Author Charles Vogl Speaks About Importance of Meaningful Communities

The PA CL+D Committee hosted an inspirational chat on November 8 with award-winning author Charles H. Vogl, who spoke about how we might create and foster the meaningful communities we all need – communities that are strong, fervent and kind.
Scanning the room slowly and thoughtfully, focusing on every individual present, was a hugely impactful way for Mr. Vogl to connect with the audience at the start of his presentation. He then told a moving story about feeling lonely when he was a graduate student at Yale, which led him to begin a Friday night dinner group. Sparsely attended for a while the group ultimately grew to be so large that the organization of it had to be divided up amongst many people. Through this experience, he realized that others were equally lonely and in search of a community.

Mr. Vogl shared some statistics that described how we are the loneliest of generations with fewer confidants than ever. He talked about how to build community and what that is…that we must share mutual concern for one another. It is not a community if we are not in a room actually building connections. He then walked through the seven principles for belonging from his book, The Art of Community: Seven Principles for Belonging.
Several small group activities provided the opportunity for attendees to discuss rituals that were important to them and why, and the chance for people to be acknowledged for their efforts, vision and commitments without judgment. Through each of these exercises, community members got to know each other better and made valuable connections.
CL+D Co-Director Jennifer Vermont-Davis said, "When I saw Charles and heard him speak, I was absolutely moved by his talk on Belonging, Community and the Power of Rituals. It made me think even more about how we can create a culture of Belonging here at A-S. We all want to belong and we want to let others know that they belong too. Charles reminded us that a big part of that feeling of belonging comes when we see that others care about our success, and when we know others care about us and we care about them."
Mr. Vogl is a founding producer of Broken English Productions, creating works that have won several international awards. He works with leaders in technology, finance, media, government, and social change organizations to help them create a meaningful difference.

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