Bonfire with Soul — Drop #2

A deeper dive into the meaning of a ‘Bonfire with Soul’…

Photo by Georgiana Avram on Unsplash

I introduced the Bonfire with Soul in my previous post: Bonfire with Soul — Drop #1. But essentially, it is an unlearning business school, promoting progressive business practice. Bringing together a community for common inspiration.

The course is delivered in 12 modules, with three drops of 4 video packages. Plus ‘kindling conversations’ with inspiring guest speakers, alongside Q&A sessions and a slack community of participants.

This week we explore:

  1. The Beauty of Not Knowing

The Beauty of Not Knowing

Tap into and follow your intuition. You may not know where it’ll take you. But it’ll be somewhere good.

Key takeaways:

  1. We need to be in the practice of inviting uncertainty.

Kindling conversation: Maggie Doyne — CEO and Cofounder of Blinknow.org and Kopila Valley School.

Maggie Doyne is a force of nature. As an 18 year old high school graduate, Maggie set off on a self discovery journey, what she found was a passion for helping the most vulnerable in our global human family.

Confronted by the reality of childhood poverty in Nepal, Maggie resolved to do something. Starting with one child, Maggie has built a welfare movement. Every child deserves the opportunity of a childhood. For love, learning, play and growth.

Establishing blinknow.org, with a vision of a world where every child is safe, educated, and loved. They are on a mission to change the world by empowering Nepal’s children through quality education, a safe environment and, inspiring others to establish similar projects.

The Kopila Valley School forms the keystone in this mission. Providing a free quality education to over 400 students. Giving children the power to shape their own lives.

Maggie’s message is in the power of action. Do something. Even if small. As this will form first step your journey.

Soil is Life

Soil is a metaphor for the teams we build. A diverse soil, is a fertile soil.

Key takeaways:

  1. Diversity is not only the right thing to do, it delivers the best results.

Kindling conversation: Stacey Kawahata, Anthony Coleman & Eric Tu — Former VICE Dream Team

Stacey, Anthony, and Eric, are life and soul. Collectively they were the Virtue/Vice team who worked with Duke on the ‘This is Yoga’ campaign for Lululemon.

Duke’s vision for the campaign was to offer the ‘world a hug’. The vice team interpreted this as presenting yoga as inclusive, not exclusive. Inclusive to a diverse set of communities. Beyond those ordinarily associated with yoga.

This interpretation of the campaign mission speaks from and to the diversity of the Vice team. Diversity of ethnicity, and diversity of sex, for sure, but also diversity of outlook, thought and experience.

If you wanna talk about hot dogs, you better make sure someone in the room has had a hot dog.

Diversity brings with it different perspectives, and authentic experiences to draw on. Offering integrity in action and delivery. Building those diverse relationships can be hard, and occasionally uncomfortable. But through empathy and trust, you reach a better understanding, not only of others but also of yourself.

How to engender diversity? Be intentional. Look around. Notice who’s not in the room. Give a voice to those who may be the ‘only one’ in the room.

This is Yoga:

  • Practice of Breath

See. Feel. Trust

The power of storytelling in communicating a vision.

“There’s no way we could do that.”

“But just imagine if we could?”

Key takeaways:

  1. Nothing starts, and nothing lasts, without a vision.

Kindling conversation: Mira Kaddoura— Founder of Red&Co

Mira is fearless. Born in Egypt, Mira was raised in Lebanon, surrounded by ‘badass’ courageous women. Inspired by these early influences Mira has gone on to establish herself as a renowned advertising creative, brand builder and storyteller.

Having founded Red&Co, Mira has consistently delivered outstandingly impactful campaigns. The Girl Effect and Google’s Made with Code both speak to the importance of empowering girls through education. Manifesting ideas that mobilize culture.

The Girl Effect, was a a campaign initiated by the Nike foundation that placed the importance of female health and education in improving the welfare and living standards, in to the global consciousness. Using the power of media to unlock the power of girls.

Similarly, the Made with Code campaign sought to inspire girls to code. The goal was to introduce over 1 million girls to coding. By focusing on what code can achieve; ‘The things you love are made with code’, the campaign sought to empower through possibility.

Both campaigns had huge resonance. Reaching far wider audiences, and having deeper impact the envisaged at the outset. The Girl Effect video has been watched over 1.5million times, and the proposals have been adopted at the highest development agency levels. The Made with Campaign ultimately introduced over 5 million girls (and boys) to coding.

‘As you worship, so you become.’

Do Nothing

Activity does not equal productivity.

Key takeaways:

  1. The recognition that more isn’t always more. In fact it is possible to achieve more by doing less.

Kindling conversation: Janine Benyus — Founder of Biomimicry

Janine is nature. Janine grew up in suburban New Jersey but always had an affinity for nature. She was the girl in the grass watching the ants. Her parents supported this blossoming interest, and moved to semi-rural areas. Chasing wilderness. As a youth she witnessed her Cherry Hill bulldozed to make way for an eight lane highway.

Nature and particularly Biomimicry; the art of not just learning about nature, but learning from nature, has become Janine’s life work. Innovation inspired by nature. Emphasising radical empathy for nature, we can see all life forms struggle with many of the same problems we encounter; safety, nutrition, warmth, rest, growth, reproduction and over millennia have evolved balanced solutions. Biomimicry is the practice of becoming more attuned to solutions derived by nature and adopting these into design.

“Imagine designing spring!”

Sensing a burgeoning shift in humanity’s relationship with nature, Janine, spent ten years collecting examples of biomimicry to collate into a book, published in 1997. Since then the biomimicry movement has grown to cover commercial design agency, non-profit, and education practices.

A key tenet of biomimicry is balance. Harmony. How in nature, systems and species can live alongside each other synergistically. Direct conflict in nature is rare. More often compromise and collaboration bring co-benefits. Such as the funghi and the tree. One provides carbon in exchange for phosphorus. Or in diurnal cycles, of activity and sleep.

And, in this symbiotic relationship we see no more is done than in needs to be done. A mode of working within systems rather than against them. The philosophy of Do Nothing, is well articulated by the eastern tradition of wu-wei, literally in chinese; ‘doing nothing’ or ‘effortless action’, do nothing that’s not in accordance with the natural universe;

“Fascinated girl,

lying still in the long grass,

watching busy ants.”

Budding Software Developer. Doing Makers.