Tag: Forward thinking

Fashion, Enterprise, and New Futures

Can new thinking and new choices in fashion change the world?

Recently I was invited to speak at a business event:  Storytelling and Emotion,  hosted by the Centre for Fashion Enterprise (CFE).  CFE is the enterprise development arm of the London College of Fashion. I visited with them a week before the event to get a feel for the business of fashion. These guys, who are actually an awesome entrepreneurial service led and run by 10 gals, are doing some way-out pioneering business incubation stuff. Over the last 11 years they’ve helped launch the careers of designers such as Basso & Brooke, Peter Pilotto and Holly Fulton amongst others.

The line-up of speakers was world class.  I knew that between them they would do more than justice to the topic at hand. So what had I to give? What value would I deliver? I decided to do what I do best: take neuroscience research out of the lab and highfalutin journals and apply it to everyday life and business, to evoke change that leads to better futures all round.

My presentation was about accessing neuroplasticity to craft new-futures for fashion enterprise. After an awe-inspiring evening of presentations, panel discussion and questions from a leading-edge audience, I feel inspired to share an excerpt from my journal notes regarding the event:

1st July 2017:

FashTech and the whole of the Fashion Industry is not so unlike the emerging domain and discipline of Neuroscience and Neuroplasticity. Both have enormous responsibility in co-crafting better and new sustainable worlds of geography, business, capitals development, management , and evolution. Especially the interaction and engagement between human and technology capitals. To access, engage and exercise neuroplasticity in new-futures thinking for fashion and sustainability in the same breath, we must look to:

  • Developing not just multidisciplinary think tanks and leadership, but ensure a good balance  of multiple intelligences * within multidisciplinary teams to ensure holistic thinking and leadership. A mixed-minds approach, so to speak.
  • Building an infrastructure for Future Fashion or a Foresight Lab and community around it – including governments, Fortune 500 companies, philanthropists, futurologists, etc.. Herein lies the power of unconventional co-crafting of new futures by mind-set and innovation.
  • Partnering across sectors (the “strength in numbers” concept has immense value here) in order to cultivate connection and connectivity with those who are to come after us. To raise understanding that we are as yet a young species and to stop living as if evolution of the human species ended with us.
  • Developing community so we are not daunted by the problems we face (in fashion or neuroscience).
  • Cultivating a sense of our value in the larger system called Life and Futures.
  • Never under-estimating what one person or a small group of co-conspirators can do!

Each of the above points probably constitute a book on its own, or at least a chapter in one. I get that this is big-ideas thinking. But each idea now needs to go through several processes of futures thinking – by breaking them apart to arrive at their component parts. This is followed by further processes of adding, deleting, questioning, debating, challenging – in other words, using our gorgeous, malleable, plastic brains.

This is how we make a better world. One thought at a time.

∗ Theory of multiple intelligences by Howard Gardner 


@MindRheo: What a Difference a Year Makes!

I can’t quite believe that it’s the 30th of December 2016.  I’ve just brewed a pot of strong black coffee (a must-try for the dark roast drinker) and am contemplating mixing some coffee martinis for a few of my die-hard coffee friends at our New Year dinner.  I think I’ll replace the vanilla flavoured vodka with pure vanilla bean and either a measure of dry gin or some good grappa.  Still mulling on that one!

Getting back to the theme of this blog – what  a difference a year can make to your life! 

Last year we had a non-existent international profile.  This year we presented a couple of neuroscience-meets-design projects, here at home and abroad.

Last year we did a considerable amount of tentative stepping into new territory. This year we replaced this soul-destroying approach with our 12-month Focus Forward approach.  Life-changing.  More of that in the Jan 2017 blog.

Last year we behaved like orphans – going it alone!  This year we reached out to well-considered sources to partner and collaborate with – always focusing on what value we can add to their already amazing agenda.  Now we’re forming more and more fulfilling and like-minded partnerships that simply rock.

I promise that this is not a boast.  Nor it is an itemisation of our 2016 accomplishments. It’s just a way to bring home the point that a year can make such a difference in your life, and can even re-route and influence the rest of your life and experiences.

Never underestimate what you can accomplish in a year. And, try not to over-estimate what you can accomplish in a year.  Some changes and achievements simply need more time.  And remember, that there is power in collaboration and partnership.

You see, making every single day of every year matter takes more than steely determination, genius intelligence, and a grip-like focus.  Big life changes don’t happen overnight as much as we’d wish for them to.  You have to give yourself time and put in the planning and effort.  Right attitude is important.  Great partnerships are vital. Generous giving changes you from within.  And, adding value is the key to having your year shoot into another realm of accomplishment.   Keep at it.  It’ll make for a mind-blowing 12 months!

Here are some things I (Melanie) am thinking about as this year draws to its close.  Try them out for yourself.

2016 in Review: 

Best Aha moment:
4 April on a train to London:
Everything is in rheomode.  Nothing is static.  When you attempt to freeze or halt movement and momentum, the stress of such futility must result in systems breakdown, or wear and tear.  All breakdowns and wear and tear must give rise to a new order or repair of the old, or else sink into oblivion, because the natural state of all that is implicit and explicit,  is rheological in essence.

Whilst that might probably sound like a lot of gibberish to you, it has led me to reading new subject matter, researching systems complexity, and a whole lot of other things, which will in turn enrich our services to you.

Best Lesson Learned:
Slow-cook transformation is transformation for life.  Sorry if this sounds cheesy – the original version reads:  You can’t hurry transformation.

Most Satisfying Client Feedback:
…. the way the processes are designed helps me to acknowledge my resistances that have become a running theme in my life blocking me from achieving my true desires.  As I name each one and soften them by following the exercises, shifts become apparent.  Each one takes me on a slightly different path from the one that I was on.  Each shift takes me a step closer to actual achievement of my dream. (In relation to the 2017 Focus Forward Programme).

New People Who’ve Enriched My Life:
Astronaut Tim Peake. I’ve even added him to my twitter account!  Love his humility and no-pride conversations.

Best Books:
I’ve bought over 50 new books this year, and have read 24 of them in full.  I’ve discarded some after reading a couple of  pages or a chapter, and skimmed through the rest. But the two that I’ve really enjoyed and I have to admit, am reading for at least the third time are:
Blackfoot Physics by David Peat
Pale Blue Dot: a vision of the human future in space by Carl Sagan

Thank you texts and phone calls:
I’ve sent at least a 1000 over the last 12 months.  Whoa!  Humbling to realise that “this isn’t even the half of it.”   I have so much to be thankful for.

and it goes on …. best movie, 2017 plans and goals, etc..

Find your own end of year reflections and make sure they’re uplifting! 😉

A big thank you to every one of you and all good wishes for an awesome 2017!

Melanie and all at MindRheo