of you - particulary those overseas - that can't make it, I'll include tips on how to do a solo advance that weekend and you can be with us in spirit.

We don't have as many sign-ups as the comments would suggest, so keep them coming. I am sending the check this week to secure and book the entire Hidden Villa to ourselves - so I'm definitely committed!

Scott McMullan

Sounds like just what I need...


Do you have any more room because boy is this what I need now. I'm on the cusp of a breakthrough, I can feel it in my bones, but I'm not there yet. The idea of being with other creative people excites me mightily.

Curt Gardner

I'm quite interested in this 'advance' - as you say, if you don't have time for this, what do you have time for?


Just finnished at the Creative Capital Conference here in Amsterdam. Two days of cross-domain discussions and formulations which were packaged and delivered to the government here. One of the biggest areas we identified where creativity emerges is the cross-over space. "new connections and linkages are the essence of the knowledge society. Lines of development in - culture, the economy and knowledge institutions no longer move parallel, but they create new junctions, connections and crossover zones." I recommend what you are discussing as it breaks down silos between people. We are on our way to enabling this discussion to be machine readable too at a deeper level. MySpace and other social networking tools are steps in the right direction towards a global discussion where we will be able to remember who we are in relation to other people from a local to global level. For those of you that follow concepts from the Integral Community this means we cross the I/WE treshhold in multiply information rich and diverse ways.

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