The Immersion

When we firstly got the dream to host an international convergence on Education, Future and Resilience in a remote village in the far North of Russia, it sounded like an insane idea. But what happened proved us that a sincere intention and dedication to build a better world let unbelievable plans come true. The combination of authentic natural environment, people gathered in closeness and simplicity, and inspiration of everyone who made their journey all the way here ensured the enthusiastic, inclusive and joyful Immersion together, beyond national, cultural and social borders.

The Immersion "Education for a Resilient Future" took place on March 17-21, in a remote area in Arkhangelsk region. The choice of a small traditional northern village with its conventional challenges, lack of infrastructure and youth, and with simple living conditions seemed odd from the first sight but in fact it was an appropriate environment for the collaborative work and discussions on the future. How will the future look like? Will it be all about hi-tech and robotics? Will it be a harmonious wisdom-based society where a human, nature and technology are balanced? Will it develop into a mosaic world where oases of civilization and technology exist near poor low-tech communities? Or the New "Dark Ages" with radical localization and disappearance of modern technologies? Or maybe something else? What is a place for a human in this future? What should be done nowaday to smooth out current negative trends, to direct our development into a desirable scenario? And, first and foremost, how the education today should be to prepare the humanity for tomorrow? These questions were the subject of discussions and work of educators, innovators and sociotechnicians, ecologists and ecovillagers, people of science and art, specialists in the field of permaculture, futurists and researchers of traditional cultures, local and international project participants from different regions of Russia, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Croatia, Serbia, Slovenia and the United States all of whom gathered together at the Immersion,

In a place far from the civilization, so far that the water from the river can be drunk without filtration, everything finds its order naturally: social statuses disappear, and values, kindness, authenticity, deep ecology and human relations naturally become the core of the work. The team was immersed in the scenarios of the future and the themes of resilience and Proptopia, was working on creating new projects and strengthening existing initiatives, was dancing and singing folk songs,jumping over the fire, resting in Russian sauna (which was the only way to wash yourself except of the snow mountain).

The group was so involved that the borders between participants and organizers became vague and it turned into one big, diverse but surprisingly cohesive group. Either the courage and enthusiasm of people coming so far being called by their values, or the atmosphere of this pure place allowed the "magic" of the immersion to happen. It was full five days of fruitful insights, productive connections and deep reflections.

What did the Immersion give to the participants? For the majority the experience was valuable due to the ideas and deep communication. Many participants got a new or deeper vision on their current work and the humanity future. Many found new partners, new opportunities and directions ​​for their ongoing projects. Specifically organised group process on the last days helped to construct new mutual projects and to began the way towards their realization. People who yesterday were strangers to each other, often speaking in different languages, formed inspiring teams for joint actions. Now, more than a month after the Immersion, looking back at what happened we see the changes in our lives and projects thanks to the connections brought by the Immersion. However most of changes will not be seen as they are in the field of inspiration and changing our perspectives.

We are sure we will hear more about the projects that were conceived in the space of our immersion, but the same time about the most profound changes we will not hear as they are in how we speak, act and think, in our worldview to which something new was added.

The projects born in the Immersion have a long way to go, and now we can not even imagine possible consequences of our meeting, which had a beginning, but there is no obvious end. It is harder to believe in it with each passing day, but the memory of a bright, an important and turning event will remain with us, as well as connections, ideas and insights.

After the Immersion we (like you, probably) not only returned to our previous activities but also joined new projects, new teams, with not enough time for everything. But we know that all of you are somewhere there, and feels like we will meet again.