Over the past 30 years, Michael Smull, founder of The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices has seen his work spread across the globe. During the course of that time, Essential Lifestyle Planning evolved from ELP Facilitation to Person Centered Thinking and now includes, Families Planning Together, People Planning Together, People Planning Ahead, Person Centered Organizations, and much more. The areas addressed by Person Centered principles have grown widely and been further developed by the many people Michael has touched, taught and inspired.
Through his belief that learning should be shared and passed on to others, the Gathering was established in 2000 to bring people together to learn from one another. The learning has been a key foundation that led to the founding of The Learning Community for Person Centered Practices. The community is a collective base of knowledge that began with the foundational seven Person Centered tools back in 1989. The Gathering has grown from an intimate group of nine people who randomly decided to meet one year in Oregon to an event that regularly touches the lives of over 100 people. We meet each year in the last week of July.
It is the vulnerable seeking and the generous sharing that makes a Gathering different from a conference. We share our successes. We share our failures. We tweak and refine our work. We recharge on each others’ energy and support.
We refer to our Portland Gathering as the “mothership.” This is the flagship Gathering where people from all over the world convene to bathe in Person-Centeredness.. At the Portland Gathering (sometimes known only as PDX), we roll out new initiatives, share new content, collect thoughts and ideas from a cross-section of our community. In the past several years, because of COVID, our community has gathered virtually and this has worked well to provide a more accessible gathering for everyone around the world. Each year we will determine the best time and location for our Gathering but plan to include a virtual connection in some way in addition to an in person option if we are able to.
We have high expectations for authentic use of our materials and philosophy and we want to make sure our trainers have the support they need to meet those expectations.