Symposium Spreads to Asia and Beyond

November 01, 2008 | By The Pachamama Alliance

October 2008 spurred broad movement for the Awakening the Dreamer Initiative with three new ventures taking place on the Pacific Rim.

Our largest Symposium to date anywhere in the world took place in Hangzhou, China. Nearly 1000 participants experienced the Symposium, translated simultaneously into Chinese. The universal message of the Symposium seems to be striking a deep chord with people. This primarily business-oriented audience recognized the same issues in their own country as we do in ours, and shared the same dream -  a peaceful, just and sustainable world for their children. Our visit to China was coordinated and funded by DC Cordova of Excellerated Business Schools and Willson Lin of Doers Group, and we are very grateful for their part in spreading this message.

Pachamama staff member, Jon Symes, no sooner completed facilitating the Symposium in Hangzhou before he went off to Hong Kong to deliver two Symposiums and an Introduction Training for nine new facilitators. The seeds planted on that day are already being nurtured by these committed folks who self-named their group, the Hong Kong Dream Makers. They are already planning a Symposium for 500 + people in November followed by a full training for these and other leaders.  The value of an active hub in Hong Kong will empower the initiative on mainland China as well.

The third stop on Jon's trip was Auckland, New Zealand, also known in the strong heritage of that country as Aotearoa (Ah-o-tee-a-row-a).  Working in tandem with Ruel Walker they led the first of two consecutive Facilitator Trainings there.  A magnificent local team has been at work since April with three committed people running 16 Symposiums to create the base for these events.  Our first New Zealand group chose the name Mamaku, a Maori word for emergence, and for the shape of the fern frond as it uncurls. This group consists of 23 wise and experienced activists who have already formed a vision of their work in New Zealand.  One Maori indigenous member of the group, Wayne Knox, said at the training’s closing, "It is unusual for us to hear the ancient wisdom that was given to us Maori being expressed by non-Maori.  With such integrity behind it, how could this training not be a success? And I have experienced transformation, even in my short time with you. Just because someone is indigenous does not mean that he experiences belonging--and that is what I have experienced with you this weekend."