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What is Fusion?

Fusion is a great opportunity to connect with a small, unique group of creative, open-minded, and goal-oriented futurists. Modeled after Benjamin Franklin's Junto, a mutual improvement club, our annual weekend involves deep sharing and assessment of our strengths, passions, weaknesses, fears, and current challenges among high-integrity peers with similar core values but diverse and complementary skillsets. We seek communications that are both non-judgmental and non-defensive (we don't take offense at any unintended judgments). A major priority of the weekend is for each of us to leave with clearer personal goals, better and more concrete strategies to reach them, and a broadened perspective from the input of other sharp minds.

Great dialog is a challenge. The physicist David Bohm (see On Dialogue, 1996) stressed the importance of "decoupling reflexive responses" and practicing "non-judgmental learning" about others' perspectives on reality. John Kao says the effectiveness of any social network is proportional to the diversity, ability, and commitment (intellectual and emotional) of its members. Our invitation process attempts to maximize each of these elements. You'll meet scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, writers, artists, and other individuals who are intellectually curious about the future and their role in it. We also seek people who are optimistic, critical, self-honest, and solutions-oriented. Those with spiritual perspectives that are tolerant of secular humanism and atheism are also warmly invited.

In Fusion every participant is a designated presenter. Before the weekend, everyone is asked to write a brief personal profile. Then participants are self-selected into groups of 4-5 people. Next you read your group member's profiles (and optionally, skim those of other groups), and are asked to make notes (private thoughts, comments, questions, not necessarily distributed) for each of your group members. Everyone speaks to and gets feedback from their group in each of three separate sessions over the weekend. You are with your small group for the first two sessions, and share your goals with the large group in the third session. We all come together to hike and eat.

When we do a little homework learning about each other's projects and progress prior to the weekend, the conversation, connections, and advice we get are truly insightful. Your profile also provides a valuable record for increasing your own self-understanding and effectiveness over time. Like atomic fusion, after which our process is named, if we begin with the right material (mindset), and design a good "containment vessel" we can generate far more useful energy than we started with.

One way to get personal satisfaction is to intensively help other people. Fusion is a source of collective intelligence, periodic personal accountability, and great hiking (or walking) with wonderful people. We hope you can join us this year.

Note on Attendance: Fusion attendance is a privilege and conditional upon showing respect to all participants. Attendees for whom we receive complaints during or after Fusion may be asked to alter their behavior and, in some circumstances, asked to not return for one year, in order to prioritize group functioning and harmony.

Note on Family and Friends: You are very welcome to bring non-Fusioning family and friends along on the weekend and hikes. They are usually quite happy to give you your own time for the three Fusion sessions. If a family member or friend would like to join in on the Fusion sessions, please ask them to fill out and send in profiles (profile example here) in advance. Filling out your profile, and reading your group's profiles in advance, is part of the process.

Other Fusions: Some of us also do monthly small-group (four to five member) Fusions as well. If you'd like additional personal improvement support beyond our annual Fusion, we recommend setting up your own monthly Fusion as well. Like us, you may find some variation of Franklin's Junto model to be ideal for this. Email Iveta Brigis or John Smart if sharing our own experience with monthly Fusions would help.