Awakening connection

Over two days, my colleagues Rod Sugden, Silvia Pedretti and I involved Swarovski CSR, Foundation and Water School Teams in a creative exploration of the deep time journey of the Universe, writes Jane Riddiford.  

Our intention was to offer them a different and deeper doorway into social and environmental sustainability. Immersing them in the metaphors of our 14 Billion year history and the creativity of the Skip Garden helped them awaken to and express a story of connection, change and possibility. Their free fall writing, photography and dialogue revealed a powerful sense of appreciation for all that we are, and all that we don't often take the time to think about. The workshops also brought an unexpected opportunity for Global Generation's work of inspiring young people to play a role in building a positive future. A video message from one of the Swarowski employees was shared with some of our Generators (11 to 16 year old youth leaders). GG's Youth Facilitator, Siliva Pedretti describes what happened:

"After our first day with the Swarowski teams I was full of the day we had just had with them; full of cosmos, full of explosions and stillness, full of thoughts and silence. I thought it would be powerful to create a direct connection between Swarovsksi and our young people. Would sending a message to a young person they had never met hold meaning for them? Could they feel the weight of their words as a way of inspiring reflection in young people? We hear about businesses, we hear about social responsibility, we hear about sustainability, but what is the interpretation of these themes for the people who actually work in big corporations, how would they translate their experience of our shared history in the Universe into a message for future generations?" 

Clara and Christopher, two of our Generators, sat in the Skip Garden’s sky room and watched a video message from Brian who is in the Swarovski CSR team. I gave them the simple free fall writing guidelines; “Write without stopping, write in the sun, write your thoughts and feelings without worrying about grammar and spelling, just let go and let yourself be surprised”.

A simple two minute video message generated profound questions. What if these opportunities happened every day? Encounters that help the imagining of different paths, provoke changes and create new paths.  Clara and Christopher's writing is a moment of past and future.  A new thought, a fresh reflection on where we come from and how that can actually be something toward a new way of being, living and working. If I am part of the Earth, I am the Earth and I want to take care of it.

"The video made me reflect upon my existence and what it means. It made me realise just how much humans have changed and evolved to become less and less part of the Earth's cycle. It was interesting to try and remember our roots as human beings and just how much we should get back to feeling part of nature. I felt inspired to make a change for the future generations, reminding them who they really are and how their existence is a key ingredient to making the world go on as it does. The video really explained how by only being part of nature and accepting that, we can build a much more sustainable environment for all of us" – Clara, 15 years
"It is a different point of view on sustainability....unexpected, it made me want to find out more about their work especially because of the unexpected link between materialistic stuff, their touchable products and nature. It sparks up questions and surprises in my mind" – Christopher, 13 years