From a messaging standpoint, we are in a never-ending experiment it seems to balance being just out of reach and within reach at the same time.
We want to stimulate people’s curiosity, we want things to be concrete, and we want to actually say something that entails a risk – for the reader/client and us.
Yet we are a company. We need to generate business. We need people to get us, to see we have solutions for their problems. Tools for their projects.
Very challenging. Much harder than doing the actual work with clients.
It is our mandate really, given our symbol is Exile. Exile is a state of being that is outside the everyday. It is uncivilized, fearsome and supportive of a human being’s deepest need for growth and learning. It is the place Mandela went on Robben Island. It is the place Dr. King went in the Birmingham jail. It is the place Innana visited on her voyage to the underworld. In exile, we discover and build solidarity with parts of our power and imagination we would never find in the ordinary world.
It is an ancient and timeless location.
And from our perspective, humanity is right now in this most strange and precarious of positions. We are in exile, from the familiar and the known, yet we don’t really know it. We don’t experience ourselves as being in exile, as being on the island or in the underworld. And this is a big problem because the challenges we face, like the climate for example, will never be engaged successfully using customary tools and practices.
Just this weekend the most damning indictment of our climate situation was released by the UN and global leadership has no response. Everybody just goes about their business, eating their picnics in the middle of a 12 lane California freeway, oblivious somehow to the cars speeding everywhere!
Our experience teaches us that when we can drop people into this mysterious landscape of the in-between, and equip them with skills and tools, they can rise to unexpected heights of moral imagination. They can innovate, design and create strategies of unmatched power. That is the entire purpose for our company.
Yet messaging such an experience that almost defies language, other than the language of myth and story, is a quest and journey unto itself.