of Connectors and Creators
September 5-8, 2019
The Cedars Ranch
Intriguing Questions. Premium Content. Intentional Design. Connective Mischief.
The Living Room is an exclusive* event for those obsessed with:
We've created a space where the kinds of interactions and experiences you travel the world to find...are right here in front of you.
You'll leave with at least three new ideas, two new perspectives, and one new friend.**
* Invite or application only
** Actual numbers subject to change. Please participate in The Living Room for more details.
"Curiosity opens a door that knowledge closes."
...a place to wonder.
About yourself and the world - your questions about whether it will last and how, or what you are meant to do. In the Living Room, you might find people who have explored the other side of doors you've been scared to open. Or you’ll stand on the same side together and marvel at the unknown.
...a place to expand.
If there's something about human nature, others' beings, or your own that you want to understand, you'll have a chance to explore. Art, music, performance, thought, vulnerability and creation; all will be available to you as much as you lean in.
...a place to know...and not to.
Bring your accomplishments, your life questions, your purpose and mission in the world. Bring them here, into connection with others who share the same unique challenges: caring so much about changing things in the world, caring so much about the people around us, and trying to balance both of those in one life. See what self might emerge if you're fully, truly honest with others and with yourself.
The Living Room.
"They say there is a doorway from heart to heart, but what is the use of a door when there are no walls?"
We've created this conference to be application and invite-only. You'll be among others at your level of capacity, interest, and values. What would make you a fit?
This conference was created because Sara got tired of having endless 1:1 video calls with people that were changing her mind and life, and decided we should all get in the same space.
If you're a fit for this conference, you have the capacity to connect on a human-to-human level.
You don't take yourself too seriously.
You've probably done communication, relating, or personal growth work.
You maybe get the cosmic joke.
Most of all, you really don't suck to talk to, so we want to talk to you.
The world needs a new story.
If you're accepted to this conference, it's because you're trying to make a change. You're a teacher, a writer, a programmer, an artist, an organizer, an entrepreneur, a transformation worker, a leader in your field or your community. You're probably not all of those, but you get the idea.
Many of you work alone or feel alone. We want you to find new ideas and collaborations, and think you will among the others here.
You're a creator. We'll set a high-quality stage. You will help decide what goes on it.
You're busy most of the time. You guard your time with care. You've done plenty of work on yourself, and want to be around others who have too. You probably find most conferences boring.
If you don't like something, you'll tell us so that we can make it better, rather than staying quiet and dissatisfied.
If we throw in a curveball of mischief or challenge, you're more likely to rise to the challenge than to come complain.
Long story short: playing with you is going to be fun.
"Leader of a revolutionary worldwide movement in power and organizational systems, now pioneering the idea of love in business. Enjoys developmental theory and chatty robots. "
"Internationally recognized TED speaker and leader in the field of scientific innovation. Notable win: went on the air with Bill Nye the Science Guy. Identifies as a joyous disruptor of the status quo."
"Entrepreneur at the top of a field serving tens of thousands of high school students. Enjoys board games, family, and leading a camp at Burning Man. Moonlights as a professional voice actor."
Convergences are panels of speakers. Nobody speaks alone, and anyone can speak - but you'll get feedback on how you contribute to the conversation!
Topics may include:
Decentralized communities of creation: Open source, DDOs, Holacracy, and more
The effect of technology on connection
Our personal and societal relationships to death, money, and power
Having fun in spite (and because of!) balancing self, relationship, and creative passion
Come hang out with a new friend, or with one of the connections we've suggested for you based on shared personality and interests.
To get things started, you'll find menus of potential interactions everywhere. Our butler-facilitators will be on hand to grab you coffee or give a hand with the conversation.
We, your organizers, have spent the last several years experimenting with how people can form fulfilling connection fast. We'll be unleashing our best tools on and/or with you.
We probably shouldn't give our surprises away, but they don't work unless you feel inspired to come and participate. So here are some teasers:
Expect "stop, drop, and connect" moments, high-five mistletoe, improv games; open-space forums, wrestling, firespinning, a Saturday night party with magic scattered throughout the grounds, and much more.
Our one requirement for ourselves as organizers is to create an event WE would enjoy - so you'd better bet we're going to pull out all the stops.
"If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine; it is lethal."
You arrive in the morning. If you’re early, you join a Shitty Jam Session with other wannabe musicians under the oak trees, pop into the kitchen to help with your hands, or stretch out in the movement-centered Unbraining Space (US)...
Around 10, you head into the main Living Room and stand awkwardly under a sprig of Connection Mistletoe until someone comes to talk with you or the opening session starts. You experience instant, playful, deep contact with others during morning games, talks, and Zegg Forum. You end the session with an Enforced Connection Buddy whom you can convince to join you for one of the next activities or you “go to the bathroom” (escape to the US alone). Phew.
Next you join a Convergence to check out a panel discussing a topic of social relevance - diversity, money, death, technology, lifestyles, or something else you’ve helped suggest. You like the topic and feel like you know something about that field, so you decide to hop on stage and join the panel for a debate!
Afterwards, consulting the schedule, you consider joining an acroyoga class or a co-counseling session, and decide to skip it in favor of the Introvert Yurt. Y meditate in the Yurt or pick up a menu of interactions, then ask a nearby friend to play a one-on-one questions game. They don’t want to, so you suggest picking up one of the books lying around, reading a page together, then discussing what you think. Your friend starts meditating at you. You give up and ask one of the friendly Butler-Facilitators mingling around to play with you instead.
Lunch is called, so you head over to the Living Room. You grab some of the delicious food cooked by our gourmet in-house chef (whose cooking workshop you'll be attending tomorrow) and sit down at a table. A good conversation starts and then gets annoyingly paused by a prompt from the stage. That actually turns out interesting, as you and your table-mates tell unexpected and enlivening stories based on the prompt.
It’s a long lunch, so you take off for a walk and then grab a hammock nap under the trees.
Just as you wake up, the bell rings for afternoon session. You’re invited to Open Space, a choose-your-own-adventure mix of whatever anybody wants to contribute, discuss, or experience. You choose to attend a class on innovation, then halfway through peel off to play some improv games instead. You vote with your feet for where you want to be.
It’s time for the closing circle. You share insights and experiences from the day with other attendees and meditate together, transitioning into nighttime. You carpool back to your AirBnB for dinner, change into your favorite self-expressed outfit, and rejoin the group at the Cedars for an evening party.
As you wander through the grounds, you encounter one magical experience after another — characters, musicians, story circles, contact dance parties, acrobats, fire spinners, and more, all willing to teach you what they do or entertain you with it.
You end the evening with a late-night ecstatic dance and rejuvenating snacks. It’s been a day you’ll never forget.
All tickets include on-site dinner Thursday night, lunch Friday and Saturday, brunch on Sunday, and all weekend events. Some scholarships are also available after application.
We have a few worktrade options open to those who would like to donate their time and skill to the conference in exchange for a ticket. Preference will be given to local Austin community members, but all are welcome to apply.
"One hand cannot clap"