Street Wisdom: Lunch and Learn Walkshop

When was the last time you found some inspiration on your lunch break? We are very excited to launch our new Lunch and Learn Walkshops. A facilitated session which provides the opportunity to find out more about the benefits of Street Wisdom for Business and experience a taster of the process. Give your employees the chance to slow down, step (and think) outside of the box – all within an hour.

What is Street Wisdom? Learn how to access the urban environment and find fresh answers to personal or work-related questions with Street Wisdom: a powerful,  guided experience that uses the streets as an invisible university. This inspirational tool has been adopted by corporations, coaches and social groups across the globe – with profound results. At the centre of Street Wisdom lies the idea that every moment is extraordinary and every street is full of inspiration – that there’s no such thing as an ordinary street, just ordinary thinking. Few of us give ourselves time or permission to really focus on the signs and signals that we normally ignore, rich stimulus that can help us learn something new.

The Lunch and Learn Walkshop can be 60 or 90 minutes to suit and is composed of an introduction to Street Wisdom followed by a taster of the experience. It can also be delivered as a breakfast session, to start the day with some inspiration. Learn a powerful tool that can be used to see work challenges with fresh eyes and give your team the chance to slow down, using our urban approach to mindfulness.

For more information or to arrange a facilitated Lunch and Learn Walkshop, get in touch on contactus@streetwisdom.org

The World Wide Wander 2018

One of the best things about the World Wide Wander weekend is that it gives us the opportunity to galvanise our community from all over the world. It reignites conversations and acts as a reminder for people to slow down and escape their normal routine. It’s a 3-day celebration to get Wanderers, old and new, together – to get inspired and to find answers.

Last year was our inaugural World Wide Wander and it was a resounding success. We planned to go even bigger, more worldwide and wanderful this year and we were definitely not disappointed with a whopping 50 volunteer-led events and hundreds of people taking part by using our audioguide.

Hong Kong

We were delighted, for the second year running, to have the support of Psychologies Magazine and also from some incredible non-profit partners including Action for Happiness, The RSA and A Plastic Planet. We were joined by like-minded organisations all over the world who rallied their communities to try something new, groups who used Street Wisdom as a tool to find their next steps and even individuals who took part on their lunch break from work.

Fresno, California

Street Wisdom founder, David Pearl kicked things off with a Facebook Live video with Suzy Walker of Psychologies Magazine (you can watch here) before leading an event with Sian and Frederikke, co-founders of A Plastic Planet, they led a session with the focus on how we can individually turn off the plastic tap. The wandering continued all across Europe, over to South Africa, South and North America, finishing up in Asia. WOW!

We’ve really loved watching the videos, seeing where you’ve been wandering and hearing about all the inspiration from streets across the world. There have been lots of stories of connecting with strangers – chatting with someone on a park bench or getting into conversation with a street trader – something we often don’t have the time or headspace to do but can be really profound. This is what the World Wide Wander is all about – bringing people together, connecting and learning.

Mexico City

A huge thank you to everyone who made it happen, for running events, downloading our audioguide and spreading the word. You can see highlights from many of the events on our #WorldWideWander film below as well as some feedback from an incredible weekend. We’d love to hear your experiences in the comments below too.

Until next time, keep wandering!

The Street Wisdom team x

P.S. The #WorldWideWander 2019 is taking place 20-22 September 2019. Save the date!

“The Wander was so effective, the answers to two questions came to my mind on the session. A powerful technique that will prove hugely beneficial going forward.”

“I was reminded that even though the world and our city is filled with people of so many nationalities, languages, cultures and creeds, there is a place for us all; we all have a contribution to make; we all matter; our stories matter and together we are crafting the world we live in day by day.We need to create more times to wander mindfully, quietly and receptive.It is amazing what one notices when you slow down!”

“ They were reminded of the joy of walking and getting out of their usual routines and neighbourhoods.”

“It’s clarity.You know that feeling of presence you feel when on holiday, when you’re taking in a wondrous moment, when your mind seems to clear and you find inspiration? It’s getting that feeling from an environment that’s easily accessible to you.”

Street Wisdom World Wide Wander 2018

Riddle’s Close

I am the place within nobody’s aim, except today when they wander in, all different yet somehow the same.

A quiet space at the end of a dark gloomy lane, a gate half closed, neither inviting nor advertising, nor calling your name.

Hidden in time waiting for your world weary frame, for the unveiling, the descaling, the stepping back to the plain.

And as the bells chime and the hands time exclaim, they proceed, beauty held in their gaze, those five with no name.

Patience was nourished with strawberries sweet, a place to pause, to take stock and to rest more than weary feet

Kindness mapped the route from a stark wooden seat, a look back, to look forward and listen to her own steady heartbeat

Goodness admired a magnificent feat, a kaleidoscope of growth, flourishing longevity, and wondered about becoming replete

Gentleness discovered an obvious treat, lighten up, with child’s eyes, bias, judgement and personal history uncomplete.

Joy was the first who dared push at the gate, and let castle, clouds, rooftops release adulthood weight

Looked at the birds over grey grubby slate, ones that rise in fresh air, practised flight gifting such a free state

She’s closing the Riddle in a carved ancient gate, not the wizard of West Bow, but Richard Geddes left my bait

For those who visited in autumn, last Wednesday, late, “By leaves we live” he said and left a trail they chose as their fate.

Still Sille

I wondered why I was hesitating to write something about the glorious Sille Lundquist, a dear Street Wisdom friend who passed away in January.  And then I received a shared email from her “fan club” (thank you HeartSpace) letting me know yesterday would have been her birthday.   It’s so much more lifeful to mark the day someone was born than the day they died   Especially someone like Sille who was ALL about life and living it.

The sustainability activist Sian Sutherland (of PlasticPlanet) introduced us and Sille,  whose wonderful, heart-filled work (check out her Being Human projects) included holding open-air meditation sessions in the city,  opened her arms to Street Wisdom. Together we led a magical event in Copenhagen (see the blogpost here).  And planted an urban mindfulness seed in Denmark.

You just have to listen to one of the many meditations she recorded to get a sense of this extraordinary human.

Wild Summer Meditation 

I’m going to state the obvious.  Sille was beautiful.  From the soul outwards.  Those who were with her at the end say she left as she lived – in peace – gazing at the mountains.  It was heartbreaking to hear she’d gone.  I confess, I wept big, fat tears into my laptop.  But when I reflect on it, the reason I wasn’t in a hurry to mark her passing is because, in the work she did and the effect she had on us, Sille’s still here.  Happy Birthday.

PS And while we are thinking about people who’ve made a lasting impact, shout out (or is that up?) to Mark Adams.  Indelible Mark is how we think of him.   The inspiration for our Members Club and an irrepressible Tigger of a man. Wander well, Mark

The World Wide Wander 2018

We are very excited to announce our second World Wide Wander taking place Friday 14th to Sunday 16th September. This annual event is a chance to bring individuals together from all over the world for a weekend of wandering and wondering. It’s a chance to bring our global network together to strengthen communities, find wisdom & inspiration from the streets and meet some new friends along the way.

After a hugely successful inaugural World Wide Wander in 2017, we are looking to go even bigger, bolder and wiser – and we need your help. Last year, in just three days, our volunteers ran 36 events in 12 countries worldwide from Sydney to Sofia, Melbourne to Mexico City, Nairobi to Nottingham – it really was worldwide and wanderful.

You can see highlights from the weekend here:

Get involved by bringing the magic of Street Wisdom to your local community, wherever you are in the world. Not only will you be giving people the tools to find answers and solve problems using their everyday environment, you’ll also be bringing your community together to meet, share and inspire.

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! We’ll supply everything you need. And if you’re happier participating, check our events page and social media to find out where you can join in. The list is growing by the day.

If you’d like us to contact you with more information about taking part in the World Wide Wander, please register your interest below. 

Street Wisdom is a form of “walking-based problem solving” – a mix of psychology, mindfulness and cognitive science that teaches participants to connect with their urban environment to tap into the wisdom of the streets. At the centre of Street Wisdom lies the idea that every moment is extraordinary and every street is full of inspiration. Few of us give ourselves time or permission to really focus on the signs and signals that we normally ignore, rich stimulus that can help us learn something new. 

[gravityform id=”6″ title=”true” description=”true”]

Ten Reasons to go for a Walk

The pure and simple pleasure derived from going out for a walk is such that it requires no further justification. But should there be any doubt, this book gives us ten reasons – each as convincing as the next.

Learning to walk is the primary occupation of the early years of our existence; thereafter it becomes an automatic and intrinsic part of what makes us human.

But, take a step back and look again to discover that walking also has the power to make us better: healthier in body, mind and spirit; fitter; brighter; better at making the right decision; better disposed towards our fellow man; happier, and even better looking! Stop for a moment more and discover that the virtues of walking also benefit our society at large.  Indeed, there are probably a thousand good reasons to go for a walk.  Here are ten to be going on with:

  1. It’s good for the body
  2. It’s good for the brain
  3. It’s good for the mind
  4. It’s good for decision-making
  5. It’s good for coping with an accelerating world
  6. It’s good for equality
  7. It’s good for the economy
  8. It’s good for the environment
  9. It’s so good it’s going to be made compulsory
  10. It’s a must – say writers and philosophers

Ten Reasons to go for a Walk is an excellent read by Mary Anne and Thierry Malleret, offering well-researched arguments mixed with personal experience and anecdotes exploring the benefits of walking for our physical and mental health. It is available to buy on Amazon.

The technology behind Street Wisdom taps into many of these benefits and this book perfectly sums up why (and how) we should be implementing walking into our routine. Join us on one of many free immersive walking workshops, in over 30 countries worldwide, to learn how to use the Street Wisdom approach of walking mindfulness to solve problems and find inspiration in the wisdom of your urban environment. See the list of upcoming events here.

 

Snow Business with David Pearl

So people often ask us if you need good weather to do a Street Wisdom.  And we like to say ‘bad weather’ is just an invitation to look at the city differently.  It’s Nature’s way of reminding us that the urban landscape is natural too.

But even we had our doubts when the event we set up for businesses turned out to be the coldest day recorded in London for 10 years.  Hats off (actually best keep your hats on – woolly hats) to all the people who battled snow and ice to get there.  And if you were stuck on a train or had to rescue your kids from school, don’t worry we’ll hold another one in Spring when the snow will have (presumably) stopped.

We met in Spitalfields at a wonderfully bonkers heated hut lent to us by the nice people at The Grocer.  There were people from small entrepreneurial companies thinking about the future.  And from large corporations thinking about how to create a more mindful workplace.  Also Mental Health organisations.  Oh, and a couple of intrepid journalists (from Telegraph and HR Magazine).

The event was also run by Scott Morrison (aka The Boom) who generates so much energy he’s like a one-man central heating system.

It was a winter wanderland with insights coming thick and fast, we were reclaiming the streets as our own place of inspiration. It’s about giving yourself time and space to let your everyday environment help you solve challenges. A motorbike wheel spinning on the ice helped one participant realise he was stuck in a routine and needed to act on the change he was contemplating. Another slightly self-conscious participant looked up (how often do we do that?) to see construction workers larking around on a scaffolding and it struck her that people who don’t care who is looking at them, have more fun. Another person enjoyed wandering so much they had to get a bus back. Worrying about being late, suddenly gave way to a relaxed sense of enjoying the journey: a release from the tyranny of time that so many of us inflict on ourselves.

After hot drinks and cake, it was off into the swirling snow.  I hope you all got back safely and are finding time during your working days to keep playing with your new creative partner – the street.

If you want to join the growing number of companies who are using Street Wisdom to develop their people, please let us know. We have a new program that could transform their thinking.  And if what we’re doing is in line with your values and mission – you may be interested in a wanderful, high profile opportunity to collaborate. Get in touch.

 

VIVA Manchester Magazine interview David Pearl

Within busy working lifestyles it’s often difficult to prioritise our physical and mental health; we book in for gym classes that we’re just too tired for after a hectic day, and New Year’s resolutions of less stress and more ‘me time’ seem a distant memory. David Pearl, founder of Street Wisdom, is on hand to guide you to a healthier mind.