The last couple days of July and those initial ones of August 2000 I was fortunate to participate in an every four year international conference in Denver, Colorado. Hosted at the University of Denver (last session was held in Cairo, Egypt) more than 750 representatives from over 40 countries attended. Sponsored by the Institute of Cultural Affairs (see links page), this world wide, non profit organization promotes positive changes in community around the world. My area of interest is the ACT stream (Art for Community Transformation), one of seven contingencies for societal change. The following text evolved out of the joint brainstorming of all the attendees to be used where ever there is a community need.

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Paul Hillman

Conference Declaration
The Millennium Connection
August 5, 2000
Denver, Colorado

Whereas profound societal change must encompass and address the balance between social, economic, and environmental consequences of human family action, the streams of the Millennium Connection conference have developed, through a consensus process, the following:

Guiding Principles for Profound Societal Change

  1. A sense of community is paramount. Everyone’s interests and all elements of our ecology must be included for sustainability.
  2. Engagement for change must be inclusive of all who live, work, or play in it or are affected by it.
  3. Passion and integrity generate resources.
  4. Language is not enough. Communication needs multiple approaches to open windows and bridge boundaries.
  5. Transformation of individuals and society happens simultaneously.
  6. Art in its many forms is the universal language. Creativity is the universal tool.
  7. Storytelling links and preserves collective and individual history and wisdom.
  8. Relationships built on trust and acceptance foster caring societal change.
  9. Social justice emerges from shared power. With participation of diverse groups, such as youth and women as designated by the United Nations resolution, manipulation and domination become less possible.
  10. Collaborating with diverse groups globally, regionally, and locally creates a force for powerful change.

Streams of the Millennium Conference
Art and Practice of Participation
Arts for Community Transformation
Community Youth Development
Philanthropy for Social Innovation
Spirituality in Organizations
Sustainable Community Development
Wholistic Lifelong Learning

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