A SoFA-internal 2022 summer camp/conference IN PERSON?

After @pcarmona made a comment in a conference prep whatsapp group, a whole discussion came up with lots of energy around the topic of meeting in person in 2022.

There were a lot of ideas all at once and I thought it might be good to have the discussion publicly to see what arises :slight_smile:

  • “just” hanging out together
  • Running a HUGE sociocracy summer camp together where we do an immersion training for hundreds of people - you know, 30 trainers and 200 participants :wink:
  • hanging out and live-broadcasting panel discussions that go really deep, in the place of the conference.
  • doing some work (sociocrayc but also other :axe: :broom:) for an organization together to have a free space.
  • doing deep work and filming it for a sociocracy documentary :movie_camera: on how we figure out what we eat and when and so on :rofl:

Possible locations: Mexico? Portugal? Massachusetts?
I know it’s important to keep it affordable. Maybe those who can pay their way and others get support.
When? No idea, maybe in June 2022? I don’t really care, I can plan around others. Just need to arrange for my childcare schedule.

Ideas? We still have more than 1 year to plan so let’s dream big.

Tagging those involved in talking so far plus General Circle. @eric.tolson @sanket.bihari @cj.oreilly @andreas.jonsson @jerry.koch-gonzalez @lea.shani @nora.plaza @phouben


And a bunch of others… @sara.rodriguez @sofie.malm-3492 @hanna.fischer @kare.wangel-1483

A similar conversation happened between me and @hanna.fischer during the conference as well. I take it as a sign that a meetup is deeply desired by the organization.

I don’t mind if this topic is just a juicy strategy to make us utilize this forum, the fact is that it worked!
I love the idea of finally meeting all of us in person! but I have to warn you, there is something you still don’t know about me, I will probably never shake your hand …and not for hygienic reason, on the contrary … I am a HUGGING person! , what to do, too many years as a damn hippie left their mark.
I worked for more then a decade as a producer of huge alternative festivals , so while I enjoy letting myself dream big , my head immediately trying to translate this idea into all the details that we will need to explore.
as much as I would like to stay optimistic , at the moment there are still a lot of traveling restrictions that may effect some more then others (for example Israeli passport holders are still not permitted to enter Europe, so I didn’t see my family for a year and a half, to get a visa to the US for Israelis I will have to prove a very good reason and do a lot of paperwork even in the old normal)
but we can dream that all will be open and possible…

so the other questions are:

  • Around how many people we can assume we will be as a core ? (if we don’t invite those 200 people just yet… 30?)

  • Where most of those people are located? America or Europe? where do we want to create impact? (as it seems that wherever we will go we will leave behind a community of practice)

  • for how long we are going to meet?

  • what kind of basic facilities will be in your range of tolerance? (a room in a resort or just a tent in nature, or maybe both options)

  • Do we need also to feed people during this time? (outside services / a shared kitchen)

  • What will be the nature/main agenda of this event ? for us to get together or also a commercial event that somehow will cover expenses? or both

  • What will be the considerations around people traveling and the date of the event?

  • how can we make the cost of traveling friendlier for everyone?

  • when and for how long can you take a vacation?

  • what is your navigation space with work and kids obligations?

I am sure there are more dimensions but this can be a conversation starter…
Thank you Ted for putting it out there as an actual thing… if we can dream it , we can make it.


My answers from where I stand:
I am a single mom , not possible for me to leave my kids behind (maybe if I have a year to plan it …) but if we stay in Europe then I have my autocaravana (RV) and can probably make it an adventure during the summer when the kids are anyway on vacation (July - September) Portugal is relatively cheap for Europe but expensive for people that come from another currency, if we are open to a gathering in nature conditions then I could probably find a little community/ friends with some land, that will be happy to host us with minimum expenses , if we need to rent a resort then it will become expensive especially during the summer tourist season.
Thailand can be a good option (or at least a place I have enough knowledge and connections to make it happen), taking a whole resort somewhere, relatively affordable for everyone (not including flights) and will be a great tropical background for that documentary :wink: ( Thai food is amazing so what to eat is hard daily dilemma)

I will prefer an intimate enough gathering for SoFA members so I could really get to know you and maybe to combine it with workshops that we can offer to each other (not limited to sociocracy) with a byproduct of online streaming that also people that couldn’t make it or non members could join us virtually.

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My answers:

  • maybe 50? Really depends on where we go.
  • I think we’re basically evenly split between Europe and US/Latin America but I am sure @Andy.Grant and @cj.oreilly could run the numbers.
  • I think 1 week would be good. Shorter would be too short for all the hugs!
  • I can do with a tent and a sleeping bag. Would even prefer closer over more convenient.
  • no opinion on food. It’s a big cost factor though. And cooking together is fun.
  • I think traveling cost is the biggest factor to consider.
  • I can free up any time frame for a week if I have lead time - my ex would take the kids. I could probably talk him into trading and taking them for longer but not more than 12 days.
  • There’s one more dimension, and that’s what you’re mentioning, visa requirements.
  • I have a personal dimension too which is that airport body scanners regularly out me as trans which is always uncomfortable but terrifying when I’m not “home”. I am also still traveling with my old female passport which means I get pulled out every single time I have to show my passport anywhere. I’m working on getting my passport updated but it’s a long and complicated process to do from abroad; I am really worried one year is too short to get it done, especially in covid times)… anyway, the more progressive the country, the more likely it is that they’ll even let me in…

That would be a dream come true! I would do what ever it takes on my part to make it possible. Any option is good for me as far as I can meet you in person and hug you!!


Hi everyone! First of all, thank you @TedRau for taking my dreams seriously haha.
I think Mexico will be perfect, is cheap so we can find good deals for the venue, hotels, food and so on.I also think it would make it easier for other latinamerican friends to come, even though the continent is huge I think is still cheaper than going to europe.
I definitely think we need to find some partners to do this, Holaspirit? Makesense? Transition movement? and Im also thinking about getting grants or sponsorship of some kind.
I am also worried that covid might not be completely over by next year but we can wait for fall to decide.
My last question would be, which circle will hold the planning for this in case it happens? outreach?
Excited to know what everyone else thinks!

I imagine we might need to have multiple gatherings, because we’re such an international group!

But… Idea! How can we make it accessible remotely? & in person? at the same time!!!

I’ve tried some gatherings which had mixed attendance, and in fact Zoom has new features which are built for this. I think we could do it effectively with mixed programming!

Perhaps it could be something where people pod up and we have multiple simultaneous gatherings with mixed in-person and online programming!

Say multiple simultaneous 10-20 person gatherings! And even people who can’t leave home can still participate (as bittersweet as that might be?)

We could have coordinated dance waves with the same playlist, and even eat similar menus! (or different, but share the differences!) But then of course we would have different outdoor activities and perhaps even different, but mutually focused projects!

I think SoFA would be up to task!

Personally, I’d love to go somewhere where people speak spanish, and mexico seems affordable and easy for travel…

I would also love to go up to Earthdance in Massachusetts.

There’s also this place in Spain I’d love to visit - have any of you heard of Vidalia?
I believe they are sociocratically organized… Not sure if they are ready for/want events there yet, but I think so - anyhow I wanna get out that way :stuck_out_tongue:

But also… I would love for it to not just be getting together for the sake of getting together… I’m curious about a social project! let’s volunteer our time and help make something happen!

Perhaps it can also make it more affordable if we trade our time and energy contributing to local projects. Perhaps a permaculture location and we contribute our work and organizational expertise?
Perhaps mutual aid project looking to self organize, or a budding intentionally community, or even rural or inner city community wanting to to start a better schooling project?

Other gathering types
The above is all assuming it’s just a SoFA Members gathering… but, what if it’s actually sofa workshops or conferences?

Personally, when it comes to external offerings like a conference, I’d just as well keep it online… but if it’s workshop or intensive I think a similar purpose can be applied.

I’d love to see a Sociocracy PDC, where it’s all learning, but includes site specific hands on work… But this is more than just a members gathering… it’s actually a public offering! But perhaps the members gathering is just a pilot for a broader event like that…

Where are SoFA’s event planners, eh?

@shala.massey-0626 :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


Wow, amazing! I am obsessed! :heart_eyes: :star_struck:

I’m hearing a few different things happening here…

SoFA summer camp: We have a year, people. Let’s do it! Camping would be fun, but considering that folx may be traveling by plane with limited luggage, I think we would want to have affordable accomodations for those that would not be able to camp. AND I think a “pop-up community” vibe would be fantastic (sociocracy meets burning man meets permablitz…? In my head I just keep seeing us all running towards eachother across open fields with arms spread wide, so… some of that, too?). So intrigued by this festival-planning past, @lea.shani! I have so many questions! I agree, @pcarmona, that partnering with another organization/seeking grant funding for the project is a fantastic idea and could create greater ease and accessibility. I’m pretty open location-wise, and very interested in how the location will be chosen (I’m still fascinated by the process :relaxed:). Which leads me to another idea that @cj.oreilly shared…

Hybrid online and in-person gathering: Love this idea. Very accessible, pretty straight forward and feasible. Also, high potential for fun.

Uhm, Sociocracy PDC?? Okay, Permaculture Circle… I feel like this has to exist! And if it isn’t happening in the SoFA sphere, yet, it certainly can!! Hiii @rhonda.baird, is this a thing?

My thoughts on in-person vs. online vs. hybrid conference: I was imagining an in-person 2-3 day conference that integrates live trainings and workshops with interactive sessions (eg, collaborative small scale group projects [3 days gives a bit more space for this], interdisciplinary experiential workshops/trainings, youth & children training/programs, a whole children’s center??, panel discussions, service projects [could exist as a volunteer project or as a training/workshop… eco-building, community garden install, community beautification, permaculture implementation…] etc), and speakers.

So many ideas. So many possibilities. So much love for you beautiful peoples. :heart:


@shala.massey-0626 It is! I am so charmed by this idea of a gathering with so much energy. About sociocracy permaculture design courses–yes, Rakesh approaches the permaculture course with sociocracy in Europe. One of the teams I work with, Three Waters Permaculture, begins with an introduction to Sociocracy and we use it with the students and their design teams throughout the course. Dancing Rabbit sent a Pc teacher to learn our approach a few years ago. There ARE lots of possibilities!

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Hey all lovely people!
I wonder where this topic lives? Maybe a helping circle under membership…???


Late in on this conversation but then again what’s late when planning so far ahead. I love the idea of meeting in person, it has felt strangely fitting to me to join an organization that operates all over the globe and online in these times but i’d also love to meet all of you in person!

I don’t mind which place really, no matter where, balancing out travel costs feels essential.
I’m happy to sleep in a tent, if nature includes animals like bears I need a crashcourse on how to stay alive.

Combining with zoom, if doable yes, but keep the prio to meet in person if possible!

Exciting stuff!


So I’m hearing in-person hybrid with online. I’m hearing equalizing travel costs. I’m hearing learning/teaching or just hanging out?



Love this concept and the possibility of meeting, hugging, exploring with, creating with you all!!!

  • and - LOVE this forum facility!! - much gratitude to those who put it together and all participating!!

What about exploring a hybrid approach, with the following wrinkles:

  • meet in person at a few designated “core” sites
    • to accommodate people’s time/money constraints and limit our carbon-based travel
  • each site hosts it’s own schedule and activities
    • coordinated across all sites
    • with the ability for people at other sites to Zoom into the hosting sites’ sessions
  • every day have some shared inspirational and celebratory activities pulling in all sites over big-screen Zoom session
    • i.e. everyone everywhere sharing the same experience
    • for example, at the start and/or end of each day, presentations, performances, explorations, …

In preparation for this, we can try out mini-versions of any and all of the above as proofs-of-concept, to iron out the details, and to continue to explore ways to be/evolve/create together.

BIG HUGS to all. :kissing_heart:

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Huh, that’s a cool idea. Like meet by continent? :slight_smile:


Meeting by continent is a great idea! I say at least one or more hotspots by continent would be awsome.

One experience I can share from the global social theater gathering was that there were online session and people could host a local spot and practice in and after the sessions together and spend the time together.
Another Idea that just pops up is a sociocracy hackathon with a global challenge, fulfilled in all local/continental groups?

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Thinking about a challenge, it would be really cool to have a goal of, let’s say, training 1000 people in 10 days, in 10 places. Or something like that. :))