Convening: Ideas for Social Gathering

“To feed a discussion about a potential get-together, a client recently asked me to gather some interesting event formats. After asking for pointers on Twitter, I was asked by a number of people to share my findings. I repurposed [sic] some things from the report, fished some out of my “archives”…

First are some of the “features” I look for, encourage you to consider, or would hope to produce myself if involved in getting something together, followed by some of my favorite live examples of those ideas, as well as good reads on convening and organizing.

* Small size.

* One track.

* Space to wander / organized walks or visits.

* “Speaker dinners” for everyone.

* Something more interactive than talks and panels.

* Something co-organized (à la unconference).

* Questions that aren’t comments and with time to discuss properly.

* More than yearly (depends on the exact combination of features, but some variations could be held two-three times a year).

* Ongoing exchanges between events.

* For some combinations, think of streaming and leaving proper archives to make some form of asynchronous “attending” possible.”

—Patrick Tanguay, “Convening.” Sentiers: Dispatch 5.

To Make Friends

Be able to talk and shut up. Listen well, particularly for the voice that is hard to hear in yourself and in others. Remember: there is little difference between being shut out and being shut in.

Suggestions for Good Health

Blue Zones is a good place to start. However, if I were to give advice to my younger self, I’d focus on:

  • Sleep: Get a full night’s sleep and take a midday nap for a total of eight hours.
  • Food: Limit eating to four consecutive hours a day. Eat mostly plants. Drink powdered psyllium and water to stave off hunger feelings in the off hours.
  • Exercise: Walk/run for 16,000 steps a day or 8 miles, incorporating a full range of movement. Include some weight-bearing activity or physical training twice a week.
  • Social: Cultivate a social environment for flourishing among family, friends and your larger social circle. Be a positive, creative person and look for the same in others. Relentlessly prune relationships that are predominantly negative.
  • Being & Doing: Find something to do that leaves the world slightly better than you found it and promotes good sleeping, eating, exercise and social habits. The Buddhist idea of the Noble Eightfold Path is a useful model of how to be and what to do.

Mutually Caring Relationships

“Mutually caring relationships require kindness and patience, tolerance, optimism, joy in the other’s achievements, confidence in oneself, and the ability to give without undue thought of gain. We need to accept the fact that it’s not in the power of any human being to provide all these things all the time. for any of us, mutually caring relationships will always include some measure of unkindness and impatience, intolerance, pessimism, envy, self-doubt, and disappointment.”

―Fred Rogers, You Are Special

Personal CRM Done Right – Monica

“Monica helps you organize the social interactions with your loved ones.

Organize. Follow-up. Strengthen your relationships.

Monica is for people who have jobs, a family, and are busy trying to find a good work/life balance. So busy, that they don’t have time anymore to remember to call a friend, say happy birthday to a nephew, or remember to invite someone special for dinner next week.”


Either a sign of an impending Apocalypse or exactly what you’ve been looking for. Take your pick.

The Ones Worth Suffering For

If she’s amazing, / she won’t be easy. / If she’s easy, / she won’t be amazing.

If she’s worth it, / you won’t give up. / If you give up, / you’re not worthy.

Truth is / everybody is going / to hurt you, / you just gotta / find the ones / worth suffering for.