In order to effect change, it seems we need 5 crucial steps:
Be willing to See and acknowledge the issue we need to change;
Decide you are in fact going to Do something about it;
Connect with others to gain support, new ideas and collective clout;
Find ways to Sustain your own energies to ensure you don't burn out; and
Use your experience and energy to Inspire others to take action so we
make the change become exponential.
On that basis we asked Chris what he thinks ...
1 What issue do you see or come across that awakens the creative disruptor in you, and why does it matter to you the way it does?
Probably injustice as an over all issue. That and a world that seems to have become about the individual rather than a collective interest with each other and the planet. It matters because that basic self centred version of the world makes it so hard to win consensus on so many of the other issues that count. They range from climate change to the NHS, to Trump etc. etc. If people don’t see the any effect on them they won’t act for others and we need to be together.
2 What action are you actually taking to tackle this, and how do you feel about what you do?
I try and get out and do speaking engagements to raise these issues. I have done Faceache but reality is that is just talking to like minded people. I have also just quit a secure 2.5 day a week job as they just simply didn’t get it and life is too short. Very frustrating…
I will also call people out and have conversations that it's easier not to. That can make you feel exposed, angry and some what vulnerable but it is also empowering. I think I have an underlying anger at the moment and frustration though remain an optimist. I think things will change and we can overcome the obstacles and hurdles to a fair society that cares for each other and the environment.
Part of quitting my job and realignment of resources is to give me time to work out best way of going forwards. So I’m in a slight state of flux...
3 How important do you think it is to reach out to and work with others as you work for this change, and how do you do it?
I think working with others is important but always hard to stop becoming part of someone else's agenda, especially if they want your brain and energy and yet don’t see the value in what you do to the point where they will pay. We all need to live and people working in this sector are some of the most precious people in the world and yet often treated appallingly. Just had exactly this happen and for sure a conference of 65 rich people can pay an extra £5 or £10 to hear me but this person couldn’t see this and too self wrapped. (Note to self - do not become too self wrapped!) But important that we do value ourselves. Part of sustainability should also be that we are sustained.
I have a number of ideas that I want to pursue and will be reaching out to relevant communities and encouraging them to come and play, get involved. I do some talks for minimal fee or free and others that are well paid and try and balance these out with payers helping non-financially robust communities. I also want to say that it's important to respect each others' values, place they’re coming from, establish working ground and commonality and some rules and terms (but it's always good to break a few rules!).
4 How do you keep that fire in your belly alight without it causing you to burn out? How do you sustain your energies and look after you, and crucially, what's your advice to others?
Read, think, watch, think, walk, surf talk etc. etc. It's easy to see enough injustice and wrongs to keep that fire in the belly and I try and make sure that when I do get a talk I focus and give my all. Inspire others. I’m lucky to have been part of an amazing campaign that helped deliver real change and can use that positive winning campaign to inspire others to believe they can also make a difference and that they need to.
Burn out? Yes been there and was unable to even walk down a street without bursting into tears. 6 weeks signed off work. You can feel the indicators and then recognise them and do something about it. Go feed yourself, do the things that make you happy, be with good people, listen to good music etc. (I have to ring a dear friend in a minute - we feed each other with good vibes and love!) and go easy on yourself sometimes, value yourself (see above re being paid).
5 Positive change is contagious. Sometimes all that's needed for someone to take action is to see someone else doing something about it. So ... how do you use your experience to inspire others?
Kind of covered ...
And finally ... if someone came up to you in a pub or a cafe and said they were fed up/enfuriated/anxious about something they felt was wrong or needed to change...what would you say?
If someone asked me that I’d talk to them, tell them that they can make a difference. Then maybe arrange to meet them (£15 pound donation to WaterAid if they can afford it) and then give them an hour of my time. We can change this world and society. It's OK to be frustrated etc. In fact it's pretty barking when people aren’t! So maybe the first thing to say is: Fucking Brilliant! Excellent. I’m sure half the people are, they just don’t know what to do!