In this episode I speak with Adah Parris, Futurist, Cultural Innovator, Board Advisor, Storyteller and Keynote Speaker.

As we ease out of lockdown, and we enter another phase filled with uncertainty, it’s great to hear from Adah whose skill is to find patterns in our human behaviour. By joining the dots, Adah then identifies ways we can map out processes to solve big challenges and enable cultural and business innovation to build a better world.

Adah believes innovation is needed right now. What Adah points out is that innovation is simply problem solving and it’s in our human nature to problem solve. In our chat we explore how we can all be innovators, how to harness empathy, to “empathetically subvert the status quo”, re-build trust and collaboration and find new and better ways to be human and ultimately become better ancestors.

What’s in the podcast:

Intro to 1.32

To 2.13 – Adah’s mission

2.13-4.36 – On why empathy is important easing out of lockdown

It’s about changing the way things are. Covid-19 has highlighted the need for people to behave in more empathetic ways.

4.36-5.53 – On generosity, collective vulnerability with Covid-19

We are all human first – we ask ourselves what do we place value on?

5.54-7.58 – On how generosity and empathy fit within business context?

It’s all about innovation – innovation is problem solving – we are all innovators – everyone in the business is a creative innovator – how do we create a culture that recognizes the human potential of everyone?

6.25- 7.26 Innovation is problem-solving

7.58 9.02 Re-cap on innovation

9.02-11.12 – Will we retain this innovation mindset going forward?

Are businesses behaving in a responsible way right now?

How do we create a space for serendipity without being in a work space?

11.12 -14.43 – How do we use technology in a helpful way going forward?

Technology is just a tool. As humans we have used a form of technology to try and gain enlightenment. Adah names this “cyborg shamanism” as in ‘cyborg’ which is the search of what it is to be human and “shamanism” which is about actively seeking other ways of knowing – hence it’s about finding ways to create spaces online and offline where we include diverse voices where everyone’s perspective is valid, encouraging creativity and nurturing curiosity.

14.43  – On how to nurture curiosity in the business context

People are now thinking creatively, businesses are having to adapt.

16.14 – Now is a time of great opportunity – we are in the “gap” between the ‘old’ ways and an uncertain future. We can be a part of creating a new and better future.

18.13-19.32  Pandemic has highlighted the idea of de centralization, breaking down barriers, working collaboratively plus the resurgence of hyper local communities and the need for us to all pause and to slow down. All these strategies can be carried through within business communities going forward.

19.32 – 20.30 On slowing down

20.30-21.40 – It is ok not to know the end – it’s ok to be uncertain – we open up ideas, curiosity and creativity.

21.40 – On playfulness, fun, experimentation

21.40 – On Adah’s values – and on activism within organisations.

22.43- 23.51 – “to be an activist isn’t going on protests, to be an activist is to believe in something bigger than yourself and to have an idea of what success looks like and how that’s going to shift the current reality to the future reality and there is a messag or messagese that need to be then need to find your tribe others who have the same world view and  are driven by the same things ..and that is why you can have activism within businesses….doing good for the world..a mission we all believe in…then why wouldn’t you have activists in the organisation…”

23.51-24.47 – Every business should be a social impact business

24.47 – What gives Adah most hope? People recognizing they have more choice than they thought they did. Taking time to work out where we are at.

26.03 – On empathetically subverting, we are understanding ourselves better now because we have had the opportunity to take away distractions.

27.13 – Now is the time to ask important questions such as ‘Who are you as a person? As a business? What do you stand for?’

27.30 – Now is a defining moment – a new generation are living a different reality.

28.26 – Rapid fire questions

A sense of urgency to do the work Adah does. We are in the gap between where we were before and a future we can re-imagine – Storytellers will be key

“Culture is collective storytelling”

30.00 – Motivation hack  – “Life is a constant experiment”

32.40 – Sources of inspiration

34.00 – Magic wand – one wish that would have biggest impact

36.40 – Closing comments

37.48-39.23  Stephanie’s outro

Show Notes:

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