reflaction Days 2023

22.-26. November 2023 | Boku Lehrforst, Lower Austria

Social change is a long game. To keep playing it, rest, reflection and regeneration are just as important as strategizing and taking bold action. The reflAction Days are

  • a space to collaboratively explore this balance
  • a regenerative retreat for activists, changemakers, advocates, organizers and anyone longing for a more just and peaceful world
  • a temporary community of support and mutual growth
  • … whatever we make out of them 

The calling

As active people who envision a more just and peaceful world, we are passionate about our different causes. And sometimes these can be many causes that call our attention. While our sphere of concern tends to reach around the whole world, our sphere of influence, where we can actually have an impact is not all that big. Sometimes we try to stretch it, to fit in just a few more things. Sooner or later if we try to stretch to much we find ourselves overextended, exhausted, a little burnt out. We’ve all been there in one way or the other.

There is a different way to play the long game of social change though: By learning how big our spheres of influence actually are, we can start focusing our attention on action that can fit inside. This might seem utterly insufficient at first. But with time (and not that much) the sphere of influence starts growing. It’s not that we now have more time or can take many more steps in a given day. But the kinds of actions that are available to take are different, the quality of our social change work increases and we can have a bigger impact with less effort.

To play in this way, we need space to decompress, to reflect on recent experience, to digest the learnings, to playfully explore our feelings and needs, to engage in community and resource each other, to learn about new ideas or tools or practices that we can add to our repertoire of response-abilities in the face of urgency.

At Civil Action Network, we are trying to play this way. And we want to invite you to come and play with us. That’s why we are organizing this retreat.

How it’s going to work

We as a team bring some specific skills that we believe can be useful in coming in to balance around civil engagement and social change work. We also know we still have a lot to learn. And we are certain that you are coming with a wealth of wisdom that we can’t wait to get to know. To make space for all that each of us brings and create a structure that supports the emergence of new insights, we’ll be using Open Space Technology to facilitate this event.

We will start with a common opening on the evening of Wednesday, November 22nd and end on Sunday 26th. To enable us to enter into connection and prepare the soil for common exploration and creative exchange, we’d strongly encourage you to come on Wednesday already. However, we are aware of life circumstances that can make it hard to take so much time off. If it’s not at all possible for you to join already on Wednesday, you can also join anytime before Friday evening. Please let us know in the signup form.

Our days will start around 11 with a common check-in and tuning in with curiosities and excitement, for the day. Together we’ll set our agenda which can consist of workshops, creative writing/drawing sessions, music jams, yoga, walks, taking naps, cooking, conversations on specific topics, presentations, or – nothing. The only other fixed moments besides the morning session are meals. How we spend the rest of our time is up to us.

Who is hosting this?

Our little team of four has formed over the past 14 months around the idea of hosting regenerative spaces for active people. We bring different qualities and skills and are always learning together.

Sonia is a mover and dance pedagogue by training. She cares about supporting people to connect more with their own bodies. With this embodied approach she quickly attunes to the energy in the room to create a common experience where everyone can feel at ease.

Flo is a jack of many trades, a few of which are cooking delicious food, always having the right soundtrack for the vibe in the room and being incredibly skilled at making people laugh. He has an intuitive sense for what people need and is usually willing to help them make it happen.

Jan is an experienced organizer with a knack for looking beyond his familiar territory. He’s quick to get what people are motivated by and to find mutual interests when first meeting someone. He’s always up for a chat about community organizing or physical health and well-being.

Jonas is a coach and facilitator with a big interest in how shifting group cultures can support social change. It’s important to him that everyone can be heard and seen for who they truly are and he loves to come up with group processes that make it possible for a group to feel itself.

Logistics

Venue

Most likely we will be spending this time at Boku Lehrforst in the hills above Wiener Neustadt in Lower Austria. This seminar house is in the middle of the forest but still accessible by bus and a short walk. We will be fixing the location before mid October.

Costs

This event is unfortunately not funded, so to make it happen we need your financial contributions. To make our cost structure transparent, we’re including a budget summary: 

We are hoping to reach between 10 and 15 participants which would put us at an average cost of roughly 200€ per participant. We would ask you to honestly check in with your financial capacity and choose a tier below that reflects your situation. If none of the tiers are accessible for you, feel free to reach out via email and we’ll see how we can make it possible for you to come anyways. All of these tiers only cover costs for accommodation, food and making it possible that the organizers join at no additional cost, however there is no salary budgeted.

  • 150€ (accessibility tier, if you are financially stretched)
  • 200€ (regular tier, covering your costs, if you are financially stable)
  • 250€ or more (solidarity tier, contributing to the accessibility for others, if you are financially flourishing)

If you want to join for less than 4 days and are unsure how much to contribute financially, feel free to reach out and we can clarify this together.


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