Appreciating Anne Stadler

I learned yesterday that Anne Stadler died this weekend. She was 92. Thx Chris Corrigan for the photo.

I new Anne a little along the way, over the last twenty years. In the field that is Open Space Technology, Anne was a key founder who shaped the spirit of convening. She welcomed inquiry. She welcomed curiosity. She welcomed clarity.

I remember a misty fall day twelve or so years ago. Got to have lunch with Anne at her place north of Seattle. She served warm bread, soup, cheese.

And she served up a question — “What navigation systems are you using these days?” She wasn’t offering answers. She was offering a moment of exploring. I remember it felt good the way that she asked it. It seemed to bring a bit of sparkle in her eye. And it took us directly beyond chit chat.

I’m so glad to have known of Anne. To have shared a few spaces together. To know some of her eldering. To feel her in my heart when I offer Open Space formats. And to feel her in my heart extra today, living questions of navigation and such.

A bow.

*** A Note of Follow-Up: I participated in a small group call a few days after this post. We were reflecting on Anne. One of the participants who knew her well shared, “Anne wasn’t going to lose opportunity for a playground of learning.” Big smile on that one!

4 Replies to “Appreciating Anne Stadler”

  1. Ann was a powerful elder for many of us. Her presence, tenacity, fierceness and humor. A beautiful smile and laugh immediately following fire in her eyes. My life is richer for having know her.

    Blessings Ann. It’s almost full moon. I imagine you out there taking in its beauty from another dimension

  2. Anne had a gift for asking evocative questions that took us by surprise in the best of ways. It is a skill I aspire to, channeling my inner Anne to overcome my natural introversion.

    Three questions from Anne that I think guided her: What are we learning? What do we love? What are we taking with us from our time together?

    I loved her deeply and feel the hole her physical absence leaves in my life. And I have no doubt I continue to be in conversation with her for as long as I’m around.

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