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Many months after the email below was sent out in December 2018, I heard that it had offended some EC members. They viewed it as critical of them in some way. That was certainly not my intention and on re-reading it, I am no wiser on what I wrote that was critical.

My snapshot of what I saw as a Member when coming to TI was nothing that should have been news to the people running the Centre, or so I thought.

“everything is ageing: the people, building is run-down; income is down, membership is down”

How can you manage without facing up to what it is that needs fixing?

Incidentally, this email was only sent to about 20 people and mainly residents. It clearly says it is a snapshot without any input from the EC which I expected over the new year once Frank and I got started.

I don’t think any previous CD -and that includes me- has given a headsup on what they were thinking and how they viewed the road ahead. People seemed to appreciate that, even if certain EC members did not.

Also please note taking over from the start of 2019 for those who claim that we were not doing so.

Looking ahead at and for TI

The following email was sent out to the TI community on 24 December 2018. It doesn’t mention a Board or any changes to the governance of TI. So from what did the EC get spooked so badly as to fire us before we had had our first meeting?

You may already have heard the news that Judy has finally been able to wriggle out of the Director’s seat after her amazing stint of 10 years or so. Even then it has taken about a year to find a replacement. And even then… it took two people to replace her! Frank Brock and I will be taking over the reins from the start of 2019.
Frank will be Assistant and I will be the CD. I will attempt to follow the advice of Lama Yeshe who founded Tara Institute in the mid 1970s; Think Big, Communicate, Be Professional.
Obviously, it’s early days and I haven’t yet met the Executive, spoken to Mark or had a handover brief from Judy. None-the-less, I thought it was important to give you an idea of where I stand at the moment and where I would like to point the Centre in the short time ahead of me.
  • How I see what’s in front of us today
    • everything is ageing
      • the people
        • can lead to closed “who-you-know” environment
        • doesn’t encourage younger involvement
      • building is much the same as it was long ago, only more run-down
    • income is down
      • membership is down from the 200 Members we had when we first came to Brighton
      • loss of tax deductibility has dramatically curtailed big donations
      • the average person who uses the Centre doesn’t know that TI needs support
    • We don’t seem to have the same interaction with the world-outside-TI that we used to have
      • apart from Cafe Bliss!!
  • How I am aiming to tackle the situation for the future
    • bringing experienced people back into the committee
    • more participation
      • Members will run more of the centre via portfolio committees…
      • …where they will design and plan portfolio projects for approval by the executive
      • more committees will give younger people more chances to contribute and learn how to run TI
    • transparency
      • Members will see thinking/plans and figures on the website
      • Frank and I will rotate through portfolio committee meetings to participate and answer questions
    • new physical infrastructure to consider
      • need to renovate the building
      • solar power
      • better accommodation
There is a lot to consider and I would really encourage you to get involved. It’s clear that the Centre will continue to shrink unless we can all give it some energy. So far I have really been heartened by the support offered, not just in words, by the people I have already been able to talk with. Not only have they said they will get involved and help but even in our conversations they have mentioned really great ideas that we can definitely take up.
Do you have any ideas? Questions? Please get involved to make TI a Centre we can be proud of —and if we succeed in setting it up to continue— it will be a gift that keeps fuelling our karma long after we are gone. 
-peter (guiliano)
BTW: I got this list from Frank/Wayne. I hassled Llysse as she was shutting the Office for the year but wasn’t clear and got a list of names not email addresses. So no one was “left off” — if you know anyone else who should have had this email, please apologise on my behalf and give them a copy too or just forward to TI people you know.