C2 MTL | Global Citizen Education in Connection
I am standing in the sun drenched main area of C2MTL. Hundreds of people scurry around me as if they are late for a flight. Others stand nearby deep in conversation. Some sip coffee alone. I am observing them all peacefully, in a quite guided meditation, spoken through a headset that is one many activities you can choose to experience at C2. The deep soft voice is guiding me to a state of perfect presence with myself in a room of chaos. After taking a moment to fully appreciate the beauty of the flock of giant suspended folded paper cranes, I am guided to an indoor zen garden where I smell the plants, feel the water of the pond, and taste the edible flowers growing on the wall. I emerge relaxed and keenly aware that I have just been taught how to always find my peaceful center even in the midst of bedlam. Now all I need is an edible wall.
C2ers are exposed to ideas from the minds of technologists who dream of virtual sheep, agents of social revolution, pirates of media and environmental rockstars.
They attend workshops with these mavericks where they collaborate with strangers on simple things like how to empower woman in the developing world using mobile technology.
They suspend themselves from a rope chair 3 stories off the ground while people they just met give them vague instructions on where to place obscure parts to add their little section to a giant ball dropping machine that won’t be completed by them, but will never work without their addition.
So many come to C2 MTL for what they assume is a major networking opportunity, a premium event to make premium contacts. I have no doubt business cards have been exchanged that are the genesis of outstanding revenue generating corporate ventures. However, when you share an umbrella with a total stranger, and go for a walk in an indoor fake snow flurry, brainstorming the given topic of new ways to collaborate, it is not your business that grows, it is you as a person that grows. That is the heart and soul of C2 MTL.
It is about understanding the power that exists within us all, is most powerful when shared with others. It is about discovery, but not self. Discovery of others and the power of what is possible when you embrace your connection to them.
I have no doubt I crossed paths with people whose experience at C2 this year, was merely the start of their journey to sharing on stage next year how they are now changing the world.