Upcoming Events: next 12 months

Any I missed?  Fixes needed?
Write me at  alan7388 (at) gmail.com
—Alan M.,  Polyamory in the News


2019

Winter Poly Wonderland
January 25–28, 2019
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV



Michael Rios, Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver, and their friends and partners in Network for a New Culture organize several poly and poly-friendly workshop retreats around the year at the Abrams Creek Conference Center in the mountains of West Virginia. Their goal is to build, over several days, an enduring network of like-minded people from all over who won't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. “The point is building tribe,” says Michael.

I went to Winter Poly Wonderland 2018 and have attended the (largely poly) Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East for many years. New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development, from ZEGG Forum to relationship-skills workshops, are ideal for this ambitious goal. “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.” Winter Poly Wonderland is one of the smaller, more intimate of these events; 29 of us attended in January 2018.


● Poly Living East (Philadelphia)

February 8–10, 2019
Philadelphia, PA



Poly Living is put on each year by the Loving More nonprofit group, in an excellent large hotel near the Philadelphia airport and a rail stop. This will be Poly Living's 14th year (the 12th under Loving More's management). It's been drawing a lively crowd of 200 to 250 people for talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, party and fun. Here were the 2018 workshops and schedule, to give you an idea of what goes on (room parties not included). Here's my writeup of the first Poly Living I attended (2006). In 2012 I gave the keynote speech. I'll be back again this time. Hope to meet you there!

Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.


● Kleines Polytreffen, Winter (Germany)
February 28 – March 5, 2019
near Fulda, Germany

Since 2008 the German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, has been organizing transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. According to the organizers, the gatherings serve as "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical knowhow. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants. Minimum age 18. Two 'Grand Poly Meetings' take place every spring and fall; these draw 120 to 150 people for up to 70 workshops, talks and other events. The smaller winter meeting gathers about 40." In past years the meetings have sold out within days of being announced.


Southwest Love Fest: A Conference on Ethical Non-Monogamy
March 29–31, 2019
Tucson, AZ

The first Southwest Love Fest in 2018 was a great success, selling out with just over 240 people, remarkable for a first-time event. I was there. The vibe was exuberant and excited, the attendees (80% from Arizona) were great-hearted and significantly diverse, the presenters I saw were mostly excellent, and the Saturday-night social-activity events included a simultaneous treasure hunt, psytrance-music dance party with costuming available, and a cuddle-puddle in a pop-up gazebo under the stars. There was child care, and self-organized discussion sessions on a new alt-sex community-wide response to abusers, and brainstorming on poly activism and the Polyamory Leadership Network. The smallish, tropical-style hotel was an excellent fit; it felt like a hotel takeover, a vibe the management allowed.

Conference organizers Kate Kincaid and Sara Bachmann-Williams had recruited about 8 or 10 committed, long-term volunteers from the Tucson and Phoenix poly and kink communities, and the size of the con seems to have been due to word of mouth. Heavy involvement by the local community seems to make the difference for the success of a polycon. Conference organizers in other cities, including Atlanta's Billy Holder and the Relationship Equality Foundation, provided mentoring and vetted the hotel contract. In turn, says Kate, she and Sara will help advise anyone who wants to start a hotel polycon in their own city (write to southwestlovefest AT gmail.com). They hope to enlarge Southwest Love Fest for 2019.


● RelateCon
March 29–31, 2019
Boise, Idaho

Now entering its third year, "RelateCon provides a unique and supportive gathering place for polyamorous people to connect as a community through educational workshops, social spaces, and opportunities for networking. The core value of this conference is to empower healthy relationships across a myriad of configurations." It's organized by the Boise Polyamory Network. The first-ever RelateCon in 2017 drew about 120 people, impressive for a first event, and in 2018 it nearly sold out. The 2018 presenters. Facebook. Twitter. Wrote Ginger Polynirvana in 2017, "We are able to offer a simultaneous Professional track at RelateCon, which will offer CEUs to a wide variety of disciplines such as lawyers, social workers, counselors, and teachers." Here's Kitty Chambliss's enthusiastic writeup of the 2017 event. Here's the local alternative weekly paper's writeup that year.


Poly Big Fun
April 12–14, 2019
near Austin, Texas

In 2018 the usual site for this event in Bastrop State Park was closed for renovations, but now it's open again and Poly Big Fun is back. "PBF is a time for us to come together as a community and celebrate. We hold multiple workshops on various relationship building topics such as effective communication, time management and relationships, multifamily households, community parenting, and more."


● Polytopia
Spring 2019 (date to be announced)
Portland, Oregon

Sex-Positive Portland will host the city's fourth annual "polyamory and open relationship symposium and celebration." The 2018 event sold out with a capacity of 150. From the 2018 description: "Curious about polyamory? Opening up your relationship? Already loving more and ready for something more? This weekend exploration of polyamory includes an opening night gala, workshops, panel discussions, a poly house party and a guided poly puja. Polytopia offers two types of workshops – for those who are already well-experienced with polyamory, and ones for those relatively new to navigating the joys and pitfalls. Come learn, play, and explore your edges. Bring your friends and extended poly family, meet new friends and lovers, find your people!" Adults only: 18 and over. The 2018 presenters and schedule.


● Solo Polyamory Conference 2019
Spring 2019 (date to be announced)
Seattle, WA

From the 2018 description: "Building on last year’s inaugural worldwide event in Vancouver BC, in association with Facebook's largest and most vibrant solo polyamory discussion group, this is your opportunity to meet other solo non-monogamous people and share real life experiences! Are you new to polyamory and exploring the many possible configurations, or been practicing honest non-monogamy for decades? Regardless of where you are on the experience spectrum, you’ll appreciate the support, community, camaraderie, hospitality, and awesome keynote speakers we’re assembling for your enjoyment, learning, and growth. This conference includes social events, keynote speeches, unconference-style sessions in which participants offer their own discussions, workshops and skills sharing." The 2018 conference, held at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, sold out at capacity 150.


● Rocky Mountain Poly Living
April 12–14, 2019
Denver, CO


This will be Rocky Mountain Poly Living's sixth year. It's run by Loving More (based in Colorado), which has put on Poly Living East in Philadelphia every February for 12 years. As in Philly, talks, workshops, socializing, sharing, party and fun. Now offering a CEU track for professional therapists.  Here are the Denver event's 2018 workshops and speakers/presenters. (In 2016 I gave the keynote speech.) Loving More, "supporting polyamory and relationship choice since 1985," is the original poly organization of the modern era and played a central role in getting the whole movement going.


● PolyLove fesztivál
Spring 2019 (dates to be announced)
Budapest, Hungary

Hosted by Poliamoria Magyarország. From the announcement of the 2018 event: "2 és fél nap az alternatív (pár)kapcsolatok, család, a szabad szerelem és a szabad gondolkodás jegyében. Akár csak 2017-ben, most is lesz előadás, workshop, beszélgetőkör, mozgás, tánc, kreatív műhely, és minden, ami csak érdekel. Gyertek el, tegyétek fel kérdéseiteket, osszátok meg gondolataitokat, tudásotokat, tapasztalataitokat egymással! Azokat is várjuk, akik nem, vagy csak keveset tudnak a témáról, de szívesen tudnának többet. ... A PolyLove fesztivál célja, hogy a poliamoriát és etikus többpartnerűséget ismertebbé tegye, baráti hangulatú teret nyújtson, ahol az iránta érdeklődők megoszthatják gondolataikat, kérdéseiket, tapasztalataikat egymással, megélhetik és felvállalhatják identitásukat, és az őket érintő témákban inspirációt kaphatnak."


International Conference on the Future of Monogamy and Nonmonogamy
Spring 2019 (dates to be announced)
Berkeley, CA

From the 2018 event: "This conference will explore issues related to monogamous and nonmonogamous relationships from an interdisciplinary perspective. This event will be devoted to presentations of scientific and academic research related to polyamory, open relationships, swinging, other forms of consensual nonmonogamy and related subjects. The conference does not take a position on whether any particular type or style of relationship is healthy or pathological. The intention of the event is explore the subject in as objective and unbiased a manner as possible. Presentations will cover various topics that offer some possible progress to a deeper and more complete understanding of the phenomenon of consensual nonmonogamy."


May 2019 (dates to be announced)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV


This is a smaller, more intimate version of New Culture Summer Camp held every July at the Abrams Creek Retreat Center in the mountains of West Virginia (see July for description). These events draw about 70% polyfolks; their focus is on building practices of transparency, self-understanding, communication skills, and intimacy that can create radically better relationships of any type. The events aim to build, over five days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. "The point is building tribe," says organizer Michael Rios. I've gone to the New Culture Summer Camp for years, and attended the smaller Winter Poly Wonderland retreat in January 2018, and I can't recommend New Culture events highly enough.

"At Spring Camp, we’ll dive into compassionate, loving exploration of our desires and boundaries – spiritual, sensual, emotional, and more. Starting with intensive training in consent and clear communication, we’ll be gently encouraged to step into our power as autonomous, playful, flexible beings."



● International OpenCon Catalonia
Spring 2019 (dates to be announced)
Galliners, Catalonia, Spain

2019 will be OpenCon Catalonia's eighth year. It was modeled on the U.K. OpenCon with a self-generated "unconference" program. "An opportunity to get together in a friendly environment and share our experiences, our questions, the lessons we’ve learned, and the joys we’ve experienced in this new territory of polyamory/non-monogamy/open relationships. The basic plan is to combine workshops with plenty of opportunities for relaxing and socialising. Check the what will happen page for details on the programme as it develops." Capacity was increased to 60 people for 2017, but it still sold out well in advance. Here are an account of the 2017 conference and more about past years. The working language is English. Over 18 only. This event sells out far in advance.



● Chicago Non-Monogamy Conference
Spring 2019 (date to be announced)
Chicago, IL

This one-day event happened for the first time in 2017, with big help from the Relationship Equality Foundation. It sold out in advance. From the 2017 description: "Our goal is to help bring the Chicago non-monogamy community together across all the lines that divide us — age, gender, race, class, location, ability, configuration, label, and all of the other categories which house us." For 2018, "CNMC will be all about taking the privilege out of polyamory: addressing race, sex, ability, and class in the non-monogamy community." Facebook page. Presenter application deadline: April 15.


Atlanta Poly Weekend
June 2019 (dates to be decided)
Sheraton Atlanta Downtown, Atlanta, GA


A super-friendly weekend hotel conference of talks and discussions on poly relationships and making them work, and whatever other topics people propose; comedy, dance, and games; community building and socializing. Here was the 2018 schedule and speakers list. Kid-friendly; ask about the kids' program. I've been to most APWs since the first in 2011 (see my writeup from 2012) and gave the closing keynote talk in 2013. Total attendance in 2018 was over 200 (not all present at any one time). On opening night at least half the crowd raised their hands when asked "Who's here for the first time?" If you plan to bring a kid, please register as early as possible for planning purposes.



● Polyamory Unconference
July 20, 2019
Columbus, Ohio


This is a one-day event by the folks who throw the big Beyond The Love convention in the fall. "Polyamory Unconference is an event that is run by you, the participants! Attendees get to propose, vote on, and run sessions themselves. You’ll set the agenda and create an environment of innovation and productive discussion! Request topics and workshops on issues that you want to hear about, or present something — a facilitated discussion, a workshop on a specific skill, or a lecture on a topic you are familiar with. Advantages of the unconference format include: a focus on topics that are relevant to the attendees, an opportunity for teamwork development, flexibility of schedule, and an emphasis on contributions from every participant. The relationships built during an unconference often continue well past the event."


OpenCon València
Spring/Summer 2019 (dates to be announced)
Alboraig, València, Spain

"Un esdeveniment per a compartir experiències sobre les relacions afectives ètiques no normatives: Poliamor, Anarquia Relacional, Xarxes Afectives, etc. Un cap de setmana de debats, tallers i activitats lúdiques que ens brindaran l'oportunitat de conèixer gent amb idees i actituds obertes entorn a les relacions afectives. Un espai on compartir experiències i inquietuds sobre models de vincles entre les persones, des d'una perspectiva feminista, solidària i basada en el respecte. El contingut de l'OpenCon el proporcionen les persones assistents, per la qual cosa cada convocatòria és una sorpresa i una experiència única." Poliamor Valencia Facebook page.


● Polywood Camping 2019
Summer 2019 (dates to be announced)
near Eganville, Ontario


"A kid-friendly poly camping weekend, at Raven’s Knoll Campground. Join us for a weekend of community building as we learn from each other via informal discussions, socializing, and fun. Come meet fellow like-minded poly people around the large communal bonfire; take part in various relationship building and strengthening discussions; share your poly knowledge and experiences over wine and cheese." Swimming, showerhouse, food truck. Camper hookups available, dogs welcome. The program for 2018.


● Network for a New Culture Summer Camp East
July 12 – 21, 2019
Abrams Creek Center, Mount Storm, WV

I've attended this interesting, powerful, ten-day event for eight years. Network for a New Culture explores building intimate sustainable community through practices of curiosity, transparency, self-exploration, and self-responsibility. The days are structured around ZEGG Forum, various self-improvement and human-potential presenters visiting to offer their stuff, and sharing life, work, and play in the West Virginia mountain woods.

“While not exclusively a poly event,” says co-founder Michael Rios, “Summer Camp East is about 70% polyfolk, and 100% poly-friendly.” Here are my impressions from my first year. Here's a bit more from my fourth (last two paragraphs).

About 70 to 90 people attend. Vegetarian group meals; cabins and campsites in the woods (no vehicle hookups); bathhouse with sinks and hot showers. Some indoor accommodations are available onsite. Conditions are rustic, but a camp-owned motel is 3 miles away. Kids welcome; inquire about kids' program. Beautiful, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it).



● PolyDallas Millennium

July 11–13, 2019
Dallas, TX


A conference on ethical non-monogamy that centers black voices. Writes co-organizer Ruby Bouie Johnson, "PolyDallas Millennium is a sex-positive sexual health symposium that is a platform for marginalized and oppressed groups. We provide education on ethical non-monogamous relationships in an oppressive and stigmatizing society. Educators, activists, and community leaders that are representative of the attendees engage the audience in shared language and experiences. PolyDallas Millennium is a symposium that has space and joy for all communities and all ways of being." CEUs are available for therapists and other professionals.

I was there in 2018 with about 200 other registrants, the largest turnout in the conference's four years. Excellent program, excellent and thought-provoking speakers, and a very welcoming vibe toward all.



Minnesota PolyCon
Summer 2019 (date to be announced)
Minneapolis, MN

In July 2018 this new one-day event drew 86 people to workshops and presentations on sex positivity & consent, anatomy of arousal, solo poly, polyamory & mental health, poly & parenting, poly & religion, deconstructing jealousy, being out & poly, and fundamentals of good communication for your polycule. It ran all day and into the night. The schedule for 2018 was already seeking speakers and volunteers for 2019. Sponsored and run the MNPoly Meetup group.


On the dock at Polycamp Northeast
● Polycamp Northeast
Late summer 2019 (dates to be announced)
Southeastern New Hampshire


This 3½-day event began with a smashing success in August 2016, then grew larger in 2017 and 2018. I attended the first two. About 65 extraordinary people self-organized a variety of informal talks and fun activities: nonviolent communication techniques, general poly discussion, the latest STI information, yoga, campfires, board games, tie-dyeing, a kayak race, cuddle party, dance. The venue is a well-equipped old New England summer camp (all the cabins have private baths) in the New Hampshire lakes region north of Boston. Waterfront with paddleboards, kayaks, canoes, water trampoline. Three meals a day included. It's put on by organizers of New England Polyamory.


Endless Poly Summer
August 2019 (dates to be announced)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center and Campground, Mt. Storm, WV


This will be the sixth year for Endless Poly Summer, one of the seasonal poly retreats that Indigo Dawn, Dawson Driver, Michael Rios and friends produce at Abrams Creek based on Network for a New Culture principles and ideas. These aim to build, over five days, enduring intimate community. I've gone to many of their events and endorse them highly. New Culture's practices for community creation and interpersonal-skills development are remarkable and effective.

From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long! We invite top-notch presenters, and live, work, learn and play together.” Conditions are rustic, but indoor accommodations are available. A beautiful, and accurate, promo video (I'm in it).


At Burning Man
Aug. 25 – Sept. 2, 2019
Nevada desert


Village of PolyParadise
Poly Paradise has been running at Burning Man for two decades. This is a large theme camp cluster, typically 200 x 500 feet, with 250 to 300 campers, about a third of them new each year. Workshops and events include Heart of Now, Poly High Tea (now with Poly High Juice Box), the famous Human Carcass Wash, the Hiney Hygiene Station, Mind Melt, Revolutionary Honesty, Mindful Hugging Meditation, and a poly mixer. Wrote Benevolent Dictator Scotto, "PolyParadise 2017 was absolutely incredible and our best effort yet at creating this amazing On-Playa home. Each year there are many challenges and together we find a way to make things right, together we build an amazing space within the gates of BRC, a place to really call home in the desert." Details.


OpenCon Madrid (Spain)
Late summer 2019 (date to be announced)
Avila, Spain


"OpenCon Madrid is an international event open to all those who want to discover that happy and sincere relations are not necessarily monogamous." This is a self-organized unconvention in the style of OpenCon Catalonia and the original OpenCon in the UK. "Debates, workshops and recreational activities that will give you the opportunity to meet people with your same ideas and attitudes, share experiences and concerns, help strengthen our community and enjoy its diversity." The working language is Castilian. 2019 will be OpenCon Madrid's fifth year. The venue has been a large house in the country 100 km from Madrid, maximum capacity 70. The conference has sold out fast when registration opens.


New Culture Fall Camp
Fall 2019 (date to be announced)
Abrams Creek Retreat Center, Mt. Storm, WV


This is a smaller, more intimate version of New Culture Summer Camp held every July at the Abrams Creek Retreat Center in the mountains of West Virginia (see July here for description). These events draw about 70% polyfolks; the focus is on building practices of transparency, self-understanding, communication skills, and intimacy to create radically better relationships of any type. The aim to build, over several days, an enduring network of like-minded people who don't necessarily fall out of touch as happens after most events. "The point is building tribe," says organizer Michael Rios.

I've gone to the larger New Culture Summer Camp for the last seven years and can't recommend New Culture events highly enough. From the website: “Here is where you can meet other poly people at a deeper level, learn the skills needed to handle your relationships, and become a part of a supportive network of people who share your relationship values.... Spend up to 5 days in a rustic woods-and-water setting, hang out around a bonfire, enjoy a song circle, cuddle up at a snuggle party, learn to take your relationships to the next level, and build connections with others that last all year long!”

Explains Michael, "We are exploring the questions: What does it mean to be there for each other? What would it take to be solidly present in each others’ lives, responding flexibly and with love to the needs that emerge? What might we do right now to be there for each other? What role does commitment play? The deep truth is that each person is fundamentally alone. Yet at the same time, there is beauty and skillfulness in interdependence.... And beyond merely meeting needs, we can find delight in co-creation, and in the many ways we can support each other in greater joy. At this community journey, we will open these explorations in a field of love, curiosity, and compassion."



Großes Polytreffen, Fall (Germany)
Fall 2019 (date to be announced)
Gut Frohberg, Germany


The German organization PolyAmores Netzwerk (PAN) e.V., at Polyamory.de, organizes transregional "Poly Meetings" for German-speaking polyfolks in Germany, Switzerland and Austria. According to the organizers, the gatherings serve as "a platform for networking and for the exchange of experiences and practical know-how. Also theoretical discussions and the planning of cultural and political activities. The programme is self organized by the participants. Minimum age 18. Two 'Grand Poly Meetings' take place in the spring and fall; these draw 120 to 150 people for up to 70 workshops, talks and other events. The smaller winter meeting gathers about 40." In recent years the meetings have been sold out within days.



Polyday 2019 (UK)

Fall 2019 (date and place to be set)
UK


From last year: "Come and meet hundreds of people that identify as non-monogamous at the largest event in Europe on polyamory, Relationship Anarchy and other forms of non-monogamy. New to polyamory or just curious? Experienced in all forms of non-monogamy? Something in between? Polyday has something for you! In previous years talks have covered designing relationships, sexual health, polyamory and mental health, polyamory and children, and BAME and non-monogamy. Additionally there will be opportunities to socialise, meet up after the event, and quiet space if you need a break." Facebook event page for 2018.



Beyond The Love
November 2019 (date to be announced)
Columbus, Ohio

The BTL producers drawn by Tikva
Wolf. (Ginger stayed home.)
This rollicking hotel conference drew a record 300 people in 2018, selling out in advance as usual. The conference organization was again superb, the attendees were amazing and interesting, the energy high, and all of the presenters that I caught did excellent jobs. Many local volunteers helped to put on a rich social schedule in addition to the four tracks of sessions during the day. Here are the 2018 presenters, classes, and schedule.

Also: the triad who organize it say they are eager to help you learn how to put on a poly hotel conference, and they can provide you their project-management software that tracks everything to do starting six months out. Contact them at producers(at)beyondthelove.org.







To add an event (of wide geographic interest, please) email it to me at alan7388 {at} gmail.com.




Kimchi Cuddles characters and stories are based the cartoonist's real life. See her followup strip. And yes, she, "Rajeev" and "Terra" all made it to the Beyond the Love polycon in Ohio.







How to find your LOCAL POLY COMMUNITIES
and their get-togethers!

For socials, potlucks, discussions, support, etc. near you, find and join your local poly group(s). You can:

● Try googling polyamory [your state and/or city]

Check Meetup.com with keyword polyamory and enter your zip code or city.

Search Facebook Groups for polyamory [your state and/or city] and for poly [your state and/or city].

● Check these lists:

   – Directory of Local Poly Groups maintained on Facebook. It's editable! If yours isn't here yet, add it.

   – Tristan Taormino's big list (needs updating), on the website of her book Opening Up. (Send additions, corrections, and changes to raymond (at) puckerup.com )

   – Canadian Polyamory Groups, courtesy of the Canadian Polyamory Advocacy Association.

   – Local Poly Group Registry, currently hosted by Michael Rios at polyinfo.org. This once-grand list seriously needs updating. Send additions, corrections, and changes to groups (at) polyinfo.org. If you can help the updating project, please write to that address.

---------------------------------------------------------

Can't find a local group near you? Maybe that's the universe saying you should start it!

Here is organizer Kitty Chambliss's Polyamory Guide to Community Building. "So perhaps you’d like to start a community from scratch right in your local area. I’m going to give you a roadmap for success to do just that!"

And here are Joreth's many thoughts on the kinds of poly community events that might work in your area. She's been an organizer for a long time and has pretty much done it all.

Prefer audio? From the Polyamory Weekly podcast: Episode #365, Building your poly community with meetups; and Episode #464, Building Your Poly Community as it grows.

4 comments:

  1. Hi,
    There is a calendar of UK-based Poly events that I keep up as best as I'm told with links to the iCal and Google links at http://topbit.livejournal.com/tag/calendar It's also available (embedded) on the http://polytical.org/events/calendar/ page

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  2. All the events are great.... your calendar is full of magic... :)

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  3. Interesting concept. I have a non geek friend who refers to my triad as "what happens when you marginalize people and leave them alone to long."
    I just laugh.

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  4. Can you publish this as a Google Calendar? It's so much easier to add the calendar and view the events in the context of the rest of my life's schedule. We have a very full Google Calendar feed in the Bay Area that hundreds subscribe to.

    ReplyDelete