Sunday, 6 October 2019

So Important to take responsibility for ourselves

A huge fan of the great David Attenborough, I had a dream to be a documentary filmmaker as, like him, I believe we have a social responsibility to our planet and all life on it.

He tackles the natural world and I am fascinated by the human condition.

My love of the arts gave me an idea to intertwine puppetry arts with real issues, since puppetry has the power to reflect the human condition and is also an engaging way to communicate key messages or historic events.

Puppetry and animation, in particular, enables us to connect on an emotional level, expand our imagination and offer concise insightful information, by creating scenarios and cultural environments that might be harder to produce with real people.

This idea developed into two independent films;
  • Master of Puppets (a film about a puppet troupe from Myanmar trying to evolve the artform to address more current affairs), which screened on all routes with Singapore Airlines in 2012 and,
  • In 2014 Magic In Our Hands (again following a puppetry artist, this time from a community in India, who was using the artform to raise awareness on issues of sustainable consumption and management of electronic waste) available on Amazon Prime.

Despite this small success, I realised my dream of becoming a documentary filmmaker wasn’t a viable business. More recently, I remodelled Hart In Media to support brands and businesses with their communication needs, focusing on brand values, corporate culture and social responsibility.

It upsets me when our ego’s or desire for personal gain or company profit impact people or the planet in a detrimental way, so I believe that organisations who align their vision with Global Sustainability Goals are the ones who will have the greatest impact of long-term sustainability and loyal stakeholders.

We all face challenging times at some point in our lives and this, I believe, is part of being human. If we can all connect at a deeper more empathic level, we might be able to solve some of the bigger challenges we face as a global community.

Social responsibility is about a company’s commitment to carrying out their business in an ethical way yet I fully understand that to stay in business, a company must be profitable. This leads many of us to make decisions based on profit rather than purpose and so it can be easy to turn a blind eye.

I believe a company that measures its success on purpose instead of only profit will have measured results in all areas; such as, better brand recognition, greater ability to attract and retain staff, employee wellbeing, and future sustainability which can help the environment and save money too. But these results cannot be measured in the short-term, so for me, it’s about educating leaders and stakeholders to make conscious and informed choices in purchasing and other business or consumer actions. The outcome, I believe, will be long-term sustainability and loyal stakeholders.

This realisation has led me to launch a coaching service to support clients and individuals, whose stories are emotionally and psychologically painful and which have blocked them from living from their highest wisdom. For example, I’ve worked with survivors of human trafficking and child sexual exploitation, the LGBTQ community, children living with Type 1 diabetes, those living with Parkinson’s disease as well as topical environmental themes, such as electronic waste.

Having spent over 10 years working on my own personal growth and spiritual development, I’ve been told that I’m a good listener and really able to hear what message is being conveyed, offered in a safe non-judgemental space. My innate ability to delve deeper than most make me easy to talk to and for participants to reveal things about themselves that they might not have spoken about with others.

For most of my adult life, I have struggled with abandonment issues, difficulties in relationships and low self esteem, and so discovering a new technique called Emotional Acceptance, taught to me by my personal coach, has had an astounding impact.

I haven’t got all my shit together but it’s important to me to speak up about issues we all face and get involved in the community. I used to hold my tongue for fear of rejection or judgement and think “what’s the point, who will listen?”, but now I don’t want to feel suppressed. It’s important to share thoughts, views and insights because helping and supporting one person might not change the world, but it could change the world for one person, and this has a mushroom effect.

I think that we are in a transition stage as human beings, times are unsettling, and many won’t know how to cope with a new shift in paradigm. It could even be argued that human beings are the next species to face extinction so, rather than wait for someone, somewhere to somehow fix the problem, I think it’s more important now than ever to take responsibility for ourselves and our environment.

Blog post by : Victoria Hart

Unmissable Retreat in Budapest this Autumn

Collaboration between Victoria Hart, Viktoria Duda and myself an upcoming retreat located in Budapest from the 31st October to 4th November.

What is the retreat all about?

If you hadn't noticed there is a lot of unrest and uncertainty in the world right now. What is happening is, we are transitioning (albeit slowly) from an unsustainable profit driven, capitalistic and materialistic world into something else.

"Something else" might be a bit vague which of course it is, because along with this transition is the understanding that we don't actually know what we're transitioning too and what the destination looks like (or if there even is one), we've never been in this position before.

Maybe now is also the right time to look at what we're doing... get ourselves prepared for whatever might happen, so we are flexible, resilient and ready for whatever might come our way.

The Retreat is about getting prepared for your Transition. What is the future going to look like for you? For a few it might not look much different, for many of us though, we will be forced to change, through no fault of our own. Take a look at Thompson's Holidays, retail companies like Tesco, M&S and even John Lewis... household names struggling and reducing jobs.

Getting prepared for less certain times is our responsibility and on this retreat we will open a new toolbox that enables you to unfold yourself and transition to a future that works for you, even in an uncertain world.

What can you expect?

This Retreat provides a framework for you to 'fill in' with your own next life steps, and what works for you. It's a bit like having an empty Facebook account, there is a loose framework, where you build what goes in it and what what works for you.

This might be who you connect with, what you do in your day, new ideas, books to read, time for reflection, quite simply this retreat enables us to discuss ideas and our combined experiences so you can begin to develop what is going to work for you going forward and into the future.

No lectures... no listening to people droning on for hours. Just interactive and engaging group conversations exploring different ideas and concepts.

This will include : Health and Wellness, Mindset, Emotions, Finances, Relationships, Spirituality and what we ourselves feel our purpose for being here might be...

Retreat Outline Programme can be found here...

Why Budapest?

It is a beautiful city, so many people have this place on their bucket list... a place they have intended to visit for years. Now you can explore this city and combine that with exploring your own self too.

Through collaboration and connections with Budapest we are also able to keep the costs to an absolute minimum to remove this as an obstacle for people.

Who should attend this retreat?

Literally this is for everyone. There is no requirement to have been on retreats before or be deemed 'spiritual' in any way.

The facilitators are there as guideposts and to direct conversation and discussion in groups. A chance to take some time out from our busy lives and explore what we are doing. Are we happy, or are we actually just bumbling along with life being buffeted around by those we have allowed into our lives?

Through conversation you will be given some tools you may choose to use, a book list from which you can gain further insights into the areas we discuss and an ongoing private Facebook group where we can share thoughts and our experiences as we grow.

Final words...

If you would like the time to reflect on your life with some great people on their journey, whilst taking in the beautiful city of Budapest, all at an unrepeatable low cost... then...

Treat yourself... you won't regret it... this long weekend in Budapest might be the best decision you ever made.

Visit the Website, fill in the Contact Page (retreat enquiry), let's book you in...

Wednesday, 2 October 2019

A new kind of education system...

I have been having lots of conversations with people about education, training and learning recently. It's surprising how complex the exchange of information and knowledge has become. 

We are all familiar with "Governing bodies" who are responsible for keeping a register of people "Authorised" to provide a service as they are "Accredited". Of course we want to know that the person who is undertaking an operation on us, or providing advice about how to construct a building knows what they are talking about. Regulation is required to provide assurance and confidence in the person we are about to entrust ourselves to, as far as we can.

However, there are so many things which we need advice, guidance and signposting on which don't fit into this category of 'must have' regulation. Such as web sites for example, teaching social media, copy-writing, how to record a video, blogging, camping, filling in your tax return... the list is endless.

Regulation doesn't necessarily mean better either... it does probably mean more expensive though.

We all have knowledge, we all have experience, granted it is one perspective very often, however it is no less relevant than anyone else's point of view.

For example: If you are someone who makes lots of decisions, it's likely that not all will be good ones, but if you quickly assess the outcome, take out those that aren't working and drive forward with those that do... and you consistently do this... then you would be a great person to bounce ideas off.

No accreditation for the above... as there is no accreditation worth its salt for being good on social media... if you are good then it is because people like what you are doing.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

New Education System

This is not a replacement for what we have... what we are talking about here, is a concept based on the premise of :-

  • Learning is a life long experience
  • We all have the ability to share knowledge we have accumulated through our experience
  • If we have this knowledge it stands to reason others will also want this knowledge
  • We can not always find structured / regulated courses that teach what we want to know, very often the demand would be low, sporadic and not in one location
  • Costs can be low
  • Learning could happen in a classroom, online, individually or in groups, or just recorded so people can watch whenever they like
  • The foundation principle is the transfer or receipt of knowledge and helping others, rather than making a ton of money

If we take the "regulation" out, if we take the "profit motive" out, and the recipient of the payment is the one doing the work, not the platform making the knowledge available, everyone wins...

This has already been put in place as part of the Link4Growth platform and is called Link4Skills and there will be learning sessions appearing in the not too distant future... 

If you would like to participate then please let me know what you would like to do... could be absolutely anything at all really, even a free introduction to what you do! 

I will be using a questionnaire on Thursday 3rd October at the Link4Business  to find out what people would like to be trained on... so if you would like to participate in that then please come along... 1stVisit is the promo code if it is your first visit to a Link4Business event... or you can join via the website to attend for this one and other events for free.