On a beautiful London summer evening a large group of innovation and sustainability practitioners wandered through the Southbank experimenting with a new innovation technique.
Street Wisdom combines a meditative state with divergent stimuli to produce new ideas. It can be used to solve a personal or organisational challenge and may be for new products of services, new ways of thinking or a new direction. Challenges are varied. In our group some wanted to think about a job change, another launching a new business, a third how to help their mother and another to solve a thorny problem at work.
Street Wisdom works through honing awareness of one’s surroundings. As hurried Londoners we often miss the beauty and life in the streets around us. Refocusing on our environment made us appreciate it and, of course allowed us to access its ‘universal wisdom’. Many people found this the most rewarding part.
It asks participants to connect with their environment first – through time alone noticing patterns, people, and beauty. It then allows for participants to ask specific questions and receive stimuli towards answers.
As an innovation technique, I believe it is particularly pertinent to sustainability as it forces personal congruence – to move into a mindful personal space from which to test and originate ideas.
Feedback from innovation professionals, students and sustainability practitioners was excellent. Some of the comments included:
“I so enjoyed yesterday, both for the innovation approach itself and the whole new look at familiar spaces” Julia
“Thanks for the event yesterday. I had good time!” Ashish
“Last night was lovely. Great to be around such an open gang of treasure seekers (and finders)” Tiu
“What an absolutely lovely evening! I feel privileged to have been included” Maggie
Working with the Streetwisdom team was a pleasure. They embody openness and inspiration and offer the course for anyone who wishes to participate or teach.
We recommend you look into other Street Wisdom sessions – they can be found on http://www.streetwisdom.org/
Have you done anything similar? Do you have an interesting technique to share?