Market of Ideas Part 2 in the London camp, and what a market it was, we crowded round stalls to hear the personal stories attached to unique ideas. The sales pitch; the story.
Each agent was given 10 minutes to make any space in Providence house there’s; to think about how they wanted to host it, where they wanted people to sit, lie or stand. Deanna then asked them to make a three-minute presentation in that space, and to focus especially on Desire and Form, two key components of the Compass. On top of this they were each asked to lead into their Desire with a story about themselves. Where had their Desire come from?
What followed was incredibly moving. I’ll just share two of those
About the third to go Tea (Teasha) arranged the two sofas in the room facing each other, pushed together like a little boat, a raft, and asked people to take off their shoes and sit in it, if they liked, or sit on the edges. Soon everyone was huddled in and around this comfortable, and comforting, new platform. She told us about how she’d got kicked out of home when she was 16 and how much that had forced her to grow up, learn how to do things by herself, and how she’d lost her sister when she was young. How she’d struggled through different choices and routes and all the time through this how key particular voices and characters she’d encountered along the way had been. How they’d lifted her, mentored her, allowed her to grow and find the right path for her, and how this was what she wanted to do for other people, not to tell them what to do, but to be a voice, a voice that could be there to give those she encountered the same help she was given, to be a mentor to the people she worked with.
It was deeply moving to hear. This led to her explanation of the female football spaces, as places for fun, sport, socialising but also gaining confidence and having people to reach out to. It was powerful. By the end of the session she’d decided Zennae-Kay would be her first ‘protege’, something she jokingly called her later in the session.
Another story I had to share was Zara’s. It was told so brilliantly. She got everyone to sit, or stand/be however they wanted to, as long as everyone was looking down at their feet. She then explained how she had suffered from depression from a young age, even before uni where she was officially diagnosed. She said recently she had switched off from technology as much as possible, she proudly held up her Nokia brick and boasted of its long battery and said that her desire was to get everyone to look up and see the world, and that this was what was bringing her joy in her life. Imagine hearing that while staring at your trainers.
She said she felt people seemed increasingly disconnected, living each in their own virtual world in an alternate less real reality. The form of her idea had mutated too. She no longer wanted to do mindfulness classes for men, she wanted to create a set of cards about battersea that helped people engage with the local area, community, people, history and phenomena, all aimed at helping people look up. Something we all need to do.