After we left Stir to Action (see previous blog) we travelled up to Stroud in Gloucestershire to take part in Seed Festival - a festival for Planting Big Ideas. We were invited by Semble who are a bridge between Big Corps and Community Groups and we were asked if we could run 2 sessions on the Saturday and Sunday. Knowing the quality that Semble produce from previous experience at Off line Festival they ran, we were more than happy to agree. Our sessions were talks that included – Textile Waste Action on the Saturday and on the Sunday we talked about the benefit to communities we bring and – Products for Purpose.
We are at a crossroads, and with growing environmental and political challenges around the world there has perhaps never been a more crucial time to come together and act with our future - and the planet - in mind and with this in mind we set off.
Seed Festival is based in Hawkwood House and grounds that are simply bliss, a real retreat. Hawkwood’s Seed Festival 19-21 July celebrates courageous leadership, creative expression and innovation in partnership with our natural world. Future thinking speakers include BBC Springwatch’s Gillan Addon , Extinction Rebellion co-founder Dr Gail Bradbrook, Soil Association’s Helen Browning, RSA’s Matthew Taylor, C40 cities’ Rachel Huxley, Permaculture Legend Maddy Harland , Roman Krznaric founder of Empathy Museum, Alison Tickell Julie’s Bicycle founder, Craig Bennett Friends of the Earth, Rob Hopkins - Transition Network as a start and then we could be found off to one side at the Round House, supporting Semble and taking our story to a wider audience. For us it was a big thing as back in Cornwall our community knows what we do through constant updates, events and the actions we take. They get it and they join in. Here at Seed it was a push out of our comfort zone but in a good way and it enabled us to gauge reaction to our story, of what we have created and the future we are planning to take. Our future…. Team Tex in particular.
Besides all the inspiring speakers, awesome music, hive minds and crucial conversations we had the time to roam, connect and discover what others are doing. We were drawn towards Lush who were presenting Film and their Film Fund where they mainly support 3 key areas and all seemingly around Activism. Impressed so much by them we came away with the plans to apply later in August and details will be announced later.
Over a casual lunch on the terrace we happened to sit with Mike Berners-Lee, author of There Is No Planet B and a simple hello before to returning to much down on the earthly delights on offer there. Later and another encounter saw Mary Portas walking among the festival, at ease and seemingly enjoy the site in all its glory. We kind of admire some of her ways and she previously made us think in some way about the future of the high street and the need for more community engagement to take place. This probably helped us with the idea of opening our shop in the town centre and to run events that simply bring people in, (we make very few sales from the shop and mainly use it to bring community engagement and more people into town) The whole weekend was made up with encounters like this, Some we knew and many we didn’t but do now. Our greatest connections came from the Semble Team who were running the Round House area and had numerous people from community groups to help them along the weekend with activities from seed bomb making, rock painting, drum circles and us who with a back drop of pants from our previous workshops managed to engage and captivate two good crowds on both days to took to stage. Semble really looked after us and created the space for us to shine. They fed us breakfast, introduced us to their team and so many others with promises of trips to Cornwall for workshops and bbqs and ideas flung around by all that we hope get followed up.
We left Seed and Semble late on Sunday afternoon for the 4 hour drive back to Cornwall and back to reality. The drive gave us both the time to reflect and to plan. On reflection the weekend reminded me in many ways of my degree I took 2 years ago and that it was based around ` Leading from the Emerging Future` which now seems more relevant than ever. Leading from the Emerging Future- From Ego-System to Eco-System Economies by Otto Scharmer and Katrin Kaufer - have a read, its not too over complicated and if a boy from the wrong end of town can understand it then I’m quite sure others will too. http://www.ottoscharmer.com/sites/default/files/e2e_ulab.pdf?fbclid=IwAR0bPDfV9iOXTjBDC5t2uyzxObZVxg8lN7ZUfNHfoQYXw9SEDucTSsZcxOE
Our week away, first to Stir to Action Festival (the Playground for the New Economy) and then to Seed Festival (Planting Big Ideas) gave us both a huge amount to take in, to take action on and to build the future of Cultivate Cornwall and TeX. Our best learning came from around the camp fires and coffee tables and both memories and connections will remain with us for many years to come.
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