Seeing The ​Elephant: Why Does My World Look Different From Yours?

 Registration is closed for this event
A day of workshops, conversations and possibilities

The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center is hosting its fourth annual un-conference on Saturday, June 9, 8:30 am-5:00 pm at University Congregational Church (405 University Ave., Missoula).


The Jeannette Rankin Peace Center presents “Seeing the Elephant Why Does My World Look Different From Yours?” a day-long “un-conference”. A key foundation of our work for peace is encouraging the dialogue and connections that build understanding among the huge variety of people on this planet. Our world is changing rapidly.  It demands that we learn to cut through the mounting divisions—both within and outside the choir—that keep us separated to meet the unquestionable challenges of the emerging future together. When divisions dominate—whether politics, economics, cultures, issues, or opinions—we remain stuck in a worldview that is destined to fail. The future includes all of us, so rather than focusing on being right and winning, we must put our efforts toward understanding all perspectives and search for the deeper truths that join us together. This critical time demands all our strengths to create the kind of solutions to meet the upcoming untold challenges. These are the conversations that matter.

We are calling attention to the age-old parable of the blind men who each "see" different parts of the elephant and believe it to be the truth. There are many things that contribute to our different visions -- the blindfolds we wear, the culture we live in, and the politics, religion or other perspectives we believe in.  We ask you to join us as we search for the courage, compassion, and respect to learn these skills, build these new connections, and see beyond our own perspectvies And we are looking for folks from all persuasions, with all their concerns and interests, to join us to reach deep into our individual and collective willingness to remove the obstacles and take responsibility for seeing the "elephant" from other perspectives.

Four 5-10 minute “lightning” speakers will ignite the participants with their individual passions for peacemaking. Members, friends, and curious others will be invited into a circle where they can bring up the topics of interest to them. This will be followed by fluid break-out sessions using “Open Space Technology” facilitated by Kris Bayer to encourage each participant’s finding the most powerful topics and groups of people with which to share ideas and inspiration. Open Space is a simple process that has a 30 year track record of accomplishing very high levels of engagement as well as developing personal responsibility for learning, performance, community development, and engagement. We can design a conference that can encourage and enable the entire JRPC community and beyond to really find their passion to help them commit to what they most care about around peace, social justice, and environmental sustainability.

The event is free for the community to encourage all of you to be part of the conversation; lunch, snacks, and evening reception included. For more information contact Betsy Mulligan-Dague, 543-3955 or

Speakers will be announced soon.

Event is free to all, we will accept donations to cover our costs.  You can donate at the un-conference or any time at our website.

Click here to see who is coming.

Learn more about the Open Space meeting format.

Event Schedule

8:30am Registration & Coffee/Tea
9am Opening Welcome - Betsy Mulligan-Dague - Executive Director JRPC
Lightning Keynotes
9:45am Open Space Introduction (Kris Bayer) & Community Agenda Creation
11am Breakout Session 1
noon Lunch & Breakout Session 2
1:30pm Breakout Session 3
2:30pm Breakout Session 4
3:30pm Breakout Session 5
4:30pm Closing Circle
5:30pm Music by ??? & Light snacks/refreshments
June 9th, 2018 9:00 AM   through   5:00 PM
UCC of Missoula
405 University Ave.
Missoula, MT 59801
United States
Phone: 406-543-3955

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