Why do you do what you do?

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It is a simple question, but let´s be honest – do you really know the answer to it?

The truth is once we start working we tend to forget about it. Between rushing from meeting to meeting, managing projects and constantly creating new ideas, there is often very little left time to reflect on things like that.

But this question is more important than you think. Because to do something well you have to like it. That concept is not exactly new. We hear it all the time: "Do what you love…" But doing what you love is actually quite complicated and that´s why it’s rarely done.

Why? Because it´s a hell of a lot of work! It means staying up all night tinkering a thought in your head; it means pushing yourself out of your comfort zone; and it always takes a lot of discipline to finish what you’ve started.

I wrote these words a little while ago as an foreword for a design book of a good friend of mine. Hannes created the All-Day-Everday Project where he designed a poster each day for a year. Following his project was a great inspiration to me  because it reconnected my passion for creativity and how important it is to keep it alive.
 

Time to ask myself  this simple question again...
I guess why Hannes work made such an great impact on me was because I had a similar project, one that was in the back of my head for quite some time. Two friends and I started the Create Meaning Project a few years ago and since then I was working on it when ever there was time. I thought classes and gave lectures and talked about it with likeminded people. But actually never took the initiative to really follow it trough. I always thought I will do it when I have more time, less work or more money - but this time never came. So one day while I went for a run on the Tempelhofer Airfield next to my place, this question popped up in my head again – and this time I felt the need to answer it.

But the idea kept growing and over the years many new perspectives added to the picture. I met a lot of inspiring people a long the way, read some eye opening books and made some transformative experiences myself. 

One pivotal moment was definitely joining the "TheoryU Hub" in Berlin with Daniel Ludevig. Theory U is a methodology for leading profound change developed by Otto Scharmer,  a German professor at MIT. While I was familiar with most of the techniques and elements of the process itself, I had never seen anyone combining them and applying it in an academic or business context. But what struck me most was actually the topics that Otto was talking about; how the current system is not working and that we have the opportunity and responsibility to change it. These ideas stayed with me and shaped my thinking about this project.

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Time to jump...
What started out as a project focused on marketing and advertising now became something else. So instead of asking how can we change the marketing and advertising industry, the question became how can I as a creative contribute to change some of the issues we face in our world today? How to help and transform business for the better and what role does the creative industry as a whole play in this?

I don´t have an answer to any of these questions, but the urge to explore them became so strong that I decided it was time to make a leap and finally start this project that I had been thinking about for so long.

So from today on I´m on a journey to explore the emerging future of the creative industry. My goal is to meet entrepreneurs, creative thinkers, economists and other change makers and talk with them about their perspectives, insights and experiences on how such a future might work and look like.

I have no idea where this quest will lead me, but I will share the findings, the ups and downs, raw ideas and some nice pictures from along the way here with you. 

If you know somebody who might be interesting to meet, or if you want to contribute yourself please don´t hesitate to get in touch. This project is open for anybody who believes in the idea and wants to become part of it.

I´m looking forward to go on this journey together with all of you...

All the best from my first stop: Istanbul

Steffen

 

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