Thinking Big: Cynthia Allen's Feldenkrais® Awareness Summit
Thursday, April 19, 2018
by: Ira Feinstein, MFA

Section: Creating Buzz




Cynthia Allen set out to celebrate International Feldenkrais Week in a huge way this year: with a free, online Feldenkrais Awareness Summit. Occurring May 1-8, the summit has enlisted over 24 speakers from around the world, including Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, the author of Crooked and Dr. Daniel Siegel, the founder of Interpersonal Neurobiology. There will also be presentations by Russell Delman, Larry Goldfarb, Moti Nativ, Donna Ray, Elinor Silverstein, and more!

In Touch recently spoke with Allen to find out more.

IT: How did you come up with the idea of putting on a Feldenkrais Awareness Summit?

CA: I've been a consumer of online summits for a number of years. Their popularity and the way they work fascinates me. They can generate an amazing amount of enthusiasm and reach thousands of people.
 
IT: Why a summit? Why not an online course?
 
CA: My business, Future Life Now, LLC, has run our own online membership/school for almost three years now, so I have first-hand experience with online programs. The industry standard for actual consumption of paid online programming is around 25%. This means that approximately 75% of the people sign up, pay, and never do much of anything with their online course. You have probably bought a course and never used it. I know I have. 
 
IT: Ha! You’re right. I do have a course or two that I haven’t used.
 
CA: Exactly.
 
IT: So, were those rather uninspiring statistics for online programming what lead you to opt for a summit?
 
CA: I think one of the best applications for online programming is creating excitement and limited-time access to quality free programming that can lead to a HUNGER for more. The key to a successful summit is that there
is a vibrant community and committed speakers who have a strong online presence. Together, they create a massive reach to their contacts with a rippling effect. Typically, these contacts will already have a bit of knowledge about the offered approach, but there hasn't been enough exposure to create a tipping point into action. 
 
IT: That makes a lot of sense. It reminds me of the old Rule of Seven
adage in marketing: a prospect needs to hear a message seven times in order to take action.
 
There have been numerous times that I’ve mentioned the Feldenkrais Method to someone and they responded with, “I always meant to check that out.”



CA: Yes! I really want the Summit to harness that potential. Yesterday I was hypothesizing about how many people around the world know something about the Feldenkrais Method. I threw out the ridiculously low number of 30,000. In the twenty years that I have been involved in the work, I have surely connected with a few thousand people. I think I could conservatively say 2,000 but it is likely over 5,000. If we take all the people who have ever trained in the Feldenkrais Method and imagine that they’ve had a low reach of a few hundred people, it adds up to a significant number--in the millions actually. Yet, where are these people? How can we help them be more connected with the work and share it more easily? People are spread out and hard to get a grasp on. A free online summit seemed like the perfect opportunity for us to connect. 
 
IT: How long did the summit take to plan?
 
CA: I started accumulating the knowledge to hold this summit six years ago. Each year, I have taken online courses, gained skills in WordPress, youtube, videography, automated email systems, and online course management. I started to seriously think about a summit three years ago. In January 2017, my assistant and I began in-depth research into holding a summit. I had to drop that research for some months but was able to pick it back up in November of 2017. Since then, both my assistant and I have been putting in at least ten hours a week on planning the summit. As of this week, my assistant is working nearly full-time and will continue to do so until a couple of weeks afterward. If we hold another summit, we will want an additional three months lead time.
 
IT: Besides adding more lead time, what else has surprised you in terms of planning?
 
CA: It is a costly event. Actually, double what I originally projected.
 
IT: How have you been able to deal with all of the unknowns involved in taking on such a huge venture?
 
CA: My Feldenkrais training prepared me for rising to the challenge of this undertaking. What does all that mean? Four things we all already know: 

-Skill acquisition takes time. 
-Some things can only be learned in the doing. 
-Timing matters
-There is risk in doing something new, but there is often greater risk in standing still.
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Check out the full schedule for the Feldenkrais Awareness Summit and remember to let your students know about this free opportunity to immerse themselves in the Feldenkrais Method!

Cynthia Allen, GCFP, has been in some version of health care programming for eons. She completed her Feldenkrais training through Paul Rubin and Julie Casson Rubin in 2001. She is also a Senior Trainer in Ruthy Alon's Movement Intelligence work. She and her husband have a multidisciplinary practice called Future Life Now in Cincinnati, Ohio where she sees clients and teaches weekly classes. 
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Comments (2)
Karen Boyd
4/22/2018 2:00:44 PM
Sounds interesting


Joyce Storch Makansi
4/21/2018 10:15:54 PM
This is a fabulous idea! What a great opportunity for practitioners and students! Thank you Cynthia and IT for the interview!


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