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Sofia University Hosts Largest Gathering of Aiki Practitioners at 2013 Aiki Extensions U.S. Conference Conference keynote address delivered by California State Senator Mark Leno

Sofia University Hosts Largest Gathering of Aiki Practitioners at 2013 Aiki Extensions U.S. Conference Conference keynote address delivered by California State Senator Mark Leno

Palo Alto- October 15, 2013- Sofia University will host the 2013 Aiki Extensions (AE) conference, which will feature over 20 sessions in four tracks: Peace Making and Mediation, Education and Youth Outreach, Mind and Body, and Business and Leadership. The conference will take place on Friday, October 25, from 1:00pm-10:00pm; Saturday, October 26, from 7:30am-9:00pm and Sunday October 27 , from 7:30am-2:00pm.

Sofia University founder and seventh degree black belt Dr. Robert Frager will present one of two conference-wide sessions, while California State Senator Mark Leno will deliver the keynote address, “Aikido and the Art of Politics.” Other noteworthy speakers include Aikido Ethiopia Project Coordinator Dr. Lou Pollack, Strozzi Institute founder Dr. Richard Strozzi-Heckler, somatics expert Dr. Paul Linden and Vietnam veteran and author Tom Osborn. 

During 15 years of public service, Senator Leno has fought for better schools and access to higher education, a cleaner and more sustainable environment, improved transportation, renewable energy, safer streets and equal rights for all Californians. His keynote will focus on how he has applied aikido principles in the realm of public service.

AE’s mission is to explore, promote, and apply the principles and methods of the nonviolent Japanese martial art of aikido – often called “The Art of Peace” – in off-the-mat settings including peace building, education, psychology, business, leadership, and health.

“Aiki Extensions is excited to continue its relationship with Sofia University to host what promises to be the largest gathering of its kind, and one that features many of the pioneers in the field,” AE Program Manager Greg Harkless said. “You don’t have to practice aikido in order to attend; we welcome all who express an interest in the field.”

Group and breakout sessions will focus on applications of aikido principles and methods in a variety of areas. Social events, training, and other downtime will allow participants to connect with old friends and new colleagues. During the conference, attendees can choose from sessions such as:

  • Restorative Justice and Aikido Practices
  • The Art and Practice of the Organizational Dojo™
  • Emotional Literacy in At-Risk Youth Populations
  • Aikido as a Component in Holistic Therapy for Veterans

Workshop attendees do not need aikido experience. Several registration options are available, some of which include meals. Aiki Extensions members receive discounts, as do registrants who sign up by September 30, 2013.

For more information and event registration please visit: http://www.aiki-extensions.net/conference.

About Sofia University

Founded in 1975, Sofia University (formerly the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology) is a private, non-sectarian university accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. For over 35 years, within the context of scholarship and research, the school has offered transformative education for the whole person, probing the mind, body, spirit connection. As Sofia University, the school is broadening its mission, reaching into multiple disciplines and adding undergraduate study.  For more information, visit www.sofia.edu.

About Aiki Extensions

Aiki Extensions was founded in 1999 by University of Chicago sociology professor and Dean Dr. Donald Levine. Its network of members extends around the world, and includes hundreds of aikido practitioners. AE sponsors and supports several programs and events that put its mission into action, including the Aikido Ethiopia Project, the Training Across Borders seminar series, and the award-winning PeaceCamp Initiative. Many of AE’s programs focus on expanding opportunities for aikido training – including joint training between Arabs and Jews – in the Middle East.

For media inquiries please contact:

Tia Jackson

Communications Specialist

Sofia University

P│650.493.4430 │ext 249


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We are emerging from a dark era of leadership where the level of employee job satisfaction has plummeted and the level of social responsibility in corporate America is at an all time low.  According to the Conference Board, between 1987 and 2009, the level of employee job satisfaction plummeted from 61% to 45%, and the number who find their work “interesting” sank from 70% to 51%. Equally disturbing, the greatest levels of dissatisfaction are among those under the age of twenty-five—our most precious source of tomorrow’s leaders.

According to Rasmussen Reports 45% of likely U.S. voters think a group of people selected at random from the phone book would do a better job of leading America than the current Congress. The leadership style that gave us The Great Recession is not the leadership style that can build a resilient and inspiring future.

The next generation of leaders are discouraged by the leadership style that has eroded the global economy, New Story Leaders are yearning for inspiration, purpose and personal meaning at work and at home. These Value-centered leaders have an aura about them, a presence, an ability to inspire others that gets things done and enables them to live and lead with integrity and authenticity. They are guiding us into a brighter time of hope, awakened to the wisdom of creating inspiring organizations and a deeper sense of fulfillment.  This is a philosophy Lance Secretan calls Higher Ground Leadership®.

In Dr. Lance Secretan’s latest book, The Spark, the Flame and the Torch: Inspire Self. Inspire Others. Inspire the World he integrates experience and theory to show us how to fulfill our destiny and create inspiring organizations. This book is typical of Lance Secretan – broad, imaginative, sweeping and radical—and breathtakingly inspiring.  Lance Secretan has written many books about inspiration and leadership, but this is the first time he has taken his work over 35 years and integrated it into a unified theory of inspired leadership.

Here is a masterwork, that offers a comprehensive approach to being an inspiring person and therefore an inspiring leader. Complex ideas have been distilled, in Lance Secretan’s trademark style and use of fascinating stories and metaphors, into simple, easily implementable concepts, processes and exercises that explain how to inspire a team, organization or country—or even your family.

The Spark, the Flame and the Torch: Inspire Self. Inspire Others. Inspire the World teaches us how to become a more inspired person, how to be a more inspiring leader and how to be the change the world needs for a brighter future. It is a brilliant work that helps leaders overhaul performance management and coaching practice, rethink leadership and focus on inspiration.

Lance Secretan’s latest book, his 15th, The Spark, The Flame and The Torch, is a manual for this new movement and will be launched in the spring of 2010.

Tracey Gilmore, The Secretan Center Inc.

Tel 519-265-4162 · www.secretan.com

Posted in Consciousness, Evolution, Personal and Spiritual Development, Personal Evolution, Personal Mission Personal Vision, Self Improvement, Spirituality, Zen Here and NowComments (0)