Rhythm for Future

Illness gifted me a bit of time by myself recently, and it struck me that rhythm is really the heart of health. Yet our modern lifestyle has us ignore many natural rhythms. Take electrical lighting, which has put us out of touch with an ancient sleep rhythm, one that may have had two sleep phases in boreal winter times – bridged by a meditative half-waking time. Obviously winter invites us to rest and celebrate – yet we’re as busy as always, if not more, consuming, filling our head with conventional x-mas duties that have lost touch with their original purpose.

Laying in bed, healing my bones, I slept a lot, laid awake at night, and pondered. I dreamed. And I came closer to my inner being, my insight, those ideas and motions that feel right, that remind me – quietly and patiently – which steps to take next and which ones to leave.

Maybe I keep doing this all winter. Maybe it’s what my body needs – after lifetimes of yanging through season after season: planning and making, then more planning and making. Maybe I gift myself full rhythms now, including the yin seasons: harvesting and dreaming. And give each season the equal amount of attention.

And maybe finally, I’ll live what the Conscious Cycle Kit nudged me to do since I created it in 2019. Four seasons, circling around a stylized Yin and Yang (see below poster for reference).

Yin seasons are receptive, passive, private, quiet, vague, slow, soft, introverted, regulatory: fall and winter.
Yang seasons are protective, vigorous, social, noisy, clear, fast, strong, extroverted, productive: spring and summer.

The whole wheel gives an overview of the four seasons moving through four domains. The seasons move clockwise around the wheel. The domains radiate out from the core: creativity, resilience, respect and courage. Each of the domains describe a holistic rhythm of life and its creative processes.

The wheel is as simple as it is complex. It’s so radically different from the way our schooling and economies tell us to do things. It’s so out of the box for our habitual brains that we may easily miss how basic this rhythm is to our being. And we keep missing two out of four beats. No wonder we see so much burnout and illness.

I’m at the end of my thought for today. If you read this and feel inspired to learn more, find more downloads on our website, follow us on insta or join our group for monthly calls.

Good Cards for a Good Climate

Here’s a set of postcards to help get climate conscious in everyday life. Each card shows a prompt to become climate wise.

Engage your colleagues, friends and extended family in a bit of banter around energy and water consumption, packaging and pollution and love for our planet and the abundant nature it gifts us.

Just download the pdf and print these 37 cards at any copy shop (A6 equals postcard format). Then take theme everywhere you go. They’re a great icebreaker, conversation starter, provocative agent for good.

With love,

Conscious Cycle Kit – beta

Some nights are just glorious. Like one morning in March 2020, when I woke with such clarity and insight that I sprinted to my notebook to jot down what had come into perception. I wrote almost all of it in 2h, and spent a few days refining.

The purpose of the kit is to help you reclaim your natural flow of creation. Each of us has a unique rhythm, which we can tap, if we listen in and work with our intuition. My friend Kate Alexandra was probably the first to point me towards this way of thinking in the early stages of We Are In.Tuition.

If you’d like to purchase a beta-version get in touch over at www.deepcreation.co.

We Are In.Tuition Fieldbook out now

It’s been a year since we held our retreat in Cowra, and from it sprung a fieldbook with wise and thoughtful stories of circle life, leadership and transformation. Our group of academic fringe dwellers crowdfunded layout and print and we’re eternally thankful to our many supporters. Talented Jenni Ottilie took on the graphic design of this eclectic collection of goodness, certainly not the easiest task to find a rounded look and it turned out marvellous.

The fieldbook has philosophical articles, musings, poems, game instructions and thought exercises, introductions to concepts, book recommendations, and there’s a playlist, too!

Here are two versions, one larger and a small pocket version.

Founder at Heart @MBAe

Founder at Heart is a result of a few years teaching Global Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Technology Sydney’s MBAentrepreneurship. We realised that, coming from an anthropological perspective, some of the inner work we did with students resonated deeply. So, I was invited to design a course around purpose and collaboration.

Summer 2018 was the first term this course was taught. I introduced many reflective exercises and some games, and had four wonderful guests speaking on purpose and integrity, holacracy and non-violent communication as well as resilience and conscious entrepreneurship. My favourite bit is that as one of the assignments students design a game – or experiential format – on the issue of complexity and resilience.

Self reflection as a tool to design a sustainable enterprise
This subject aims to help founders appreciate their entrepreneurial purpose, understand ecosystemic resilience and learn about alternative and lesser known business models that have sustainability at their core. Founding a venture requires imagination, courage and strength of character. Every founder is different, so identifying their values and relationships is imperative to build a business that suits their character but also build harmonious teams and create a regenerative market. With the aim of understanding and developing their own motivation, inner workings and capabilities, students learn to embed their entrepreneurial ethics into 21st Century complexities. Students also learn to take a systems perspective and gain knowledge of new ways of working inherent in Open Value Networks and Cooperatives as well as Holacracy and Teal Organisations. The subject builds on the works of Otto Scharmer (Theory U), Kate Rawford (Doughnut Economy), Daniel Kahnemann (Thinking Fast and Slow), Joanna Macy (The Work that Reconnects), Fritjof Capra (The Systems View of Life), Charles Eisenstein (The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible) and Frederic Laloux (Reinventing Organisations). These authors span and connect inner motivation and capabilities with systemic and economic practices and mindsets.

How it’s different to your usual MBA class
One of the most important aspects of FAH is that it’s taught by an anthropologist, a media/design anthropologist, who’s dedicated to bring humanities back into business (polemic, I know…hehe).  That’s why we’re looking at human behaviour first. This shift of thinking might seem trivial, but it has all kinds of ramifications for teaching business.

Addressing human behaviour and culture
Many companies have understood that applying design thinking without cultural change doesn’t aid innovation and competitiveness. Also, from an anthropocentric perspective, humans have great impact on the planet and not everything we plan is working in our favour in the long run. We can see the ramifications of extractive economy in many ways. And because humans are awesome in adapting to their environment, we’re already building new economic models to help building markets that help the earth regenerate. This course teaches an overview of what it requires to build a good business in a holistic sense.

Pick, remix and make new
Another aspect that is different from other courses – and academic tradition in general – is that this course offers a whole array of content that we skim (instead of going deep into some specialised content). Thi is similar to what we see emerging in faculties for transdisciplinary innovation (check out UTS’ FTDI). Dipping into different ideas and relating them with each other is a deeply creative practice, because in doing so we are creating knew
knowledges at the intersection of our readings.

Intuition helps navigating complexity and uncertainty
This approach aligns with the content we’re covering: it trains us to work within complexity and uncertainty; it requires a dash of intuition, collaborative faculty, and courage to make decisions without extensive data, instead relying on gut feeling, to move because it feels right. But this also means to understand intuition from different schools of thought and training with exercises that are designed to sharpen the senses. Having strong intuition is one of the top qualities great entrepreneurs count on, however, intuition is in communication with its environment and values, so it can always only be as good as the wisdom we’re surrounded by. Thus, in order to shape an intuition of the 21st Century we need to build new, sustainable cultures and views about planet earth and our role on it.

Learning through aesthetic pedagogy
I deeply care about this so called aesthetic pedagogy as I believe it caters to our creative minds in a way that is neglected. This is one course within your whole year that gives students the opportunity to engage as freely as a University course can offer while I as a lecturer am still able to grade achievements. While Universities and traditional schooling give clear guidelines and criteria to meet, this course addresses creativity, imagination, and personal experience. These cannot be assessed like content you are asked to learn and repeat or use in a certain way. For example, this course offers several resources, at students’ choice, and several modes of engagement that are experimental and require creativity. All assignments are designed to explore the edges of students’ comfort zones without the risk of failing greatly.

Module 1 – Complex Systems

  • Complexity
  • Resilience

Module 2 – Purpose and Integrity

  • Purpose and Integrity
  • Relationship

Module 3 – Views of “Economy”

  • Conscious entrepreneurship
  • Alternative Business Models

Module 4 – P2P Workflows

  • Technology Stack
  • Tools

Module 5 – Navigating Uncertainty

  • Working with Uncertainty
  • Working with Intuition
  • Conversational Intelligence


Manifesto For Tomorrow at the Art Gallery of NSW

Manifesto For Tomorrow was an experimental youth engagement program that made participants the authors of their own declarations of beliefs, intentions and motifs. The program ran in the spring of 2017. I.C.E., the Art Gallery of New South Wales and an alliance of education partners developed and delivered a youth program of artistic research and interpretation, production and presentation that asserted individual and collective identities through the development of a two manifestos; one made by students from Auburn Girls High School and one by Granville Boys. Thereby, Manifesto for Tomorrow provided vulnerable and disenfranchised youth from Western Sydney access to resources to both study and produce alternative narratives of representation and identity.

The focus lay on Sydney Modern Project, the Gallery’s expansion project that will see the space transformed for art, live performance, film, learning, study and cultural experiences. Involved were Gallery staff and a select group of provocateurs from a range of disciplines to help students develop their own utopian vision for the future of the Gallery. The group was guided through a journey of investigation, idea generation and development. They were afforded unprecedented access to the building, and the plans for the Sydney Modern Project.

Significantly, Manifesto for Tomorrow simultaneously fostered constructive critique and engagement with the AGNSW. Using I.C.E.’s Mobile Digital Studio the program facilitated a comprehensive suite of creative development and production, skills development and training opportunities. At the completion of the program the groups’ manifestos were presented to high-ranking members of the gallery. In addition, both digital artifacts that were created as manifestos was presented to the board in January 2018.

The Process
The two-week program followed a three-step structure:

  • information and research (days 1 – 5),
  • exformation and data mapping (days 2 to 7), and
  • creating and collaborating (days 6-10)

This set-up is typical for design thinking, integrated into participatory storytelling or community arts overlay.

In short, the project exposed the students to four different examples of art manifestos of the 20th and 21st Century (Neen, Fluxus, Minnesota Declaration) as well as four different types of galleries (Maryland County Museum, Sammlung Boros, MoNA, and Sandham Memorial Chapel). Visiting two other galleries on day 3 gave students a physical introduction to a variety of museums, so that they could more critically compare their experience at the Art Gallery of new South Wales.

The students’ manifesto statements were collaboratively researched, mapped, focused and formulated with the help of my role as a Lead Provocateur, meaning that I’d help students learn to research like an anthropologist, critically questioning, using all their senses, and sense-making when bringing information together. Artist Educators from AGNSW joined us each day in order to facilitate the co-creation of the artifact that contained the students manifesto statements.

Read more – including student’s quotes – in pdf below.

We Are In.Tuition – Remixing the Goods

  A project I’ve been working on is called We Are In.Tuition.

We Are In.Tuition is a creative residency, dojo, retreat, open value network and fieldbook. It’s the result of 15 months of dojos / gatherings jamming on a loosely defined field of shared practice: intuition and mutual care in leadership, innovation and the future of work.

In February this year, we spent a weekend at Cowra’s The Corridor Project, a rural Australian Woolshed to explore the question- what does it mean to be intuitive, trusting in flow, emergence and embodied wisdom when living in patriarchal structures?

We have since, created an Open Value Network (OVN) to practice and support new and ancient ways of being and livelihood. We are a group of fringe dwelling academics and creative practitioners.

When I designed the playshop series I pulled out a big sheet of paper and wrote down all the methods, exercises, ideas and practices that had inspired me recently. As a result, our workshop became a bootlegged remix of all kinds of ways of working, and I thought it’s useful to list them here:

  • Coyote Pedagogy – Jon Young’s 8 Shields
  • Emergence Pedagogy
  • The Art of Hosting
  • Possibility Management
  • Non-Violent Communication – Marshall Rosenberg
  • Dragon Dreaming
  • Value Polarities – Daniel Barcay
  • Social Presencing Theatre – Otto Scharmer
  • Theory U – Otto Scharmer
  • Open Space Technology
  • Co-Design
  • Co-Ethnography
  • Collective Impact
  • Open Value Network
  • Dojo Principles
  • Deep Ecology – Joanna Macy, Arne Naess
  • Positionality – Rebecca Freeth
  • Serendipity Management – Inkinen Jaako
  • Taboos and Authority – Arnold Mindel
  • Hidden Commitments / Immunity to Change – Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey
  • Epic Storytelling and Hero’s Journey
  • Aboriginal Lore
  • Political Literacy
  • Zen
  • Conversational Intelligence
  • Satsang
  • Coaching
  • Magic and Shamanism

While I was wondering whether this wild mix would make for a confusing retreat, it turned out to be just fabulous. Everyone said that we learned and did “sooo much, but it didn’t feel that way”.

A year into the project, we’re now raising money to help design and print a fieldbook we made as a result of our explorations in Cowra earlier this year. We’re inviting you to pre-purchase a fieldbook through our crowdfunding campaign. We have also pulled together range of “rewards” to suit a variety of tastes and budgets as a way to say thank you for your kind donation.

This think-and-do’ fieldbook will be produced under Creative Commons licence, to be shared and remixed by anyone!

Please support us here on StartSomeGood

What’s The Future of Education, Really?

UTS Business School has released a short clip on the work we’ve been doing with our students. It’s been a tough semester, including a lot of strong emotions among my students as well as me. The comments they made on this clip validate so beautifully that learning is a liminal threshold, and being outside your comfort zone is … well uncomfortable.

A moment of deep appreciation for the opportunities we get to do the work that connects and expands.

Artist Residency – Working with Resistance

As part of my Artist Residency at the University of Technology Sydney, I was invited to run a series of experimental gatherings, in which we offer a space to reflect and practice working with uncertainty. Our experiments are around behaviours, ethics, and tools that are helpful in times of change. My facilitation is informed by remixing methods and knowledge from the arts, technology, permaculture, business, the humanities, and coyote pedagogy (quite fascinating techniques from wilderness education). The idea is to learn and train together, like in a Dojo. I’ll prepare the space and framing; and at the same time I will be a trainee like everyone else.

The aim of this series is:
a)     to sharpen our senses and working with flow; being intrapreneurial in a top-down hierarchy; it’s about setting the scene and how we relate; it’s about resistance in and around us; about the quality we bring to our lives in order to create magic. And yes, there’ll be sharing on ingredients for proverbial magic potions (no bones or blood involved, promised); and
b)     to research and develop emergent pedagogies through artistic enquiry.

We ran two workshops in Sydney and one retreat out of Sydney. And the result eclipsed what I had originally envisioned by far. We’re currently layouting a co-ethnographic journal and running a crowdfunding campaign to bring it to life.

Hacking Monopoly

Ishan Markandeya came over to Sydney and we co-designed a special Futurescouts session for the course I teach for a group of MBAe Business Students at UTS. We flipped Monopoly and asked our students to hack the game further, to prototype resilient business for a time of transition, to experience the commons, to create economic fictions.

Group size: 3 – 6 pax
Playtime: 1-4h

We hacked Monopoly to offer a collaborative game that educates about commons-based business modelling.

The game is played like monopoly, but we changed the properties to ones that are systemically related to the intersection of economics and politics. The community chest contains cards on resiliency and chance cards pose challenges to growth and profit maximisation. There are five currencies, for example, reputation, time, and natural resources. The game is designed to be hacked further by its players, so that new rules  emerge by way of storytelling. The game win is when all properties belong to the commons and the players begin regenerating spaceship earth.

The goal of Polypoly is not to bankrupt your fellow players, but rather to engage in a non-zero sum game to create “steady-state” economic systems. To win Polypoly is to create the highest quality of life for all life through abundance.

That’s not to say you’ll reach it, though – it all depends on players choices.

The conversations and stories that emerge are how we create a healthy dialog about values, economic ideals, and a place for participants to engage in vibrant discussion about 21st century economics, governance and value.

Compete and cooperate to buy properties of an economy. Commoner, Capitalist, Communist, Socialist? There’s ways to play them all. You might be surprised at your own decisions.

Balance multiple currencies for various social and economic advantages. Cash, Time, Reputation, Influence, and Natural Resources all have buying power! How will you manage your resources?

For more information on the game visit polypoly.us.
This prototype is an ongoing collaboration with FutureScouts.

Fieldbooks United

Over the years we have created a whole series of co-ethnographic fieldbooks to document our social projects. Here is an overview of the lot, in no chronological order, but favorites first. There might be some buzz word alarm. And a lot of depth beyond the buzz. To download click on images.

This is the first of our six Learn Do Share fieldbooks that we created with participants of the workshops and events we ran.  This one is from 2012 at Parsons New School of Design in New York City. The book is full of games, thoughts and activities on change agents, wicked solutions, and collaborative intelligence.

This book was a result of an artist residency at the University of Technology Sydney in 2017/2018. It’s full of wise and thoughtful stories of circle life, leadership and transformation, philosophical articles, musings, poems, game instructions and thought exercises, introductions to concepts, book recommendations, and there’s a playlist, too!

Oh Robot Heart Stories was such a mega mega mega good project! It’s an experiential learning story that was run with two school classes in Montreal and Los Angeles, using technology, math, geography and their creativity to navigate a lost robot home, all the while learning about the fragility of our planet.


Our events with Learn Do Share in NYC attracted many Europeans, some of which started their own events in Gothenburg, Amsterdam, Warsaw, Paris and Barcelona. This is the fieldbook of our 2013 event in Gothenburg. The content spans open design, shared storyworlds and the value of creativity.


2013 in New York City, this event was all about working with at risk youth, incubating your future and the new venture economy.




The events in Los Angeles had a distinctly different touch to the ones in NYC. For this book, the group chose the theme “Diversity as Identity”, which aligned with the idea they had of the city. The book covers emergent design, incubating civic engagement, storytelling as a means for social change and several manuals for collaboration techniques.


Ghent was another of the European creative spots we visited. This book has an array of advice on games, purposeful storytelling, igniting the imagination of many and how to run an open design challenge.



The Paris crew made their event all about design fiction, building storyworlds, and rebooting the world by giving children digital and creative literacy.




This crazy little book was the result of a birthday surprise, in which we design a geo-located scavenger hunt that started in an art gallery, where we posted a fake art plaque with a primer and a QR code, which gave the first clue. This pdf covers the main stops and overall design of the game.



This report is the result of a very elaborate ethnographic study by Ludwigsburg Filmakademie. The goal was to investigate how Generation 20+ uses technology these days. Although media use changes by the minute, this report is most interesting with regard to the methods used for research.

Ethnographic Research on Regenerative Futures

When I spent time in Europe I live with an intentional community on 10ha of land in Northern Germany. The place used to be a Botanical Garden meets Bionics experiment. Sounds wild? Yes, the Prof whose mind-child it was, was a true visionary, Buckmintser Fuller style. One of his books is “The Ecology of Beauty“.


The area lay fallow for 4 years. Imagine an exotic botanical garden grow wild! It’s an amazing place to be, and the group of 18, who (got a private loan to buy and) work with the land have dedicated their efforts to experiments with natural building, community building, permaculture and regenerative technology, human dynamics, healing and nature … ah many a thing.

This vid was created when Wir Bauen Zukunft started with a summer camp to clear away many of the signposts, fences, and derelict gigantic models that showed the functions and mechanics of different animals and plants.


Level Up – Resilience and Empathy Card Game

In Bavaria, in not so ancient times, 30 researchers from different faculties at 18 universities got together to develop their field of study through a lens of “resilience”. They worked for a year and came together in groups of 2 or 3 to then design games based on their research. That means, when playing this game, players will learn about resilience and will have to tap their empathy, not to win or gain points but to increase the spirit and joy around the table. 

2016-09-23-09-58-19Group size: 5 – 8 pax
Playtime: 10 mins – 1h

We designed this storytelling card game to aid groups in companies or cooperatives to tap their empathy with each other and solve resiliency problems of their collective behaviours or projects.

The game starts with a shared problem or design question. Then, prompted by either danger or solution cards (based on resilience factors found by the academics), each player takes a turn to tell a part of an emergent story relating to the key word they drew. The prompt will be put on the table, so that all cards lie open in the end. Bit by bit, players draw cards and decide whether they can be matched (“solve a danger”). In rounds, players takes a new card per turn and continues the story, using the keyword they drew and their imagination. The story is built successively around the table, always relating to the project or problem at hand. This way, the group has a conversation that might solve some of the open questions of their problem in a playful way.
To juice up the game, there is a buzzer that can be hit when someone guesses what character trait (empathy) another player projects.
The round ends when all cards are matched on the table. The next round is based on a new problem or design question that relates to the larger topic. The game ends when players decide they have played long enough. 🙂

Here is a play manual pdf: Manual_Level Up_Resilience Empathy Card Game_Full Set

Queer Economics And Love-Driven Politics

I’m feeling torn about this article. Although I posted it on Medium I never shared it really. I rewrote “fem” and “masc” to read “yin” and “yang”, but that doesn’t cut it either. There’s something in it, and it needs other people, conversation, to shape what can become, so I release it:

This is the story of a change of mind that came so sudden that I didn’t even had time to get nervous. It was the day I shared the stage with Yochai Benkler, which means I had a mad good audience. The OUIshareFest committee had asked me to talk about Poietic Co-Entrepreneurship, something I had R&D’ed for years. But just before the talk, I spontaneously decided to share something else instead, and said:

“This talk is about Androgyny, or the in-between, and how that relates to the way we work, talk and play.”

I handed out small tags and asked everyone in the audience to write down how they saw themselves on a scale between masculine and feminine. Say, I feel 70% feminine and 30% masculine. Then I asked them to flip that and listen to the talk from that perspective. Dear reader, you might want to do the same.

After we had gender-labelled ourselves sufficiently, I went on. Let’s assume we live in a patriarchal economy. That means that structures, symbolism, language as well as storytelling and sense-making mechanisms are largely masculine. There’s an emphasis on competition, argumentative communication, and a desire for definition, linearity, and focus.

At this point, I could hear shuffling feet in the audience and noticed intensive stares, but no one left.

To reveal patriarchal structures, I spoke about pyramids versus galaxies as symbols for the old and new economy. The pyramid is the old economy, a hierarchical system with a desire for security/control, winning, and stability. You set an aim, shoot the arrow and go for the kill. The galaxy is the new economy, and is made of many moving parts, which continuously change their relationship towards one another. Here, control is surrendered to organic movement. Stability is found in resilience: the ability to respond well to whatever curveball your environment serves you.

Emerging ways of working emphasise such traits. They are relational and integrative, not exclusive or competitive. Take commons-oriented peer production or design thinking, where pivoting and iterating are characterised by non-linear flows that embrace and integrate multiple potentialities.

By this stage, I felt heightened energy in the room and saw supportive nods. I went on pointing out that — while we’re religiously preaching design thinking — the method itself will not change current winner-takes-all practice unless we change the language that goes with it.

We’re still using war terminology: we talk about strategy and tactics and war rooms and combatting problems. Just to get a foot in the door, we marry design thinking with business speak. Speaking of imagination, joy, and playfulness is still frowned upon. Despite modern rhetoric, failing still has a stigma. Empathetic soft-spokenness is devalued as weak and indecisive. Saying “maybe” is seen as an invitation to be taken advantage of. What a shame! What I hear when I hear “maybe” is an invitation to build on someone’s thought. It’s not about arguing someone’s point. It’s about possibility. It’s about levelling up. Not beating down. And that’s way stronger than arguing a point. It is stronger, because you acknowledge that there is more than your viewpoint; it’s stronger, because you acknowledge that an opposing idea is still as true as yours; it’s stronger, because you can hold paradoxical ideas at once and still make sense; it’s stronger, because it’s non-linear multi-level sense-making. In the age of complexity, we may want to come to see that as an evolutionary advantage.

At this point, I had eased into my stream of consciousness. So, this is me with a limb out. I proposed that our storytelling is largely masculine, not just in terms of predominant characters in popular TV and cinema, but in terms of underlying structure. In the world of books and films, the typical linear story follows a three-act masculine orgasm: (1) foreplay, (2) climax, (3) sleep (forgive me, but it’s funny). With new technologies, though, we see non-linear narratives emerging. Stories take place on various platforms, such as film, app, graphic novels, instagram, games etc. Such roving stories have multiple orgasms: several releases in various places at once. I’m sure masculine types enjoy these, too.

This chart wasn’t part of my talk, but I got obsessed:


If the Western world is a stronghold of the masculine, how can we bring in the feminine without compromising the masculine altogether? It’s obvious that we have a liking for domination and “power over”. It’s also obvious that — to save our planet  — we need to shift our focus to nurturing and caring qualities; the ones that act from a deep-seated “power within”, a mature strength that leads by service, a confident wanderer that finds that the goal can be in the way.

In our upbringing, we have learned that masculine traits bring success, but we shouldn’t train ourselves to play the domination game. Instead, we should infuse our economy with love and care. Still, we need to realise that these traits bring success, too. And that means valuing and remunerating affective and emotional labour. That means recognizing that the feminine holds a wisdom that will only thrive if we allow the masculine to subside a bit. That doesn’t mean that we don’t need our masculinity. The opposite, we need both. We need the queerness of being both, of being in-between. We could re-marry the masculine and feminine; renew the vows and help both create the poetry of life by working hand in hand, by engaging in love-driven politics with each other, and with nature, by being alchemists.

So I wonder:

  • How can we create malleable structures that enable and equally value both feminine and masculine expressions of individual and collective creativity?
  • How can we bring about a value system for a new economy that embraces the in-between – including its uncertainty, fuzziness, and tenderness – and fosters queerer and more caring modes of interaction?

In Paris, I ended my talk reading out this poem of mine.


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Permaculture for Business

In early 2015, I sent an email to the Michael Crouch Innovation Center at UNSW (back then just opening) and suggested an artist residency to do ethnographic research in a Permaculture community. My goal was to try and apply permaculture principles to the way we work and live in cities; to find new ideas how to transform or build businesses. I never heard back, so I kept working on existing projects.

2016-05-26 09.10.01Later in the year, I worked on an Earthship, together with a wonderful community of permaculturists and natural builders. I thought how useful would it be to bring entrepreneurship and business students out to the country, to work together in this way, hands on, thereby learning what entrepreneurship really is, before learning business modelling and financial planning.

When I returned to Sydney, I spoke to the head of the newly established Judith Neilson chair at UNSW (based in Architecture and Build Environment). The reaction was “intrigued” but we didn’t get anywhere.

One step closer. At least someone heard me.

I also spoke to people at the Hatchery and the business school at UTS. Interest but no budget and risky. If you know someone, who’d be excited to invest in such an experimental learning program, please get in touch.

LORE :: Androgyny

Over the course of a few years, I’ll tie different strands that I research together. I use LORE as a term for this package of research; LORE in the sense of “folklore” but also as “body of traditions” or (in)visible cultural norms we abide by. First, because everything I do places itself in storytelling. Also, because I live and die for a good faerytale. And lastly, because I was invited by an indigenous elder to learn with her. In Wirradjirri, the indigenous Australian Dreaming is referred to as LAW/LORE, which opened up a whole new way of thinking about culture and ethics as a way to “law”. The different strands that I collect under LORE are emerging as I evolve. The first theme that came to me was Androgyny, or generally everything that’s in-between.

To get my ethnography going I started a facebook group to start a conversation about the “in between” across many domains: sex (on being both masc/fem as male/female), politics (on binaries and unity), creativity (on being ambidextrous), mind (on reasoning and sensing), culture (on science and art), philosophy (on spirituality and logic). It’s about integration and remix and what it means when it gets jumbled in a body; how it (re)presents itself in the world; and about our agency. Something important is shifting globally and here’s a forum to move beyond binaries.

Soon after I had about 300 group members, I invited those based in Sydney to a local workshop, a playground to explore and make-do. We were about 20, meeting for 3h at Join the Dots, a workshop space in Marrickville. We had queers, cis, mums, dads, singles, Europeans, Australians, freelancers, artists, consultants, yoga teachers, designers, employees, entrepreneurs, writers, musicians, academics, artists, oh dear so many, all between the age of 5 to 50.

The main questions we asked when designing this playground were:
– How can we soften current labels around gender, queerness or heteronormativity?
– How can we soften ubiquitous divisive/competitive language (i.e in Business and Science) to a more androgynous/integrative one?
– How can we play in between binaries and make people comfortable with that fuzziness?

We started with a little identity change. We gave each participant a small tag. On the one side they first estimated their percentage of feminine and masculine traits. For example,  today I feel 70% feminine and 30% masculine in a female body. Then, we turned the tag around and wrote on the other side. This time, we would choose the opposite or a variation that is very alien to me. For example, I would now have a male body and feel 90% and 10% feminine. The idea was to tap into empathy. Once we had our characters, we all pledged to stay in character throughout the workshop. When we did this, Baran played the hang for us. The atmosphere was so joyful, chilled and energised. Loved it. 

Before the workshop we had asked everyone to bring three objects, ne that is masculine, one feminine and one neutral. We laid out a large butcher paper and everyone traced their object and took it away again. Just looking at the outlines, the group walked around and wrote adjectives next to the traces. This way, we collected impressions about shapes and outlines that hint on masculine and feminine, but we also gathered counterintuitive statements. Overall, we figured that objects were divided into fem, neutral or masc according to their function and/or shape. Very interesting was the 5-year-old, who couldn’t identify specific female objects, everything was male or neutral. Overall, we saw that everyone started from a different idea of what Androgyny is.

To go into the next exercise we asked everyone to choose an object and form groups around a certain object. The task was to create a story that incorporates the object and the gender swapped characters we were playing. For the next hour, groups drew story boards, build small objects and wrote various versions of character development. All this work was done on butchers paper.

To share their ideas, each group improvised a 5-minute performance with everyone on stage performing their character in drag. Giving everyone a counterintuitive role, our idea was to help people get into other people’s shoes. But what happened instead was that all our stories poised  at the edge of stereotyping. It was remarkable to see how we all exposed ourselves freely to how little we actually knew about what it really felt like for others. 

While listening to the stories, the audience would make notes on “Triggers and Thresholds”. Whenever they were triggered emotionally by something pleasing they would write down one word. And whenever they felt a reaction to a threshold, or a liminal space, that is threatening to them, they wrote down a keyword that popped up in that moment. All these keyword were noted on post-its.

On the wall we had created a matrix, on which we collected these statements to get an overview about feminine  and masculine gender ideas in the room. After each performance the whole group would run at the wall and place their triggers and thresholds along a horizontal line that ran from feminine to masculine, and a vertical line that ran from trigger to threshold. 

With such a short timeframe there was no more time to drill deeper into areas, such as the “in between”, transgender, orgasms, sexuality, politics, business, language, emancipation of gender, evolution, etc. We left knowing that there was great interest in a series of playgrounds around the topic.
More photos and details are here.

Group size:
Expected size of the group is 15 to 35.

Index Cards (6 x 9)
Post-it Notes
Butcher Paper
Masking Tape
Markers (3 different colours)

Room setup
3 tables
2 benches
floor space and cushions
three walls, one used for projection

Superhero Card Game

Play this game with a group as an icebreaker or as an energizer to make people talk casually and intimately to learn something about themselves and their peers.

GSuperpower card pic by student_croproup size: minimum 10 pax
Playtime: 5 Min intro, played across breaks, 10 min framing, ideally leads into a self-inquiry game (ask us)

The game objective is to give insight into our life journey and empower confidence in our personal capacity and creativity. Learn to be vulnerable and experience others’ openness.

Hand out  one card pp during a break and ask people to swap until they have their favourite. Back in the group ask who is ultimately happy with their card. Usually, a few are, but most are not. It’s an analogy to life. You cultivate talents and skills, but more often than not lose them to market demands. By retrieving our superpowers we can adjust our path as we go, contributing our best to the world.

Played at: University of Technology Sydney, SW/TCH Festival Sydney, re:publica Berlin, This is Not Art Newcastle, Parsons New School of Design NYC, OUI Share Paris