In October 2009, the “Advocacy Initiative Network” (AIN), a state-wide organization in Maine, had David Oaks keynote, present two workshops, staff a panel, and co-facilitate an all-day work session between the two state-wide organizations in Maine. Here’s the review from Melinda Davis, director of AIN:

Maine’s statewide networking organization the Advocacy Initiative Network of Maine and the Consumer Council System of Maine collaborated to bring together their membership and other consumers from across the state of Maine to a conference entitled “Uniting Maine’s Consumer Movement Through Principle Centered Leadership”.

Maine’s consumer movement has for many years struggled with “turf issues” and competing for resources. With the participants willingness to come to this event with an open mind to explore the possibilities of working together along with highly skilled national leadership the Maine conference was a huge success. David Oaks received standing ovation for a very inspiring keynote reminding us of why we do the work we do and how there is a place for everyone in our common quest. David’s workshop evaluations revealed that they were equally inspiring and motivating.

A Leadership Workgroup convened on a third day following the conference to roll up our sleeves and do some strategic planning for moving forward. During the conference there were points where it was looking pretty shaky but with David’s and Pat Hunt’s superb leadership and facilitation skills people stepped up and focused on the larger goals making this workgroup a fantastic success. We established our commonalties, common ground, common goals and values.

We all better understand our two statewide organizations and how we can work together and support one another’s work and move the agenda of our collective consumer movement forward complete with some first steps and an action plan..