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I'm writing these words from the terrace of a stunning art deco café in Prague. Flying to Bordeaux late this evening, I decided to take advantage of my long layover and (safely) explore the city. I miss adventures. My friend Neel has this "micro adventure" term he uses to describe escaping the city for a day of hiking or camping (he also runs a community called Weekend Walkers). So here I am, having a micro adventure in a place I haven't been to for decades. Prague might not rank high on your list of adventurous cities, but it does for me - my first boyfriend and I secretly spent the weekend here after a leadership retreat I had in the city. (Sorry dad, I know you're reading this, but adventure runs in our blood! Remember that time you drove a fridge in an ambulance?) 

I believe that as hosts, curators and facilitator, we have a responsibility for making gatherings feel like micro adventures. What is the "surprise and delight" moment that is completely unexpected? What is something you can do that brings you and the audience equal amounts of joy? 

Last Sunday, I had a lot of fun interviewing my friend Casper ter Kuile about his new book The Power of Ritual (you can catch the interview on IGTV). We spoke about how to initiate something special at a gathering - like a toast or an intention - in a way that brings the whole room together. We established that to do this successfully, you need not only to make people feel safe and welcomed, but also to have enough confidence so that others are drawn to the experience. This confidence can be in the form of energy, joy or commitment. 

As we are currently designing new community programs in my team, such as our Community Accelerator, which I'm running for Europe, we've been talking a lot about how much we can - or need to - design experiences that are not only culturally relevant for those taking part, but personalised enough by those facilitating so that they are truly authentic. I love that to provide a truly exciting experience for others, we need to participate in equal measure. Energy, you see, is contagious. 

How are you micro adventuring this week? 

Warmly,

V

Correlations

  • Absolutely loved Brené Brown's interview with Dr. Vivek Murthy on loneliness and connection. Brené says how "mutual vulnerability is the thickening agent" and what unlocks the "good stuff" in relationships. By analogy, I think this is also what creates "the good stuff" in events and gatherings. 
     
  • Of course, it also doesn't (always) have to be that deep, it can also be fun. I loved how a group friends celebrated experience designer Nico's 30th birthday by organising a micro adventure. See it in his stories highlights here(Pics above by Kyle Kesterson)

Celebrations

Congrats to Scott Shigeoka for publishing his Bridging Differences Playbook after spending 18 months with UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center studying science-backed practices to bridge differences in these socially and politically divisive times.

Conversations

Conversations communities around me are exploring this week: 
  • How do you effectively establish social contracts at the beginning of longer experiences?
  • What's the difference between habit and ritual? 
  • I need to build a community from scratch - where do I start? 
  • How do you successfully bring together ritual and serendipity when designing digital experiences?
That's all for today! Now, let's go micro adventure! 
Vx
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