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Picture the Future

When writing our future narratives we need language skills, imagination, creativity, critical thinking skills and empathy. And we need hope - a human quality that can help us effect change in the real world.

According to Tolkien, fairytales teach us that there will always be an unexpected return of the good. They give us hope. When listening to a BBC podcast episode on 'hope' the other day, I got caught by the idea that hope is a form of art – a structural illusion that helps us advance and make progress as individuals and as groups.

Practice hope

I realised that what we do in our conversational classes and workshops is ‘practice hope’ - whether we define hope as a habit of will, a virtue (like courage), an expectation, or an illusion. The tools we use are imagination, language, and storytelling. The skills we train are communication skills, critical thinking skills, creativity, and empathy – so called 21st century skills that can support us in building a sustainable and democratic future.

Those who have worked with me know that I operate outside the mainstream. People who join do not come back for the grammar and vocabulary but for an inspiring conversation with people from diverse cultural - organisational - backgrounds. People who join Poetry in Business/Lab 21 do not come for the poetry. Well, our workshop participants certainly do have an interest in the arts. But what they really want and get is inspiration to embrace the complexity of today's and tomorrow's 'business'.

With Lab 21, we are providing a space where individuals and teams can re-connect with their creative power and commit themselves to a sense of life that’s defined by learning, progress and growth. In other words, in Lab 21, they can practice hope - share their ideas, come up with new solutions, and cultivate a purely human quality that will help them effect change in the real world. To find out more, join Lab 21! Contact:

  • Poetry in Business on Instagram
  • CMerl
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