One of the questions that I’ve have been carrying with me over the past few weeks is – what’s so unique with World of Wisdom? Because there is something that is quite different compared to the rest of the exploding world of co-creation. In a macabre way the restrictions that COVID-19 put up for us will probably accelerate our process to discover what that uniqueness actually consists of. At least it has set us on a path of exploration that is, at least to me, very exciting.

World of wisdom is an exploration. How can we playfully co-created a blueprint for how to face challenges? Personal, local or global challenges. Our main hypothesis is that the addressing personal and local challenges will manifest in the global. If the work and the solutions can be connected. We envision World of Wisdom to be that connection / network / mycelia. Linking up all the initiatives using open source and transparency as fundamental values in our approach we hope to grow those connections to cover the entire planet.

So how do we do that in the midst of a raging pandemic? Well we’re planning our first major gathering. We call it World of Wisdom, hosted by the Seed Gotland. It will be a fully online event. The ambition is to use online as a tool for connection/communication. To design an experience that transcends the limitations of the “normal” online event. We have the ambition of grounding it both in your community and in your body. To be far more than just another webinar or a few hundred talking heads on a screen. We aim for the stars: to give our participants a full co-created experience that will allow for actual transformational on a burning man-esque level soon enough (more than 75% of participants self-reported that they had a transformational experience in 2015).

Here are some ideas we are currently mulling over: 

Online does not mean one has to be only online

We have seen several excellent examples recently of events where the online is the tool we use to connect. To glimpse into an alternate universe. What we aim to do is for instance to get participants away from their computer even during the conference, perhaps using audio / phone, use physical exercises and meditation to take participants beyond listening and watching to also moving, sensing, smelling, tasting, connecting. Connecting online comes with an inherent distance. Perhaps this can be leveraged in listening, in hearing eachother, in getting beyond prejudice and for arriving with challenges and sourcing solutions. But we would also like to access the rest of our sense and meaning making capacity.

As you might have noted we are still keeping a geographical connection in the host camp of this first event. Those of us organizing the host camp are currently involved with locals on the island of Gotland trying to source and discuss with them how we can best enact the “leave a better trace” principle. We engage trying to be of service and not impose solutions that we can deliver but rather try to find something that will actually have a chance to be picked up and continued by the community. The local connection to us manifest a focus. A grounding. It is also an opportunity to connect regions in the world that might have similar challenges but different contexts. Inspiring solutions that can be adapted. Just as individuals communities and organisations can join in with challenges and gifts.

Online and social distancing does not have to mean join alone, huddle up!

No matter how good Zoom, Jitsit, Teams, Hopin or any other platform is, we belive that there is no 100% replacement of physical gathering of people. The emotional impact and connection is hard to get through a screen. We do not read changes in energy or body language cues or pick up on energy shifts in the same way. In an effort to get more of that we are thinking to allow for groups to join in as well as individuals. It could be a group of friends that wants to join together. Or a camp that have a common purpose or shared goal. At WoW individuals and organizations alike are welcome. They too join with challenges and gifts and adhere to the 10 guiding principles (that said we do not see a WoW gathering as a place for selling or sampling, reach out if you want to find out more). 

Perhaps you can set up a camp where there is need for planting or fixing up something in the local community. It could be a company or team of people that are looking to connect with other doers / changemakers / activists that take the opportunity to focus their work and elicit feedback from the WoW community during a gathering – use a gathering as a hackathon. Or it could be a region or municipality with specific challenges say regenerative agriculture, tourism or power production. This would allow for inspiration from participants and other regions and or a possibility to present challenges and source ideas and examples. That said any individual challenge is equally welcome be it stress, sleep, food, exercise – whatever you are personally struggling with. There is space for that too. After all it’s hard to fix the world before you also embark on your own personal journey of healing.

Allowing for inclusion. No matter where you are or your budget

Physical gatherings are powerful but making thousands of people travel is exclusive in its own right. Travel is expensive and many are committed not to travel by air or otherwise due to the impact it has on the climate. We see no need for gathering physically if the event can be designed right. Instead we see enormous potential in truly global events with a strong local connection. As mentioned, themes of local challenges can be similar across the globe, often it is just the context that differ. If we can hold space for sharing experiences and explore “the why’s” together, that could provide a powerful library of inspiration from which one can source solutions to your context. 

If we can create an inclusive environment where rich and poor, developed and developing nations, young and old, philosophers and doers can come together and listen to one another there is tremendous opportunity. In the new decentralized, grassroot driven world we imagine one cannot assume that the biggest pile of money is a good indicator of the best ideas, the deepest wisdom or most sustainable solutions. Our ambition is to hold the space so that different classes, cultures, geographies, genders, beliefs, religions feel truly welcome to join the World of Wisdom movement. We believe that this idea of fully integrated online/offline gatherings where everyone is a full participant regardless of where and how you join is an important piece for achieving that ambition.

How to participate in a gathering:

If you’ve got this far you might have already seen the instruction for how to participate. Join with your challenges, gifts and a journal. Commit to participating fully during the gathering. Be creative with your camps and gifts (your experience, knowledge and curiosity). Have fun. Play! Honor the principles. Each day of the gathering will consist of camps hosting sessions both online and offline. The days will be perforated by Host camp ceremonies. The Host camp is a virtual fire place / town square where we are all gathering. Finally you leave with a commitment to act up on whatever you found. 

Everyone is a participant and a co-creator. There are no bystanders or observers. Either you start your own camp, or you join one. Once you have a ticket we aim to offer initiation / onboarding calls and building time bi-weekly via Zoom. This will allow you to connect with other ticket holders and plan your participation. Camps can be geographically in one place or scattered across the globe. Online or Offline. After the event we will let the host camp stay open for another 9-12 months. Your ticket will grant you access to it for participating in and hosting workshops, to continue the work you started and follow ups focused on getting you started on your path to act on the commitments you made at the end of the gathering.

What do you think? Please let us know! Want to get involved in designing these gatherings where both online and offline are tools in the transformational toolbox? To help us design gatherings that hold space for participants to explore personal, local and global challenges? Join us in our weekly open spaces or join the discussion in our forum

Looking forward to seeing you.