Success: FCT 2016

How does one define success?  Different organization/individuals define success in different ways; while some will seek out monetary gain others may look for status and praise from others. Here at Stone & Compass we like to measure it in human-to-human connections and achievable actions.  We are 100% confident that the 7th Forum for Cities in Transition held at Stone & Compass October 17 – 21, 20016 was a complete success and we want to share why we feel this way with you in this post. 

The Forum for Cities in Transition’s mission statement says “one divided society can well assist the peace-making work of another divided society” The forum brought delegates together from Baghdad, Belfast, Craigavon, Derry-Londonderry, Haifa, Jerusalem, Kaduna, Kirtuk, Mitrovica, Mitte (Berlin), Mostar, Ramallah, Srebrenica, and Tripoli. The task was to use their experiences and expertise to help host city Tripoli come up with pathways toward reconciliation. 4 long days (7 am – 9:30 pm) of presentations, plenaries, small group discussions, feedback, and action plans ended with delegations pledging their expertise in different areas to assist Tripoli in the next year.  

Certainly this is a first step toward success.

The real work, though, begins once each delegation returns home - inspired and reinvigorated – it is their ability to put into action the pledges they made that will prove tangible success of this forum. 

Yet, there are many levels of intangible and deeply meaningful successes that have already occurred in the hearts and minds of all participants as they spent the week together sharing and listening to one another. In reality, for a person to take sustainable long-term action, to go through the painstaking process of helping someone else along this path of reconciliation they must be more than academically motivated. Why do we help one another? Truly deciding to dedicate your time and energy to the successes of someone else? In order for this to happen the ‘someone else’ must occupy space in your heart, take up time in your mind, and implore you to see yourself in them.  We must cherish the similarities and not the differences. Once this happens they are no longer ‘someone else’ they are friend and colleague.  These friendships were formed last week and it is through these newfound and rejuvenated friendships that the lasting successes will be created.

Stone & Compass is humbled and happy to have served as the location for the forum this year and our pledge to its members is to be a home for FCT for as long as the members dedicate themselves to the work. We have pledged to give FCT a home because its mission is directly aligned with the mission statement of Stone & Compass. While we may have provided the location for this event, it is in the hearts and minds of those who attended that the event took shape.

Given this, we thought the perfect way to share the ‘success’ of the 2016 FCT would be to visually represent our mission statement with pictures from the forum.  Below you will see the delegates, guests, speakers, and staff of the 2016 FCT as living proof that the Stone & Compass mission statement is actionable. As we said, our success is measured in human-to-human connections and achievable actions. We invite you to browse through a sampling of snapshots of the events that transpired over a most magical week. A special thank you to Leah Bokenkamp Photography for these amazing images.

We believe that everyone is human first and human-to-human contact begins one on one. 
It is our mission to bring individuals together and create spaces that connect places.
We are a global center where everyone is welcome and we create programs that foster friendships,
and inspiration. 
Although we all may be different, engaging in authentic interactions with one another allows us the opportunity to appreciate the differences and feel the similarities.
Learning how to coexist peacefully and take inspiration from one another to create value in the lives of our environment and ourselves.

Thank you Forum for Cities in Transition! We are forever changed and better individuals for our time spent together.  Onward with inspiration and dedication to peace and reconciliation.


2016 Forum for Cities in Transition held at Stone & Compass in Stolat, Bulgaria

2016 Forum for Cities in Transition held at Stone & Compass in Stolat, Bulgaria