Maitri Milan


Just after the Diwali of 2013, 50 ‘Ladders’ from across the cities of India and the world gathered together for three days at the ESI Campus in Sughad. The circle was held by people from all walks of life -from successful entrepeneurs, to community leaders at the forefront of the development world, musicians from all over the world and volunteers who serve through small acts of kindness. In what was termed ‘Maitri Milan’, or a gathering of Noble friends, the intention was set right from the start – to allow for a new paradigm of Servant Leadership to emerge.

From sharing our paradoxes, to exploring edges in working with communities, new paradigms for creating value, living sustainably and creativity with values – the discussions were anchored by participants all throughout. All of this representing the spirit of co-creation. Every gathering, and circle allowing for an emergence that only a collective participation could bring about.

moved by love

The Gandhi 3.0 framework and learnings from the Moved By Love framework gave the whole gathering a context – and brought out the importance of doing small things locally. We all saw the beauty in engaging with Rickshaw drivers like Nick does in his apartment complex in Pune. Or like Yogeshbhai, supporting his daughters who choose to celebrate their birthday by offering roses and chocolates to policemen in their suburb. And Chad who faced visa trouble on his flight here from New York, decided to use compassion in an airport by reaching out to the hearts of the airline staff! Immediately you could see the circle resonate with the joy in honouring our local circles, wherever we were.  And all of that represented by listening deeply to every single speaker, and smiling through every single act of kindness that breathed life into the three days.

After a year of hosting 11 retreats at the ESI campus, we had all tangibly begun to see the results of offering ourselves completely to the guest who chose to walk in through the door, or every person who held the mic and decided to share his vulnerabilities with the circle. The ripples from the circle have already been set into motion – one of the participants, the head of a frontline Indian IT company flew back with Sakshi, a 16 year old. At the Mumbai airport, he saw Sakshi hailing down a rickshaw. In that moment, he decided to offer his car and chauffeur to a smiling Sakshi and decided to travel by a rickshaw himself. All of this with no intention of return! In other cities, organizations and non-profits are already gathering together to think about putting into motion these organizing principles. The true impact of a circle like this might be hard to measure in the years to come. But we’ve all dispersed with a little more faith in the organizing capacity of nature, and the faith that a new emergence is already underway.

Moved By Love 🙂

To view all the pictures, click here.

This post was originally published in Moved by Love blog and is re-blogged here with permission of the author.

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