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As bars and restaurants slowly reopen in London, the microcosm I've been living in slowly broadens. There's a little more life, a little more exploration and a little more...serendipity. I find nothing more invigorating than the joy that comes from randomly running into friends. It's the reason I miss big dinners, events and busy restaurants so much. It's also the reason why so many of us like to bring people together - creating pockets of serendipity is energising, fun and fulfilling. "I just can't help it", once my friend Daisy told me. "If I see an opportunity, I need to connect people".

In his new book The Serendipity Mindset, Dr Christian Busch, says something similar: "Nothing makes me happier than to see the spark when two ideas or characters unexpectedly click." Sounds familiar? Christian and I are diving deeper into the science and practice of serendipity on Tuesday! Join us for an energising conversation via Instagram Live at 6:00pm BST / 1:00pm ET @vikoushka.

Correlations

  • One of the most special events I've ever been to was the 2018 On Being Gathering in California, which I had the honour to attend as an On Being Fellow. The programme had generous amounts of space built into it to allow for serendipitous conversations and encounters to take place. As the organising team reflects: "Some of the most important conversations and future ripple effects happened, as always happens, around the edges, between kindred strangers and new friends".
     
  • One of the afternoons allowed for a different kind of space and serendipity - it invited participants to give talks and workshops or initiate conversations around topics important to them. The session used the Open Space gathering principles:

    1.Whoever comes are the right people.
    2.Wherever it happens is the right place.
    3.Whatever happens is the only thing that could have.
    4.Whenever it starts is the right time.
    5.When it is over, it is over.

    I really love these principles and use them if I'm nervous about the turn out of a gathering. I remind myself that whoever is in the room is who is supposed to be in the room. (One for you, Samra! ) 
  • You can listen to all the recordings from the event on the On Being website. I'd love to share one in particular, the closing by poet David Whyte. Spoiler alter - there might be goosebumps. 

Celebrations

Congrats to The House of Beautiful Business team for hosting not one, not five, but 45 Living Room Sessions! They had more than 100 speakers and 10.000 attendees take part since January and created a strong global community and momentum. You can watch the previous sessions here and... get ready for The Great Wave, an incredible virtual + IRL festival taking place on October 16-19!

Conversations

Conversations communities around me are exploring this week: 
  • In companies, what drives scarcity culture vs abundance culture?
  • What would the tech world look like if there were VPs of Community?
  • What is the difference between pity and sympathy? 
  • Can you design for serendipity remotely? 
That's all for today! The conversations these emails start are the highlight of my week, so please keep them coming.

With gratitude and joy,


Vx

PS: the first and last pictures in this issue are by photographer Laura Gheorghita 
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