I’ve been digging into market research on Generation Z (13 -18 years) to understand more about what they care about, what makes them hopeful and what is fuelling their disengagement and rise in mental health issues.
There are some common themes in their views:
Not everyone needs to be an entrepreneur, but we do need to equip all our children and Gen Z’s with entrepreneurial mindset – the life skills, leadership skills and strategic thinking skills – that make them resilient, hopeful problem-solvers.
If you truly want to build their wellbeing and prepare them for today’s world, you need to build this mindset with them, drawing on everyone’s unique creativity.
Here’s how you can do it.
1. You can set up a learn to move mountains® hub in your school or organisation (think youth NGO, youth club, after-school club, library...)
It is designed to build the mindset and skills that Gen Z’s need by exploring the causes that they care about, making an inclusive space to engage all of them. Find out how here. Get signed up for the next online training course starting in June, so you can set it up.
2. Give them a voice by asking them to name the causes that they care about as a community. Are they the same as this list?
3. Discover what they think about equality and how to achieve it within their community. Use At My Best Strengths cards to aid the discussion through a celebration of strengths - you can get a set in the Flow In Action Shop.
Get all of your youth included and engaged as problem-solvers in the 21st Century.
#resilience #grit #creativity #socinn #ecosocinn #youngentrepreneurs #wellbeing #entrepreneurmindset #purposedriven #flowinaction #pureenergyofcreating
Last weekend I was at the Good Festival in Lausanne. I spoke on the Friday about how to create a Resilience Toolkit as a changemaker.
On the Saturday and Sunday, I had the pleasure and privilege to sit on the judging panel, listening to and feeding back on the ideas from the people pitching.
It was an incredible, humbling experience to hear so many ideas, in all stages of development, for doing good. People were using the things that they love to do, combined with their experiences and skills, to take action…not knowing if they would succeed and taking the risk on trying.
If you do one thing this week to build the resilience of the children and young people around you, make sure that you create a level-playing where everyone’s ideas for doing good count.
It’s so simple, that you may think it’s not worth doing. You will go into ‘Dragon’s Den’ mode and start applying judgements and making it a competition.
STOPPPP! Don’t do that.
Instead, open the space, make a ladder, invite the ideas and dreams of every kid as steps up it for doing good.
Before the businesses, before the solutions comes the risk-taking on the ideas.
As adults we need to remember not to inadvertently crush creativity because we’ve lost touch with our imagination and are bound by our rules.
Make a ladder!
…and also watch Anote’s Ark with them. This beautiful, moving film about the Kiribati Islands brings home why we all need to take action as changemakers.
#resilience #flowinaction #pureenergyofcreating #grit #wellbeing #innovators #weareallconnected
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
#wellbeing #resilience #agentsofchange #sdg3 #whocaresforthecarers #perma #grit #liveyourpassion #changemakers #socinn #socent
Someone asked me this week why I focus on getting people, especially young people, to play with ideas.
(Each week I include an Ideas Practice connecting to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the e-news that goes out. Sign up on the Home Page to receive it.)
It is a key part of my practice because it is a ‘change-maker space’ for building resilience, the capacity to adapt to challenges and continue to move forward in life.
In this space with me, everybody gets to build the ingredients that go into being resilient because everybody gets to play.
Why do I care about kids being resilient?
Because it is an essential part of their wellbeing, as well as the personal life-skills that they need to take action in making positive change happen.
…and we need GenZ to take action more than ever!
Giving them to passion to achieve the SDGs using their creativity, connects to a profound sense of their purpose in their lives.
Take 3 ingredients
Here are three of the ingredients that increase resilience; they are also character strengths that play a role in wellbeing.
> Empathy – Defined as the ability to understand and share other people’s feelings, we connect by exploring their everyday experiences and other people might be experiencing those things too.
> Risk-taking – When we play, we are adventurers and adventurous in our thinking and actions; we take incredible risks, adapting as we go and picking ourselves up when things don’t go to plan.
> Flexible Thinking – We change perspective, choosing new ways to see challenges, making sure that we recognise challenges as events that are ‘specific, external and temporary’ rather than down to who we are.
Play, play, play
And so, we play within our ethical framework: freestyling, iterating, dreaming up the seemingly impossible, saying the simple obvious things too; gently building our resilience, ready to adapt as we go.
We play as equals in our creativity, creating a prism of insights where everyone’s voice matters, because in that ‘space between’ the rules, is exactly where we will find our courage to do something different. And that something different, might be the very thing that changes everything.
To quote Picasso, “I start with an idea and then it becomes something else.”
It is breath-taking to watch the alchemy at work when young people are in this space. I see their joy and it is contagious.
Because of these resilient agents of change, I am hopeful for the world we are in.
 Reivich, K., 2003. The Resilience Factor: Seven Essential Skills for Overcoming Life’s Inevitable Obstacles. Crown Publishing Group.
 Zolli, A., 2013. Resilience: Why Things Bounce Back. Business Plus
#flowinaction #flow #resilience #grit #wellbeing #innovators #entrepreneurs #growthmindset #sdg3 #adventurers #ideas #creativity #empathy