Theosophical World Congress 2010 - Some thoughts
Jul 15, 2010 09:25 PM
Based on the feedback received so far, the World Congress seems to be a
Attendance: The congress was well attended by members from various sections
and it is a good sign that many have taken the trouble to spend the money
and travel to Rome. I was heartened to hear a large contingent of members
traveled from Brazil and it only shows that the Brazil Section took the
trouble to organize the trip in an efficient manner. They are showing the
way to other Sections and let us hope we see more attendance in the next
Speakers: We are yet to find a charismatic speaker of the caliber of Annie
Besant. In such a situation we do the best we can. It is heartening to see
lecturers from various sections participated in the program. This is
significant. All you need to do is to review the events of 2008 and 2009.
The congress presented an opportunity to try to put aside all the dividing
and divisive issues and move ahead with the work of TS in a united manner.
Online Streaming: Italian Section need to be congratulated in providing
online video streaming of the proceedings and this allowed members across
the world to watch the proceedings. It just proves that technology is there
and can be used to benefit theosophy, TS and its members. Let us hope such
streaming is done at the next International Convention in India. Let us not
forget that in India live streaming is commonly used even for broadcasting
wedding functions for the benefit of friends and relatives who are unable to
personally travel and witness the weddings. So TS should do it and there is
still a lot of time left for planning and coordination.
When International Convention is streamed, it can be improved by archiving
the broadcast so that members can watch at their convenience without having
to deal with time zones in the world. I believe technology is currently
available to capture and record live streaming and one of the computer wizzs
can help record the streams and perhaps upload to Youtube. Just a thought.
Transcripts: Usually the transcripts and summaries of the lectures and
discussions in the congress are published in print media magazines such as
The Theosophist. By its very nature, print media is slow and may take
months. Now Internet is available and making the transcripts and summaries
available in pdf format will both make them quickly available as well as
have a wider world-wide audience. After all, even for print media, the
composing is done using a word processor and from there, generating a pdf
file takes very little effort.
Assessment by General Secretaries: It would be a good idea for each GS to
prepare a short write-up of their impressions of the world congress. It
would be useful in their sections and with Internet, they could be made
available to everyone in the world.
What is missing in the congress: It is nice to talk and discuss about
various theosophical ideas and concepts. It is when you apply them in the
lodges and sections that we are able to find out if TS is growing or
contracting. It is a fact that TS membership has been steadily growing in
India. And outside India, it is either declining or non-growing. I wish
there was a session where the issue of problems with attracting new members
and activities in general were discussed. Membership growth issue is a
political hot potato and no one wants to touch it. I hope at least in the
next World Congress a day is reserved for this practical issue.
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