GCD 7: Vancouver, British Columbia; Canada
12-16 May 2010
Dialogue #7 took us to the opposite corner of the North American continent in the height of the Pacific spring. Based at the UBC Green College campus, just a few hundred metres from the water, this dialogue focused on sustainability and “globalness” as well as gay and racial inclusion-exclusion issues.
Our seventh meeting took place on North America’s Pacific coast, in the harbour town of Vancouver in Canada’s British Columbia, amidst the natural diversity of this remarkable place: giant forest and seashore, native peoples and European immigrants, students and teachers…
We were fortunate enough to obtain meeting facilities at Green College, the residential graduate college of the University of British Columbia, whose founding ideal and motto “Ideas and Friendship” reflect our own philosophy. This intimate venue is nestled on a forested cliff overlooking the sea and the mountains, and provided a stimulating and simultaneously relaxing atmosphere for our dialogue and the development and exchange of ideas.
The 7th GCD officially began at 6pm on Wednesday, May 12th 2010 and lasted until Sunday, May 16th 2010 at 2pm (though a few of us met a bit earlier at a Brit-Pub to catch a bit of footie and a few draughts!). During the dialogue, we enjoyed the entertainment and culinary delights of Indonesia, Afghanistan and England, as well as learning more about the native peoples of the area at the Anthropological Museum of the University. The dialogue was complemented by experiential exercises addressing balance, cooperation, communication and sensitivity/connectivity.
One highlight of the dialogue was the presence - and a private concert! - of Danny Bakan, one of UBC’s own. Danny is both a student, musician and entertainer, as well as being well-versed in various aspects of life and the world. His participation was a humourful enrichment to the dialogue.
Participants came from as far away as Belgium, Germany, Korea, Mexico, and Guatemala, and as close as the UBC campus! Most visiting guests stayed on campus, providing a cozy and intimate atmosphere, which resulted in dialogues often continuing long after the “official” end of the day.