The New Open Space Symposium
Information in English
Research Forum - Dialogue of Cultures - Open Space
"Female and Male Strength in a Community
from 1. - 5. June 2006
in "Bildungshaus St. Hippolyt" in St. Pölten
· A intercultural dialogue
of women and men about gender, spirituality and community.
· Space for research and experience about a community of
Indigenous Peoples - as our own ancestors have been too thousands
of years ago- are aware of the great value of a well working communities.
Their expierience shows that a community of all generations, from
children to the elders, is needed, for individuals to contribute
their female and male strength so as to let their unique gifts and
If there is a lack of functioning communities, people have no place
to go where they can contribute something and also there will not
be enough support to find out about their purpose in life.
In search for the "real and intensive life" they may fall
into a whirl of egocentric life and will easily be caught by different
addictions or the addictive use of work, sex, consumption, possession,
celebrity or power. Others may give up, avoid liveliness or may
be addicted to being involved with other people (co-dependency).
This state of endless search and addiction has become normal in
the western culture. It is the breeding ground for capitalism, militarism
and fundamentalism, which destroys the respect for life and causes
a state of violence and war. This is destructive for the social
and spiritual capacity of human community and at the same time for
the ressources that will heal the pain and injuries caused by violence
and war. Without a perspective for healing, drugs will be used to
cope with a difficult life, which again leads to the destruction
of communities and relationships.
In this negative dynamic a "cult of the strongest" serves
as a drug. This cult creates chauvinism, racism and sexism. It attacks
human relationships and bondings at their inner core thus promoting
a vitious circle.
How can we break through this circle?
In reconnecting to a community of generations, which is based on
spirituality, and on our female and male strength as mothers, fathers,
daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, men, women, partners and friends.
Open Space Conference will again take place, to encourage meetings
and the forming of communities and offer a platform for varied research
on actual projects and experiences of a new culture of community.
a deeper understanding of the topic of addiction and its defeat
with the help of community, self-help communities like Alcoholics
Anonymous and others are going to be invited for information events.
will be opportunities to meet in Womens and Mens groups, in a Circle
of Elders, a Circle of Youth and Young Grownups or in a Circle of
the morning of the last day of the symposium there is going to be
a Summary Presentation to politicians and journalists for sharing
the experiences and discoveries of the past days with people from
Impulse-Givers *) who
have already agreed to come (as at 14.04.06):
*) Impulse-Givers are participants of the symposium
who are specially invited and introduced by the organizer because
of their special work or experiences and knowledge. The Impulse-Givers
will contribute some impulses to the event but can also just participate
as they like to as everyone else can in an Open Space Platform.
Genevieve Vaughan, a remarkable person
who is known worldwide as a feminist culture philosopher and a sound
culture-critic of the commercializing of human life. She is authoress
of the book "For-Giving - a Feminist Critisism of Exchange"
where she gives a remotely new understanding of money, economy and
language. She rehabilitates the motherly and giving way of economy
as an alternative to a multiplying exchange economy ("What
do I get at what costs?" [od. to/for/of which price?]) and
shows how this way of economizing is connected to a hybrid, already
Galsan Tschinag, Mongolia,
chief, shaman and (after studying in the former DDR) german-speaking
author of numerous books about culture and (hi-) stories of his
folk the Tuwa, which have been translated into various other languages.
Among them: "Liebes- und andere Steppengeschichten" (Love-
and other steppestories), and the poetry books: "Alle Pfade
um deine Jurte"( All paths around my jurt), "Nimmer werde
ich dich zähmen können" (Never I´ll be able
to tame you) and others. 10 years ago he has collected the people
of his folk in a caravan over 2000 km and brought back to their
original pastures and hunting-grounds (documented in the films "
Die Karawane" (The Caravan) and ""Die Geister kehren
zurück" (The Spirits Come Back).
Jo Berry, England, daughter
of Tory-member of parliament Sir Anthony Berry MP, who was killed
at the attack of the IRA on Thatcher and the party congress of the
Tories in 1984. Jo later contacted Pat Magee, who had been sent
to jail for a lifelong imprisonment because of this happening. After
his amnesty in 1999, emphasizing "listening to the story of
the enemy" they have given lectures together within the framework
of their new peace project "Building Bridges for Peace"
Pat Magee, former IRA-activist,
did the bombing attack on Margret Thatcher in Brighton, England
in 1984. After the meeting with Jo Berry, daughter of one of his
victims, he participates together with her in the public events
of their new peace project "Building Bridges for Peace".
His story makes terrorism more understandable (by meaning to listen
and understand not to approve and accept it). He says, terrorism
stems from weakness and helplessness and the focus on a strategy
to which all values and feelings are sacrificed.
Felina Angel Santiago Valdivieso,
a muxe from Juchitan/Mexico. Muxes are the so-called "3rd gender"
who live in the old matriarchal culture of Juchitan in Mexico, with
the body of a man and a female identity. Muxes have a social and
professional status and are respected in this culture. Felina will
tell about a life with a variety of gender identities seen as natural.
Rosa Martha Toledo Martínez,
representative for the matriachal indigenous culture of Juchitan/
Mexico, photographer and singer. With her singing, her pictures,
her stories and the way she is, she gives a good impression how
women live in this matriarchal culture.
Bernadette Rocher, worked
as a streetworker and director of a hostel for prostitutes in Marseille/
France for over 30 years.
lecturer (university teacher), director of the Institute for Theory
and Practice of Subsistence e.V., Bielefeld. She experienced and
documented in her works the economy of subsistence as a non-patriarchal
form of economy in the south and also in peripheral regions of the
north. She concludes that we should learn from women of different
regions in the "3rd World" rather than the other way around.
Their ability of subsistence reveals a female vitality that secretly
fascinates many people of the industrialized countries, no matter
of what gender, because of it´s beauty and sovereignity. Published:
"A Cow for Hillary - the Subsistence Perspective", together
with Maria Mies, "Verlag Frauenoffensive", Munich 1997,
"The Subsistence Handbook" and "Subsistence and Resistance",
both as co-editor and published in "Promedia Verlag" and
"Juchitan- City of Women".
Aliou Dieme, choreograph
and dancer of the indigenous tribe of the Diola, Senegal, living
and teaching since 19 years both in Austria and Senegal. He will
share about the rich social experience and traditions of how women
and men and their relationships are supported by the community of
his tribe and how children are cared for and elders are respected.
O. Fred Donaldson, USA
/ Sweden, founder of "Original Play". He says in his own
words: "For over 30 years I have traveled around the world
playing with children and wild animals to learn their lessons of
trust, love and belonging. I practice original play as a gift from
Creation of a universal process for feeling and consecrating the
essential kindness within all life." He discovered that every
person, no matter how old he or she is, has the potential for this
kind of play. No matter what their abilities are, no matter their
social or gender role, even between men and animals trust, a sense
of security and belonging can develop through practicing Original
Play. Among his more than 3000 playmates worldwide there are also
disabled people, cancer patients, members of street gangs and prisoners.
He plays as well with wild animals such as wolves, delphins, grizzly
bears and lions. For almost 20 years he has been teaching Original
Play worldwide in nursery schools, schools, hospitals, prisons,
social facilities and at trainings of non-violent demonstrations.
His experiences open new and until now unknown perspectives of a
non-violent and fearless encounter when confronted with competitive,
agressive and violent behaviour. He published the book: "Playing
by heart - The Vision and Practice of Belonging" 1993 (available
by the author e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org)
His colleague Jolanta Graczykowska, Warsaw, will come with him to
our symposium. She is a teacher and a therapist and the Director
of Original Play in Poland.
More information you can find at www.originalplay.com
Wengji Wang, member
of the matriarchal tribe of the Mosuo in South-western China. The
Mosuo are one of the best known matriarchal cultures in Asia. They
live in extended families of only matrilinear familiy members which
are led mostly by elder women. Many of the young Mosuo live the
custom of the "visiting marriage" which is based on the
free decision of the loving couple. The couple will not set up a
new family and do not share property. Any children resulting from
the union of the couple are the woman´s children and the man
helps to raise the children of his sisters. As a result, a separating
of the couple is not going to influence the children at all. The
Mosuo culture is characterized as a very harmonious and peaceful
one and there are some changings because of the influences of the
modern mainstream Chinese society. Wengji Wang will report about
the kind of living in this culture and the feeling to be part of
The list of possible inpulse givers remains open.
The Symposium should develop personally, organizationally and financially
like a growing tree: It needs water and food for its roots, and
light and warmth for its leaves to enable them to grow. Everyone
is invited to nourish the new roots and branches and to blossom
by taking part in the 7th Generation Forum on the website (www.7generationen.at)
or by attending meetings of the 7th Generation core group, by initiating
a workshop at the symposium, by helping to invite impulse givers,
by informing others or giving money. With the fruits of this symposium,
the seeds of a new open space forum may emerge.
The working community 7 Generations -
Mediator Dr. Markus Distelberger and partners GesbR organizes this
symposium together with a pluralistic platform of co-organizers
out of the civil-society, science, unions, management and media,
with the help of a great number of supporting individuals from different
circles and walks of life in our society. This symposium is a project
of the "7 Generations Network" - an international and
intercultural network of Research, Education and Developing for
structures of community, wisdom of live and mediation.
(still to be done)
Arge 7Generationen, Am Hainerberg-Dörflein 10, A-3130 Herzogenburg,
Tel.:02782/83278 E-Mail: email@example.com Internet: www.7generationen.at
(with Forum for exchanging thoughts and ideas about the theme of
German, English, Spanish, French will be translated.
Seminar cost and registration:
Seminar cost: € 150,00
For members who helped organize € 135,00
for couples together € 200,00
for youth, students, and jobless € 50,00
Free participation or free choosing of entry fee for children and
youth under the age of 18 and for elders over the age of 70.
Members of the Talent Exchange Circle of Lower Austria,
and of associated exchange circles can pay one third of the seminar
costs in exchange currency.
The seminar cost should be cost-covering. As far as it is possible,
we ask you to transfer the appropriate money as soon as possible
so that we can give discounts to those who need them. Those who
need a discount price, please write a letter.
Registration is confirmed by transferring money to
the account of the organizer of the seminar, Dr. Markus Distelberger:
After registering for this seminar, refunds are only
possible as tickets for a future event or if a replacement can be
Registration Ends: May 15, 2006
Maximum participants: 180
Please register for room and board at the Bildungshaus
St. Hippolyt separately : Eybner Straße 5, 3100 St. Pölten,
Tel.Nr. 02742/352104 Fax Nr. 02742/313352 E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The prices are the following:
4 days full pension (more than 2 beds or lower standard): €
4 days full pension (Double room): € 148,00
4 days full pension (Single room): € 172,00
4 days lunch, and dinner with no accommodations € 58,00
Registration for room and board also ends on May 15,
Private accomodations: Elfriede Vass, 02742/22648
or 0664/582 01 83 (also with basis of exchange circle);
What else is happening at the symposium:
There are going to be playgrounds for children
We will have concerts of Rosa Martha Toledo (one afternoon or evening)
and of Sathya Bartko (in the morning of Whitsun)
A party on the last evening
Places available for the special care of spiritual needs:
A quiet room for prayer and meditation,
an in-house chapel as a place for (inter-) religious
meditation and prayer and eventually an ecumenical mass on Sunday
a playground for Original Play after O. Fred Donaldson
a room to do his/her inner deep process work
a park for walking under beautiful trees,
a library to read and write in peace,
a cafeteria (clubroom) to relax and chat in small