🔌✨The Nexialist #0076
Amazonize Beyoncé(?) | Break My Soul | No Awards on a Dead Planet | Entering Flow State | Rituals x Routine | Tips to Unplug | Eefje De Visser | Flourish of Approval
Welcome to yet another lovely list of links that keep on giving (?), The Nexialist
Hello, world! This week I had quite a different routine, and I felt like it was the universe organizing a different cadence around Summer Solstice. I had a good time in an unplanned visit to a lake in the North of Amsterdam (thank you, Juan and Hailey), had my official b-day celebration and also my first time on a conference stage.
I had to pleasure to join Nilou Esfandiary (Discover.ai) and Els Dragt (Studio Elsewhere) at IIEX Europe to talk about “Why Are Trends so ’Trendy’?: Discussing What’s Behind the Rise of Trends as a Tool for Clients.” I cannot remember everything we said in the 20 minutes but here are some flashes: setting expectations and aligning understanding of trends, understanding trends research as both a collaborative flow and a process, understanding possible and desirable futures, giving space for intuition and serendipity, understanding data is important but not the holy grail, managing uncertainty, having courage, bursting content/sector bubbles… I left the chat feeling recharged with new ideas and I hope it was inspiring for whoever watched it.
Now, I’ll leave you to this week’s Nexialist… Enjoy!
1 year ago » 📺✨The Nexialist #0025: Fermented Content | Do The Television | PopCorn Garage | Iconographic Search | Culture&Trends Report | Context Collapse | Culture of Proximity | Rosetta Stone for the Digital Age | The Creator Economy
Yes, I had to start Beyoncé’s Renassaince (her new album). It is always a moment in pop culture when she releases something, and people were already on the edge of their chairs since she erased all the profile photos on her social media. Her photoshoot for British Vogue is so impactful and beautiful and I was proud to learn the photographer is Rafael Pavarotti. He has done some iconic work lately, like the photos of Harry Styles as well as Rihanna. Though based in London for many years, Pavarotti is Brazilian from Belém in Pará, in the Amazonian region, and a black, gay man, which is so inspiring to see. He embodies so many perspectives through his gaze, and I could not help but connecting it to the Amazonize de World topic from a couple of weeks ago, along with Queering the Future and Indigenous and Afrofuturism. Below, you see a small snippet of Edward Enninful’s story about how this moment happened, as he brought a ritual vibe to that moment.
As is Raf’s way, he began the shoot day by gathering everyone into a circle for a shared moment of prayer. It was a magical mood and soon B was walking around feeling easy and free to be herself.
Read: B Ready: Beyoncé Is Poised For Her Next Evolution by Edward Enninful | Vogue UK
🏠Break My Soul
And break the internet with it. Beyoncé is giving us new music to shake our bodies but also sparked so many conversations. Some things that stood out for me (and for the internet):
Beyoncé is now making House Music and the timing is perfect. The Show Me Love sample is everything we needed.
We love LGBTQ+ icon Big Freedia
The lyrics are a mantra of resistance, inviting us to stay strong and motivated. I got chills listening to it.
It’s Antiwork and an “Ode to the Great Resignation:” quitting and “releasing your job” is a theme.
“In case you forgot how we act outside.” - It’s an invitation for those of us who were still feeling awkward about leaving the house.
I loved how it was released on the summer’s solstice. Quite symbolic I would say.
It is just incredible how this woman (and her team, let’s not forget) manages to puncture the Zeitgeist with her work/art. It’s always a joy to watch the cultural waves she makes and all the discussion around it.
At the Cannes opening ceremony this week this Greenpeace protest got my attention, but I wish it got more attention than that. “The Greenpeace activist and previous Cannes Lions winner Gustav Martner staged a high-profile demonstration during the festival’s opening ceremony on Monday (June 20), protesting the industry’s habit of working with fossil fuel and high carbon clients.” He returned his Lion statue won for a Volkswagen campaign
“No one in the industry today would be excited at the prospect of working with a tobacco client… Cannes Lions claims to be the home of creativity, but I’m here to say there’s no creativity on a dead planet.”
There is also Greenpeace’s petition calling the EU to ‘Ban Fossil Fuel Advertising and Sponsorships” and it got over 220K signatures already.
🌀Entering Flow State
Talking about motivation (and finding a new foundation), this Big Think video with flow researcher Steven Kotler is quite inspiring. Not because I finally heard Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s name being said out loud (at 1:14) but because it sums up and goes over important concepts that I didn’t know. I’ll put some of them here, but do watch it (and stop letting unnecessary interruptions keeping you from entering flow):
The challenge-skills balance: the "golden rule to flow." We pay the most attention to the task at hand when the challenge of that task slightly exceeds our skillset.
Flow triggers: your toolkit. 22 have been discovered, such as complete concentration, novelty, risk taking, complexity, awe. They drive focus, attention, alertness and excitement.
Intrinsic Motivators: curiosity, passion, purpose, autonomy and mastery.
“We're all capable of so much more than we know. That is a commonality across the board. It's the largest lesson in 30 years of studying peak performance has taught me. And the way I sorta like to think about it, is motivation is what gets us into the game. Learning allows us to continue to play. Creativity is how we steer. And flow, which is optimal performance, is how we amplify all the results beyond all reasonable expectation.“
This VOX article really came as a birthday present to me (I promise at one point I stop talking about my birthday). Rituals are a theme that keeps getting my attention as well as space here in The Nexialist. The fact is, I am still learning how to understand and create my own rituals while trying to find them in my routine, without letting them become a routine. This article was quite helpful and gave me some good insights.
The difference, according to ritualists, is distinguished by one’s intent. The word “routine” carries a connotation distinct from that of ritual. It implies a rigid sense of structure, with time management and productivity prioritized. A person might rely on routine for the sake of accomplishment — an ideal tied to capitalist ideals of labor and production — rather than personal enjoyment or spiritual fulfillment.
Read: Why we need rituals, not routines by Terry Nguyen for VOX
I think one of the biggest challenges in creating your rituals is to avoid our electronic interruptions. This NPR article brings 13 small ways to ditch your phone and live more in the moment. Some of them: Getting rid of apps and distractions, "Hiding" your phone, Finding non-internet activities and Downgrading technology. I would add my own tips:
-Set a daily limit for social media on your phone and take out unnecessary notifications.
-Set limits with your coworkers about availability, times and platforms.
-Tell your friends/partners about your efforts to unplug and ask them to help you, reminding you if needed.
Read: 13 small ways to ditch your phone and live more in the moment by Mansee Kurana, NPR
🇳🇱Eefje De Visser
Last Saturday I had the opportunity to watch Eefje live in Amsterdam and I was so emotional watching her on stage. This was a video fro te day after at Pinkpop. It was such a beautiful and simple concert. Even if I don’t understand most of her lyrics (I go after them and translate, just like when I was learning English), I appreciate the poetry in them and the production quality, full of layers and soul. Also, seeing someone who seems like such an introvert to perform their creations like that is inspiring and touching.
“A flourish of approval or krul ("curl") is a mostly Dutch symbol used for grading schoolwork or to show that one has seen and agreed with a paragraph.” I appreciate Depths of Wikipedia so much for curating these things. It got me thinking: was this a predecesssor of the likes (or other reactions) way before the internet?
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I truly believe innovation comes from bringing improbable areas together, and that’s why I called this project The Nexialist. Some sectors are known to be self-referencing and hermetic. Sometimes teams are on autopilot mode, focused on the daily grind, which hinders innovation. As a Nexialist, I like to burst these bubbles, bringing references from different areas, and maintaining teams inspired and connected to the Zeitgeist.
I offer inspiration sessions, called Brainsparks, creative desk research (Zeitgeist Boost), Plug’n’Play deals for workshops and sprints, and other Bespoke formats. If you want to know more about this, send me an e-mail with your challenge(s) and we can figure something out together. Check out my website and some work I’ve done below: