Reflections on the 2017 BK Author’s Retreat

By Yi Zhang, BKF Community Weaver & Board Member 
I’ve been a part of the Berrett-Koehler Foundation family since attending my first program in January of 2015, and every few months since I find more to admire about the organizations and people that comprise the broader Berrett-Koehler community. We’ve faced our share of challenges and quandries, but I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed getting to grapple more and more with the questions that shape the BK community’s future.

On November 2, I found myself at my first BK Author’s Retreat¬†in the Los Altos hills where I spent the next three days both energized and nourished by a magical sense of community that has been held by the Retreat since the late 1990s.

The days were packed with breakout presentations and discussions and oh so much food…yet they were also relaxed, with plenty of conversation time, morning yoga, hikes into nature and walks around the labyrinth. What really struck me for the sessions that gathered the biggest crowds this year:

  • The Beginner’s Guide to the Human Soul led by Tara-Nicholle Nelson
  • The Five Essential Practices of Collective Wisdom led by Alan Briskin
While we also enjoyed brainstorming our next book, learning about B Corps and the art of calling in, I basked in the groundedness of the return to our inner and higher selves during our current time of divisiveness and a constant urgency. Those sessions paired with the talent show (a long time tradition!), also known as the “sharing from the heart” session, I was thoroughly refreshed and heartened.

Although it was my first time immersed with BK authors, I relished in the way that the Author’s Retreat brought together heart and soul and held space for the collective wisdom & warmth of the community to re-emerge.


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