WSC 2004 Timeline

First, some background information about the layout of the Conference, etc. The ballroom that most of the conference was held in was split in half by a “pit” of tables where NAWS staff were and where most presentations were given from. Half the room was setup with “risers” (tiered seating) around three sides like a “U” for the business sessions and a few other presentations. The other half was setup in “rounds” (seating at round tables) where we were essentially in small groups for various presentations and discussion sessions.

(Times of formal sessions held on risers are italicized and highlighted)

Sunday – April 25, 2004

6:00 AM – 11:15 AM

· I left for the airport at 6:00 AM and arrived in L.A. at 10:10 AM.
· I finally arrived at the conference in Woodland Hills around 11:15 AM.

9:00 – 10:30 AM Conference Opening and Introductions.

· I missed this session where everyone is broken up into smaller groups and basically gets to know everyone at their table. This is an important session to have as the foundation of the conference. I am still in contact with some of the people I met at a similar session at the beginning of the 2002 conference. Not being there and connecting with others right off the bat definitely affected the rest of the week. I strongly encourage the RD and RDA to be there for the opening of the 2006 Conference.

10:45 – 1:00 PM Coming Together: The 27th World Service Conference

· I arrived near the beginning of this session.
· Hopes/fears for the week.
· Letter to home group.
· Idea tree. Ideas for how to make the new system work.
· Report from Tonia, RD from Greece (newest seated region). Shared about how Greece has 80 meetings, 23 groups, H&I and PI committees.

1:00 – 2:00 PM Lunch

2:00 – 3:30 PM Navigating the WSC: Orientation

· General overview of the conference week.
· Cofacilitators were introduced and explained how the business sessions would work. Explained red and yellow cards, etc.

4:00 – 6:30 PM NAWS Open House

7:00 – 10:15 PM Nominations & Elections

· Session led by World Board & Human Resource Panel.
· This session was scheduled in response to requests from RDs due to concerns from the 2002 elections.
· The HRP gave a somewhat inflammatory report stating that the elections process is not flawed. The problems are: 1. RDs only vote for candidates they know. 2. The executive committee of the WB has been too involved in the nominations process.
· The WB responded in their report stating that they feel the problem is in the process and that the WB should be more actively involved and that we should be doing more leadership cultivation.
· Leadership cultivation could provide people with experience working in the system before they become board members by giving them an opportunity to work with current board members and on world-level projects.
· An extensive question and answer session followed
· The session closed at 10:15 pm making for an 11-hour day even after arriving late

Monday – April 26, 2004

9:00 AM – 12:05PM World Board Conference Forum.

· WB Q&A and discussion session regarding Old Business Motions and amendments. These are all of the CAR motions and amendments to them.
· WB would ask questions to the motion makers and collectively give their recommendation on each.

12:05 – 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 – 10:40 PM Old Business Discussion Session.

· Motions grouped by topic.
· Motions 20 to 30 introduced.
· Each motion discussed and straw polled.
· Less formal than an actual business session. Not limited to 2 pros and 2 cons. Not bound by “Rules of Order.”
· Looser format structured in the hopes that the actual business session will be very quick since all discussion has been done

11:00 PM – 12:05 AM Old business session.

· Voting on motions 1 through 30 (see spreadsheet). 93 regions present for 1st roll call. At 11:25 p.m. Sponsorship book was approved.
· Motions 1 through 6 all passed (Sponsorhip book, new IP, update JFT, start revisions to Basic Text, 18 member WB, language in Guide to World Services).
· The following motions, in the order they were presented, all failed: 17, 10, 14, 15, 12, 8, 9, 19, 11.
· All amendments failed.
· The session closed at 12:05 AM on Tuesday the 27th, wrapping up a 15-hour work day.

Tuesday – April 27, 2004

9:00 – 10:50 AM Strategic Plan Overview For World Services.

· Opened with brief description of the underlying principles of the plan. Having a strategic plan gives us a process with measurable objectives that helps bring us closer to achieving our fellowship’s goal of realizing the NA World Services Vision Statement.
· The plan provides continuity for those rotating out of service positions and those who are newly elected.
· We prioritize the pieces of the plan and use the two-year work cycle to break up the work into projects. These projects will be passed and budgeted for later in the week.

11:00AM –12:40PM NA World Services report.

· WB reviewed seating recommendations, use of the business plan group, and the issue discussion topics.
· Seating recommendations: 3 communities completed the application process (Venezuela, Chile, and Occidente Regions). WB recommended seating Venezuela and Chile.
· Issue discussion topics for the 2004-2006 are Infrastructure and Our Public Image.
· Anthony E., the WSO Executive Director, gave a “WSO Update” report.
· There are currently 322 translated and published items, 38 newly translated items, and 65 active translations projects in 41 languages.
· Website statistics: From April 19, 2003 to April 19, 2004 there were a total of 22,308,921 successful hits on the Narcotics Anonymous website. The average per day was 60,953. This includes the entire site. The home page received 741,862.
· Database: They are working to make this more user-friendly and encourage web servants at the local level to maintain current information about groups, areas, and regions.
· Currently 990 registered areas and 107 registered regions (seated and unseated).
· Inmate correspondence: NAWS receives numerous requests from incarcerated addicts wanting people to communicate with them in writing. They know of 6 regions and 4 areas that have had inmate correspondence programs for a long time. They are requesting guidelines and contact information from participants in order to make that information available to incarcerated addicts who request it. The WSO is not doing inmate correspondence.
· New items: New medallion design, group reading card of “We Do Recover” from the Basic Text (“When at the end of the road…”), adding “Many of us have said” to the beginning of the 3rd step prayer poster.
· Follow-up on employee theft: The insurance company decided not to pursue prosecution and then dropped us as a client. We did recover $295,000 of the theft via the insurance claim. We haven’t decided yet whether or not to pursue civil action to recover the other $4,500 and prosecute the individual.

12:40 – 2:30 PM Lunch

2:30 – 4:15 PM HRP Report

· Report by HRP followed by Q&A session. (see HRP Report)
· Nothing new or particularly important.

4:30 – 6:00 PM Cultivating Leadership

· Several WB members gave presentation about leadership and our current process for selecting candidates using the HRP.
· Ron H. reviewed the leadership questions from the CAR and led participants in a small group “Mind-mapping” exercise. This is basically a brainstorming session where a specific subject is picked and participants yell out any kind of ideas relating to it. I can explain further if anyone is interested. It was pointed out that this exercise could be useful at an RSC or ASC.

6:00 – 7:30 PM Dinner

7:30 – 10:20 PM Making The New System Work

· This was a strange session co-led by the WB and HRP. I got the feeling that they were trying to have the delegates resolve any conflict they were having by asking a series of straw poll questions that were poorly worded and seemed to be trying to solicit particular answers. (see straw polls)
· This was followed by a presentation and idea-gathering session about how to make the new system work. Some ideas were: targeted literature, trusting the process, the need to reduce the time it takes to create literature, etc.
· This session closed at 10:21 PM, 13 hours after it began.

Wednesday – April 28, 2004

9:00 AM – Noon NAWS Budget & Project Plan Presentation

· Presentation followed by Q&A session. Nothing new.

Noon – 5:30 Offsite Lunch & Sessions

· This was an offsite luncheon at a ranch which was supposed to include some kind of presentation or session but it never happened.
· The leadership of the conference recognized that were all getting a much needed break (as of noon there had already been 42 hours of work and the conference was only half over) and blow off some steam playing softball or basketball or just hanging out with other addicts. There was an excellent recovery meeting as well.

6:00 – 8:00 PM Zonal Forum Meetings

· The Rocky Mountain Forum met and should have a full-report on the website soon.
· It’s worth mentioning that we decided it would be a good idea for the forum to “adopt” an area or region each year in places that aren’t as well off as we are (at least financially) and send them literature, keytags, donated t-shirts, etc.
· We decided that India would be our first adoptee and asked them if they would be interested in our help. They said yes and that they needed keytags.
· Since we had enough money in our treasury, we bought 850 keytags for the RD from India to take home with him.

Thursday – April 29, 2004

9:00 AM – 12:05 PM World Board Conference Forum

· WB discussed all the new business motions and amendments.
· WB actually recommended approval of a regional motion and received a round of applause as a result.

12:05 – 1:30 PM Lunch

1:30 – 7:00 PM Elections And Budget/Project Approval Session

· We prioritized the project plans by doing straw polls by groups. (see spreadsheet)
· After all ballots were turned in and tabulated, we received the following results:
· WSC Co-facilitators: (2) Mark H., Ubaldo “Roberto” J.
· World Board: (7) Craig R., NC ~ Mary B., TX ~ Michael C., Spain ~ Mukam H., NJ ~ Piet De B., Sweden ~ Ron B., Australia ~ Ron M., FL. This means there are 15 WB members for the 2004-2006 conference cycle.
· HRP: (3) Dylan J., Mindy A.,Sergio R.
· There were only 2 positions open for the HRP, but 2 people tied with same number of votes. Many suggestions were made as to what should be done, including: a run-off election, drawing a name from a hat, having a 5-member HRP.
· After extensive discussion, a straw poll was taken to determine conference support for the three options. The results were: Run-off election: 43 ~ Five-person HRP: 35 ~ Draw names: 28. The co-facilitator announced what the top two options were and the body decided to go back into a formal business session and conduct a roll call vote.
· The roll call vote resulted in an exact tie between the two options.
· After more discussion, a standing vote was taken to determine how to proceed. At this point I was rooting for a tie, but the results were: Run-off election: 53, Five-person HRP: 56.
· Colorado voted for a 5-member HRP each time.

7:30 – 11:00 PM Zonal Forum Reports

· Most of the non-US Zonal Forums are very active and actually getting some work done. This is partly because many of them perform direct services.
· The US Zonal Forums aren’t really up to much.
· The session ended at 11:00 PM.

Friday – April 30, 2004

9:00 – 11:30 AM New Business Discussion

· Discussion of all non-CAR motions and amendments

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Lunch

1:00 – 3:00 PM New Business Discussion (continued)

· More of the same

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM New Business

· Voting on motions 31 – 65. All non-CAR motions and amendments (see spreadsheet)
· Approved budget plans, project plans, etc.
· Highlights included seating Venezuela and Chile as WSC participants beginning at the close of WSC 2004.

5:30 – 7:00 PM Fellowship Development

· One of the highlights of the conference for me.
· Led by WB members Tom M. (HI) & Ron H. (NM)
· In 2003 Bangladesh came to the Asia-Pacific Forum (APF).
· The APF met in Nepal this year where they only had 2 meetings. Now they have 25. They’ve had major problems getting literature to them. Addicts who relapse have to give their keytags back. If you get two years, you give your one-year keytag back. They are struggling to get by with what they’ve got, but actually donated $50 to the WSC this year!
· In Bali, 50% of the fellowship is HIV positive. But according to the APF they are all hungry for recovery and many new meetings have been started.
· In 2003 NA attended a professional event in Cuba, but it is still difficult to carry the message there as NA does not have the same level of professional credibility as AA does. It’s one thing for a government to acknowledge there are alcoholics in their country. Addicts are a different story.
· During the past conference cycle addicts in China were able to read our literature in a meeting in Bejing for the first time. Doctors in treatment facilities are now using NA literature for their clients/patients. China believes they have 5,000,000 heroin addicts. There are currently 1,000,000 in treatment.
· Several communities such as Africa and Iran are asking for our help to get NA into their countries and to deal with their governments. These will be addressed this conference cycle.
· Of major note: the Arabic-speaking regions recently agreed on a common translation of the Basic Text.
· In St. Petersburg, Russia we had a 2 ½ day fellowship development workshop that was attended by 200 people. During this workshop they were able to complete a Russian translation of The Guide To Local Services to help those communities learn how to grow and sustain a local fellowship.
· The government of Uruguay has granted us permission to use the congressional palace to hold the Latin-American Zonal Forum this year. This shows that in some places we’re becoming accepted at the highest levels.
· In some countries it is more difficult for women in recovery than others. For example, we had trouble in El Salvador with women being accepted and allowed to be of service so we sent several female WB members there to show much we accept and respect our trusted servants and leaders, regardless of gender.
· There were pictures of many of these events being shown in the background as the reports were being given and very few delegates made it to the end with dry eyes.
· It is truly amazing to witness the Vision Statement coming to fruition.

7:00 – 9:00 PM Issue Discussion Topic: Our Public Image

· Several WB members gave presentations detailing some of the information gathered at PR roundtables NAWS has attended. Our reputation continues to improve in professional communities, but we are still plagued by several major issues:
· A. Some professionals are afraid to send clients or patients to NA because predators in our meetings.
· B. Some professionals reported that they’d called and left messages in local NA communities. Calls were not returned for days, and then by unqualified people. Even worse were cases where a referral was made by calling for a meeting location, getting that information from a recording, passing it on to a client or patient who shows up only to find no one there because the information was incorrect or more likely, out of date.
· C. Some professionals will not send people to NA due to real or perceived racial prejudice.
· On a more positive note, in many places our image is improving to the point where more and more drug courts are sending addicts to NA and one judge in San Bernadino county (CA) makes his drug court convicts attend Narcotics Anonymous ONLY and has actually read the Basic Text.
· The importance of doing follow-ups (thank you notes, asking how we can continue to help, etc.) when we put on panels or presentations was stressed.
· We will continue to hear more on the issue discussion topics throughout the next conference cycle and are encouraged to workshop them at regional, area, or group level.
· The session closed at 9:00 PM allowing us to go to dinner after a measly 12-hour day.

Saturday – May 1, 2004

10:00 – 11:30 AM Issue Discussion Topic: Infrastructure

· After a brief presentation by several WB members, we broke up into small groups and were asked to answer the following questions: 1. Where is your area/region today as far as providing services to your local NA community? 2. Is your area/region faced with any of the same challenges affecting infrastructure? If so, share some of the solutions and/or issues that are still present. 3. Imagine that the vision statement is already fulfilled; what is the structure already in place to help achieve that? What tools have been created in order to make that a reality?
· The small groups then shared some of their answers.
· For no other reason than it was interesting: During this session one of the delegates from Japan pointed out that in Japanese, the word for “crisis” also means “opportunity.”

11:30 – 1:00 PM Moving Forward With A Common Vision

· Let by Bob J., new WB Chair and Anthony E., WSO Executive Director
· Talked about the upcoming 2004-2006 cycle.
· Gave details of the WSO building lease. Anyone interested can see me for details.
· Talked about communication within the fellowship itself (not necessarily involving World Services) as well as communication about upcoming projects during the cycle and communication from delegates to NAWS and from NAWS to delegates.
· Had special video presentation from one region (see video: part 1, part 2)

1:00 – 6:00 PM Conference Lunch Closing Session

· Saying goodbye and thank you to WB members who are rotating off. (see Pics)
· In another emotional session, delegates for whom this conference would be their last were handed microphones and reflected for about 2 minutes what they’d experienced there. Since this would be my last conference, I was asked to share. Instead of going to lunch on Friday, I had gone to visit an old friend of mine at a nearby cemetery where she’d recently been buried. Then I remembered another friend who was buried there as well and visited his grave. Then another. Before I left I had visited 4 friends that were all buried there, and everyone one of them was one of us. I shared this with the conference and expressed my gratitude for the work everyone there has put into this fellowship that somehow saved my life, even though I know it can’t save everybody. I had a deeper understanding of how important everything that took place during the previous week had been and experienced an incredible sense of humility and awe. It is truly miraculous that a room full of dope fiends can come together and accomplish so much. It was one of the greatest honors of my life to have served the Colorado Region, first as RDA, then as RD, and I can only describe it as the privilege of service.
· I left for the airport at 6:00 PM and arrived at my doorstep around 1:00AM to find what was ultimately the highlight of my week.

I will continue to work with the 2004-2006 RD and RDA in whatever way is needed during the next conference cycle and remain available to any addict who has any questions. I can be reached by phone at (303)530-5090, or by e-mail at

Thank you again for letting me be of service,

-Ryan C.