Sometimes you have to work inside an office and sometimes your office is the shore of one of Europe’s wild rivers. Sometimes you have to use an app on your phone with ‘ nature sounds’ to find a moment to breathe, and then sometimes you are surrounded by the rainforest, with no connection or electricity.
Over the past two months I’ve been on the road in some of my favourites parts of the world: in the Amazon & temperate forests, working with activists, campaigners, visualizers, artists, project managers and directors. However all these titles are unnecessary when you are sharing insect repellent and you are simply grateful you can communicate.
These reflective moments have come together for me into something more concrete as I go between transit time from ferries, or buses, or planes or some other magical way of transportations that took me where I needed to be. Connectivity is more important than ever while participating in workshops, trainings and planning meetings:
Connect the Obvious : which is not obvious for everyone.
In a recent meeting, while we were planning next steps and thinking together how to change systems we decided to do the obvious thing: we agreed on the Outcome we wanted, the Objective of meeting & How we would work together. When you have people from all over (world, tribes, languages) it is usually useful to share assumptions & have one sentence that gathered us all, a bit like a map to navigate us to our shared destination.
Take Stock: or as the specialists call it plan for monitoring an evaluation of your campaign/ project
Yes, stay with us, monitoring and evaluation is fun!! And more relevant: it’s crucial for survival. When we are in the middle of work, we can become so focused that we are like an arrow… straight and there is no stopping us. Actually the world keeps spinning, news cycle keep changing and if we don’t connect with outside and we don’t check how are we doing we can spend all our resources and no one will be with us to make change happen.
Falling in Love: or knowing when to leave an idea behind
If you feel like you are falling in love with your own tactics and your own voice… stop for a min, go back to your strategy board and ask the toughest question of all : Do I REALLY need to do this? Big tip try and avoid answers like “but is sooo cool, but this other group was great, I really like it..’ Put your strategy filter on and rethink your tactics with the main goal & main audience all over again.
Embrace your musical soul: the all important playlist
The realities and the issues we work on can be tough, numbers scary, people inspiring and the world, well we have only one planet. So when you start feeling overwhelmed by it all, have your playlist nearby to remind you that we are also capable of music, of laughter, of love and connection. One person who inspires me is Benjamin Zander, he reminds me of how fun it is to work together, but also when to let go.