Well the thing is, this is a group of people who wanted to come here, pure and simple, to talk about ecology and art. So that eliminates a whole layer of competition and positioning you get when it's a group of scholars who are doing it as a display to Someone or Something.
The other thing is, Sam Basu's wife is an excellent cook and somehow people had made thousands of dishes of various kinds of thing, from Greek and potato salad to mackerel.
And people were kind enough to laugh at my jet lagged absurdities on How I Teach, which basically boils down to violent demagoguery.
Geomancy-wise, the space they have created is right by a very nice larger stream and nestled into a cup in a hilly, cobble stoned series of streets. It's a yin place. Perfecto.