Gatherings

Large group of Gathering attendees

What is a TLCPCP Gathering?

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. 

Upcoming Gatherings

JOIN US!

2021 Portland Gathering
VIRTUAL
July 26-30, 2021

2021 California Gathering
VIRTUAL
October 27-29, 2021

2022 Portland Gathering
IN PERSON!
July 17-21, 2022

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 for a week. 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. 

While the larger purpose of a TLCPCP Gathering is to share learning in both formal and informal ways, portions of each Gathering are specifically devoted to ensuring Trainers and Mentor Trainers who officially represent our TLCPCP in the larger community, are exposed to new material and best practices. 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. 

TLCPCP Gatherings Include:

  • A brief update on the overall state of the larger learning community.
  • Lots of opportunities to share learning using collaborative activities such as Learning Marketplaces, World Cafes, Gallery Walks, and more traditional breakout sessions.
  • A trainer update.
  • Freedom and flexibility for people to participate in ways that are meaningful for them. We always say you can “vote with your feet.” If you find yourself in a session that is not resonating with you, no one will be offended if you leave to find a better fit. 
  • Fun and silliness and lots of hugs.
  • Casual and style. Many of us break out our shorts and flip flops, others of us wear our stylish business casual. Do you. Be comfortable.
  • Opportunities to contribute. We are a community of volunteers. Jump in; offer to help and get to know some new people.

Can I host a TLCPCP Gathering in my area?

If you would like to host an in-person or virtual Gathering in your area, YAY, you! Contact us to set up a time to talk about your idea and get guidance about the next steps. Your event should include:

  • A brief update on the overall state of the larger learning community.
  • Opportunities for participants to share learning using collaborative activities such as Learning Marketplaces, World Cafes, Gallery Walks, and more traditional breakout sessions.
  • A trainer update.
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