Another experiment in building community and conversation online is underway at Virtual Chautauqua, a web site offering an interactive community learning experience.
What is Virtual Chautauqua? This description from the web site explains:
Before Monday Night Football, before talk radio, before web surfing and chat rooms, there was Chautauqua.
At the turn of the century, there were more than 10,000 Chautauqua venues in small towns and rural areas across the United States. People gathered to enjoy the famous authors of the day, the best musical ensembles, and art exhibits usually available only in major cities. After a stimulating presentation, participants wandered back to their porches and living rooms to discuss, debate, and reflect on what they had experienced together. The Chautauqua movement was all about learning in community.
Today, there are only a handful of Chautauqua sites left to provide this unique opportunity to share a rich menu of cultural and educational activities. We can never replace the pleasure of sitting together on the grass and talking long into a summer night. But we can make a time and place for learning in community – even in lives lived on Internet time.
In The Virtual Chautauqua we’re bringing some of the best of this learning tradition online.
July’s program features Carol Metzker, author of Appreciative Intelligence: Seeing the Mighty Oak in the Acorn. Appreciative Intelligence, discussed on this blog back in May, is the ability to see the potential hidden inside of challenges and to reframe problems into possibilities.
To participate in this Chautaqua, which begins on July 15 and runs until the end of this month, you can register for free online. I’m planning on attending as much of the conversation as my schedule will permit, so I hope to see some of you there. For more information on how Virtual Chautauqua works, please visit the Virtual Chautauqua web site.