Check out our candid chat: me and Servane Mouazan collaborating to explore Love, Enterprise & Enchantment!
#flowinaction #ogunte #futuresthinking #rebelgirls #impactwomen #imagination #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #socent #socinn
There were moments back in April when, I swear, I heard the trees breathing. The planes had stopped flying, the sky was crystal clear day and night, clouds were clouds, not contrails masquerading; and the tinnitus of engine noise had ceased. A stillness like nothing I’ve ever known happened. It was stillness rather than quiet, because as it turns out Nature is spectacularly deafening.
And, I’d like to create that to be the normal. I want the reassuring susurrations of trees deafening me every day.
Rather than watching history in the making, what’s happening right now for us all, is that we’re seeing the future unfold. What we breathe, imagine, create now, manifests then.
When I’m present to that understanding, actually it’s liberating, hope-filled, a call to action, galvanising me out of fear because it gives me choices of how to arrive in each day.
Imagine July 2030, if we all show-up as activists today?
Which is why, I think, that NOW is exactly the right time to fall in love…
with protecting the planet that breathes us,
with yourself and the purpose that’s living through you,
with your beloved ones who love you exactly as you are,
with dreaming a new narrative into existence.
Real love, is about being present to the now, ‘held and free’ as Glennon Doyle puts it, knowing it unfolds the future. It gives us the grace to braille our way forward step-by-step.
Which means it’s time to pop on our wonder-goggles to look at the world and create futures to be in love with.
If we’re looking with eyes of wonder at the world, then futures to love become more than possible. The seeds are planted for them to become real.
Key question…what is the future of air? It is after all our have-to-have value proposition for breathing. In 2030, what will air be like? When I look at that question without my wonder-goggles on, it’s a terrifying proposition. When I put them on, I am instantly connected to the possibilities of a planet restored with multiple nature-based and nature-inspired solutions.
Now, step back to today.
Put on your wonder-goggles, pick your gig, show-up as unprecedented you and imagine a more beautiful story.
No need to worry if you’ve forgotten how to put your wonder-goggles on (it’s ok…most adults have), then get in touch with me for yourself and/or your organisation with a Team Wonder Lab and we’ll go together.
So, “Would you like an adventure now, or would like to have your tea first?”
JM Barrie, Peter Pan
Actually, why not just head into the Wonder Lab® I’ve created for you, with some futures scenarios to play in and inviting you to add some of your own.
My first professional discipline is as a qualified librarian and knowledge manager. Twenty-five years ago, I used that to go straight into my social change career with a recognition that it was okay not to know all of the answers, because I had an understanding of knowing how to find them to help make the world a fairer place for all.
I've shared that skill to empower people with their voice and a path forward.
It’s something that has stayed with me, all of my career, no matter which sector or discipline. And, when I ran a school library for 5 years, it was a unique position to see kids find their voice, courage, joy and hope reflected in what they were reading.
By the way, if you’re reading a book and not getting along with it, I fully endorse putting it down and picking up something else that speaks to you. Life is precious, time is short!
Libraries sit at the heart of communities, spaces for everyone, free access to resources.
They are starting points for creativity, ignition points for imagination.
And if you have imagination, you can dream a new future into existence.
Libraries sit as revolutionary hubs for innovation and launch pads for entrepreneurship.
Which is quite possibly why they are consistently de-funded. Governments tend not to like revolutionary hubs of anything much. De-fund libraries and schools in the present…you de-skill people and stop them thinking for themselves.
Still, I think lockdown brought a ray of hope, a new trajectory as in these extraordinary times. People turned to online libraries, where they could, and their creativity resources. Not just to keep kids occupied, but for people of all ages to come home to the long-forgotten voices within for comfort, ease and fun.
Libraries, hopefully, are reassuming their power as places for helping us to say the things that we want to say but don’t always have the words, until we find them in a book or poetry.
Possibly predictably, I love The Shadow of the Wind by the late, great Carlos Ruiz Zafón and this sense of books having souls:
“Every book, every volume you see here, has a soul. The soul of the person who wrote it and of those who read it and lived and dreamed with it. Every time a book changes hands, every time someone runs his eyes down its pages, its spirit grows and strengthens.”
I used to stand in the school library before anyone else arrived, close my eyes, breathe and feel the presence of the voices in those books.
Do you remember your favourite 3 books from when you were a kid? Was it the story that inspired you? Was it a certain character? When you felt yourself reflected in them, what became possible for you?
I know that some books always find you at exactly the right moment, to comfort, inspire, teach and guide. Those 3 books (or more) from being a kid…who did they inspire you to become?
When I asked my dad, he remembered the book on Marco Polo he read when he was 6, that seeded a burning desire to travel the world, which he did at 21 to sail the high seas and then taking us as a family to Zambia during the 70s.
I’ve just finished, The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes, a beautiful read about The Packhorse Librarians in Kentucky. And I love this fella and his mobile library. And I love the perfectly crafted nature-based solution of bats for protecting ancient books in these hallowed halls.
Why do libraries have the power to radically change the future?
It’s not just about literacy and education being a route out of poverty. It’s about finding exactly your voice between the pages and knowing that your imagination matters.
When you can imagine, you can imagine different; wonder becomes your default setting for dreaming up new futures that protect people and planet.
It's exactly why I felt compelled to create the Kids Wonder Lab® Challenge Pack, with 12 easy challenges, for public and school libraries to use to engage, inspire and empower kids using futures thinking. It’s simple. Pick your favourite book character and explore the challenge question. Come up with ideas and make them.
Tell your school librarian. Tell your public library. Get them to start using the pack with the kids in your community…and the adults too.
If you can imagine new futures, you can unfold them. And that’s how the seeds of revolution are planted for radically changing the future.
Have a look here to find out more about the Pack and also whether you'd like to take the training to learn how to set up your own Flow In Action Kids Wonder Lab®
#flowinaction #wonder #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #futuresthinking #designthinking #systemsthinking #innovationchallenges #climateaction #libraries #planetcentreddesign #wellbeing #morewonder #wondermore
I'm thrilled to be speaking at the Kaleido Retreat in September, where this year's theme is Reimagining Futures.
I'll be talking about Flourishing through Wonder, and looking through the lens of wonder to imagine new futures for people and planet.
"When we look through the lens of wonder we connect with our imagination, creativity and resilience.
We open up the space to flourish in our daily lives. What we are present to in wondering, unfolds our future selves. This talk explores why, how and what we can wonder now, to create the possibility of new futures which align with a flourishing planet.
Wonder is a powerful, practical tool used in futures, design and systems-thinking to imagine, explore and challenge the status quo of the present and disrupt predictions of the future.
Wonder creates a level-playing field for everyone to come to the table to share their unique blend of problem-solving creativity. It enables us to connect deeply to Nature and be inspired by it for innovative solutions. Wondering brings us into states of flow and deep play, triggering positive emotions which contribute to our wellbeing. What we wonder together, plants the seeds of change that we will take back into our individual lives and share with our communities of change." Elaine
#flowinaction #wonder #futuresthinking #reimagining #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #planetcentreddesign #nature #climateaction #hope #love #awe #kaleido
On 24th June 2020, I ran a free webinar as part of the fantastic Learning Revolution series.
You can register on the Learning Revolution platform for free and watch the recording here:
More than ever, teachers and librarians want to connect children and youth to the resources to enable them to flourish in today’s uncertain world as problem-solvers for the planet.
Wonder is an essential, and frequently under-estimated tool for doing this.
Consciously using and inspiring wonder, cultivates creative thinking, increases positive emotions, deepens a mindful connection to Nature and capacity-builds key skills used in innovation and entrepreneurship.
This interactive session will give you strategies for using wonder through reading and across academic subject learning, to engage your students of all ages.
You will learn:
#flowinaction #futuresthinking #wonder #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #designthinking #systemsthinking #planetcentreddesign
I wonder what you wonder...about a drop of water?
A question for kids of all ages...so feel free to have a go too.
Share this with your kids and get them wondering...as a homeschooling activity.
When we wonder, we connect to our imagination and creativity. We see things from new perspectives. We problem solve in different ways.
Wondering keeps us well and hopeful.
Your kids can share their ideas on the platform at this link. https://hazu.io/flowinaction.org/wonderlab
Also...if you're an educator, librarian, youth worker ...then sign up for the online training with me for creating your own Kids Wonder Lab for your organisation at www.flowinaction.org/wonder
#flowinaction #purejoyofcreating #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #wellbeing #sustainability #sdgs #love #wonder #awe #lovetheplanet #designforflourishing #peopleandplanetcentreddesignthinking #flourishing #purposedriven #teacher #librarian #youthvoices
TAKE THE TRAINING
Learn how to set up your Fill Your Kids With Wonder Lab!
Join this group coaching workshop and get the one-stop solution you need to run ongoing, fun, easy, inclusive creativity activities for kids – use wonder to build wellbeing, banish boredom and inspire kids’ imagination, ideas and learning.
Find out more and sign up TODAY
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.
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.
The moment when someone allows an idea to form fascinates me.
It is like watching the Universe tenderly kiss them on the brow and encourage them out into the spotlight.
Whether a child or an adult, it’s a moment so pure in its vulnerability, a splitting of light refracted as they surrender to that unique expression of their unprecedented self.
It is a moment of great courage, suspended between two shores; a choice to step past fear and shame and doubt to take the risk on what may seem impossible.
The fact that I get to see and share this moment with people of all ages, like the start-up entrepreneurs working in Capacity Zurich’s amazing entrepreneurship programme for refugees and migrants, is a great honour; or the students from British School India in my workshop at the UN last week.
I am filled with an urgency to create these moments with you, because we need to imagine a different future than the trajectory that we are on. We need to imagine it in order to create it; and we need to create it by designing around happiness.
With that in mind, I am prescribing ‘wonder’ for everyone as a fast-track approach for inspiring incredible ideas for doing more good for people and planet.
Diane Ackerman wrote, “Wonder is the heaviest element on the periodic table. Even a tiny fleck of it stops time.”
I’ve been having some chats with Dr Vlad Glavneau, Director of the Webster Center for Creativity & Innovation Unit at Webster University in Geneva, and his working definition of wonder is: “Wonder and wondering deﬁne a particular type of experience whereby the person becomes (more or less suddenly) aware of an expanded ﬁeld of possibility for thought and/or action and engages (more or less actively) in exploring this ﬁeld.” (Glavneau, V.P., (2017) Creativity and Wonder. The Journal of Creative Behavior, Vol. 0, Iss. 0, pp. 1–7)
I love creating the spaces for wondering, as powerful, alchemic places of embedding wellbeing and resilience; as well as the tools for taking action.
Children and young people are so open and passionate in their creativity, it’s like watching a blizzard of butterflies emerge. As adults, you just take a bit longer to get to this place, because you’ve forgotten how to break your rules and take the risk on opening your hearts. Ah, but when you do, it’s a thing of great beauty.
We need more wonder and wondering. It is a reclaiming of being ‘fully human’ in our connection to the planet and each other which needs to happen rapidly. It is a groundswell of more love as a social mission, the start of change, the seed of incredible ideas. Me, I’m a Star Wars watching, wild mountain woman walking under the full moon, rebellious librarian-type of wonderer.
And you? What do you wonder? What do you find wondrous? Take a breath, open up to wondering today. Listen to the revolutionary response inside of you and roll with it.
I’ll wrap up with the wisdom of Alice Walker in The Color Purple, “I think us here to wonder, myself. To wonder. To ask. And that in wondering bout the big things and asking bout the big things, you learn about the little ones, almost by accident. But you never know nothing more about the big things than you start out with. The more I wonder, the more I love.”