I work in that soupy, neglected space of showing you how to have ideas. A space we can all be in, rather than it being ring-fenced for an elite.
And then I get you to focus on designing those ideas around protecting the planet. Imagination. Creativity. Flourishing.
This is an interesting read from Columbia University on getting the right mix of novelty and familiarity. What's the twist in your idea? What makes it innovative?
#flowinaction #wellbeing #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #flourishing
The August edition of Sovereign Magazine is out!
Sign up to read my article on 'Design Thinking as an Essential Skill' and a whole host of other insights too.
I am thrilled to have become a columnist for Sovereign Magazine and I am incredibly grateful that this column is sponsored by Lemania-Verbier International School which educates children and youth from 3 - 15 years, embedding in them a love of the outdoors, passion to use their strengths for #sustainability and shows them how to be young leaders.
Having worked with Lemania-Verbier International School students' I am excited to share insights from the work we have done together and their call-to-action to us as executives and entrepreneurs to take action for the planet, in this and future editions.
My column is called 'learn to move mountains' - so get reading and figure out how you can get started too.
#sovereign #sovereignmagazine #flowinaction #lemaniaverbierinternationalschool #designthinking #sustainability #noplanetb #climateaction #sdgs #youthvoices #entrepreneurship #innovation #wellbeing #circulareconomy #lovemountains #mountains
Somewhere along the way, you signed up to make good change happen in the world. In these unusual times, creating powerful solutions for the planet, means that you need to be more creative than ever.
The deal you make with the Universe, if you’re using the word ‘innovative’ anywhere in your lingo, is that you will need to step into the soupy mess for real and risk doing things differently.
And the moment you do is the time when revolutionary ideas will show up to challenge you on direction, choices, decisions…arriving unplanned and wilfully disrespectful of your status quo.
Often, our first reaction is to curate ourselves based on past hurts and seeming failures.
It plays out a little like the scene from Notting Hill, towards the end in the bookshop.
Your idea arrives and, like Anna, it says, “I was wondering whether you would let me see you a little…or a lot…”
Unnerved by the magnificent possibilities, you, like William, reply, “Can I just say No to your kind request? With you I’m in real danger…my relatively inexperienced heart, I fear, will not recover if I was once again cast aside…”
Startled by something that will take you out of your comfort zone, you haul out all of the old myths and stories to stay safe, all the reasons why not.
Both of these characters are you. Your unique blend of splendid creativity asks to be seen, inviting you to take the risk on something spectacular. The same you, who has chewed the dirt in the arena, as Brene Brown calls it, doesn’t want the agony of hitting the ground again.
And yet, revolutionary ideas are incorrigible in their persistence.
You may be tender-hearted but you are not faint-hearted; deep down you know that a seed of disruption has been planted that will change everything. After all, when you chose to play with the fire of walking the path less well travelled, you knew you were going to get at least a little singed.
What to do then?
As rule-breakers and change-makers advocating for people and planet, saying No to taking action makes us deeply unhappy. And yet, age and experience make us a little wiser than saying a ‘straight-over-the-cliff’ Yes.
What if you said, “Maybe!”
Allowing something extraordinary to unfold starts with, “Maybe…” so that time, tenderness and courage can work their magic, making space for the possibilities to be revealed and explored.
Letting go of past hurts, the fear of future failures and perhaps most of all, the terror that things might actually work out, means learning how to say Maybe.
This is the soupy space I like working with you in. It’s messy, human, real. It’s the necessary meeting point of love, wonder, joy which are essential for opening up your creativity to be innovative and entrepreneurial.
It’s where I get you to show up authentically, remembering how to take risks as unprecedented you, regardless of age or position.
You called yourself to action with your idea, I give you the tools to say Maybe so that you make massive positive impact in ways meaningful to you.
Get in touch. You can email me email@example.com and we can chat about how I can help you and your team with coaching and workshops.
Oh…and watch the whole film to know the whole story. Bring your own snack, I don’t share my popcorn!
#flowinaction #flow #wellbeing #creativity #love #innovation #entrepreneurship #socialinnovation #socialenterprise #socinn #socent #responsiblebusiness #purposedriven #climateaction #sustainability #sdgs
I'm heading to Prague this week for the World Leading Schools Association Conference 2019 to take part as an Expert Panel Member.
The focus of the panel is 'Practical solutions to increase the health and happiness of your school community' as part of the Healthy Campus discussions.
I'll be sharing tips and insights about using Flow In Action's learn to move mountains SDG Innovation Challenges to increase student wellbeing and develop academic skills.
Find out more about the Conference here
#flowinaction #flow #wellbeing #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #industry40 #youthvoices #socialinnovation #education #sdgs #sustainability #climateaction
I'm excited. In a geeky sort of way. About the Coursera Global Skills Index 2019.
It's an analysis of the world’s top trending skills in Business, Technology, and Data Science benchmarked across 60 countries and 10 industries. It's a snapshot of the future of work. Industry 4.0.
In short, it identifies design thinking as one of the top trending skills, across all of the ten industries including Automotive, Manufacturing, Media and Technology. In 7 out of 10 industries, including these ones, it places it first in the list.
Why am I excited? Because Flow In Action uses and embeds design thinking around real-world sustainability issues, in our learn to move mountains® innovation and entrepreneurship challenges, to increase youth wellbeing and build Industry 4.0 skills.
We are training a new generation of leaders, innovators and entrepreneurs to take action for the planet and the challenges that we set are directly linked to the very industries which need innovative solutions around sustainability.
If you're an educator or working on youth innovation and entrepreneurship, get in touch to talk about our training, workshops and toolkits. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
#globalskillsindex #flowinaction #flow #wellbeing #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #designthinking #systemsthinking #skills #capacitybuilding #futureofwork #industry40 #skillbuilding #mentalhealth #sustainability #climateaction
I set up Flow In Action to be about showing you the pure joy of creating solutions for people and planet. And those solutions are all focused on increasing joy globally by designing around flourishing.
We are inextricably linked to Nature. This is my way of winning hearts and minds for climate action and a fairer way of living for all.
Playing with ideas, using your imagination, being curious and creative to fix real world challenges at a local level increases your wellbeing.
Being well increases your problem-solving creativity, which in turn opens up opportunities to be innovative and feeds your entrepreneurial mindset. You become empowered to be part of the solution as you turn ideas into projects, products and services.
Too often though we think that we are not enough or our ideas don't count or we don't feel that it's ok to be seen and heard. We are afraid to succeed or to fail.
It's no wonder that young people are struggling with mental health issues.
And yet all change starts with an idea...and all ideas start from knowing how to have them...and knowing how to have them comes from being in a safe space where you can show up fully as you.
That's the space I make for you and with you. These are the tools that I equip you with so that you can feel the pure joy of creating solutions in your life, your community, your world. This is how you start your march!
Get in touch. From 1-1 coaching, workshops, training and toolkits - there is a way to take a step forward and take action.
#flowinaction #joy #iamunprecedented #wellbeing #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #resilience #rebels #climateaction #sdgs #sustainability #ideas #mentalhealth #hope
This is Flow In Action, organised and visualised on the Hazu.io digital platform for innovators and educators using the Hazu Map
It's a blossoming, growing, living enterprise of ideas, creativity and energy. I've never been able to see it like this before and I am finding it fascinating, informative, transformational.
At the most granular level I can record and showcase the incredible ideas of the children and young people exploring how to take action for people and planet; because they are amazing and have the most remarkable insights.
I'm going to be running workshops and curricula through it soon. Save the date for 11th October! I'm running a resilience workshop at EPFL Innovation Park @parc-scientifique-epfl ...registration details to come in September!
#creativity #resilience #flowinaction #edtech #hazu # #entrepreneurs #entrepreneurship #innovation #education #ideas #flourishing #socialentrepreneurship #socialenterprise #sdgs #earlyadopter #youth #youthvoices #hope
@aaweb @unctad @uk-department-for-education
I think I've died and gone to tech heaven for managing and growing my business! I've just started using Hazu https://hazu.io/hazu - the idea(l) platform for innovators and educators - to showcase Flow In Action and all of the incredible social impact ideas that come out of my workshops.
It just gets better and better as I add information into it. It's strategic and granular all at the same time.
Seriously...I rarely rave about tech, so this is definitely something very special. If you want to get your hands on something truly innovative, this is the real deal...or simply to see real innovation in action. Take a look. Read about it/watch about it here https://hazu.io/hazu/docs/hazu-presentation
Hazu was created by Andy Abgottspon @aaweb and has already received awards and recommendations from organisations around the world.
#innovation #education #creativity #hazu #ideas #flowinaction #entrepreneurship #epfl #sustainability #earlyadopter #edtech
On one of the hottest days of the year so far, it was a pleasure to welcome Ecolint La Grande Boissière Year 11 students to the UN, Palais des Nations in Geneva.
As part of their end of term activities, they arrived to do a Flow In Action learn to move mountains® innovation challenge run in collaboration with UNCTAD's Division of Investment & Enterprise.
We took SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities & Communities and went local, exploring how it applied to them at a local level to create a healthy campus.
From ideas to a 1-min pitch, these students were incredibly impressive in their thinking and understanding of how to take action. 11 groups of students came up with viable ideas that could transform the biodiversity of the site, reduce CO2 emissions, repurpose and recycle plastic, use flatroof buildings for growing fruit and vegetables, composting food waste...and many more concepts.
The pitches were evaluated by Siobhan McLoughlin, Ship Director of Class Afloat specialising in #blueeconomy insights, as well Fiorina Mugione, Fulvia Farinelli and Jayne Winter from the UNCTAD-DIAE team sharing their insights and expertise of innovation and entrepreneurship.
Plus, they demonstrated a level of patience, persistence and resilience in the face of logistical challenges which were incredibly impressive.
A huge thank you to their teacher, Laura Italici - Head of Year 11, who organised the trip; as well as the teacher mentors who accompanied the students for the day.
This is one of the ways that Flow In Action is equipping a new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs - by showing them how to have ideas and start them on the journey of taking action.
#flowinaction #iamunprecedented #wellbeing #creativity #ideas #resilience #innovation #entrepreneurship #youngleader #climateaction #noplanetb #sustainability #sdgs #unctad #ecolint #youthvoices
On Wednesday 12th June 2019, I was delighted to be a panel speaker at the #INFOCUS Conference 2019 at the UN Palais des Nations in Geneva.
I was talking about the value and power of social entrepreneurship to create solutions for people and planet, with a focus on market -making for social enterprise in Russia and youth inclusion in the design and delivery of solutions.
#iamunprecedented #flowinaction #wellbeing #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #sustainability #socialenterprise #socialentrepreneurship #Russia #marketmaking #youthvoices #socialinnovation #sdgs
Earlier this week I was back at College Alpin de Beau Soleil in Villars, to listen to the student teams pitch their sustainable product ideas to celebrate the school's 110th Anniversary in 2020.
Aged between 11- 14 years, these students were incredible, building from the entrepreneurship workshop we did a month ago. They had taken on board everything - ethical supply chain, sustainability links, acting as social enterprises to cover costs and create surplus.
Thank you to their amazing teacher Aurelia Thompson-McNicol who commissioned me to work with them. Looking forward to further collaborations on youth innovation and entrepreneurship for sustainability.
#flowinaction #iamunprecedented #youthentrepreneurship #youthvoices #youngleaders #wellbeing #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #sdgs #sustainability #beausoleil #climateaction #noplanetb
I was honoured to be the guest speaker @surval.montreux this morning as they began their Model United Nations event.
We talked about their unique creativity, dreaming big to disrupt, radical listening to collaborate and problem-solving with their strengths.
My key message to them, 'you are the new generation of innovators and entrepreneurs for sustainability. Don't wait. Show up with your unique creativity now to take action for people and planet.'
#iamunprecedented #flowinaction#wellbeing #creativity #resilience#innovation #entrepreneurship#designthinking #designforhappiness#sdgs #climateaction #noplanetb#youth #youngleaders #sustainability
@unctad @UN @posednet@empretecUN
Today I'm at Grenoble Ecole de Management, delivering a workshop to the MBA students taking the sustainability specialisation, raising awareness on how to engage people in exploring sustainability.
#flowinaction #designingforflourishing #economicsofflourishing #wellbeing #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #sdgs #noplanetb #climateaction #sustainability #planetaryboundaries #sustainabledevelopment #happiness
I'm excited, delighted and grateful to be featured in the Women Rock Switzerland special edition of Sovereign Magazine
Check out my interview here.
#womenentrepreneurship #entrepreneurship #wildwomen #rebelgirls#adventurers #climateaction #noplanetb #thisgirlcan #socialinnovation#innovation #nevergiveup #wellbeing #resilience
Some Netflix inspiration to watch and be reminded that humans are amazing and have the capacity to make massive positive change happen...(I didn't watch these back to back).
The Creative Brain
My Beautiful Broken Brain
The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind
Knock Down The House
The Call to Courage
The Unicorn Store
#love #creativity #ideas #innovation #entrepreneurship #loveasasocialmission #climateaction #noplanetb #sustainability #sdgs #flowinaction #iamunprecedented
I spent last Saturday morning with students from @collegebeausoleil developing their #entrepreneurship skills.
Amazing kids! Each team is coming up with an idea that they will pitch next month, for a product to sell to students and alumni, with profits going to a cause of choice.
I'm looking forward to hearing their final pitches. So much creativity, ideas and appetite to learn more and a pleasure to work with Aurelia Thompson-McNicol their teacher.
When I work with students like this, I'm also embedding wellbeing and resilience tools - empowering them as the new generation of innovators taking action the planet.
#flowinaction #wellbeing #resilience #ideas #imagination #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #sdgs #climateaction #noplanetb #beyourself #adventurers #sustainability #grit
I want you to come to the mountains for some coaching with me.
This is my cathedral. My office. My back yard.
Call it immersion therapy, in the planet you are taking climate action for.
Whatever you’re stuck with, whatever fear you’re feeling, whatever change of direction you want to make, or if you are just exhausted, coaching with me in this space brings new perspectives, connecting you deeply to your wellbeing and problem-solving creativity…which in turn opens up your capacity to innovate and design solutions that help the planet to flourish.
In Japan, they prescribe Forest Bathing as a proven part of self-care and wellbeing. I prescribe being bathed in the wisdom of the mountains and feeling the weight of the stillness under your feet. I've been doing this for a long time now - it works.
When you come for coaching with me, we stroll as we talk, because there is a stillness in movement; I know it’s actually quite painful to be super busy and then come to a dead-stop so we move. As we do, you slowly decompress and come face-to-face with the changes that you want to make.
We will simply ‘flâner’ – a gorgeous French word for strolling, meandering and wandering. We’ll rest on a couple of benches along the way and look at the view (your eyes will hurt with the beauty). I’ll introduce you to my best tree (it's a wild-woman thing and I’m often totally busted by passers-by as I’m having a chat with it) – it’s an Elder, a goddess tree of beginnings and endings. We’ll have a picnic and eat good cake (probably GF Banana Choc Bread to the lovely Sian Leigh's recipe).
I can’t guarantee the weather but I can guarantee that you will feel awe – a deep connection with something greater than yourself – which increases your wellbeing. And I won’t give you a magic bullet in one session but I do promise a starting point for making the changes that you want to make personally and professionally.
If all of this seems a luxury because you’re working hard to save the world, can I just point out that this is the world that you are working hard to save. Be in it to be inspired by it.
Yes, you can be here and back in half a day on the train. Yes, you can come on a weekday or a weekend. Yes, the changes you want to make will start happening. All that you need to do is say Yes.
I know you want to come. Email me email@example.com to find out more and arrange a time to be here.
I'll leave you with the eloquence of John Muir as a final invitation, “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn.”
#flowinaction #iamunprecedented #wellbeing #creativity #ideas #innovation #entrepreneurship #sdg3 #sdg4 #climateaction #noplanetb #lifecoaching #leadershipcoaching #happiness #loveasasocialmission
"Attending the Resilience session with Elaine was a moment of inspiration and supportive coaching to move forward with our project. It was really beneficial as members of a team and as individuals with personal stories to heal and look back on them. The concept of realizing I am unprecedent, is something I´d like to remember all the time. Personally, it gave me an assurance that it´s right to listen to ourselves, not only for personal situations but for all situations we are in. It is not common to find workshops that do this link between how we are inside and how we perform at our 'business level´. I wish more people/Companies could take a look at this. I felt an incredible rapport with Elaine, she is sensitive, knowledgable and inspiring to be around! Can´t wait to connect again."
Spring 2019 Programme, Capacity Zurich
“What do you do when you wake up and feel overwhelmed?” was a question I got last week when I was talking with Capacity Zurich’s start-up entrepreneurs. They are starting to turn the seeds of their ideas into self-sustaining businesses and we were exploring resilience for their ‘entrepreneur’s journey’. (They will be having their showcase on 21st June in Zurich, so save the date and go to be inspired, overjoyed and welcomed into their community).
My response went something along these lines, but shorter as time was pressing, so bear with me, as this is something of a love letter to them because they are such an amazing community.
Some days just start like this. And so, what to do to get past that feeling of overwhelm?
For a few moments, reconnect with the fact that you are unprecedented.
Admittedly the enormity of contemplating that there has only ever been a you, right here and now, not before and not coming after…does mess with your perception, a bit like a Max Escher staircase.
But I know of nothing simpler, gentler and more powerful a starting point than this, as a way to be present, let go, change direction, trust yourself to take a leap of faith and do things differently. You are a point of light in an unfolding cosmos, on this pale blue dot. A fractal of energy, rising and falling and rearranging.
It takes a nanosecond to practice, acting like a love-bomb filling you with colour and courage. The more you practice it, the more choices you get back, the more resilient you are – having the capacity to adapt in a constantly changing environment – softening into trust.
It gives you a different kind of courage because it’s not about ego (please note, feeling loved by feeling credible will frequently keep you trapped and get in the way of your best problem-solving). The best leaders and problem-solvers I’ve ever worked with and met, have been the humblest of people; and (from experience) the intra- and entrepreneur’s journey will take your ego and jump up and down on it, until you give in, let go, ask for help and keep on asking.
Reflecting on being unprecedented, is an invitation to think about how and where you want to show-up, to take the risk on allowing yourself the time to be deeply connected to others, to slow down long enough to be authentically you, which will fuel your unique engine of imagination and creativity.
Not only are you unprecedented in this bend of time and space, but so is the person next to you, the blade of grass, this year’s Spring flowers, the butterfly, the baby just born in a warzone, the families risking everything in the hope of something better. Once you pause to see it like this, you realise how precious the unique web of life is and how knitted into it you are. You start to own your story. Make like Gerald in Giraffes Can't Dance.
Tell someone else today too, especially a kid and watch their reaction. This kind of Love is disruptive innovation, cutting through overwhelm to what is most important to focus on; and what is needed when we take action for people and planet.
Martha Graham in her letter to Agnes De Mille wrote, “There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. And if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and be lost.”
Don’t block it. Take a breath. Be you. Start with unprecedented. Love more.
I'm so full of gratitude and joy for this feedback from the programme participants in the Capacity Zurich workshop.
"I felt your facilitation and the journey you took us on was more then that. I felt that you shared your life experience and passed on your valuable lessons learned. I felt that your workshop had so much ‘Herzensblut’ as it said in German. Herz - Heart + Blut - Blood ==> so much passion, compassion ,commitment and enthusiasm!
This way - your way - can only be facilitated by someone who knows exactly what she/ he’s talking about! I felt you cared. And this all made your training , facilitation , session on resilience so valuable, so genuine, so wholehearted!" Spring 2019 Programme Participant
"Amazing workshop Elaine! Thank you. Your open spirit and joyfulness inspired us to jump in and out and test the tools. You reinforced the power of positivity and how important it is in building resilience, which is essential for entrepreneurship. For me it was the channel which reached not only my understanding but also my emotions."
Spring 2019 Programme Participant
"I really loved your presentation, it was one of the most honest ones I know. And very encouraging!"
Spring 2019 Programme Participant
Yesterday. I worked with Capacity Zurich, running my #resilience for entrepreneurs activities with the incredible start-up entrepreneurs in their 2019 Spring programme.
Such an honour to work with them all and be so welcomed into their community.
What an amazing set of people. All of them. From the talented, feisty, focused team. To the talented, feisty, focused programme participants. What a group of adventurers and explorers, working hard to turn their ideas into start-up enterprises.
#iamunprecedented #flowinaction #joy #gratitude #loveismysocialmission#migrationmatters #iamamigrant #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship
The tipping points we are at in climate chaos are calling on us to do things differently; to embrace being fully human.
As changemakers, if we are exhausted then we can’t arrive in each day with our problem-solving creativity to challenge the status quo of zero-sum economics. It is harder to show-up with fresh insights, innovative ideas and the capacity to take real climate action.
Thus, the burn-out of leaders, entrepreneurs, impact investors, educators - concerns me greatly. I've been part of this tribe for 25 years, so I know how many of you have experienced, or are, experiencing it.
It bothers me when you’re lonely, tired, heart-broken, lost, jaded, fearful. And, most especially when you settle for a half-way house in your “one, wild and precious life” as Mary Oliver calls it in her poem, The Summer Day.
We are being invited to be braver than ever, not by pushing harder but by walking back into ourselves to design solutions around flourishing, to create a different, better type of nudge.
And what of flourishing personally? It is in noticing and creating the profoundly loving and positive connections that go deep and broad in the micro-moments of our everyday lives. Practice it so that you can build it.
David M Carter, describes how cultivating these positive emotions inspires environmentally responsible behaviours, so actually there is an even higher, useful purpose to you doing this:
“First, positive emotions expand and deepen our awareness that we are each a connected part of a much larger living system; the Earth. With greater awareness of this interdependence, our values, intentions, and actions become transformed. Second, positive emotions broaden our vision, resourcefulness, and capacity to creatively and effectively address environmental problems. And third, positive emotions help us to authentically connect with the things in life that are most precious. This authentic connection leads to greater happiness and well-being, and reveals indubitably that consumption levels in excess of what we need serve no purpose toward our overall life satisfaction.” (Carter, D.M., (2009) Cultivated Positive Emotions Inspire Environmentally Responsible Behaviours. University of Pennsylvania.)
The planet needs you to do things differently. Greta and a whole host of other advocates made a stand this week.
And it needs us to do differently so that we generate this connection to the ecosystems that sustain us. Whatever tidy plans you might have, with your back to back busy, I can guarantee that the Universe will send a messenger first, who will invite you to slip headlong into flourishing (the Arhuaco tribe have spoken); and when you don’t listen, she will unravel you to make sure you do, as described beautifully by Brene Brown.
As changemakers, we are on this path of ‘wrestling with angels’, as Stephen Jenkinson calls it...
“If you wrestle an angel, you will grow muscle. There’s no doubt of that. You will also hurt in places that you didn’t know you had. There’s no doubt of that either. And you will lose, by the normal calculus of trying to engineer the life that you’re sure you deserve. It will not come out as you planned, wrestling angels. Your plans are usually the first casualty of the match. But here is that great secret of it: you will be able to boast of your defeat. You will be able to stand in the wreckage of what used to be your certainty, your creed, your way of doing life’s business, and you can tell wild, true stories about how it all came to ruin. Whatever is left standing - and there is always something left standing when you wrestle angels - is the thing that was true about you and your life all along, as faithful a companion as the Earth that will one day cradle you again.”
To take this path is to commit to the revolutionary act of loving, to live those positive emotions that David M Carter refers to; as a way of opening up your deepest creativity and contribution for the planet, to decrease the suffering of others. This is what is left standing after you have wrestled with angels. The sum total of light in the world that you, being unprecedented, contributed.
I’m also one of those messengers extending the invitation.
So, I’m asking, what if you did things differently? What if you broke the routines of a lifetime that have made you content with safe discomfort? What if you chose ‘more’…given it’s in the interests of saving the planet? What if you designed everything around flourishing?
When you are ready, get in touch so that I can help you to make those real changes happen
And in the meantime, continuing the theme of messengers and daring to do things differently, watch my wonderful friend Rinat Sherzer's TEDx talk.
#iamunprecedented #flowinaction #wellbeing #positivity #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #climateaction #noplanetb
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.”
#iamunprecedented #loveismysocialmission #flowinaction #imagination #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #wellbeing #positivity #climateaction #noplanetb #sdgs
On Monday 18th March, I ran a youth entrepreneurship workshop at the UN Palais des Nations for @CASTrips with students from The British School - New Delhi
They took on the innovation challenge of cleaning up Delhi's air - the 6th largest polluter on the planet. I was delighted to welcome Lama Sha'sha'a, the Co-Founder of IRA - International Robotics Academy, Jordan to deliver a session; and run the event in partnership with Fiorina Mugione, Chief, Entrepreneurship Section, Division of Investment & Enterprise, UNCTAD.
Incredible students, incredible ideas, already innovating and dreaming big on enterprises to achieve the SDGs.
#wellbeing #ideas #creativity #innovation #entrepreneurship #flowinaction