Join our World Wide Wander September 8, 9 & 10

This autumn (or spring if you’re in the Southern hemisphere), we’re bringing together our community from the four corners of the earth in one big weekend of wandering and wondering, Street Wisdom-style. The inaugural World Wide Wander is happening over three exciting days – the 8th, 9th and 10th of September. Join us as a participant or take the opportunity to run an event yourself, bringing magic and insight to the streets of your town.

Street Wisdom was recently described as ‘walking-based problem solving‘. During our global street takeover, we’d love to see hundreds of people all working together to solve problems, using the streets as their inspiration – and making some new friends along the way. Imagine what we could achieve. Let’s come together and make our world a more connected, inspiring place for everyone.

If you’d like to run an event, just sign up, download our free toolkit and follow the instructions to set up the event on our site. All you need is some friends, work colleagues, family members…and a street! And if you’re happier participating, keep checking our events  page and social media to find out where you can join in. If you’d like us to contact you, please register your interest here. We’re thankful to Psychologies Magazine for partnering with us for the event and welcome all their readers too.

Help us to build a better, more inspiring world – one street at a time.

See you on a street in September!

Mel, Mark, David and Rachel – the Street Wisdom team.

Photo courtesy stephencotterell.com photography

 

 

New Leaves

Street Wisdom is going to be featured in an excellent new book – Creative Super Powers

It was dreamed up by Creative Social‘s Daniele Fiandaca, co-edited by Street Wisdom’s Scott Morrison and the chapter itself was written by our founder, David Pearl. Published by Unbound, the book has been entirely crowdfunded by the creatively curious and this week we offered a Street Wisdom event, led by David, to thank some of those who’ve financially backed the project.

It felt like Super Powers were at work, producing an immaculately sun-dappled Hoxton Square as our starting point – as well as a brilliantly open-hearted group of participants, all of whom have some connection with the creative industries. Lots of the questions were about ’turning over a new leaf’ and the street didn’t disappoint with insights. Here are three examples.

Q: Should I leave London or stay? A: Stay and help make London the kind of place you wouldn’t want to leave.

Q: Should I build a big business or a small, focused one? A: It’s not the size of the business, but the size of the impact that matters.

Q: How can I make my working life less stressful? A: Let the cranes do the heavy lifting – and you focus on the job of an architect.

If you were there, please add your own impressions. And keep using the streets to feed your creativity!

Would you like to work with us?

We’re looking for an amazing person to join our team. Could it be you?

Street Wisdom has gone from strength to strength since its inception in 2013 and we celebrate our successes here in the UK and around the globe. Our community is growing – across 30 countries – and so is our business wing. Innovative and creative thinking has never been needed more and we’re excited to be working with organisations that recognise the power of Street Wisdom to unlock fresh thinking. All the profits from our corporate work go back into Street Wisdom to ensure that we can keep running events around the world, for free.

Now we’re putting the call out for a part-time Assistant Producer to join our team, support us as we move forwards and help us shape the future. If you could be the person we’re seeking please click HERE to read the details. Deadline for applications is June 19. We can’t wait to meet you!

With warm regards,

The Street Wisdom team.

New Year’s Revolution

lena_meyer_landrut_dancing_down_a_winter_street_by_maidenpool-d80fuox

We’re always thinking about how we can give you wonderful people more opportunities to experience the inspiration that’s right there under our feet in the street. So in addition to the Street Wisdom experiences that are springing up all over the world, we came up with Winter Wanderland. Piloted last year, it’s an SMS-based series of daily exercises – missions really – that you can easily weave into your life.

Most of us start the year with good intentions – short-lived ones! January’s Wanderland was designed specially to help people think deeper about the kind of year they want to have. So for 31 days, people all over the UK* turned commuting into curiosity, routine into realisation, asking questions about their 2016 and finding that…answers are everywhere.

We’ve had some great feedback so far. People have reported smiling ’til their faces cracked, looking deeply into the eyes of strangers, discovering answers at the end of 99 steps, opening up to a new way of looking at the streets and a different way of walking down them. It inspired this wonderful blog and an accompanying Instagram feed. Now it’s your turn. We’d love to hear what you discovered out there. Post a comment below or get in touch via Twitteror Facebook.

Thanks for joining us in our Winter Wander, we hope you found plenty to inspire you out on the streets.

From all of us at Street Wisdom.

* Currently Wanderland is available only on UK phones – though Jaki, one of our most enthusiastic US wizards found a way to make it work in LA.  Next year, the world?  Let us know if you’d be interested and we’ll see what we can do.

Berlin: Street Wisdom – an inspirational training tool

 

I took part in a Street Wisdom experience in Stockholm not too long ago and was very inspired by it. I am responsible for the Vattenfall International Trainee Programme and wanted to share this great tool with the international trainees. When the trainee group met in Berlin for their second seminar week, we spent an afternoon experiencing the wisdom of the streets. At first some of these energetic, fast pased young people found it a bit challenging to actually slow down and listen to the streets, but once they actually did, they really appreciated it. So it works, even in a corporate setting. Since this is “share” ware, I am hoping that at least some of them will arrange their own street wisdom experience soon. Let the wisdom spread!

 

Therese Troedsson
Program Manager
Leadership Development
Vattenfall Business Services Nordic

Through the Looking Glass

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHYPERREALITY n. an inability of consciousness to distinguish reality from a simulation of reality.

Balancing on a curbside between the concrete and the imaginary is not where I expected to find myself on a Friday afternoon in a talk at the RSA recently. As the four corners of normality disintegrate before me I’m swallowed into the hidden realms of a ‘standard’ London street. This is all thanks to Street Wisdom: an invisible university, whose only entry requirements ask that you can follow your curiosity.

“The street is interested in you,” advises David Pearl (who first conceived the idea some years back) explaining, “and there’s wisdom for as far as you can see.” But instead of taking my normal seat in The Great Room of the RSA, I’m invited to take a step outside of the ordinary and follow a trail around the rabbit holes of my own reality. I’m all ears as I roam the streets ‘listening out’ carefully to clues in what surrounds me. And before I know it I’m sliding underground, traipsing through Terra incognita in a dimly lit tunnel, sinking in and out of the magnetic parts of my periphery.

I’m told to take my time and ask questions. And as I peer closer in, tuning in my senses and altering my aperture – something quite peculiar comes over me. Things start to warp, to morph, to transfigure: a puddle full of clouds becomes a window, a reflection on a letterbox: an important message, a huddling pigeon: the protagonist of an unfolding plot, a discrete doorway: an exit to the astral plane. Now a puddle and a pigeon are things that initially appear quite ordinary, but I find myself challenging that idea as part of the activity.

Back on ground level, we’re invited to reflect on our discoveries and we’re all feeling a bit subdued, recounting contrasting curvatures in what appears to be the same old John Adam Street. It’s not long before I’m drawn to my own reflection in a car window, staring straight back at me. This would normally be the cue to fix my hair or readjust my glasses before rushing on – only this time I’ve been instructed to go slo-mo for forty five minutes and inspect things a little more attentively. And as I watch closely – buildings begin to bend, surfaces ripple, I’m guzzled up by a sea of wiggly shapes and squiggly lines, of tantalizing tessellations and hexagonal hallucinations. The answers to the questions I pose, begin to pull themselves closer and closer to me.

Anyone who saw me might have thought I was mad, motionless in the middle of a autumnal afternoon, poking mirrors and gazing at concrete slabs. I wandered past a patch of flowers and hoped that if I listened out for long enough, they might just start talking back at me. Alas, it was a stranger instead who began a conversation. “Arty” she said, as she passed by while I was pondering life on the other side of a motorcycle mirror. I spoke to her for a good ten minutes thinking she was part of the venture, but it turns out she wasn’t.

‘It’s funny what comes your way when you’re open to it,’ says David. And by the end of my first adventure in the Underlands of The Strand, I’m impressed with the themes that have come back to me. From the banal to the bedazzling, to the beautiful and back again, it’s only when you ask the streets questions that the answers are set free for you to see.

What can you learn from the street you live in? Ask yourself a simple question tomorrow and listen out carefully as you walk slowly down the street…

Maxine Clay   ahandfulofcreativity.com

 

Maxine Clay a handful of creativity

Brisbane breakthroughs – Street Wisdom Australia

A couple of weeks ago, we held our first ever Street Wisdom event in Australia. A small group gathered in the centre of Brisbane on a Sunday afternoon to seek answers and inspiration on the sunny springtime streets. This is Caitlin’s story, one of our intrepid first-time participants, who had a revelation about a question she’d been pondering for some time….

‘I went to Street Wisdom with a thousand questions but I suppose it all came down to one very vague question – what is important to me? At 21-years-old, I have excelled through high school and university, and managed to gain full time employment in the entertainment industry just before my 21st birthday. I have always been an over-achiever, but recently I have been questioning what is really important to me – a good job, full time employment, and working really hard, or abandoning my way of living to travel the world and do what really makes me happy, worrying about the money later.

After the first couple of exercises, we realised a few of us were questioning similar things. I found discussing my question with the other participants really useful, as I had so many, and perhaps if they were addressing one of my many, I could focus away from that for myself, and listen to what they found and apply it to myself if it was relevant! With the help of my Street Wisdom guide, we narrowed my question down to: ‘Show me what to focus on’.

As our quest began, I headed for a public bathroom and thought I’d start my walk after that, but sure enough, as I began to wander, I immediately saw a sign that said ‘Travelling the World’. I took a picture of it, but thought the significance was not so grand when I realised there were many similar signs, some saying ‘Dance the Night Away’, ‘Parisian’ and one even saying ‘At Work’. I continued on to the bathroom but suddenly, it was like a lightbulb moment when reflecting on the significance of those signs: ‘Travel The World…..At Work.’

I couldn’t believe I hadn’t had the realisation before! Most of my work is done on the Internet – I don’t even have an office most of the time! I couldn’t believe that when I had the freedom to work absolutely anywhere, I was choosing to work at home when I could also be travelling – fulfilling both of my desires.

My opinion of Street Wisdom is that if you look for something hard enough, you will see it. I think if you dedicate three hours solely to thinking about a question you have, you will probably work it out. The trouble is, in our fast-paced society most people don’t give themselves the opportunity and our attention spans are becoming so short that it is nearly downright impossible for us to do that!

Street Wisdom provides a platform that gives us a few different things to focus on, while all the while pondering that question in the background. The other thing that Street Wisdom is great for, and what I think I benefitted from so much, is seeing what your SUBCONSCIOUS mind wants you to see. I had probably already figured out that I should be travelling while working – because I can! – a long while ago, but not in my conscious mind, only in my subconscious. Taking part in Street Wisdom allowed my subconscious mind to make me see very obvious signs about this, and point me in my heart’s direction!

I’m very happy that I spent three hours of my Sunday doing Street Wisdom. Not only did I have a major breakthrough and lightbulb moment, but I also met some great, creative, friendly people, and got some exercise! You really can’t lose! 🙂

Caitlin Hultgren

Are you looking for a breakthrough too? More events are taking place in Australia soon. If you’d like to run an event there, or anywhere, get in touch – we send you all the information you need to make it happen.  mel@streetwisdom.org

 

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