[Re-Writing, Re-Righting] Cassandra

Sep 16 – Dec 7, 2019 | Urbana, IL

A Project of Focussing…

School for Designing a Society, Gesundheit Institute, and Dr. Patch Adams are looking for people from all walks of life who will commit–as first priority—to focussing on the Oct. 8 2018 announcement by the United Nations Committee on Global Climate Change:

“We have 12 years left to limit climate change catastrophe.”,

and responding to it. Responses will be seriously playful—no doom and gloom (but maybe goom and dloom)—-as a strategy to elicit involvement of others, and to elicit focus.

Cassandra was a figure in Greek mythology, a woman cursed to utter prophecies that were true but no one believed. In our project we want to ‘re-write’ (and ‘re-right’) that curse, to find our Cassandras, to listen to them, to understand from them what time it is on the clock—the ticking clock– of the world. We have 12 years left.

We are looking for Cassandras for this fall session of School for Designing a Society, September 16— December 7, 2019. Is that you? (and we will continue with this focus in coming years for the time we have left).


How to Apply?

[Re-Writing, Re-Righting] Cassandra is a collaboration—not a school session, though teaching and learning will happen continuously. There is no tuition involved, only, focussing.

Preparing for participation consists of 2 parts:

  1. Tell us a bit about yourself: Please take a moment to fill out the questionnaire.
  2. We will then contact you to arrange a phone/skype conversation.

Have Questions? Need some Help? For more information contact Susan ⇒



Questions Asked about the (Re-Writing/Re-Righting) Cassandra project

  1. What is the invitation of the (Re-Writing/Re-Righting) Cassandra project?

    Our invitation is simple: we’re looking for 15-20 people willing to meet together in Urbana Illinois, Sept. 16-December 7 for 90 days, to focus—and respond—to the Oct. 8, 2018* announcement by the United Nations Committee on Global Climate Change:
    “We have 12 years left to limit climate change catastrophe”
    Our only constraint is that responses not be guided by ‘gloom and doom’, but by playfulness and care. We do not want to nourish fear.
    *As of the time of this writing, we now have 11 years and 4 months left.

  2. What will participants do in these 90 days?

    Our activities during this collaborative project will be decided by all of us as we go. We will no doubt read, write, discuss, converse, invite guest presenters, take field trips, create performances and other kinds of art, offer each other assignments, connect with other groups. Perhaps we will form subgroups to delve into particular aspects. We will collect ideas for proposed solutions, collect and analyze current formulations of the problem, and likely confront denials and dismissals of the problem. We will question the current language of solutions, problems, and dismissals in hopes of possibly generating new formulations of the problem.Our choices of what we do (and how) will be affected by such considerations as:
    –How are we being made to think about climate change by the discourse about it? Is it possible for us to like how we’re thinking about this situation? What would that require?
    –Can we come up with encouraging ways to talk about discouraging facts?
    –How at the end of 90 days can people go back home with ways of thinking/acting that we gladly offer our home environment?
    –We wish to make (Re-Writing/Re-Righting) Cassandra also a well-being project, a project in which we create a daily context such that participants’ standard of well-being is very high during and after the 90 day time period.
    –To address limiting climate change catastrophe, we are asking ourselves and others to change our priorities, at least temporarily. How can change of priorities be something we welcome, not fear and reject?

  3. Can I participate in the (Re-Writing/Re-Righting) Cassandra project, if I can’t come to Urbana for those 90 days?

    Yes. At the moment we are setting up ways for people to connect with the Urbana project from their home country. We will be asking the Illinois participants, who will be meeting with each other daily in Urbana, to take on “care communication”—to steadfastly communicate with off-site participants, letting them know where our conversations are going, hearing from them their contributions, and reporting these contributions back to the Urbana groupAnother way to participate in the (Re-Writing/Re-Righting) Cassandra project from your home area, is to start a focus group of your own. We are happy to talk with you about this, and share ideas.

  4. Will those of us who come to Illinois really meet for 90 days? How many hours a day?
    The offer of the ReRe Cassandra project is that we give ourselves sufficient time to focus. Participants will create a schedule so that this focus is happily sustained in a variety of ways—sometimes daily meeting, other times field trips, other times quiet writing activity, preparing theater scenes, learning songs together. Sometimes taking a break from one another. We are conscious of the potential for decay of one focus over 90 days and will design activities in order to retard that decay.
  5. How many people will participate in the Urbana project?

    For the project in Urbana, where people will be physically present and meet daily, we are accepting a total of 20 people. There is still room left to apply.
  6. Where will participants in Urbana stay?

    At present, we are asking our Urbana activist friends to ‘put up’ Cassandra participants in their houses for the three months, free of charge. Each participant will have her own(safe, clean) bedroom and access to the kitchen. The Unitarian Universalist Church has generously encouraged its congregation to offer housing for free, as a way to support out-of-state/out-of-country participants https://uucuc.org/visit-us2
  7. Do participants need to pay to be part of this project?

    No. We think of this project as a collaboration, motivated by peoples’ conscience, sense of social responsibility, sense of NOW-ness, and creativity. Participants do not need to pay to participate, nor do we pay participants to participate.
  8. Can I come to Urbana Illinois for only part of the time? Can I visit?

    Yes. Let us know sufficiently in advance so that we can prepare the core group for your visit and figure out with you your housing.
  9. What is the ‘School for Designing a Society’?

    The School for Designing a Society, established in 1991, is a project of teachers, performers, artists, and activists. It is an ongoing experiment in making temporary living environments where the question “What would I consider a desirable society?” is given serious playful thoughtful discussion, and taken as an input to creative projects.

Patch Adams MD & Gesundheit Institute, P.O. Box 307, Urbana, IL 61803

© Copyright 2024 Gesundheit! Institute