The complexity of the 21st century demands a new approach. The age of industrial, top-down, command and control systems is over. Time to accelerate business unusual. Time to Swarm.

Why


We are living in a time of massive change, where uncertainty and adaptability is the new normal.

Where almost everything needs to be re-imagined and remade to be fit for purpose in a networked, rapidly decentralising, resource constrained, energy hungry planet of 7 billion plus.

Climate change, biodiversity collapse, nature disconnection, food security, poverty, inequality, education, disease, pollution, health, clean energy and community resilience are the big issues of our time.

In this context business as usual is fast becoming both impossible and irrelevant.

Many of these issues have been created through a disconnected approach to development and most attempts to find solutions continue to take place in silos, where specialisation and ‘separateness’ remain as core ideas.

Yet, these problems are far too complex for any one organisation to solve.

As all life is connected, Swarm bring collaboration, collective intelligence, human creativity and a whole system perspective to finding solutions.

We believe a more beautiful world is possible.

More human, open, fair, creative, generous, participative and life giving supported by a life sustaining planet.

But to get there needs fundamentally different ideas, approaches and critically businesses.

Swarm exists to help accelerate those responding and adapting to these challenges and opportunities.

Because in the near future we believe the most loved brands will be built by the real problems they fix not the novelty they create.

Business unusual.

What


At the heart of Swarm is a way of working, an open, accelerated, creative co-design process, a set of practices, of doing and being, a strong set of values which guide us and a growing network of inspired people who Swarm with us.

We apply it to a range of offerings – innovation, mobilisation, venturing and learning. Sometimes serving other organisations, sometimes on our things. We use life-centered design to create participation products, build fixer brands, develop capacity in teams and support courageous leaders. All to accelerate Business Unusual, in pursuit of a more beautiful world.

We work with start-ups, businesses, brands, NGO’s, public sector, activists, investors and funders. Together we prototype, hatch and grow beautiful solutions which serve both humanity and the planet.

 

 

Who


Tom Farrand

Co-Founder - Explorer

I'm part-scientist, part-creative and part-instigator. An explorer at heart. Born in Nairobi, I spent a good chunk of my early childhood in a Land Rover tracking wildlife, climbing trees and avoiding snakes. With a masters in biochemistry, I stumbled into an R&D job at P&G. That lead to a 13 year career in brand marketing and business innovation across branding and management consultancies before I changed tack to seek more purposeful work. For the last 6 years, I've been experimenting with collaborations that point human energy towards tough systemic challenges. I get a huge kick out of helping large, diverse groups harness their collective potential and make things happen. Often found tracking owls and deer with my family. Or on boards. Preferably on snow or water but sometimes with leadership teams. And I go running a lot, in the hills. When I grow up, I really want to be a game-park ranger.

Dan Burgess

Co-Founder - Creative Catalyst

Transition Designer/Strategist/Change Maker/Sherpa - I’ve spent the last 20  years listening to the future and working creatively across music, mobile, technology and sustainability sectors with global brands, NGO’s, activists, artists, creative misfits, social entrepreneurs and grassroots innovators. I’m a creative maverick most alive working at the intersections of creative communication, design, social innovation, sustainability, social & digital collaboration and nature connection. I have an MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility, and am a trained nature connection mentor. At Swarm, I’m interested in using open, life-centered design processes, deep questioning and listening and experiential learning to co-create new stories of purpose and possibility, build fixer brands, participation products, mobilise diverse networks for change and support courageous leaders to accelerate business unusual in pursuit of a more beautiful world. Always learning from nature and often found in the woods and the waves, baking sourdough, growing vegetables, hanging with my family and surfing.

Stephen King

Co-Founder - Architect

Attracted by challenges, problems to solve, things to get right. I am always excited to see things work, make progress, get to launch, have an impact. Enjoy seeing people at their best, working towards solutions, creating a structure for everyone to play. After leaving engineering school in Canada, where I grew up, I found myself working in consumer finance. Learned a ton about marketing, analytics, business models and people in a big company. About 4 years ago I woke up, inspired by meeting people like Tom and Dan, gaining a wider horizon through an MBA at LBS and Columbia business schools, and grounded by having my first child. My life is now an experiment in another way of living. Work and life are inseparable, my energy and flow come from both, my recharging points are my partner and our two kids, the occasional jaunt in the woods and spending time creatively with things like photography and cooking.