Making time together

Every few months at Global Generation, our entire team of seventeen staff takes a day out of the Skip Garden to connect with each other and with our work. These staff away days are very important to us as an organisation as they give us a chance to reflect on our core values and how we use them in our day-to –day practise as well as a chance to spend time together as a group outside of everyday work.

This year, we wanted to start by considering our relationship to time. It is only recently in the history of our world that we have begun organising and measuring time in a mechanical way. For centuries, time knew no clocks or minutes and organised itself only by the sun, the moon, the stars and the seasons. We wanted to explore what that would be like as well as how that might affect our work using our organisational philosophy of I, We and The Planet.

On the 13 th March we gathered at our sister site, The Paper Garden at the old Printworks in Canada Water. We started around the fire with hot drinks, sharing our expectations and curiosities about what the day may hold. For the first part of the day, we got creative. We spent some time outside building and performing stories in groups, jumping around as the sun or the moon or different creatures as we made up new ways to explain why day and night occur. We then made our way inside the printworks to consider more deeply our relationship to time through discussion and to make our own sculptures and art on the subject. We were let loose on all sorts of scrap and recycled material to build 3D masterpieces which reflected our thoughts from the session so far.

Gardens Manager Julie showing us how she would measure the passing of time

Gardens Manager Julie showing us how she would measure the passing of time

After a delicious lunch, we took a walk down the road to Stave Hill ecology park to settle deeper into our understanding of Global Generation’s I, We and The Planet philosophy. It is one that infuses all our work from the kitchen, to the garden, to our work with youth and community. It is the belief that through a deeper connection to ourselves, we can foster connection to each other and to the wider world as well as understand ourselves as part of something bigger.

This idea can manifest itself in a myriad of ways whether it’s through using writing and sitting in stillness to allow young people to reflect on their experiences and values, teaching children about growing and cooking with fresh vegetables or collaborating with local businesses to create urban gardens that will support local wildlife.

Through our discussions, we began to see how everything we did was infused with this philosophy and how it connected our individual work with a wider and deeper meaning. As we closed the day with our final reflections, it became clear that we were leaving with renewed inspiration and a sense of purpose and understanding of the meaning of our work in a wider context.