I loved hearing how many of you tried some of the reflection exercises from last time! Do let me know how it went. I just discovered that my friends at SYP made their own reflection booklet inspired by the Year Compass. Fun!
Speaking of reflections, last week I attended the beautiful New Public festival by Civic Signals - a gathering bringing together those who want to reimagine the future of digital public spaces. Designed with true community-first principles in mind, the event felt like an exciting conversation with a new, but already cherished friend. New Public is a magazine, newsletter and community for people who care about digital public spaces and I can't wait to see what their team does next!
As guests and speakers began introducing themselves on Discord, I felt that magical excitement that comes with discovering a new community of potential friends, collaborators and thought partners. This reminded me of the reason why communities of practice matter so much to me.
Anything we design, publish and build exists in a specific context. Our work isn't relevant in itself, it is context that creates meaning. Communities of practice are interconnected systems of interdisciplinary work. Together, they form the malleable, sticky and ever-changing mass that we call culture.
How often to we think about the wider context of our work and the systems it touches? How often do we take the time to familiarise ourselves with the systems we inhabit, directly or indirectly? Whose point of view would it be enriching to hear? How do we shape culture on an everyday basis?
I'll leave you with the wise words of theologist Raimon Panikkar: "The future is not in building a new tower of Babel, but in cultivating well trodden paths from house to house."