I was delighted to be featured in the World Leading Schools Association inaugural newsletter REACH with an article about Unconscious Bias in Education Settings, as part of tackling SDG 5 - Gender Equality.
I spoke at the WLSA Conference in Prague in July 2019 on creating healthy campus's using creativity and problem-solving around the UN SDGs.
My article is on page 20. Click on the PDF Link.
“…love is a skill, not a feeling, and will require trust, vulnerability, generosity…” writes Alain de Botton, which means loving the planet is also a skill not a feeling, requiring the same trust, vulnerability and generosity.
As love sits at the heart of empathy, which triggers the cycle of invention and innovation, then I believe that there is hope for solutions which are unashamedly people and planet-centred.
In cultivating the conditions for radical and immediate change, there is a profound step in understanding to be taken by each of us.
If you agree that you are made of energy, more space than matter actually, then you understand that Nature is living its purpose through you, making you inextricably and beautifully interdependent with this ‘self-organising Universe' as Joanna Macy calls it.
Its rhythms are your rhythms.
You are a million moving parts, surrounded by an incalculable number of other moving parts. The very essence of its energy is refracted through the unique blend of you, unprecedented you.
I think that is the stuff of wonder.
I also think that means you can stop worrying about your life purpose being something outside of you that you must seek; instead it is simply opening up from the inside to your imagination, problem-solving creativity and ideas.
Your skills are the prism through which Nature’s exquisite problem-solving can take place across the whole system which you are part of.
I think it’s hard to do systems thinking though, when you are dreaming up your ideas for taking action, if you still don’t understand that you are part of the ecological system. And we have viewed ourselves as separate, so we haven’t done it.
It seems to me that we are the only species on the planet, despite our intellect, which at some point stopped joining up the dots about what happens to what we create, where is goes, how it reintegrates itself. If you see yourself as outside of the natural system, you don’t create things with a view to completing the circle to trigger it to self-organise.
Time to start! With great urgency! I don’t believe innovation is innovation these days unless it’s being designed with protection of people and planet in mind.
To come back to love then, because it opens up your greatest capacity to dream, create, innovate. I’ve called it on other occasions the Tao of Innovation, but I’ve think it is more accurate to call it the Tao of Impact instead, this 'how things happen.'
When I do this with you, exploring this ‘how’ means starting from the positive impact you want to create and reverse engineering from there. We are immediately in a space of reciprocity with the planet, bound by trust, vulnerability, generosity, for best solutions; meaning that you will go a long way to aligning your ideas to be regenerative.
And what of hope?
Well, I believe, if love is a skill and therefore love for the planet is too, then there is cause for great hope; because skills can be remembered, learned, re-learned and expand as prisms for planetary problem-solving.
With a bit of Springsteen in mind, “All you gotta do is say yes…"
 Bruce Springsteen, Tougher Than The Rest
#flowinaction #purejoyofcreating #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #wonder #love #sustainability #sdgs #designforflourishing #designthinking #peopleandplanetcentreddesign #climateaction #wellbeing #weareallconnected
In the UK, the Durham Commission on Creativity & Education was published in mid-October, citing:
"The increasing recognition of the economic and social value of creativity and creative thinking has brought a fresh urgency to the development of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future workforce."
This is extraordinarily well-timed as Global Entrepreneurship Week 2019 takes place 18th – 24th November.
Why celebrate GEW in your school? Because it is a fantastic way to build youth wellbeing, complex problem-solving skills and solutions to challenges in your community.
How does it help? Children and youth can celebrate by using their unique creativity* to play with ideas for solutions on taking action for people and planet.
What can they do? Use a Flow In Action Innovation Challenge Toolkit as an easy-to-use, one-stop solution that you can use immediately.
Flow In Action Innovation Challenges are interactive challenge-based activities, using people and planet-centred design thinking* as an approach to:
1. Sustainable School Innovation Challenge Toolkit: You can get this straight away, complete with online access to the full toolkit on the Flow In Action Hazu platform and the space to upload 30 ideas to create a visual impact library. You can use the innovation challenge as a rapid download activity or follow the lessons in full. Either way, you're planting seeds.
2. Tailored Innovation Challenges + Toolkit: We'll talk and I will design with you an innovation challenge specific to your community's needs, to use with the online challenge Toolkit.
3. Youth Entrepreneurship Workshops: Get in touch to talk about me running one or more face-to-face entrepreneurship workshops on-site at your school.
* The Coursera Global Skills Index 2019 identifies design thinking at the number 1 skill required across 7/10 industries.
As part of our preparations, wherever you are in the world, use this wonder activity with your young people to connect them more deeply to their creativity as the new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs taking action for people and planet.
I'd love to hear from you to talk about how we can work together to empower children and youth. Email email@example.com to arrange a time to explore further.
When was the last time you remember feeling wonder?
Can you remember?
Can you picture what you were looking at or thinking about?
I’m asking, because wonder is a powerhouse, creating a chain reaction to real and radical impact in what you do.
Here’s the basic equation of what I do in my work with you:
Reconnect you to your unique blend of creativity,
Using seemingly innocuous wellbeing tools, (like wonder)
To open-wide the doors to your capacity to innovate,
So that you can show up to make change happen in your spaces.
What I’m doing with you, to you, for you is people and planet-centred design thinking …for people and planet-centred innovation and entrepreneurship. Cool, eh?
It starts in that space before ideas and ends up where you’re risktakers, changemakers, rulebreakers.
You’re unprecedented, so truly, it is important that you’re using these wellbeing tools to flourish, so that you can imagine, design and create solutions for the flourishing of others and the planet.
I’ve been littering my articles with talk about love for some time now.
I see that some of you are also beginning to say the L-word too, which is excellent. Perhaps we can join forces and work together?
I’ve even gone global about the L-word in my September ‘learn to move mountains’ column of Sovereign Magazine – it really feels like a go-big or go-home moment – given the magazine is distributed to outlets in hardcopy and digital all around the world.
Why? Why do I keep talking about love? Why do I keep talking about it in relation to sustainability and sustainable development?
Because it is the starting point of true innovation and action.
My way of calling it is the Tao of Innovation. The ‘how’ of things, ‘how’ things happen, unfurl, unfold.
Love, with all of its spectrum, “is the white light of emotion” and each of us is a prism. It is the micro-moments of connection with yourself and with others.
It is the ground zero of your imagination and creativity.
When you look through this lens, you gather your courage to explore and create your best solution. You can’t look away from the impact further down the line on people or planet. You are forced to keep coming back to designing solutions around flourishing.
In Love Letter to the Earth, Thich Naht Hanh writes:
“We are a living, breathing manifestation of this beautiful and generous planet. Knowing this, we can begin to transform our relationship to the Earth…We will fall completely in love with the Earth.”
In my September Sovereign column, I give you a task to do, set by young people that I’ve talked to. I don’t want to duplicate that so you need to read the article. I’m giving you another one to do, again set by the same young people.
Dust off your organisation’s values. Whether you’re a solopreneur or a micro-business or a global brand. Is ‘love’ one of them? I’m guessing no.
What if it was? What if you and your organisation had to live ‘love for the planet’ as a value?
What has to change? Might you have to relinquish a growth business model for a model of flourishing? How would your business processes change? How would people show-up and do their job? How would you show-up and do yours?
Imagine it. Imagine how things would be different. Imagine how incredible real, disruptive innovation might be. It is so much more exciting than lazy duplication that promotes a status quo for a few.
You are the thought-leaders, impact investors, platform builders. Maybe it’s time to break your own rules? After all, every journey starts with maybe.
You will need help. We go far together, so I have rather excellent workshops and coaching we can roll out to get everyone looking through this lens, connecting values and businesses processes, bringing new perspectives to increase innovation and impact.
I’ve often been urged to deliver messages more softly, to ‘pick pockets’ rather than punch. Meh!
I’m working on it but the opposite of love is fear, avoidance, scarcity; and we’re seeing tidal waves of that everywhere. I don’t much like tidal waves at the best of times, so I feel there is a need to be direct. You need to start breaking rules!
Do the exercise. With some urgency. Then take action. You don’t need to go alone. I’m here to walk the path with you, with a whole toolkit to help.
I wish you love and a kiss on the brow for courage. This is the how of things, the Tao of Innovation, how things happen, how things start.
 Diane Ackerman, A Natural History of Love
 Barbara L Fredrickson
#flowinaction #wellbeing #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #purposedriven #values #resilience #socialinnovation #sustainability #sdgs #climateaction #noplanetb
"Design thinking becomes a thing of spectacular beauty when used not just to create a solution but, to create a solution which places designing for human needs in the context of designing for the wellbeing and flourishing of people AND planet."
Read on in the August edition of Sovereign Magazine at this link...
Inspiration for opening up your unique blend of creativity to take action for people and planet