Launching: Ritual Interview Series

Context

The world is changing. The forest fire seems is slowly burning down the palaces of the old, to make way for the new. As we transition as a society into a new epoch of emergent technologies - both social and technological, we are in dire need of tightly woven connective tissue and circuitry of communication, as well as shared rituals to initiate and enable an deep evolution in our culture. Our civilization is in deep risk of unraveling itself, and therefore, those of us who are able to see clearly have a existential responsibility to act and organize. These are precious, fertile times and we cannot waste our time and energy on asking small questions.

For the last 5 years, I have been studying the emergence of a new type of creative renaissance and a new economy and culture of creative industries. I quit my job and moved to Detroit during the creative renaissance during the bankruptcy to start prototyping civic innovation. Starting in 2013, I went on a self-funded learning journey across Asia to map the innovation ecosystem. I found profound wisdom and insights in simply interviewing disruptors and inventors over tea and coffee in their homes, and asking them the biggest questions and mutual curiosities.

The Emergent Collective is a cultural experiment in the emergent process of celebration, innovation and ceremony. We are a community of intergenerational, interdisciplinary and intercultural luminaries and culture designers who care about the state of the world and how best to serve and make an impact.

My goal and purpose in this collective is to serve as the ecosystem builder and tea server in the volatile court. My role is to go deep with each person and genuinely profile and activate the individual and collective genius towards the biggest challenges facing us. This is not meant to be a self-referrental inquiry for the sake of ego worship, but rather a shared wisdom database to cull upon and utilize as a sacred weapon in the pursuit of a new civilization.

Sample Questions

Interior

What is your dangerous idea that you’ve never told anybody?
Where do you feel most at home? What does home feel like?
What keeps you up at night? What helps you jump out of bed each day?
What is your guiding principles and philosophy for making decisions? Walk me through the process that you took to choose your path.
What are the key thinkers and doers that have shaped your sense of self the most? Who has radically changed your mind?

Exterior

What are your methods and practices for getting into flow? Under which conditions do you feel most creative, inspired and productive?
What are the projects that you are most paying attention to?
What concept would improve everyone’s cognitive and emotional toolkit?

How is climate changing the way you think?
What do you believe artists and technologists can teach each other?

Universal

  • If you were to paint a picture of the most desirable and plausible future in 50 years, what would it look and feel like?
  • What are you optimistic about? What gives you immense sense of hope and belief in the future? What is a resource that you believe everyone needs to know about?
  • What do you believe is emerging in the collective conscious that doesn’t get enough attention or credit?

Potential Outputs

The hope is that this information will be catalogued and transferred to the software platform we are collaborating on with Factory, called ZERO, which will become a real-time collaboration tool for the future of convening and collaboration. In the meantime, while it’s not clear what the exact outputs will be, here is a list of potential ideas from this process, which will emerge depending on resourcing and who engages in this project. In its most early-stage form, I hope to have a visual map, a published article (s), and additional audio archives to share with the community. Some other potential outputs:

• A visual map or information graphic
• A potential (e)book, perhaps this emerges, with people contributing different chapters
• In-person and virtual convening(s)s, informal or formal, to discuss and share these insights • An audio archive of the interviews (Soundcloud)
• An article shared on Medium and other media channels

Emerging Timeline

  1. Mapping / Discovery Stage (Summer 2017) - Interviewing, mapping and conducting micro- experiments

  2. Convening Stage (Fall 2017) - Organizing learning journeys as a collective around the world

  3. Synthesis / Activation Stage (Winter 2017) - Coordinate and activate based on surfaced needs and opportunities

Ting Kelly