Three weeks ago we ran our first hive.
A three day, two night experiential learning event, at the remote and beautiful West Lexham where 50 strangers from corporate, creative and campaigning walks of life gathered and collaborated creatively around a core challenge. Testing themselves.
The challenge itself happened to be the small task of supporting Project Everyone, an ambitious venture which intends to make the new UN SDG’s or Global Goals famous by attempting to get them to 7 billion people in 7 days when they launch at the end of September.
This was a prototype hive, but very real. It was exhausting and exhilarating and the feedback we are getting from participants has been overwhelmingly positive.
Since we hatched Swarm our intention has always been to develop launch and run challenge based learning programs for individuals as a central part of our mission.
We believe that for a more beautiful world to become a reality, people seeking to make change need to be better equipped, inside and out to have the confidence to be more experimental, creative, vulnerable and motivated to make it happen.
We also know from having designed and participated in hundreds of hours of creative collaboration that our Swarm approach can help people get there fast on many fronts.
Swarming helps equip people with real experiential knowledge and tools to help them lean into the uncertainty and complexity of 21st century working.
It's a way of working that is fit for purpose for a world which is unravelling fast on many fronts.
New faster ways of working creatively and collaborating with others are essential to be able to innovate both consciously and within ecological and financial limits.
New ways of building ideas openly, more distributed, connecting with networks inside and outside organisations is emerging fast as the way to accelerate impacts.
Designing with real communities of people is critical to ensure engagement and success.
And then when it comes to re-imagining new forms of products, service, platforms and enterprise which have the potential to create more harmony, beauty and equity in the world or to finding potential solutions to big gnarly system issues, the need to bring diverse perspectives, collective intelligence and true collaboration to these challenges has never been greater. Rapidly prototyping ideas, being able to communicate them articulately and to test and learn fast whether there is potential in them are now critical skills.
All of these themes are fundamental design principles in our Hive program - a place to learn how to Swarm.
Helping to equip people, communities and organisations with the tools and deeper knowledge to go forth and flourish.
Mind-blowing. Awe-inspiring. Welcoming. Fun.
Hive gives freedom and structure in just the right measures.
As feedback from the PE team:
I went to work today and it was different. The process of the Hive has made people have more direction, clarity of thought and understanding of what can be achieved.
We took Richard Curtis through your refections and the ideas that were produced yesterday. He was fascinated with the whole process and delighted with the results.
Your large brains, lightness of touch, original thinking made it unforgettable for me.
But there’s more to hive.
We believe that to develop as individuals we also critically need to build our own inner capacities to adapt to difficult and challenging work and contexts.
The constant always on work culture and the the pace of technological change means that without any time for personal wellbeing practices we will fry ourselves with stress, make shit decisions, be shit partners/parents/friends/leaders etc and eventually burn out.
Relentless doing without any reflection, perspective and being, quickly becomes toxic.
We need to cultivate habits where we can also just be and not do.
So part of the Hive program is also about developing the skills, practices, knowledge and awareness around individual health and wellbeing, reflective approaches, creative inspiration and energisers.
And ways of taking these practices forward as a collective approach into teams within organisations. So we can flourish in the complexity ahead, not implode.
Some of this might includes meditation and mindfulness practice, yoga, time outside, wild time, sit spots in nature, walking meetings. Deep listening, music creation, food preparation and eating meals together. Film and readings for ideas and inspiration.
Certainly seeing the energy of those at this Hive who went straight from meditation and yoga with Michaal Townsend Williams to rapid prototyping was quite extraordinary.
We learnt as ever a huge amount from this first hive.
We are now planning the next program which will land in October 20th -23rd. And will shortly be calling for participants.
We have 25 places available for a three day program including pre hive and post hive sherpa-ing and support. So be in touch if you’re already interested.
And tell everyone about the #GlobalGoals.