A distinctive aspect of the Clark Climate Change Teach-In is the Council session in the middle of the day (11:45 am to 12:45 pm). This is an opportunity for the entire campus to pause and reflect on what is happening, what they themselves understand about it, and what comes next.
Those participating in the Teach-In Council will meet up with a Council facilitator in the Atwood lobby at 11:30 am, following the morning plenary session. Council sessions will run for an hour, and will be conducted all over campus. You can learn more about the facilitation process here.
Council is a simple and powerful form of dialogue, used for discernment on important matters in traditional cultures for millennia. There are four basic tenets to this more intentional conversation:
- to speak authentically
- to listen with attention and receptivity
- to speak with brevity, aware of sharing the time with others
- to be spontaneous in speaking (rather than rehearsing which precludes listening)
The Council practice was also used by the Council on the Uncertain Human Future, a series of meetings held in 2014 with a group of distinguished women with commitments to this issue. It was funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In three meetings in the winter of 2015, a Clark Council on the Uncertain Human Future was held. At the conclusion of their meetings, they drafted the following letter to their Clark colleagues (Open Letter to faculty ). Other local UHF Councils at the University of Edinburgh and SUNY Stony Brook are planned.