Beat Plastic Pollution in our Mountains and Lakes: let’s reinvent snowsports to leave no trace.
The workshop empowers children (7 -12 years old) to be happy agents of change!
Every child's creativity counts in this inclusive, fun workshop where all ideas count. They bring their brilliant, beautiful, unique imaginations and we play with ideas to change the world.
It is a ‘change-maker space’ where we take on a Sustainable Development Goal, exploring how we can solve it with incredible inventions.
We dream big, mash-up all of our creativity, riff on innovative solutions to big challenges, build prototypes from trash, tell the story of our inventions – everything is possible when we play like this!
We empower children to make a positive impact on their communities, building their resilience, wellbeing and entrepreneurial mind-set, equipping them with the skills for solving real-world challenges now.
After the workshop, Elaine shares a montage of the prototypes to innovation experts such as Professor Jonathan Rossiter, Professor of Robotics at the University of Bristol.
Your kids will leave the workshop as happy, hopeful, confident adventurers, believing in their problem-solving creativity.
Playing, inventing and laughing: what better way to spend a Saturday as a kid?
Sign up via: https://ltmmeco.eventbrite.com
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
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
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
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
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
Class E Lemania-Verbier International School were totally rocking it yesterday building their first prototype designs for their water carry on the mountain on World Water Day 22nd March.
They were turning the incredible ideas that they have been working on into a miniature maquette to test what worked and to refine the design. Water proof testing was carried out successfully! Mostly!
Maannnn, these kids are funny. Audacious ideas, collaborating to make them real, teamwork, questions, laughter, noisy creativity...and like meercats at the mention of chocolate! I can confirm there is no limit to the chocolate that they can eat.
Super proud of these resilient adventurous agents of change.
#agentsofchange #resilience #grit #wellbeing #hope #purposedriven#ideas #innovators #entrepreneurs
Not to be outshone, Class F at Lemania-Verbier International School also totally rocked it yesterday building their prototypes of their World Water Day - Water Carry designs.
We put on some tunes, tried to ignore the smell from the sour milk bottle that was part of the recyclable materials we were using and got on with creating.
With one man missing, Team Fearless dug deep and came up with the goods!
Warning to parents of Team Snowboard Survival...you may find some of your mountain kit has been 'borrowed' and turned into the larger prototype during the next couple of weeks!
...and Team Bike Magicians' excellent design passed the water proofing test!
Fantastic, ambitious, practical ideas turned into prototypes. These young people are full of imagination, they are risk-takers and adventurous problem-solvers.
They make me smile, smile, smile and I'm very proud of them.
#flowinaction #agentsofchange #creativity #ideas #resilience #grit #wellbeing #innovators #entrepreneurs #changemakers #adventurers #happiness
We can feel awe in everyday life, as well as in the extraordinary.
I experienced it this morning when I was out having a walk. After days of monochrome, it is a jaw-droppingly beautiful, bluebird day. And, I am filled with awe. Breathing in awe. Finding stillness. All my senses opening up to the sunshine.
I wasn’t unhappy when I left the house, but I’m definitely happier as I slow down and allow myself to take in everything around me.
Awe as a Trigger for Sustainable Action
A key trigger for feeling awe is being in nature, exploring it, watching it, learning about it.
Surely then, creating opportunities for young people to feel more awe by connecting to Nature, is a crucial part of empowering them as agents of change, able to take action to solve sustainability challenges.
Why? Because it builds the point of empathy that they are part of an ecosystem, not separate from it. It connects them to their creativity as they explore the phenomenal interconnectedness of the world around them, inspiring them to be problem-solvers.
How can you build more awe on Happiness Day?
I create ‘change-maker spaces’ where I get children and young people to play with ideas, taking a challenge from one of the Sustainable Development Goals and exploring how to solve it with them.
As they research, I’m getting them to connect to awe, to be amazed at the elegant solutions that Nature already has in place and getting them to use all of this to inspire their innovative problem-solving.
For example, during my learn to move mountains® workshop on 21st February at Soft-Space Geneva, the children explored filter feeders – sharks, bivalves, birds - before using this natural ‘technology’ to design innovative ocean-going, microplastic eating robots.
Here’s how you can do the same, connecting to awe to build a happier community of change-makers:
A happier Happiness Day…and beyond
Experiencing awe then, allows us as individuals to feel more positive emotions. Not least, I think, because using it in the context above also inspires hope – another of the top 10 emotions - that we can take positive, affirmative action for the planet.
Protecting the planet is to be our best as humans and we need to give young people hope that they can and do have a positive impact.
Studies have also shown that experiencing awe, prompts greater kindness and “leads people to cooperate, share resources, and sacrifice for others, all of which are requirements for our collective life.”
When we help others, we feel happier. It is an ingredient in our own fulfilment. Action for Happiness identifies “Do Something For Others” as one of its 10 Steps for Happier Living.
Making awe the lens that you look through, placing each of the unique humans that you are with into the global ecosystem, opens up a sense of vastness and value for their problem-solving creativity.
#awe #wellbeing #agentsofchange #changemakers #innovators #play #ideas #globalcitizens #entrepreneurs #sdg3 #happiness #happinessday #natureistheanswer #empathy