Notes from a Swedish Island

I recently hosted a couple of workshops on an island off the coast of Sweden. I took some basic equipment and offered attendees the option to do a carefully planned workshop to make “firefly’s” – Leds powered by tiny lemon juice batteries – based on this or to do a more creative workshop to make a wind energy generator from a dynamo and an in car USB charger.

They opted for the latter, and we ended up with a pretty cool wind generated Disco Ball.

Second workshop was even easier – ended up with a sweat lodge after just letting them get on with it.

My role is the provocateur, encouraging people to do things they want to do. Overcoming the emotional, learning and collaborative blocks to get things done. The quicker you can let go in such situations the better the process in my opinion. The moment you all become equal.

At the core of all workshops and actions was a philosophy of Doing rather than talking – I discourage discussion in favor of testing assumption through action whenever possible.

On several occasions, I was told “that won’t work” – I refuse to enter into dialogue in such circumstances, preferring to just try it. Invariably action and experimentation have topped “knowledge” and have been far quicker than debate.

Later I made batteries out of seaweed – saltwater is the electrolyte the seaweed holds it nicely in position. Hacked a tap from an old water bottle and duct tape, and improvised a rubbish picker from some sticks.

Good times.


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