Amazingly, this Autumn’s event will be the 8th ChangeCamp.
When this all started back in June 2009 I had the idea that I wanted to arrange some kind of personal/professional development event in the North East. By then I had been to a few such conferences or workshops.
These big events usually have the same kind of format: you pay more than £100 and watch a number of presentations given by various big name presenters about how they work.
I wanted to run an event that was a bit different, an event where people could enjoy high quality presentations from a range of different backgrounds. I wanted it to be a buffet selection from a wide range of psychologically based changework techniques.
By the way ”changework’ is a jargon word for any kind of therapy, coaching, counselling, teaching which produces a beneficial change in other people.
Rather than just be passive consumers of information I wanted to create an occasion where people could join in and share there interests and enthusiasms.
I wanted the event to have an atmosphere of participation and community, hence the informality and shared meal. Eating together is probably the oldest community activity for humans. Creating and sharing a meal, rather than just buying a sandwich and eating it by yourself, is a great way to contribute and take part in the event. I am often amazed to see how much trouble some people go to by cooking or baking specially for the event. (It’s no place to be if you are on a diet).
When you eat together you can talk together. In the tea-breaks and lunch break you have a chance to make new friends and talk to people who are interested in the same kinds of things that you are. You can’t underestimate how good it feels to talk to somebody who is interested in what fascinates you, especially when your interests have been met with rolling eyes or blank incomprehension by your family and friends.