Founder Acharya His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada

Creating a Vision for North America – Leadership Summit 2021
By ISKCON News Staff   |  Jan 01, 1901
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More than 110 devotees in leadership and youth with leadership capacity across the US and Canada met over the May 15-16th, 2021 weekend to strategize and plan how to bring to life the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) North America (NA) vision. 

The essence of the summit was that any leader, wherever they are located, can become the positive change they want to see in both: their temple community and nationally. 

Some of the vision statements about ISKCON NA that were developed through the conferences leading up to the summit were: “ISKCON North America is at its best when …”

  • We trust Krishna’s magic, have the attitude of service, and tolerate difficulties for Krishna
  • Our vision is radical, shared, inspiring, bold, courageous, and clearly articulated
  • We create spiritual homes that feel like family, through nurturing, caring, loving relationships

And “ISKCON North American Leaders are at their best when they are….”

  • We take the time to identify an individual’s strength and engage their gifts accordingly
  • People orientated and deeply invested in loving relationships – people over projects
  • Actively involved with the community – lead by example
  • Proficiently qualifies, accountable, brilliantly resourceful and personal

The vision of NA was then brought to specific initiatives based on these vision statements, that was then further developed into initiatives groups that leaders volunteered to convene. There were more than 20 new initiatives created, including: 

  • NA Mentoring Program
  • ISKCON NA Technology Ministry
  • Devotee Care: Access to Hospice, Residential, and Home Care
  • National Youth Department
  • Diversity and Inclusion Training
  • Young Yogis Youth Camp

During the summit, groups created the basic framework to begin these initiatives and continue meeting after the summit to do so. 

 Initiative/Project Groups Created During the Summit

Bhaktivedanta Financial Foundation

Indresh Dasa

Revenue Generation: Bhakti Yoga Studios

Kalyan Dasa

Process to Match Devotee’s Propensity to Service and Occupation

Caitanya Kishor Dasa

Men’s Mental Health and Counseling

Dhira Krishna Dasa

Making Srila Prabhupada’s 7 Purposes Specific

Urmila DD

ISKCON NA Tech Ministry

Mahasundari Madhavi DD

Diverse, Equitable and Inclusive ISKCON Environment

Yasodamayi DD

ISKCON National Youth Department

Kumari Kunti DD

Govinda’s Global Food Franchise

Adi-Kurma Dasa

Worldwide Mentoring Program

Gopisa Dasa

Karuna Care Education: Increased Self Awareness and Interpersonal Relationships

Rambhoru DD

Young Yogis

Nanda-braja Dasa

Organizing a Movement for Simple and Natural Education K-12

Yogendra Dasa

ISKCON Relevance to Local Society

Nrtya Kishori DD

Devotee Access to Home Health Care, Residential Care, Hospice Care

Sri Rangavati DD

Structural Models for Farm Communities

Salagram Dasa

Keeping Srila Prabhupada in the Center

Narada Muni Dasa

ISKCON 3.0 Initiatives Support 

Ananda Vrindavan DD

Cow Protection

Laxmi Nrsingadeva Dasa

Creating a Culture of Radical Personalism

Sudharma DD

Supporting Arts + Artists in ISKCON

Gauravani Dasa

About the Organizing Team 

The North American Council (NAC) appointed a Conference Committee in September 2020 made up of Ananda Vrindavana dd, Jaya Krishna das, and Praharana dd who worked closely with Gopinath Bloch as visionary organizer and facilitator. He in turn recruited 12 volunteers to assist with graphics work, promotions, technical assistance with the conferences. There were four preliminary conferences targeting different demographics: NAC, temple presidents, second-generation including other youthful devotees, and the older, experienced devotees. The Summit united all of these groups to create projects and initiatives for North American yatras.

About the North American Council

The NAC is the ISKCON management entity for the USA and Canada, now made up of five ISKCON zones. It’s members are NA GBCs, zonal supervisors, ISKCON Ministers or Ministry representatives and other leaders. 

The NAC funded the ISKCON 3.0 conferences and The Summit partly with donations from the participants.  

 The Summit was considered a success by the NAC, attended by more than 100 devotees in a leadership capacity, and twenty initiative groups were formed; including the “The Initiative Support Group” that will provide support and resources and will liaise with the NAC to facilitate successful implementation and roll-out of action items.

“The NAC is very grateful for the overwhelming devotional enthusiasm of all the teams and is anticipating excellent outcomes to move ISKCON NA to an amazing future,” said Praharana Dasi, Chair of the NAC.

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