Annually, Gary Hubbell Consulting
convenes and hosts a small hand-picked group of social sector
professionals for three days of intense dialogue and critical
thinking. We strive to create a thought-provoking, mind-opening,
and stimulating conversation about the social sector,
philanthropy, and leadership. This deep exploration of the nature
and challenges of the environment is intended to engage, inform,
and inspire senior leaders to be catalysts for change in their own
organizations and communities of influence. With each
Conversation, we seek to establish the seeds of a
continuing and enriching network that nourishes us as individuals
and helps each of us change how we converse, inspire, and seek new
dimensions of impact.
Creating and curating
conversations is the very essence of the work we do in
philanthropy. Conversation is an open space for discovery,
contribution, and dialogue. Representing a rich mix of personally
invited participants from throughout the social sector, we gather
people in search of new and deeper meaning; seeing with new eyes
those topics we've long thought we know well- the purposeful work
we do; imagining alternative futures; leadership from the
inside-out*, systems thinking, and the ever evolving transformative
power of philanthropy.
There are no presentations, no sponsored events, no vender
meet-n-greets, and no chair-lined auditoriums. Participants are the
program. Together, we determine the arc and depth of our
discussion. Guided with an appreciative inquiry style, the
conveners invite you to explore what it means to be in right
relation to your work, what constitutes wise action and lasting
impact, and what is possible through concerted action.
Writing and submitting an essay prior
to the gathering fosters advance reflection and primes the pump.
Informed and inspired by the collective of advance essays, we feel
a sense of immediate community where familiarity is established and
And then we gather.
Checking egos and titles at the door,
we seek to evoke a clearing…an opening…an invitation…to test
assumptions and to welcome some level of personal disturbance.
Through a three day robust exchange among like-spirited colleagues
in search of new meaning, we individually and collective walk into
the disturbance and through it. Emerging grounded, reflective,
energized, and recommitted…another knowledgeable, soulful node on a
growing network for good.
Our friend and colleague, Musimbi
Kanyoro, CEO of the Global Fund for Women, says of her two
participations in Conversations:
"For me, it has
been the safety of being away from my known circles of friends and
colleagues and paired with people I usually don't meet….discovering
that we experience certain similarities in our lives as we manage,
analyze, interpret, and live our diversity in our callings. The
space felt safe and it was like a strategic retreat for me; a space
providing a shade in the heat of our daily work, a quench of water
on the long walk in life's professions."
After several years, we have witnessed
a set of characteristics among participants who seem to invest the
most energy and derive the most benefit from
Conversations. The most engaged participants are:
*from Kevin Cashman's book by the
Interested in being invited to a
future Conversation, or simply learning more about this
Let us know.
Each Conversation builds upon
and extends the "Hilton Head Affirmation" that emerged in
Catalyzing the Future: A
Promise of Receptive Leadership
Our Hilton Head Affirmation
The future dawns.
by turning to wonder.
understand that we are part of a current that began
long before our arrival and will continue long after we depart. We
do not control its course--so we must learn to flow with it.
that world-changers are self-changers first. We lead not mainly by
leaps but by small steps. They way may be uncertain, but the ground
we share is hallowed. All we need is here, and it's all
important. The greatest promise exists in the smallest seed. We
belong to each other. We can feed each other.
We feel an
energy around and about us that we don't necessarily understand and
can't quite articulate--but which we can increase and extend by our
that power emerges from spirit, from intention.
United by a sense of responsibility,
and a desire to improve the landscape, we
commit ourselves to dropping old baggage, opening
fresh eyes, and finding new ways to examine, reflect, and
In the following videos, two participants in 2015 answer three
1) What is emerging for you at Conversation 2015;
2) What idea or perspective would you like to bring back to your
3) Why do you attend Conversation?
Their answers may help you gauge whether Conversation is
the right fit for you.
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