Led by artist, activist, and former research associate at the MIT Media Lab, Josh Sarantitis, this three-day long retreat was an experiment in social innovation at the intersection of making & being. It was the incubator weekend for the emerging social innovation collective called "Intersection One."
The retreat brought together 30 practitioners interested in collaborative methods for social change including musicians, social innovators, global peace workers, artists, meditation gurus, architects, entrepreneurs, educators, dancers, designers, angel investors, union organizers, and life-long activists.
Attendees brought partners, spouses, and children, and represented thinkers from across disciplines and fields including multiple Media Lab research associates, award-winning artists, dancers, community organizers, and faculty of architecture and business at Harvard University. The gathering was intended as a proof of concept and incubator for collaborative practices and techniques. I worked with Josh in the early stages of development when serving as Studio Director for his Brooklyn-based practice, and later as an attendee and participant in the retreat.
With an open-ended remit, and considering the impact on global and individual practices, this was a broad-ranging experiment in ways of making and collective problem-solving.
Collective Considerations & The Big Questions
How do practitioners from across disciplines collaborate on collective impact?
In an increasingly inter-connected world, what is our responsibility to one another? – to society? – to our communities?
What can we learn about ways of making and broader impact from the ways practitioners from other disciplines approach their work?
Held at the Watershed center, a 73 acre farm in Millerton, NY devoted change-makers. The core tenant of the experiment in collaboration was to incubate a social innovation concept that would become Intersection One. A collective, bringing together creative practitioners on projects cultivating progressive education, civic engagement, and environmental and socio-economic justice through multidisciplinary work.
Exploring purpose, impact, & outcomes
The weekend included a series of workshops, facilitated dialogues, collaborative art making sessions, and meditation sessions culminating in ideation around the possibilities for the initial projects conducted as proof-of-concept pilots for the group.
From Reflection to Action
Maintaining the momentum generated, and galvanizing the endeavors from the global group gathered, a series of follow up conversations and sessions to develop the core proposition. Partially with the goal of growing the community of makers, and to launch initial projects through the collective.