Centres’ Gathering Day 2: The Vexed Question of Wifi

As I was thinking about the post for today, I realized it would be impossible for me to try to encapsulate all that I have experienced in one day in one post, and still go to bed this evening. Today was another wonderful mix of learning and experiencing, and we spent some time in the Esalen garden and touring the property, and our discussions focussed on Sustainability and Programming. Instead I’m going to focus in on one issue that came up on day one, in the discussion on the future of centres: wifi!

One of the great gifts of the Gathering is the opportunity to learn how other centres deal with common issue and as a result, to think again about the way that we do things. Not necessarily to change them, or to congratulate ourselves: just the process of considering why is useful.

During the discussion on the future of centres in a rapidly changing world, I learned a lot about what other centres do and don’t do around wifi. None of the centres I heard from are wifi free. Some have a particular place where wifi is available, which involves a walk to get to, so some contemplation of whether you really want to do that or not. Others have wifi everywhere except in the rooms. Esalen switch off their wifi during mealtimes and have limited bandwidth.

I have to admit that, as I try to post on Facebook or write a blog post, I miss The Haven’s plentiful wifi: at least it seems that way to me at this distance!

I don’t think that finding out about other centres will mean a change to the way that we offer wifi, and it’s good to spend some time thinking about this. I appreciate all the more the fact that, although we don’t switch our wifi off, people seem to instinctively avoid being online during meals, at least in the dining room!

I believe that our approach holds every person able to make their own choices about whether to be online or not, and I am not 100% sure that it was this belief that informed the original decision about wifi availability. And as ever, I am interested to hear back from you about this.

What do you think about wifi at The Haven: too much, too little or just right? Goodnight!

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