A unique second festival will be held alongside the world-famous Mayapur Festival this year in West Bengal, India. On behalf of ISKCON’s Governing Body Commission, the GBC’s Strategic Planning Team will organize the first International Leadership Sanga (ILS) from February 10th to 17th.
The festival is the GBC’s attempt to reach out to ‘middle tier’ leaders all over ISKCON—unsung heroes working hard on the ground to keep their temple going day to day. At ILS, they will see the big picture (that ISKCON is alive and well and vibrant around the world); meet and share challenges and successes with fellow leaders; and be entertained and inspired by seminars and special performances. The GBC hopes that they can then take these experiences back to their base and encourage and inspire their individual constitutencies.
Another major aspect of the event is to give the leaders the chance to meet and build rapport with the GBC members, and vice versa.
“The GBC hopes that the International Leadership Sanga will give devotees the chance to see the relevance of the GBC body in action, thus helping to increase awareness of the GBC and develop its identity in ISKCON,” says ILS onsite organizer Laxmimoni Dasi, who is also the GBC secretary and a member of the Strategic Planning Team since 2008.
She says that the GBC will use the ILS to gather information by polling and surveying leaders. “We want to get a dialogue going, hear what they have to say and use that information to better serve devotees,” she explains.