If you can get to Geneva on Wednesday 25th April, I’m running a workshop at Soft-Space about knowing who the people are that play a role in your success and where to start in building a relationship with them.
Relationships sit at the heart of your happiness. Your happiness comes from being able to stay on track with your social change mission as you put it together and deliver it; from creating a business that sustains you, to making real impact for the communities you care about.
This connectivity builds the foundations of your personal, professional and organisational resilience and wellbeing. It’s a have-to-have rather than a nice-to-have.
By resilience, I mean being able to adapt to challenges from a core of deep creativity and strengths; not pushing harder until you break. If you break, you cannot make positive impact for anyone, so the seeing yourself as a stakeholder in your own success is top of the list!
If you are an individual or micro social businesses and NGOs get signed up.
Whether you’re just transitioning into this space, starting up or established, the relationships you build are vital for the good times and the bad. It’s work in progress.
This is a practical session, a valuable (and often neglected) exercise in downloading and prioritising who you need to be talking to, so that you can invest your energy wisely.
That means not just talking to the people who ‘like’ your social mission but definitely the ones who don’t ‘like’ it, or don’t ‘get’ it or simply don’t care yet.
I’ll admit, it can be un-nerving to take time out to see things as they really are. You might discover that you haven’t paid enough attention to people or building relationships as you’ve been spinning other plates.
At this point you can either beat yourself up and feel like you’ve failed.
Or…you can consider yourself human, realise that blame is pointless and use this insight as a powerful lever for taking action.
It’s never too late to build bridges and as soon as you do, you are giving yourself room to adapt, respond and succeed in making positive change happen.
Click here to sign up for the workshop
We work in social change, surely everyone gets along? From my own experience, I know that this isn’t always true, sadly.
It’s always a bit of a shocker when someone you work with really seems to act as an obstacle. Across the spectrum of bad behaviour, they might deliberately block your way with power games designed to hurt or just ruffle feathers through well intentioned micro-management.
When it happens, your need to feel credible and respected goes onto red alert. It becomes an emotional battlefield, where your energy goes into protection through anger and anxiety, rather than achieving the social mission that gives you fulfilment.
You might think that these are your only options…you can dig in and hope that they leave your space. You can dig in and hope that karma happens. You can avoid them and leave the space.
All of these are disempowering you and get in the way of your work for others.
“The last thing you need after someone has done you an injustice is to do a greater injustice to yourself. Getting angrily upset over a frustration does not usually remove the frustration and always adds to your discomfort.” (Hauck, P. 1980: 122. Calm Down. London. Sheldon Press)
The only way to get your choices back and find a way forward, is your own mindset and behaviour.
Reconnect with your signature strengths, consciously come back to knowing and living your life values in your interactions, celebrate who you are. No-one can take these things away from you. Build that relationship with yourself, as your own best stakeholder.
Taking action from this place of self-compassion, opens up the actions you can take. Whether that’s via HR, deciding it’s time to start your own business, having a conversation with the person, choosing a new direction…it’s all within your power to decide.
Sometimes we don’t take action for ourselves because we don’t feel we ‘should’ have to. We’re so angry at the injustice of it all.
The moment you look to yourself, the moment you learn an empowering way to deal with the conflict, is the moment when you are free and flourishing as a changemaker.
Get in touch about 1-1 sessions either face-to-face or online so that you can get back to living your purpose passionately.
It seems fitting on International Mother Earth Day to be looking ahead to World Environment Day on 5th June too.
The theme for 2018 is Beat Plastic Pollution. You can check it out here http://worldenvironmentday.global/
I’d like to think that in less than 12 years the themes have a radically different and joyful focus because we have solved the problem.
Ask your kids and youth what they’d like the theme to be for World Environment Day 2030. Get them to make that a long-term goal.
In the meantime, let’s build your kids’ resilience and wellbeing by empowering them as the eco-social innovators now.
Which really means getting them involved in sustainability now by playing with ideas…it’s a level playing field for every child’s creativity and the pathway to action.
Start by by triggering their imagination and engagement with this game.
Plastic Free SuperMarket
I used this game with my amazing students from Lemania-Verbier International School, as part of my Agents of Change Programme activities. We explored, imagined and then walked over the road into the local Coop to look around the shelves and see how much single-use plastic was around.
They were stunned and what came next were all the questions about how to solve the problem…which sets things up very nicely for playing with ideas.
More on that next time!
Think about doing the learn to move mountains® hub training so that you set up an innovation hub for engaging all of the kids and youth in your community. You can read more on that here.
#flowinaction #pureenergyofcreating #creativity #ideas #ecosocinn #innovation #resilience #wellbeing #grit #happiness #hope #purposedriven
I'm really excited to be speaking at the GoodFestival in Lausanne next Friday 27th April.
My topic? A Resilience Toolkit for Social Innovators in today's world.
I'll be giving a snapshot into how to build your resilience, so that you're equipped for the journey as an ecosocial innovator and -preneur for good. You need to flourish yourself so that you can create incredible solutions for others. Creativity, wellbeing, play, mindfulness - all part of your mindset for taking action.
Find out more and register for free at the website: https://www.goodfestival.ch/
If you’re a kid being bullied, marginalised, sad, cutting yourself, depressed…talking about achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can’t seem that relevant or probable.
Why care about these huge challenges when your own life hurts like hell?
It’s not that you’re unsympathetic…it’s just so abstract, it may as well be another Universe.
Leave the plastic packaging in the supermarket? Buy local produce? Set up your own business because there won’t be any jobs? Use a refillable cup or water bottle?
You must be thinking, “Seriously, how could that possibly matter to me?”
You’re wishing that all of those people around you taking action for others, would notice that you feel like s**t too.
When you’re making a difference for them, you’re wishing for a you to blitz in on roller-skates (it's a retro moment) and save you too.
You do the activity for a bit because it feels good to be good. For a while, you don’t feel like you can’t breathe because of the sadness pressing in on your heart-space.
What can I tell you that isn’t trite or glib self-help?
A different perspective. A candle in the window.
I know that YOU matter and you can tell me different, but I will not change my mind.
Those SDGs are for you too because we are all connected on this blue dot.
Pick this goal #3 Good Health & Wellbeing.
Start with your life.
When you ask for help for you, you know how to find the answer for them.
I could drop you into a refugee camp in Greece, or a remote village in India, or your school corridors, or a playing field, or the school bus; and you would know exactly how to talk to the kid who is feeling what you are feeling. Your story is their story too.
So, if you’re a kid being bullied, marginalised, sad, cutting yourself, depressed…take one step towards loving yourself. Each breath you take is the future You now.
Step out of your silence; disrupting the darkness has the power to change the course of history. Make today the day, when by being in the everyday moments of your life, you are as we say, "achieving those global goals."
Write it, speak it, find a Youtube video that says it for you…tell someone so that they can take action for you too.
#flowinaction #creativity #ideas #resilience #grit #wellbeing #agentsofchange #adventurers #ecosocinn #innovators #entrepreneurs
Are you a woman working in social change? Learn to flourish in your life by caring for your wellbeing.
As a purpose-driven adventurer intent on making positive impact in ways meaningful to you, you need a resilience and wellbeing toolkit that enables you to live a flourishing, fulfilled life.
This 1 day restorative retreat reconnects you to knowing, loving and being your unique, magnificent self, so that you live your purpose as a force of nature, creatively, mindfully and with self-compassion.
You'll celebrate your unique blend of creativity, strengths and values as the source of your impact;
You'll reconnect with what makes you happy, so that you can do more of it, now;
You'll discover new ways of thinking so that you get choices back.
There will be time for talk, play and stillness as you greet yourself again, as a woman who moves mountains.
#flowinaction #resilience #wellbeing #happiness #socialchange #ecosocinn #socinn #socent #entrepreneur #creativity #ideas
You want to achieve your social mission and make real impact through your activities!
Knowing who your key stakeholders are is critical to doing that.
In this workshop, you will identify the people and organisations that have the most interest and influence over your success.
You will map and prioritise them, and then plan how to engage most effectively with them.
Stakeholder Engagement is a vital part in building resilience, so that you stay focused on your social mission.
#flowinaction #creativity #ideas #resilience #innovation #grit #wellbeing #changemakers #agentsofchange #adventurers #ecosocialinnovator
More than ever we need to inspire hope in kids and young people, showing them that their strengths and creativity are valued, valuable and needed for taking action as eco-social innovators.
Being hopeful is a strength, a choice and an attitude that stands defiantly in the face of the zero-sum game being played by the few, for the few. If you're in/around Geneva, sign your kids up for my learn to move mountains 21st April workshop, as we play with ideas to solve big challenges, building hope, resilience and thinking skills.
#flowinaction #creativity #resilience #grit #ideas #innovation #adventurers #sustainability #entrepreneurs #wellbeing #happiness #hope #purposedriven #loveassocialjustice
21st April is the UN’s first official World Creativity & Innovation Day.
I’m thrilled because it’s purpose is to celebrate, and I quote, “multi-disciplinary thinking to help us achieve the sustainable future we want.”
It’s the premise on which I started Flow In Action, based on my 20+ year career in social change, innovation and social entrepreneurship, empowering kids and the stakeholders around them to think and act like eco-social innovators.
From my long and winding road, I know that to have happy, resilient problem-solvers and a resilient, problem-solving organisation, you need everyone’s creative thinking skills around the table, to act like a prism into the solution that you need.
I think World Creativity & Innovation Day is about not being afraid to fail.
Innovation doesn’t start with the right answer, it starts with being connected to your individual creativity, spotting a need and having ideas to meet it.
Being that kid who starts something is absolutely NOT about being the best academically. It’s about being the one who is prepared to get it wrong, to fail, to know what to do next when things hit the fan!
In the words of Elon Musk, "Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."
I think World Creativity & Innovation Day is about hope.
We need every child to believe in their unique creativity and know how to use it to make their lives and communities better, happier, fairer – looking at the challenges in their lives and having hope in themselves.
Feeling hopeful comes from knowing how to be part of the answer, feeling like you are more than ‘enough’, knowing how to deal with failure repeatedly even though it hurts.
Resilience isn’t about suffering, it is about being agile in adapting.
Learn how to set up an eco-social innovation hub in your community
You’re the stakeholder holding the space for the kids and young people around you to be the changemakers.
Inspire their wellbeing by empowering them as problem-solvers in today’s uncertain world.
Be the one who sets up an eco-social innovation hub for them, building the skills and mindset that they need as global citizens solving the Sustainable Development Goals at a local level in their communities.
I’ll be running my learn to move mountains® hub training programme starting online on the 16th April, which gives you everything you need to set up a hub in your community, empowering kids and young people to be agents of change.
It is an online programme which you can join live or listen to the recording so that you can catch-up around your schedule.
Read all about the programme here and sign up today!
It’s shaped from over 20 years of expertise in social change, from working at all levels across sectors to make real change happen.
"If you get up in the morning and think the future is going to be better, it is a bright day. Otherwise, it's not." Elon Musk
Be the role model, breaking your rules on what is and isn’t possible. Make some space for creativity and innovation within yourself, and lead the way for others.
#flowinaction #wcid #creativity #ideas #innovation #resilience #grit #changemakers #agentsofchange
As a purpose-driven adventurer intent on making positive impact, you need a resilience and wellbeing toolkit so that you can flourish personally and professionally, making change happen in ways that are meaningful to you.
If you are studying or starting your eco-social innovation, sustainability or -preneurship journey, then sign up for this 3-day summer camp today.
Find out more https://www.flowinaction.org/summercamp and sign up!
#agentsofchange #adventurers #creativity #ideas #innovation #resilience #grit #wellbeing #changemakers #entrepreneur #socinn #socent
Get your kids ages 8-12 years signed up for my next workshop on 21st April in Geneva Soft-Space
It is also the UN's first official World Creativity & Innovation Day! Hurray!
We are going to be ROCKING IT as inventors and innovators - agents of change saving the planet!
Every kid's imagination and ideas matter as we learn to move mountains using our problem-solving creativity.
We'll be playing with ideas and dreaming big about solving big sustainability challenges, riffing and mashing-up solutions to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.
Booking in advance is required so email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign your kids up today!
#agentsofchange #wcid #creativity #innovation #wellbeing #resilience #happiness #grit
How would you rate your wellbeing?
As someone with a social mission, your ‘emotional contract’ with your work motivates you to take one more step each day.
However, because your life’s purpose is deeply personal, it can be hard to get started and expose your ideas to criticism; and because you want to make extraordinary impact, there are times when you may become inert and disheartened by the scale of the task around you.
Conversely, we may also take everything on, allowing ourselves to get distracted from our real goals so that we can stay safe, even if it’s in safe discomfort.
Another tried and tested version of not looking after our wellbeing, is to take everything on and ‘burn out’ as we strive to make the most impact that we can.
You might be brilliant at recognising other people’s capacity to make social change happen but struggle to recognise your own extraordinary contribution each day, as you use your strengths and skills to take action in ways that are meaningful to you.
Being a resilient, happy agent of change
Being a resilient agent of change, is not about being ‘tough’ and putting up with things that make you unhappy. Instead, resilience is about living from a place of knowing who you are, celebrating your unique blend of self and drawing on all of this so that you can adapt to and overcome challenges.
Resilience is a fundamental part of your wellbeing. It is your core of creativity, joy, adaptability and connection to the world.
To quote Diane Coutu:
“Resilient people…possess three characteristics: a staunch acceptance of reality; a deep belief, often buttressed by strongly held values, that life is meaningful; and an uncanny ability to improvise.” How Resilience Works, Diane L Coutu. Harvard Business Review, May 2002
What are you putting up with that makes you unhappy?
Are you choosing overload? Are you overwhelmed and disheartened?
All of these things get in the way of you achieving your purpose - to make change happen!
In today's uncertain world, more than ever, you need to care for your wellbeing so that you can keep caring for others too. You need to build that connection to your resilience.
Start your wellbeing journey by seeing things as they really are
When you look at the blueprint of your everyday life, without judgement or self-policing, what is making you happy and fulfilled and what is getting in the way of your wellbeing?
The table below might seem trivial (you can download it as a PDF here), but if you have to think hard for more than a minute or two, about responses to the statements then press the pause button.
Ask yourself why you're struggling to respond. If you think, "I'm too busy to think about it right now," then that is an answer in itself - how separate are you from the things that make you happy that responses don't pour out of you.
If you are truly flourishing as you are, then use your responses as a way of celebrating. We need to celebrate happiness more often!
If your responses opened up a need to be more connected to your wellbeing, then get in touch. If you find yourself saying, “I should be happy but…”, then get in touch. If you need some help with decisions you know that you need to make, then get in touch.
We can find your way forward together with 1-1 coaching online or face-to-face in Geneva or the Swiss mountains.
Start with an email to email@example.com
#wellbeing #resilience #agentsofchange #sdg3 #whocaresforthecarers #perma #grit #liveyourpassion #changemakers #socinn #socent