Wellspring 2016 - Winter Planning Retreat Jan. 8-10


Backbone has always evolved to serve strategic the cutting edge of social change. You all are an example of the blossoming web of gifted change agents we get to hang with.   In the last couple years we have made a special effort to carve out time to step away from endless opportunities for action to take time for collective reflection and planning.  

So, Backbone once again has the opportunity to use Wellspring Spa near Mt. Rainier January 8, 9, 10.   For those who haven't been there it is a bit of a drive, but the cabins are cozy and it is likely to be a winter wonderland that weekend. We have reserved cabins for about 24 people, maybe able to fit more in the Yurt.  We ask that you pitch in for food if you can, but otherwise this is free, thanks to Wellspring owner, host, visionary Sunny Thompson who continues to generously make this beautiful space available to Backbone to help better serve the growing movement. 

The Purpose of this gathering is to provide a restful yet productive time to reconnect with each other and enter into a facilitated planning and team building process. 

Our Objectives are:

  • to be as effective and harmonized as possible as we venture into the coming year;
  • to evolve plans for a few select areas of work (see below); and
  • to enjoy and re-energize the collective that is Team Backbone

This retreat will be facilitated by Yve Susskind of Praxis Associates. 
Yve served as Backbone's managing director for a few years and is intimate with the organization and committed to our continuing success.  Yve will work with us to ask strategic questions about our work together, our upcoming plans, and help make sure that each team leaves the retreat with a clear path forward.  Yve will work with a few co-facilitators - so if you are willing to play that role for one of the teams or breakout groups, please let me know.
Team Backbone is vast, so not everyone will be there and not everyone we'd love to be there can make it.  We found this to not be a problem last year as each project generated additional energy and interest from folks who wanted to pitch in afterward.  So, don't worry if you can't make it this time, we will be eager to embrace and integrate you and your brilliance in the follow-up. 


  1. It would help to know whether you CAN or CANNOT be there.
  2. If you can only make it for part that's fine, just please let me know. 
  3. Again - If you can be there AND you would be willing to play a co-facilitating role for breakout groups - that would be good to know as well. 

Food & Lodging
Also, please indicate any special accommodations/preferences for sleeping or food/dietary needs you have.   FYI - We will have to evolve a plan for cooking and food in the next couple weeks, so expect to pitch in one way or another through our time there. 
[If you have a passion for cooking that you'd like to share , please let me know.]

Team and Program Areas:

  • Kayaktivism training program planning (perhaps including some trainings other parts of the country like Lusby, MD where Peter and I presented to the We Are Cove Point coalition.)
  • Solutionary Rail campaign (The book is in the proofing and layout process.  It will serve as an educational and organizing tool for expanding alliances and draw people to the cause of redirecting the use of railroads and their right of ways for sustainable transport and renewable energy infrastructure.  We need to evolve and up our game with a multi-prong strategy that includes outreach in WA State, across the corridor and directly with Berkshire Hathaway and BNSF, possibly challenging BNSF at share holder meeting in May) 
  • Localize This! 2016 Action Camp -  happening in late June this year due to the many political conventions and World Social Forum in Canada later in the summer that many of us might be heading out to.  How do we utilize action camp to best serve our movement of movements? 

Some Open Space for the dynamic community you all are to help guide  Backbone HQ and come up with the next "sHellNo," important emergent opportunities for Backbone to make a difference, or?  

Some other possible Open Space topics:

  • Evolving the Builders Guild/Warehouse/Image Library?
  • Sending the Elephant in the Room #BeyondDenial imagery on tour? 
  • Action Brigade support locally and across the country?
  • "Highlander West" or "Camp Backbone" - who has energy for investigating the acquisition of the facility on Vashon?
  • Continuing the inquiry into mapping our movement?
  • Organizing Seattle warehouse space?
  • ___________?
I hope you can make it and regardless am ever grateful that you are part of Team Backbone
Bill Moyer
E.D. and Wrangler
c. 206-356-9980OvalGradientRetreatGrouptrans.png
  • January 08, 2016 at 6:00pm – January 10, 2016
  • Wellspring Spa
    54922 Kernahan Rd E
    Ashford, WA 98304
    United States
    Google map and directions
  • 28 people are going
  • Bill Moyer

Derek Hoshiko Fred Miller Les Berenson MD Daniel OBrien Jeffrey Snyder peter weston Margo Polley John Bito Laura Daughenbaugh Daughenbaugh Carl Wassilie Cathy Fulton Karen Boyer Margot Boyer Carlo Voli Patrick Mazza Rob Briggs Bill Moyer S Denise Henrikson Susan McRae Cindy Black Bruce Wilkinson

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  • Bill Moyer
    published this page 2016-01-01 13:22:57 -0800