Written by SciCulture Ambassador, Minou Schillings.
‘There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?”
The two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”‘
– David Foster Wallace
The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about.
This was exactly what we embraced during our time on the SciCulture intensive course. In 2019, SciCulture invited a whole team of people, all with vastly different skills and expertise, to Athens to discuss and challenge the most obvious and important realities.
SciCulture immediately felt like home to me, as curiosity has always been my main driver and ‘why’ my absolute favourite word of all times. Most people get out of the why phase in the process of “growing up”; mine is still going strong. Albert Einstein once described himself as “passionately curious” and I can totally relate!
Being curious isn’t easy and not everybody appreciates endless curiosity, it can be mentally exhausting thinking about difficult and thought-provoking questions. So from time to time, I take it down a notch; but not during the SciCulture program. After a couple of hours, I realised I could turn my curiosity levels up to 11. I found myself among a group of people who all dared to question the status quo as much as I do.
Questioning why certain things are considered normal and looking for ways to do things differently and better has been at the core of all my activities over the last decade. During the SciCulture program, we questioned everything, in a surprising amount of different ways. Using principles of artistic expressions, science communication, and a design-thinking mentality, we explored and questioned our surroundings, our individual and collective beliefs, our assumptions, the other participants, the education system, the purpose of life, the existence of classrooms and the existence of (a long list of) words.
After the SciCulture program, I went back to Malta, challenged the way people normally go about writing a thesis, finished my master in Creativity
& Innovation; and then started my life as a professional mindset shifter, sustainable innovation accelerator and assumption challenger.
I then co-founded The Green Sprint, an innovation agency focussed on accelerating the global transition to the new economy by helping organisations and startups create new models, products and services that help them climb the sustainability ladder and transition from the old to the new economy.
Our goal is to build a collective of connected sustainability accelerators around the globe. So what does this mean? Sustainability Accelerators are individuals and professionals who use their time, skills and brainpower to accelerate the global sustainable transition.
People are awesome and Planet Earth is Awesome and it is now time to make them thrive together. Organizations all around the world are in need of change-makers who can guide the transition from the old to the new economy. And we want to not only be those change-makers but also connect, enable and activate them.
The SciCulture was an important step in my Dare To Question, Dare To Challenge Journey. The program showed me that it is okay to be annoyingly curious.
To find out more about The Green Sprint, click the links below:
The Green Sprint: https://thegreensprint.com/
Minou Schillings: https://minouschillings.com/ or LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/minouschillings/
Pamela Smit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/pamelasmit/
Find out about our next SciCulture course.