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Think about a time where you felt a strong sense of belonging. Perhaps you can point to a direct situation or experience, or perhaps what you remember is a cloud-like feeling that doesn't appear to be linked to anything in particular. Often, "belonging" and "connection" is not something we can articulate as it happens, because it happens in the present, before we've processed the meaning of it. The verb to be present carries this notion in its Latin roots: prae (before) and esse (be). In other words, to be present is to be in the space prior analysing and meaning-making. 

As you know by now, I'm a big believer that community is not a finite, solid object, but a series of qualitative interactions between people part of a distinct group. If we look at it from that perspective, a qualitative interaction - one conducive to connection - is quite transient. It's simply a moment in time, a phenomenon, something that happens here and now. If we stretch this idea a little further, we can see how connection (and eventually, community) is only created and only exists moment to moment. As facilitators, curators, designers, artists, and community builders, I believe the most important role we have is to create moment to moment connection between the people that we hold space for. The same way that art and nature can arrest us, conversations and shared experiences can bring us to the space before meaning-making where we're simply being, simply being moved.

Correlations

  • In issue #1, we talked about how physicist Carlo Rovelli explains that humans don’t understand the world as made by things, but made by happenings: events limited in space and time. In the same way, human relationships and systems they form, are also measured in happenings, in moments of connection.
     
  • My provocation (and invitation) to you is this: how do you create moment to moment connection in your events, communities and conversations? What is the degree of intimacy you can create 1:1, 1:many and 1:self? In the last couple of years, we've talked a lot about concepts such as "Alone, Together" and "Together, Apart", but it seems like what people crave for is a more raw and absolute version of connection, an exploration of togetherness in the now. 
     
  • Last week, Dr Christian Busch and I had a beautiful conversation (watch it here) about cultivating a serendipity mindset. Serendipity is also a happening, a moment to moment phenomenon. However, experiencing it is not enough. While we are constantly surrounded by serendipity fields, spaces of opportunity holding all potential connections (bisociations), only acting on the serendipity will make it tangible. 

Celebrations

  • Congrats to Sarah Drinkwater for an important piece on why community and scale are often opposites. Oh, and thanks for the mention!
     
  • Congrats to Jonas Altman for the launch of his new book Shapers coming out this Thursday! Can't wait to read it. We'll be doing a little IG Live sesh on Sunday - more deets over here soon. 

Conversations

Conversations communities around me are exploring this week: 
  • Can you wear multiple social hats while still being in complete integrity?
  • How do you cultivate joy? 
  • Why is the dichotomy between awe and meaning so important?  
That's all for today! 

With gratitude and presence,


Vx

PS: Pictures in this issue are by the wonderful Laura Gheorghita 
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