Tag interview

{ The Power & Potential of Stories } “I Was Seen By Many but Actually Known By Few | Every Single Life Matters Equally & Infinitely”…*

“I’ve learned about the poetry and the wisdom and the grace that can be found in the words of people all around us when we simply take the time to listen.[…] What else have I learned? I’ve learned about the almost unimaginable capacity for the human spirit to forgive. I’ve learned about resilience and I’ve learned about strength. […] And I’ve been reminded countless times of the courage and goodness of people and how the arc of history truly does bend towards justice”

– Dave Isay

This week’s Friday Link Fest theme–the power and potential of stories–was set by my teammate Jenna with her post on Monday about the artistry and potential of storytelling–for learning, for empathy, for social activism, for relevance and self-empowerment. I then received the latest issue of New York Magazine, their fifth annual “Yesteryear Issue,” a collection of vignettes about old New York and delighted in losing myself in stories of a New York I have longed for but never known. Then two TED talks kept repeatedly popping up on my newsfeed, Monica Lewinsky’s talk on the price of shame and StoryCorps founder Dave Isay’s talk where he shares his TED Prize wish:

“that you will help us take everything we’ve learned through StoryCorps and bring it to the world, so that anyone, anywhere can easily record a meaningful interview with another human being, which will then be archived for history.”

I loved the contrast between both talks, one about the risks and dark underside of a digital archive in a culture bent on shaming and public humiliation, the other on the immense potential of the Internet to act as a digital repository of human wisdom, dignity and compassion. Both talks were brilliant and urgent calls for courage, empathy and connection.

In her TED talk, Monica Lewinsky bravely opens up about her experience of being “slut-shamed’ and publicly humiliated in the nascent era of online news and calls for a collective rethink of our contemporary culture of shame and humiliation which enables cyberbullying.

“Public shaming as a bloodsport has to stop. And it’s time for an intervention on the Internet and in our culture. The shift begins with something simple, but it’s not easy. We need to return to a long held value of compassion; compassion and empathy. Online, we’ve got a compassion deficit and empathy crisis. Researcher Brené Brown said, and I quote, “shame can’t survive empathy.” Shame cannot survive empathy. I’ve seem some very dark days in my life. It was the compassion and empathy from my family, friends, professionals and sometimes even strangers that saved me. Even empathy from one person can make a difference.

[ … ] 

“We all want to be heard, but let’s acknowledge the difference between speaking up with intention and speaking up for attention.”

– Monica Lewinsky

“Over the past couple of month, the team at StoryCorps has been working furiously to create an app that will bring StoryCorps out of our booths so that it can be experienced by anyone, anywhere, any time. Remember, StoryCorps has always been two people and a facilitator helping them record their conversation, which is preserved forever. But at this very moment we’re releasing a public beta version of the StoryCorps app. The app is a digital facilitator that walks you through the StoryCorps interview process, helps you pick questions and gives you all the tips you need to record a meaningful StoryCorps interview. And then with one tap, upload it to our archive at the Library of Congress. That’s the easy part–the technology. The real challenge is up to you. To take this tool and figure out how we can use it all across America and around the world.

This is the key point, echoed in both Lewinsky and Isay’s talk, that technology is just a tool, a tremendously powerful tool, but that its power and potential comes entirely from us, the people that use it. Are we going to create a digital archive of shame and humiliation or a repository of empathy, dignity and human wisdom? The choice is ours and both talks remind us of the very tangible weight and responsibilities inherent in this choice.

“At this moment, when so much of how we communicate is fleeting and inconsequential, join us in creating this digital archive of conversations that are enduring, and important. Help us create this gift to our children, this testament to who we are as human beings. I hope you’ll help us make this wish come true. Interview a family member, a friend or even a stranger. Together we can create an archive of the wisdom of humanity. And maybe in doing so, we’ll learn to listen a little more and shout a little less. Maybe these conversations will remind us what’s really important and maybe, just maybe, it will help us recognize that simple truth that every life, every single life, matters equally and infinitely.”

How might we start going about nurturing these types of conversations? Isay shares a few excellent ideas:

“Imagine, for example, a national homework assignment, where every high school student studying U.S. history across the country, records an interview with an elder over Thanksgiving so that in one single weekend an entire generation of American lives and experiences are captured. Or imagine, mothers on opposite sides of a conflict somewhere in the world sitting down, not to talk about that conflict, but to find out who they are as people, and in doing so begin to build bonds of trust. Or that someday it becomes a tradition all over the world that people are honored with a StoryCorps interview on their 75th birthday. Or that people in your community go into retirement homes or hospitals or homeless shelters or even prisons armed with this app to honor the people least heard in our society and ask them who they are, what they’ve learned in life and how they want to be remembered. “

My 81 year-old grandfather is flying in from France next week and I absolutely can’t wait to try out the StoryCorps app with him!

Debbie Millman on Taking Risks, Chance Encounters, Failure, Design & Avoiding Compulsively Making Things Worse…*

This past Tuesday, the online journal The Great Discontent published a deeply inspiring interview with the great Debbie Millman. Millman, a Renaissance-woman if ever there was one, is President Emeritus of AIGA, a contributing editor at Print Magazine, and Chair of the Masters in Branding Program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She also hosts the fantastic (seriously, check it out) podcast, Design Matters, the first weekly radio talk show about design on the Internet and has authored five books on design, including Look Both Ways: Illustrated Essays on the Intersection of Life and Design (HOW Books, 2009). Below are some of my favorite insights from the interview, which I strongly urge you to read in its entirety over on The Great Discontent.

Enjoy & rethink…*

“My first ten years after college were experiments in rejection and despair. I knew that I wanted to do something special but, frankly, I didn’t have the guts to do anything special. When I graduated, I didn’t feel confident enough, optimistic enough, or hopeful enough to believe that I could get what I really wanted. I wasn’t living what I would consider to be my highest self—in fact, I was probably living my most fearful self.”

{…}

“My whole life has been one thing leading to another, leading to another, and then another. It has been completely circuitous and mostly unplanned. Lately, I have been thinking a lot about these chance encounters: those elusive happenstances that often lead to defining moments in our lives. But what if one of those defining experiences never occurred? What if something wonderful, something that we have come to depend on, that serendipitous bit of luck that provided us with a big break or a big deal or the Big Time never happened? One of those “if I hadn’t been eating a gigantic McDonald’s breakfast on the 7am flight to Vancouver in the middle seat, I wouldn’t have apologized to the beautiful, elegant woman sitting next to me on the plane; we wouldn’t have started talking and I wouldn’t have found out she was an important editor of a cool design magazine; we wouldn’t have become friends and so on and so on” type of moments. I call this “six degrees of serendipity”—the quintessential recognition that if this didn’t happen, then that wouldn’t have happened, and we wouldn’t have ended up right here, right now, in this way.”

{…}

“A moment that I thought was a complete and total failure—this takedown of everything I’d done to date—ended up turning into the foundation of everything I’ve done since. I’ve just created a lecture titled “How the Worst Moments of Your Life Can Turn Out to Be the Best” because the worst professional experience I ever experienced turned out to be one of the most important professional experiences of my life.
I was really ashamed of all my failures for a long time. Now, I feel it’s important to share these experiences. I am hopeful that it can give other people hope and context to see things a bit differently. It’s not a failure until you stop trying.”

{…}

“Honestly, I feel like everything I’ve done has required some risk. I don’t think you can achieve anything remarkable without some risk. Risk is actually a rather tricky word because humans aren’t wired to tolerate it very much. The reptilian part of our brains wants to keep us safe. Anytime you try something that doesn’t have any certainty associated with it, you’re risking something, but what other way is there to live?

The first ten years of my career were very much organized around avoiding failure, but my inadequacies were completely self-constructed. Nobody told me that I couldn’t do something; nobody told me that I couldn’t succeed; I had convinced myself and lived in that self-imposed reality. I think a lot of people do this. They self-sabotage and create all sorts of reasons for not doing things under the misguided assumption that, at some point, they might feel better about themselves and that will finally allow them to take that risk. I don’t think that ever happens. You have to push through it and do it as if you have no other choice—because you don’t. You just don’t.”

{…}

“I want very badly to make a difference with my life. I’d like to make a difference by contributing to the world conversation about design.”

{…}

If you could give a piece of advice to a young person starting out, what would you say?
“I would provide five bits of advice:

Do not be afraid to want a lot.

Things take a long time; practice patience.

Avoid compulsively making things worse.

Finish what you start.

Often people start out by thinking about all the things that they can’t do. Once you take that path, it’s very hard to get off of it. Shoot high and shoot often.

{…}

“I feel happier and more a part of the world when I feel connected to others through likeminded communities. I feel really, really happy being part of a design tribe.”

Friday Link Fest {November 23-30, 2012}

 

ARTICLES

How to Disrupt Yourself ~ To create a disruptive future, we must often walk away from a comfortable present. via Innovation Excellence, published November 21, 2012.

d.School Advice to Obama: Start With 100 Days of Prototyping ~ The administration should start the next term with 100 days of prototyping, said Stanford’s d.school in part of a memo written to the president just prior to the election. With rapid prototyping—quickly testing ideas with simple, cheap materials in real settings—government leaders can see what works and what doesn’t without investing in full-fledged pilot programs. via GOOD, published November 27, 2012.

Sandcastles Solidified Into Permanent Housing, With The Help Of Bacteria ~ By repurposing a process developed for construction, a team of designers discovered how to build a sandcastle that won’t wash away. via FastCo.Design, published November 20, 2012.

Introducing 200 Free Educational Resources for K-12 Students ~ Right now the collection features 200 helpful resources, including free video lessons/tutorialsfree mobile appsfree audiobooks, ebooks and textbooksquality YouTube channelsfree foreign language lessonstest prep materials; and free web resources in academic subjects such as literature, history, science and computing. via Open Culture, published November 26, 2012.

A Fixed Thing Is a Beautiful Thing: The Fixer’s Manifesto ~ From Sugru: Fixing is the unsung hero of creativity. And it really shouldn’t be. It’s the most common, humble and beautiful form of creativity. Let’s wear that belief proudly. Let’s notice and celebrate these little everyday triumphs, and help others see their value. We made this to fuel the conversation about why a culture of fixing is so important. via Core77, published November 26, 2012.

VIDEOS

For Muji’s Unsung Designers, Imperfection Breeds Good Design ~ In a new short produced by Herman Miller, the design duo behind hundred of Muji’s no-brand products speaks to why and how they work. via FastCo.Design, published November 26, 2012.

 

Museum interviews 9-year-old for head curator job ~ via 9News , published November 27, 2012.

 

The First Ever Music Video Filmed Entirely Using Instagram ~ via Petapixel, published November 27, 2012.

(Invasión – The Plastics Revolution (Video oficial/Official Music Video) from The Plastics Revolution on Vimeo.)

Woody Allen Answers 12 Unconventional Questions He Has Never Been Asked Before ~ via Open Culture, published November 28, 2012.

IMAGES

Hydro-Monuments of Rajasthan ~ These are extraordinary buildings, in purpose, structure, and ornamentation. Framing the everyday act of water-collection in such otherworldly architectural circumstances is a work of extravagant genius, yet seemingly one of a piece with the grandeur given to waterworks elsewhere. via BLDG BLOG, published November 22, 2012.

Aerial Images Capture the Hindu Color Festival by Katrin Korfmann ~ via Design Boom, published November 22, 2012.

Gotta Catch ‘Em All: Photog Spends Eight Years Capturing the 39 Birds of Paradise ~ Tim Laman spent a whopping eight years photographing all 39 birds-of-paradise species in the rainforests of New Guinea — the first time it has ever been done. via Petapixel, published November 23, 2012.

 Anamorphic sculptures by Bernard PrasBernard Pras uses objects and materials he finds in landfills to create his incredible anamorphic sculptures. His sculptures are often recreations of famous works of art, but he puts his own unique spin on these classics with his amazing optical illusion stacking technique. via Lost at E Minor, published November 26, 2012.

A Font Made Of Leaves ~ Kuala Lumpur-based designer Mei Linn Chan has created a hand-made type series using leaves. via DesignTaxi, published November 28, 2012.

 

Curating Ideas & Possibilities

Have you browsed our collection of videos on the ideas that inspire, intrigue and influence us?

 

We’re constantly adding inspiring videos we find so be sure to check back for new ones

DESIGN

John Hockenberry: Why We Are All Designers TED 2012

Stefan Sagmeister on Designing Minds I

Stefan Sagmeister on Designing Minds II

Stefan Sagmeister on Designing Minds III

Stefan Sagmeister Shares Happy Design TED 2004

Tim Brown Urges Designers to Think Big TEDGlobal 2009

 

WONDER

8,000 Chinese Lanterns Over Poznan, Poland 2011

Muto: A Wall-Painted Animation by BLU 2008

BIG BANG BIG BOOM ~ Wall-Painted Animation by BLU 2010

Western Spaghetti by PES 2008

Pixels by Patrick Jean 2010

Cecil Hepworth’s 1903 adaptation of Alice in Wonderland

Water Drop Filmed in 10,000 Frames Per Second

Experience the Walker Library of Human Imagination

One Year in 40 Seconds eirikso.com 2008

A Young Glenn Gould Plays Bach 

Duke Ellington Plays for Joan Miro

Neil Pasricha “The 3 A’s of Awesome” TEDxToronto 2010

Theo Jansen Creates a New Creature TED 2007

How Wings Are Attached To the Back of Angels Craig Welsh 2008

1894 boxing cats- Thomas Edison

Fabian Hemmert: The Shape-Shifting Future of the Mobile Phone TEDxBerlin 2010

Coloring Bach ~ Evan Shinner

Salvado Dali – Mike Wallace Interview I (1958)

Marcel Duchamp ~ Anemic Cinema (1926)

 

PSYCHOLOGY

Tal Ben-Shahar: Positive Psychology – The Science of Happiness 2006 Brainy Acts lecture

Five Ways To Become Happier Today Tal Ben-Shahar on Big Think 2009

Big Think Interview with Tal Ben-Shahar 2012

Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice TEDglobal 2005

The Dalai Lama talks about compassion 2010 talks at Stanford 

Martin Seligman on Positive Psychology TED 2004

Susan Cain on the Power of Introverts 

Brene Brown on the Power of Vulnerability

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi on Flow TED 2004

 

CREATIVITY

Tim Brown on Creativity and Play Serious Play 2008

Why Man Creates I by Saul Bass 1968

Why Man Creates II by Saul Bass 1968

Dark Side of the Lens by Mickey Smith 

 

EDUCATION

Can Character Be Taught? Aspen Ideas Festival 2012 Panel Discussion with Dominic Randolph, Paul Tough, Andrea Mitchell & Russel Shaw

Ken Robinson: Changing Education Paradigms RSA Animate

Sir Ken Robinson: Bring on the Learning Revolution! TED 2010

Ken Robinson Says Schools Kill Creativity TED 2006

Dan Meyer: Math Class Needs a Makeover TEDxNYED 2010

Emily Piloton Teaching Design for Change TEDGlobal 2010

 

STORYTELLING

Chris Abani Muses on Humanity TED 2008

Chimamanda Adichie on The Danger of A Single Story TEDGlobal 2009

Susan Conley on The Power of Story TEDxDirigo

 

DATA

Jer Thorp: Make Data More Human TEDxVancouver 2011

 

TECHNOLOGY

Pranav Mistry: The Thrilling Potential of SixthSense Technology TEDIndia 2009

ZeroN: An Amazing, Gravity Defying New Interactive Technology from the MIT Tangible Media Group

 

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