The News Agency of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness

Building Bridges Conference Kicks Off

By: on April 12, 2009

Washington, DC – More than fifty ISKCON devotees – including several temple presidents and project leaders – are gathered here to explore how to more effectively share Krishna consciousness with others. The three-day conference, co-hosted by ISKCON Communications and ISKCON North American leadership, features presentations and panel discussions dedicated to examining best practices and dealing with challenges in engaging in dynamic, even unconventional outreach. How can we best share the timeless wisdom of Krishna consciousness with increasingly diverse audiences?

The conference kicked off on Friday, April 10 with opening remarks and presentations on collaborating with social change organizations, and on the connection between win/win communications and effective outreach.

“We need to stop coming from the platform that we’re the saints,” Caru Dasa told an attentive and lively audience. “We start from the platform that we’re all sinners. Then we can actually start connecting with people where they are at.” The comment was met with enthusiastic laughter, and even a few exclamations of “Amen!”

While the conference unfolds, strong themes and issues are already developing. Throughout the presentations, participants will grapple with how to stay true to Prabhupada's mission, and at the same time be relevant to the needs of the particular times in which we live. They will also visit, and re-visit, the idea of going deeper in relationships with key audiences, rather than merely viewing them as a means to an end.

Presentations will include a session on Corporate Outreach (by Romapada Swami), Outreach through the Internet (by Pancharatna Prabhu), Sustainability (by Devamrita Swami), and a panel discussion on Connecting with the Yoga and Kirtan Communities (by Balaramacandra Dasa, Gauravani Buchwald, and Hariyasva Dasa).

ISKCON News Weekly will feature an exclusive story on the event including podcasts and photos.

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