MAG's Confluence: A Sharing of learning, questions, & dreams

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Confluence: A coming together of mighty streams to catalyze transformation that includes and transcends our individual selves, our groups, our organizations, and our networks.

What Is the Confluence? 



The Confluence will be a vibrant 2.5 days of exploration with a group of about seventy-five thinkers, activists, artists, philanthropists, entrepreneurs, and other leaders like you.

It is not a conference! Its purpose is to consider how we work together to both defend and protect what’s important in our immediate future while we strengthen relationships and build common vision for the long-haul. We will share learning, ideas, questions, and dreams as we actualize, deepen, and strengthen the five elements we believe are critical for transformative change: advancing deep equity; influencing complex systems; developing a leaderful ecosystem; valuing multiple ways of knowing, and building the inner capacity to transform our nation.

The design team has created what we hope will be a catalyst for continued collective action, experimentation, and building. Below we've provided additional details for the Confluence:


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The program for the Confluence will begin at 1pm on Wednesday, June 7th (with check-in beginning at 12pm). The gathering ends at 5:30pm on Wednesday and Thursday (with optional dine-arounds at 7pm) and ends at 12pm on Friday.

MAG is coordinating optional dine-arounds at 7pm on Wednesday and Thursday evenings for participants who would like to share a table at nearby restaurants around Chicago. This will be an informal dinner and guests are invited to pay for their own meal. If you would like to participate in a dine-around, but paying for a meal presents a hardship, please contact We will share additional details on the dine-arounds in your welcome packet, which will be distributed at the event.

Check out this map of the area with dine-around restaurants, pubs, the confluence location, and other points of interest.


Day 1 - Wednesday, June 7th

12:00 pm    Participant Arrival and Check-In
Snacks and beverages will be available.
1:00 pm    Welcome to Chicago and Grounding in Place
Opening ritual. Review of the purpose of the Confluence and intentions for the next three days. Opportunity for participants to meet learning circle partners.
2:15 pm    Setting the Container and Building Relationships
The group collaborates to set community agreements for the Confluence that foster community.

3:10 pm     Afternoon Snack Break
3:25 pm    Learning Circles

4:00 pm    Conversation Catalyst: Adrienne Maree Brown
Exploration into the five elements in an interactive session on emergence and experimentation in complex systems, led by Adrienne Maree Brown, author of Emergent Strategy: Shaping Change, Changing Worlds.
5:15 pm    Closing Ritual (program ends by 5:30pm)

    ***Optional dine-around with other participants starting at various times from 6:30 to 7:30 ***

    ***Optional watch the NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers vs. Golden State Warriors at 8 pm ***


Day 2 - Thursday, June 8th

8:30 am    Healthy Breakfast

9:00 am    Setting Our Intentions
Opening ritual. 
9:30 am    Building Visions of Love, Dignity, & Justice
Participants build, share and reflect on visions for a world full of dignity, love and justice and explore the role of the five elements in moving us towards those visions as we deepen relationships and build common vision for the long-haul; nurture mutual care and strength; and defend and protect what’s important in our immediate future.
10:30 am    Morning Break
10:45 am     Conversation Catalyst: Sheryl Petty, MAG
Exploration into the five elements in an interactive session on inner work and deep equity, led by Sheryl Petty, MAG Senior Consultant and author of Ocha Dharma: The Relationship Between Lucumi, an African-Based Tradition, and Buddhist Practice.
12:00 pm    Lunch
1:00 pm    Open Space: Rooting, Innovating, and Resiliency with Purpose (includes afternoon break)
Participants will self-organize to deepen learning and discussion in a series of participant-led sessions and workshops. Open space is followed by a discussion to lift up key learnings and make meaning from the sessions as a full group.
3:45 pm   Meaning Making from Open Space

5:15 pm    Closing Ritual (program ends by 5:30pm)
    ***Optional dine-around with other participants, starting at various times from 6:30 to 7:30 pm***


Day 3 - Friday, June 9th

8:30 am    Breakfast
9:00 am    Sharing Our Gratitude & Appreciations
Opening ritual.
9:45 am     Conversation Catalyst: Suhad Babaa, Just Vision
Exploration into the five elements in an interactive session on Just Vision’s engagement of multiple ways of knowing to bring about love, dignity, and justice, led by Suhad Babaa.
10:30 am     Morning Break
10:45 am    Promises and Commitments Moving Forward
Surface new ideas and future possibilities that emerged at Confluence and possible steps to move them forward.
11:30 pm    Closing Ritual
12:00 pm    Lunch
To-go boxed lunches will be provided, or guests can have lunch on-site.


Co-Curated by Toisha Tucker and Alexandra Antoine

We are hosting the following exhibition in conjunction with the Confluence at the Catalyst Ranch.

#PERSIST engages with art as a form of cultural activism. The exhibition is presented in a small sitting room furnished like a space one could find in many homes. Presenting the exhibition in a domestic space highlights how our collective resistance is not just something that we do in the streets, but that it is an intimate part of our everyday lives. In an effort to underscore the visibility of women as figures in the home and the invisibility of women in art spaces and as leaders of movements of social, physical and cultural resistance, all of the participating artists are women*.

*We use an inclusive definition of “woman” and “female” inclusive of trans women, genderqueer women, and non-binary people who are significantly female-identified 

Featured Artists: Alexandra Antoine | Angela Azmitia | Jennifer Chen-Su Huang | Kim Ye | Marcela Torres | Meital Yaniv | Monica Trinidad | Silvia Gonzalez | Slinko | Tara Fadenrecht | Toisha Tucker | Valentina Galindo


Pre-Reading for Confluence

Since long before the election, our clients and partners have been expanding and shifting their focus  – from competition to collaboration, from single issues to intersectionality, from scarcity to collective abundance. This shift requires something different from us as actors for justice and as the intermediaries, capacity builders, and grantmakers who support them. By listening to our clients and partners and looking to people whose history, knowledge, and experiences have been forced to the periphery, MAG has come to believe there are five elements that are critical to advancing a thriving justice ecosystem. MAG recently published a series on these elements in partnership with the Nonprofit Quarterly. The five articles present each element in turn, exploring what it means and how people, organizations, and networks are putting it into practice. 
Please read each of the following articles in advance of the Confluence:

As you read about the five elements, consider the following questions:

  • Which element do you feel most deeply grounded in?
  • What element do you want to grow the most in?
  • In your experience why are these elements important for us as we work toward love dignity and justice?

Location and Travel

Check out this map of the area with dine-around restaurants, pubs, the confluence location, and other points of interest.

The gathering will take place in Chicago at the Catalyst Ranch.

Catalyst Ranch
656 W. Randolph
Suite 3W
Chicago, IL 60661
(312) 207-1710
Additional information on driving, parking and getting to the Catalyst Ranch via public transportation can be found here.

By Plane

If you plan to fly, please book your flight to arrive at either Chicago Midway International Airport or O’Hare International Airport. The venue is approximately a 40 minute drive from either location and about 50 minutes by bus or train.
By Car

If you plan to drive, MAG is offering free validated parking at the System Parking Lot on Lake St between Jefferson and Desplaines.
Nearest CTA Stops

Clinton Stop at the Green/Pink Line
Grand Stop at the Blue Line
Washington Stop at the Brown Line

See a full transit map at

By Train

North Western Station/Metra/
Ogilvie Transportation Center Amtrak/Metra/Union Station


The Hampton Inn, West Loop is a 5 minute walk to the Catalyst Ranch. The group rate for a room at the Hampton Inn is no longer available, however you can book a room directly on the hotel website or calling the hotel at 312-648-0000.

Crowne Plaza Hotel: This hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Catalyst ranch. The current price for one night from the 7/7-7/9 is $221
Homewood Suites: This hotel is a 5-minute walk from the Catalyst ranch. The current price for one night from the 7/7-7/9 is $237

HI Chicago Hostel: For a more affordable option, the HI Chicago Hostel offers private rooms starting at $124/night plus tax. It is a 10-minute drive or 30-minute walk to the Catalyst Ranch.

How Can I Join the Wait List?

Confluence participation is at capacity. We are thrilled there has been so much interest and apologize that we can't accommodate a larger group. All new registrants will be put on a wait list and notified if space opens up.

Pay Your Participation Fee (Only after we've confirmed you have a space.)

The participation fee is a sliding scale of $250.00-650.00. Please pay what you are able to afford as the higher payments will help to subsidize participation for those at the lower end of the scale.

If you are not able to afford the participation fee, please reach out to Natalie Bamdad to inquire about scholarship opportunities. She can be reached at 

This participation fee includes breakfast and lunch at the Confluence as well as materials. It does not include transportation, hotel accommodations, dinners, or other incidentals. 

Pricing Level:
Pay Your Fee

Support Others to Attend the Confluence

If you’d like to help provide access to this Confluence for those who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend, you can donate by clicking the button below.

If you have any questions, please contact us!