January 10th through January 13th, 2014, the ToP Network hosted its annual gathering in Minneapolis, MN. This year’s theme was Raising the Big ToP: Facilitating Leadership in the Midst of Diversity and Change. The conference drew over 150 participants - from over 58 different cities and 21 different U.S. states, as well as visitors from Canada and Kuala Lumpur! In addition to the wide reach of the conference, locally, over 50+ facilitators joined in on the exchange.
ICA’s Accelerate 77 project continues to flourish as the implementation of Phase III gains momentum. At the beginning of 2013, the Accelerate 77 team hosted several sustainability vision workshops across the city, organized the first local Chicago Sustainability Leaders Network (CSLN) gathering, created a pilot sustainability roadmap effort with Chicago’s Austin community, and held a forum on Building Community Energy Strategies for the City of Chicago.
The Living Archives Project at the ICA is currently being worked on by colleagues who participated in the work of the Order: Ecumenical, Ecumenical Institute, and Institute of Cultural Affairs throughout the past 50 years.
On July 24, 2013 ICA GreenRise hosted an open house to introduce the Bioshaft®and the new street scape project in the Uptown community. Friends, neighbors, and community members came out to learn more about the projects and how they will help GreenRise address storm water runoff and provide habitats for plant pollinators and migrators.
About 25 Sojourners gathered at ICA-USA in September for two weeks to put several new Global Archive Collections online - Imaginal Education, Global Community Forum, Fifth City, Human Development Projects, Spirit Methods, Social Process, Service Learning Program, Accelerate 77 Communities, Facilitation Methods.
Current staff and sojourners reflect together after watching a short clip about Fifth City
Early in August, several ICA colleagues attended Al Gore's three-day Climate Reality Leadership Training in downtown Chicago. The Climate Reality Project, founded and chaired by former Vice President and Nobel Laureate Al Gore, is 'dedicated to unleashing a global cultural movement demanding action on the climate crisis.'
ICA's Accelerate 77 project was featured at the 38th Annual Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference in Minneapolis. The conference featured Minneapolis' culture with celebration and entertainment, beginning with Native American dance led by the youth of the Little Thunderbirds Drum and Dance troupe and a live music performance at "Minnehaha Falls," the iconic 53-foot Minneapolis waterfall located in historic Minnehaha Park.