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Purpose Day Two // Wrap

Vik Nithy & Madeleine Gasparinatos

07 December 2016

For early risers, Tuesday morning commenced with a meditation session led by the dulcet tones of Rohan Gunatillake of Mindfulness Everywhere and Buddhify. Held in the post apocalyptic setting of the sunken Paddington Reservoir, it was an opportunity for stillness before the full program of day two.

African drummers welcomed the 400-strong-delegates into the morning’s plenary, ensuring that energy levels were high as we were reminded of naivety in the wowing journey of Thankyou as told by co-founder Daniel Flynn.

Wildwon takes great pleasure in positive partnerships, whether our own or ones that form as a result of our events or connections, or simply those that we’re fortunate to discover, so it was encouraging and inspiring to hear from companies that are kicking ass together in our Combine & Conquer session.

In the Town Hall, Vanessa Beggs from The School of Life led an enquiry into leadership, and an introspective approach to the psychological characteristics of a good leader. Attendees were invited to reflect on the leadership styles of influencers of their own life, including their parents, teachers, and role models. Do our current leadership styles mirror those of our influencers, or have we taken a different path? There was an air of surprise and intrigue among the audience as people thought about leadership in a whole new way. Vanessa brought our awareness to common blind spots in leadership, and naming our blind spots to a stranger moved us into a refreshing space of vulnerability. The final portion was dedicated to a guided, interpersonal exercise to reflect upon our values, ambitions, passions and achievements, using a tool called a Leadership Shield. The exercise culminated in a single sentence motto or purpose statement to guide the direction of the psychology of our leadership as an individual.

The afternoon session on sustainability and personal empowerment turned out to be more of a discussion than a presentation. Starting in the beautiful garden of Paddington Reservoir, the glowing Mary Hoang guided our small breakout group in a 10 minute mindfulness meditation journey to centre and open the space. The energy of the room following the meditation was tranquil, and the group left the buzz of the conference behind us to focus on the discussion ahead. Jocelyn Brewer (psychologist and Digital Nutrition founder), Chip and Mary introduced themselves and their work. Jocelyn Brewer, a geographer, teacher, school counsellor and Psychologist, spoke about the relationship between humans and technology, and the challenges we navigate when managing what she has termed digital nutrition. Mary Hoang introduced The Indigo Project, a mental health and positive psychology company and movement based in Surry Hills. Mary spoke about the challenges she faces as an entrepreneur, and how she personally uses mindfulness skills to help navigate her entrepreneurial journey. Moving to the reservoir shifted the vibe of the breakout session, and after Chip Richards shared his inspiring journey of moving from an Olympic aspirant to a corporate coach, a Q&A session flowed into conversational discussions around mindfulness, technology, purpose, empowerment, and more.

With 15 sessions throughout the day, delegates covered how to Make Sh*t Happen (Gut-feel, gumption and purpose for those playing at home), Social Procurement 101 with Mark Daniels of Social Traders, which highlighted the positive effects on making supply chains more sustainable and ethical, and how to get customers to care (“Make people feel that you deserve their emails” – wise words from Courtney Sanders of Well Made Clothes). A session on Purpose Built explored how we can reimagine looking at and working with our built environment and tangible objects, making us all want to get out there and start creating things. But it wasn’t all what was happening on solid ground that was discussed, with our Planetary Tech session featuring WILDLABS, Geoplex and Interface exploring, amongst other things, ‘agile aerospace’ and what we’re doing to help get a better picture of our changing earth.

Our closing plenary on Better by Design left us with thoughts, learning and ideas about how to design for purpose. We expect downloads of Folo to increase after Sam Adams Nye described the huge potential of passive income for charities that is possible through their browser plug-in. Ben Young of frank green horrified us with the stat that 38% of Australia’s landfill is made up of single use coffee cups and plastic water bottles, but settled us by sharing what they’re doing to fix that. And in closing, Rohan Gunatillake talked about tech for good, and asked the question we were all thinking, that at the end of a retreat or conference, how do we take what we’ve learnt and experienced home. The answer comes from his extensive experience in meditation, and can be applied in how we move forward after Purpose: “In meditation, the most important moment is when you open your eyes. Observe transitions. They are magical.”

We want to thank everyone who made Purpose 2016 a reality. You know who you are, and we couldn’t have done it without you!

You can re-live or discover some of the highlights here.

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