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Weekend Among Friends: Small Changes Making Big Differences

October 1 - October 4

A Tribute to the Amateurs

In this Weekend Among Friends we explore what an era of amateurs could be like and what difference it would make if we all stepped into the ‘beginner’s mentality’.

  • How could this change our ways of living, working and becoming together?
  • How could it change our economy or our natural environment?
  • How could it influence our relationships and ways of cooperating?
  • How could it change our concept of power and being in charge?What if……amateurs hold the key to a transition towards living well together, in harmony with the Earth? …they like to explore untrodden paths and unknow spaces?
    …they are driven by passion, curiosity and generosity?

Starting from the point of Not Knowing might actually be a much better position from which to rethink our economy, our way of producing and sharing the things we need in life.

New technology is enabling us to produce things by ourselves on a very small scale and close to home. We design and produce our own books, magazines, and so forth, and are able to use 3D printing to repair appliances. In the not-so-far distant future, we might be able to produce all the things that we need using the same materials over and over again. Internet platforms allow to organise basic conditions such as exchange loans, knowledge and care ourselves without the need of e.g. banks or retailers.

Amateurism could also create openings to rethink incumbent power relations – between ages, regions, heritages, the ancient, the modern, and the future world. Changing society on a larger scale could benefit from amateurism as well – changing our perspective and reaching out to everyone to engage and co- create.

In a world that highly values professionalism it is a challenge to embrace our amateurism. But, if we do so, we might be able to reclaim our agency over the economy, politics, culture and society. We would be able to make a living and create a good life for all and no longer have to outsource to the professional. 

This year we will have two special guests: 

Some of this year’s storylines:
Godelieve Spaas, Professor New Economies: Amateurism as a Lever for Change

Arne Hendriks, Artist and Performer and Godelieve Spaas: Shamans and Amateurs.

Devon Reid, Artist and Municipal Councillor in Ville de Candiac, Quebec Canada: Living Life as Art – the amateur’s way in politics and will invite friends to create an art installation of found things.

Frank Kupers, Passion &Action Consultant: The Embarrassing Amateur and The Perfect Professional.

We would like to welcome you to the beautiful medieval village of Pari, Italy, October 1-4, 2020, to join us for the weekend and to meet with old and new friends. The landscape and community, the Pari Center and Pari Networks all represent a container in which everyone is invited to have good conversations and to enjoy the company of our Pari friends, the excellent Italian food and wine, and of course the Tuscan sun and culture.

David Peat referred to Pari as an Alchemic Vessel, a place where artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, elders and makers mingle to explore topics that are alive in all of us. The spirit of the Pari Center and the containment of the village and its community invites us to create unexpected links and insights to bring back to the outside world.

Practical information

Costs are 195 euros per day/per participant, which covers meals, accommodation, activities and lectures (585 euros per participant in total for 3 days). 

The weekend starts on Thursday October 1 at 4 pm and ends on Sunday October 4 after lunch. 


Pari, its community and the Pari Center have a special place in my heart. The landscape and the community represent a sphere in which I feel invited to explore art, literature, science, indigenous knowledge, culture, music and poetry as means to denote, understand, reflect and renew ourselves and the world we are part of. At the same time the village serves as a place to come to rest, to listen to the silence, to nature and to celebrate a holiday.

Weekend Among Friends was born out of my longing to share this experience with friends. The weekend has become an annual event at the crossover of the good life and good conversations in a beautiful and wise environment. Dialogues pay tribute to an idea or people that might generate reflection and renewal on the personal and community level. 

The overarching idea: small changes making big differences towards a socially, economically and ecologically just future. Thinking, doing and imagining are equally important. Participants are the co-creators of the weekend. Their wisdom, experiences and expressions form the base of our exploration, rethinking and creation.

I introduce the theme of the year and from there the group as a whole takes it further. No specified program, just joint dedication to explore what can become. A special guest brings another perspective to the table and this invites other lines of thoughts.

The weekend unfolds along dialogues, joint meals, hikes, music, dance, meditation, making/experiencing art and/or other means of exchange as they appear, depending on who the participants are and what they share. 

Godelieve Spaas 

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October 1
October 4
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