Incite Seminars is creating knowledge, dialogue, action
4
patrons
$39
per month

Okay, here's the deal with Incite Seminars and why I am asking for your support.

The short version:

Incite Seminars has the potential to be a hothouse for innovative education bridging personal awareness and collective change. But first, four things have to happen. 
  1. We have to increase our offerings. 
  2. This requires a space of our own.
  3. We have to open up the seminars to anyone who wants to take them, regardless of ability to pay. 
  4. This requires a monthly donation base

It is extremely difficult to disentangle education from the clutch of the current logic of capitalism, whereby everything must stream toward the narrow straits of financial profitability. We are trying to create a different model. So, we deeply appreciate any support you can offer us.

Incite Seminars is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit. That means that, under certain conditions, your contribution is tax-deductible. 

(If you're not familiar with us, maybe you want to peruse our website before reading on.)

Background

My name is Glenn Wallis. I founded Incite Seminars in 2016 on the theory that we, as members of American society, are in deep shit. I concluded that this is in no small part because of the dumbing-down and anti-intellectual quality of our shared discourse. So, the most basic original impulse of the project was simply to get people around a table together engaging in intelligent conversation about crucial ideas and issues.

Some two dozen seminars later, my driving assumption is proving correct: something uncommonly dynamic occurs when we explore such ideas and issues with other people. Dialogue becomes an impetus for self-reflection and collective understanding. Based on participant feedback, I can confidently say that our encounters enables each of us to glimpse into our ideological blind spots, to see and think more clearly. This ferments an acute awareness of social reality. It is here—where the personal collides with the social—that such education catalyzes the possibility of social change. At Incite Seminars we cultivate personal awareness, social discernment, intellectual integrity, and moral courage toward a better world.

The Situation

Incite Seminars has potential to become a recognized public disseminator of high-level yet accessible knowledge. In order to reach this potential, and to have the kind of effect on people's lives and in the world that we aspire to, four things have to happen.

1) We have to offer a more robust program of events. Participants leave our seminars full of exhilaration and inspiration. They report that over several hours of close, concentrated dialogue with others, a sense of commitment and community develops. But as everyone disperses back into their isolated lives, energy and commitment fade.
2) We need our own space. With our own space, we can offer the robust program of seminars and events, including a creativity/practice group, necessary for establishing community and continuity. This kind of scheduling will go a long way toward reversing the pattern of deflation.
3) We have to diversify our participant groups. We have been operating on a tuition model, where a seminar costs either $90 (one session) or $190 (four sessions). The result is a largely homogenous body of participants in terms of age and life-stage, socio-economic background, and educational level. A generous subsidized payment model, including no-cost, will enable us to attract younger people, students, activists, and financially distressed people.
4) We need a committed monthly donation base. With the money for rent and a small stipend for the director assured, we can establish the foundation for fulfilling our potential. 

What We'll Use Your Money For

So, with those issues in mind, here's what we propose to do with your generous patronage. Our initial goal is $3000/month.

  • Location. We need our own space. Currently, we use a shared working space in downtown Philadelphia. Everything about it is fantastic, expect for one thing. The conference room is next to impossible to book. That means that we (i) are limited to little more than one session a month and (ii) have no flexibility in scheduling seminars and other events. As much as we would like to remain in the vibrant city of Philadelphia, it is too expensive for our non-profit budget. However, for around $2000 a month we can rent our own space in the northern suburbs around Jenkintown, PA.
  • Tuition. We want to implement a pay-what-you-can model of tuition, including a no-cost option. We feel this is the best way to realize our commitment to making our offerings of knowledge, dialogue, and community available to anyone who feels they can benefit from them, regardless of ability to pay. We want to be a model of inclusiveness. Success, in fact, depends on our attracting a broad and diverse range of people across income, gender, age, racial, and ethnic lines. This goal will require considerable financial aid for participants. Ideally, we would be able to eliminate access fees altogether. 
  • Facilitator payment. At the same time, we want to pay our facilitators and current volunteers a fair share. For that to happen, each seminar has to generate at least $1000. This sum includes the following: the time-consuming reiterative process (planning, communication, etc.) that culminates in a session; website maintenance; online, personal, and MailChimp marketing; session-related supplies such as photocopies of readings; promotional items (note pads, mugs, pens), coffee and tea; parking or transportation for facilitators; preparation and delivery of seminar. Each seminar, in short, is labor intensive, and we want everyone to get paid for the work they do. 

Thank you for reading! We appreciate even the smallest contribution you can make.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me, Glenn Wallis, at [email protected].

Tiers
Tier 1
$5 or more per month

Added to list of supporters on website.

Tier 2
$10 or more per month

Signed book by Glenn Wallis. (Until 2020, only a pdf is available for A Critique of Western Buddhism.) Added to list of supporters on website.

Tier 3
$20 or more per month

Book of your choice by any of our facilitators. (Signed, if possible. Until 2020, only a pdf is available for A Critique of Western Buddhism.) Half hour conversation with GW (in cafe, over Skype) on topic of your choice. Added to list of supporters on website.

Tier 4
$50 or more per month

Book of your choice by any of our facilitators. (Signed, if possible.) Monthly half hour conversation with GW (in cafe, over Skype) on topic of your choice. Added to list of supporters on website. Join monthly reading group.

Tier 5
$100 or more per month

Book of your choice by any of our facilitators. (Signed, if possible.) Monthly half hour conversation with GW (in cafe, over Skype) on topic of your choice. Added to list of supporters on website. Join monthly reading group. Free access to all seminars for you and a guest.

Goals
$39 of $3,000 per month
Towards a dedicated space and pay-what-you-can fee model.
1 of 1

Okay, here's the deal with Incite Seminars and why I am asking for your support.

The short version:

Incite Seminars has the potential to be a hothouse for innovative education bridging personal awareness and collective change. But first, four things have to happen. 
  1. We have to increase our offerings. 
  2. This requires a space of our own.
  3. We have to open up the seminars to anyone who wants to take them, regardless of ability to pay. 
  4. This requires a monthly donation base

It is extremely difficult to disentangle education from the clutch of the current logic of capitalism, whereby everything must stream toward the narrow straits of financial profitability. We are trying to create a different model. So, we deeply appreciate any support you can offer us.

Incite Seminars is a 501(c)3 educational non-profit. That means that, under certain conditions, your contribution is tax-deductible. 

(If you're not familiar with us, maybe you want to peruse our website before reading on.)

Background

My name is Glenn Wallis. I founded Incite Seminars in 2016 on the theory that we, as members of American society, are in deep shit. I concluded that this is in no small part because of the dumbing-down and anti-intellectual quality of our shared discourse. So, the most basic original impulse of the project was simply to get people around a table together engaging in intelligent conversation about crucial ideas and issues.

Some two dozen seminars later, my driving assumption is proving correct: something uncommonly dynamic occurs when we explore such ideas and issues with other people. Dialogue becomes an impetus for self-reflection and collective understanding. Based on participant feedback, I can confidently say that our encounters enables each of us to glimpse into our ideological blind spots, to see and think more clearly. This ferments an acute awareness of social reality. It is here—where the personal collides with the social—that such education catalyzes the possibility of social change. At Incite Seminars we cultivate personal awareness, social discernment, intellectual integrity, and moral courage toward a better world.

The Situation

Incite Seminars has potential to become a recognized public disseminator of high-level yet accessible knowledge. In order to reach this potential, and to have the kind of effect on people's lives and in the world that we aspire to, four things have to happen.

1) We have to offer a more robust program of events. Participants leave our seminars full of exhilaration and inspiration. They report that over several hours of close, concentrated dialogue with others, a sense of commitment and community develops. But as everyone disperses back into their isolated lives, energy and commitment fade.
2) We need our own space. With our own space, we can offer the robust program of seminars and events, including a creativity/practice group, necessary for establishing community and continuity. This kind of scheduling will go a long way toward reversing the pattern of deflation.
3) We have to diversify our participant groups. We have been operating on a tuition model, where a seminar costs either $90 (one session) or $190 (four sessions). The result is a largely homogenous body of participants in terms of age and life-stage, socio-economic background, and educational level. A generous subsidized payment model, including no-cost, will enable us to attract younger people, students, activists, and financially distressed people.
4) We need a committed monthly donation base. With the money for rent and a small stipend for the director assured, we can establish the foundation for fulfilling our potential. 

What We'll Use Your Money For

So, with those issues in mind, here's what we propose to do with your generous patronage. Our initial goal is $3000/month.

  • Location. We need our own space. Currently, we use a shared working space in downtown Philadelphia. Everything about it is fantastic, expect for one thing. The conference room is next to impossible to book. That means that we (i) are limited to little more than one session a month and (ii) have no flexibility in scheduling seminars and other events. As much as we would like to remain in the vibrant city of Philadelphia, it is too expensive for our non-profit budget. However, for around $2000 a month we can rent our own space in the northern suburbs around Jenkintown, PA.
  • Tuition. We want to implement a pay-what-you-can model of tuition, including a no-cost option. We feel this is the best way to realize our commitment to making our offerings of knowledge, dialogue, and community available to anyone who feels they can benefit from them, regardless of ability to pay. We want to be a model of inclusiveness. Success, in fact, depends on our attracting a broad and diverse range of people across income, gender, age, racial, and ethnic lines. This goal will require considerable financial aid for participants. Ideally, we would be able to eliminate access fees altogether. 
  • Facilitator payment. At the same time, we want to pay our facilitators and current volunteers a fair share. For that to happen, each seminar has to generate at least $1000. This sum includes the following: the time-consuming reiterative process (planning, communication, etc.) that culminates in a session; website maintenance; online, personal, and MailChimp marketing; session-related supplies such as photocopies of readings; promotional items (note pads, mugs, pens), coffee and tea; parking or transportation for facilitators; preparation and delivery of seminar. Each seminar, in short, is labor intensive, and we want everyone to get paid for the work they do. 

Thank you for reading! We appreciate even the smallest contribution you can make.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments, please don't hesitate to contact me, Glenn Wallis, at [email protected].

Recent posts by Incite Seminars

Tiers
Tier 1
$5 or more per month

Added to list of supporters on website.

Tier 2
$10 or more per month

Signed book by Glenn Wallis. (Until 2020, only a pdf is available for A Critique of Western Buddhism.) Added to list of supporters on website.

Tier 3
$20 or more per month

Book of your choice by any of our facilitators. (Signed, if possible. Until 2020, only a pdf is available for A Critique of Western Buddhism.) Half hour conversation with GW (in cafe, over Skype) on topic of your choice. Added to list of supporters on website.

Tier 4
$50 or more per month

Book of your choice by any of our facilitators. (Signed, if possible.) Monthly half hour conversation with GW (in cafe, over Skype) on topic of your choice. Added to list of supporters on website. Join monthly reading group.

Tier 5
$100 or more per month

Book of your choice by any of our facilitators. (Signed, if possible.) Monthly half hour conversation with GW (in cafe, over Skype) on topic of your choice. Added to list of supporters on website. Join monthly reading group. Free access to all seminars for you and a guest.