Art Monastery in Amsterdam

Posted by on Mar 16, 2012 in Blog, News, Projects | No Comments
Art Monastery in Amsterdam

Liz and I went to Amsterdam the first week of March for the inspirational second meeting of the Lifelong Learning Partnership (two-year european mobility grant from Grundtvig). The partnership consists of seven organizations, each from a different european country, each of which “hosts transformation” in its own way. How cool is that? There are experimental schools and adult learning workshops, intentional communities and nature-based programs. The Art Monastery is the only arts organization and represents Italy. The other organizations are

  • Academy for Visionautics – weeklong workshops that support underserved communities in realizing their visions to change the world and are free to the participants – Berlin, Germany
  • Embercombe – a residential community that runs Catalyst Course, a transformative workshop for young people – Embercombe, UK
  • Knowmads – an experimental business school – Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • Plenum – an educational organization that runs Pioneers of Change, weeklong workshops with yearround follow up meetings – Vienna, Austria
  • Sol Hungary (Society for Organizational Learning) – an inspirational educational program about true european unification – Budapest, Hungary
  • YIP (Youth Initiative Project) – a year-long experimental residential school – Järna, Sweden

Over the next two years, each organization will take a turn hosting a conference for the rest of the partnership. The vision of the grant is for these organizations to benefit from each other’s knowledge. This meeting in Amsterdam was hosted by Knowmads, where we delved deeply into our concepts about money and presented our challenges to sustainability. Who knew such important work could be so fun?

The only requirement of the grant (other than that we travel to visit each other’s countries) is that we write a report of the ideas we exchanged, but we are interested in creating something bigger and more beautiful than that. No final decisions on what form this communal project may take — stay tuned!

Meanwhile, we’ve determined that our vision of the partnership is to cultivate a fertile ground that is resilient, supportive, inspiring, energizing, and creative for ourselves, our organization, and for our beneficiaries so that our organizations may grow into a beautiful, lush, thriving, diverse, and sustainable ecosystem.


It is, of course, a great honor to be a part of this partnership and I bow deeply to the extraordinary individuals I have met as a result of it. Also, a deep bow to the great creators of the Grundtvig grant, which is  beautiful and truly effecting positive change in the world.

May we all aspire and achieve so! I look forward to  the June meeting at Embercombe.