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.

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.

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.

2024 TLCPCP Gathering

Norfolk Virginia
During the week of July 15-19, 2024
(exact dates to be determined soon!)

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 we host a TLCPCP Gathering in our State ?

  1. Gatherings may be held in person or virtually in any State with approval from The TLCPP and Executive Director
  2. Gatherings must include minimally the following:
    1. A live or virtual update from the TLCPCP Board
    2. A trainer update.
    3. Traditional collaborative learning community activities such as learning marketplaces, gallery walks, world cafés.
  3. For Gatherings to be sanctioned by TLCPCP, an agenda must be submitted to the Executive Director or assigned committee for review and the ED will make a recommendation to the board to approve or deny the sanctioning of the event as a TLCPCP Gathering.
  4. TLCPCP can host virtual events sponsored by regional learning communities. The Executive Director assists regional communities in planning and coordinating these.
  5. TLCPCP may host other live or virtual events for the purpose of sharing learning or creating networking opportunities that further our mission and purpose. Planning and executing these events fall within the scope of TLCPCP committees.

For questions and for a Gathering approval reach out to tl****@gm***.com.