This will give you an idea of how we’ll spend our time together! (Think highly experiential, practical, fun and deeply meaningful…and subject to change!)



November 12th, 2015

There will be a pre-read from Glenn Geffcken’s book Shift: Indigenous Principles for Corporate Change – which includes the introduction two short chapters on the Oral Tradition and Elders.
You will receive these 3 sections as PDFs via email, upon registration, and the actual book at the Swarm in Asheville.  You will also be asked to bring a photo of an elder that has impacted your life.  This could be someone from your family tree or a person who isn’t part of your geneology. (For example, the photo above is my “Nanny” and my Dad.)
Where we'll be swarming - "The Venue" in downtown Asheville.
“The Venue” in downtown Asheville is not your typical “conference” space.  It is a space that inspires us to break out of the conference patterns we are accustomed to!  (And conveniently located!)

2 PM  Registration begins at ‘The Venue’  

3 PM – 6 PM

  • Welcome and framing our Day
  • Leaning in with Ann Lee
  • Experiential exercises, debriefing, and presentations with Missy Gluckmann, Glenn Geffcken and Maria Rueda.  We will explore culture, identity and perspective, lessons about elders in indigenous culture, explore our cultural roots, and how we communicate.
  • Reflection
  • Setting the Stage for Day 2
  • Optional group dinners (Mexican or Ethiopian food)

November 13th, 2015

Each presenter will have an experiential component to their sharing.  This is not a “sit and listen” conference.  We all participate to the extent that we are comfortable.

8:30 AM   Reflection, introduction of Day 2, and experiential exercise warm up 

9:00 AM   Glenn Geffcken and Maria Rueda: Indigenous Communication as a Cultural Bridge

Glenn and Maria will guide Swarmers through a process to explore the energy beneath our words, and the secrets of communicating as indigenous elders have known and practiced for centuries.

10:15 AM Reflection and movement

10:45 AM Vimala Rajendran: Food as Identity: A Cultural Expression

When you think of Vimala, you cannot help but think of food.  Family influences and life experiences shaped her food story, but also her story of actively fighting for social justice.  Vimala believes that quality food is a human right – and she lives this motto at her award winning restaurant – so much so that Chase Bank gave her one of a handful of $100,000 national grants this year to recognize her work in the community.  Vimala will tell you about how smell shapes her food and influences her identity, beliefs, and actions.  You will not want to miss this incredible storyteller and “accidental” chef.

Vimala Rajendran, founder and chef at Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe. Her stories of food and culture will have you salivating and thinking back to your own food stories.

12 PM       Lunch in downtown Asheville (many options within EASY walking distance, at your own expense)

1:30 PM    Small Group Conversations – Unconference Style

2:15 PM    Patti Digh:  In the space between seeing and being seen

The tenor of the moment changes, ever so slightly sometimes, and often in more visibly felt ways, when we move from seeing to allowing ourselves to be seen. In this exploration of the potent, liminal spaces between seeing and being seen, and between culture and self and other, we will draw on the capacity we have, but often don’t use, to explore and connect without language in order to allow ourselves to be fully seen.

Missy Gluckmann and Patti Digh with Missy's son, Hudson. His family trees were an inspiration for this year's theme.
Missy Gluckmann and Patti Digh with Missy’s son, Hudson. His family trees  (as he is adopted, so he has more than one family tree) were an inspiration for this year’s theme.

3:45 PM    Break

4  PM        Action through Vision Exercise

5  PM        Closing Circle

6 PM         Wrap with gratitude/Optional “grab a beverage” at a local restaurant

Click here to learn where the Swarm will be located.
Eventbrite - Melibee Global Swarm 2015