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A Story about how this Network works

– Posted in: Lifelong Learning

Who’s who: The author is Julie, freshly retired as a Higher Ed Administrator from the U.S.A. Moira is the Pass It On (PIO) Network International Coordinator from France, and Hans is the PIO Liaison for Iceland. (Hans has a U3A title I think?)


Julie Schniewind in Iceland

July 29: Learning that I was flying Icelandair to Europe, Moira tells me about Hans, the PIO Network’s Iceland Liaison. “I am sure that you will have a lot to say to each other”. She calls him and tells him I am coming to Iceland.

August 9: Moira tells me “Hans would be delighted to meet you and help you make the most of your first ever visit to Iceland.” She sends him my bio.

August 11: Hans writes “I would be happy to take you on a day trip along the south coast of Iceland.”

August 14: Hans writes: “We have been funded for our Project BALL (Be Active through Lifelong Learning). I would like you to consider changes to your travel plans to join us and give a keynote talk about your NExT3 Program at our kickoff conference on Sept. 23.”

Sept. 12: Hans sends me the agenda for the Conference, and tells me “I will do my best to control the eruption (of the volcano Bardarbunga), using my magic”.

Sept. 20: Hans and Inge (Iceland’s Chairman of U3A) spend 11 hours of a gorgeous
day showing me the Golden Circle on Iceland’s south coast.

Sept. 23: In Reykjavik, I gave a talk titled NExT3: New Exchange of Time, Talent & Treasure, (slides available on request). NExT3 is an initiative to engage universities, their communities, and their boomer alumni in an exchange of time, talent and treasure for the benefit of all. This was followed by dinner with Iceland’s U3A leaders and conference speakers from Poland, Spain, France and Iceland. Over 100 people attended the conference.

October 6: Emails from participants:
From Poland: I am pleased with the positive energy which you have given us.
From Iceland: You gave the best, smartest and the most memorable talk at our conference.

My takeaway from this serendipity:
Follow the threads of our lives through this wonderful network, and discover astonishing opportunities which life may have in store for you. Ending our formal work is a time of change, but for many of us it is a time to try new things and revisit old strengths. I ended my talk with a favorite quote from Richard Bach: What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the Master calls a butterfly.

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