The sixth gathering of the partnership occurred in Budapest, Hungary, hosted by SoL.
By this time in the partnership, we had very clear goals, so most of our time was spent working on our two primary projects: 1) the book (“Hosting Transformation”) and 2) the final conference (ChangeMaker Festival - CMF).
We examined the near-final layout of the book and all read, critiqued, and co-edited different sections, in order to be able to make the final push to complete the book and send it to be printed in time to be publicly released at the ChangeMaker Festival. We succeeded in garnering what was needed from the whole group to move to the final stages with this project.
The committee that had been formed to begin the production of CMF gave a presentation, in which we charted the general flow for the event, as well as broke down the areas of responsibility into categories, to be managed by an array of subcommittees. There was a general consensus to seek a balance between planning a flow of intentional activities and using open space technology to encourage facilitators and learners to take control of their own educational environment. We decided, as well, to make the event as available as possible to relevant applicants by offering discounts to participants from Eastern Europe.
We had some in-depth conversations regarding extra costs for individuals and organizations to participate in these two projects (the book and CMF), and we eventually came to agreements that enabled all to participate, and to do so in ways that were natural extensions of their given organizations.
SoL, the hosting organization, also prepared some activities to share some of their best practices. This included a Pro-Action Cafe that provided valuable interaction with local people and organizations.
Additionally, we had many opportunities to experience the local culture of Budapest, from tours of the nightlife and Hungarian wine tasting to lunch, hosted by a local gypsy community house. All of these activities included a wealth of information about Hungarian culture, from history to politics and language to lifestyle.