If there’s one thing that 1440 Multiversity co-founder Scott Kriens learned from being CEO at Juniper Networks for 12 years, it is that deep relationships are the key to success.
Kriens, retired from leading the $3.5 billion Silicon Valley company since 2009, developed the non-profit 1440 Foundation to further healthy relationships through personal growth. Other founders include Kriens’ wife Joanie, and Ila and Dinabandhu Sarley, both leaders in spiritual and human development for 35 years.
“The only thing that matters in life is your relationships,” Kriens said. “When you are dying, most people only look back at the relationships they’ve had in their life.”
The Multiversity furthers the mission of the 1440 Foundation, which was formed to help people grow in relationships, spirit, and wellness
Located on the site of what was formerly Bethany Bible College, the retreat begins offering immersion workshops for integrated living this Memorial Day weekend.
Fifty people have already signed up for the opening weekend, and another 1,400 for workshops during the next seven months of classes. The foundation expects 1,000 to 1,500 students to sign up each month once the retreat reaches full swing.
The Multiversity is set to be on a par with famous retreats like the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies, Kripalu Center for Yoga & Health and Esalen Institute in Big Sur.
Though Kriens has an extensive history leading high-tech companies and still serves as chairman of the board at Juniper Networks, he’s not necessarily a huge fan of the plugged-in world.
“The internet connects you to everyone but yourself,” he said. “We don’t spend enough time in relationships.”
Multiversity classes will focus on three growth areas: professional development, personal growth, and health and wellness. Some classes will be offered during the week and others on weekends.
To achieve its goal of creative instruction, the Multiversity has called upon a diverse faculty with Western and Eastern approaches to the classes. Many of the staff already have ongoing relationships with the Sarleys, or have received grants from the Foundation.
Attendees can explore subjects such as mindfulness, new biology, parenting, poetry, and innovative diets. Mornings begin with yoga and meditation.
Kriens expects corporations in the valley to bring executive team members to the Multiversity. “The corporate world needs to become more passionate,” he said, adding that companies should not expect business as usual. “This is not a rental facility. It’s about forming trusted human connections.”
In the spirit of furthering efficient non-profit organizations, the Multiversity is offering a free service week, Sept. 4 – 8. Kriens believes that the non-profit sector often does not receive the support it needs to thrive because of restricted budgets.
Topics include fundraising, collaborative partnerships, strategies for growth and dealing with stress.
The center is currently taking applications for four- to eight-member teams. Meals and housing are included in the retreat. Applications can be found at 1440foundation.org
The Multiversity is also making an effort to integrate itself with the City of Scotts Valley. In addition to contacting local farmers about providing produce for the center, the retreat will become one of the larger local employers.
Hiring has begun in earnest and Kriens said there will be 150 workers on site for the Memorial Day opening. “If we could have 100 percent local workers we’d be thrilled,” Kriens said. “We’re trying to build a long-term workforce.”
A job fair is scheduled for 1 – 4 p.m., Sunday, March 12, at 800 Bethany Drive. Hiring managers will be in attendance.