Can new definitions open new possibilities?

This facebook post on Design Kompany got the Origin conversation started…

YESTERDAY IN A SHOP I HEARD ENGLISH. It had been a while since I heard my own accent, clear and steady. I looked to where the source of this was, and caught sight of a young girl, maybe 9 or 10. She switched to Khmer when two smaller girls sidled up to her and took either of her hands.

Were they cousins, I mused?

Had she grown up with parents born in Cambodia, had she learned the native English of a land like England or Australia, complete with their own slangs and facial cues and other things you learn only when you are raised in that place?

But what about ‘place,’ anyway? Why should it be defined by the border of a nation, an ethnicity, or even a language? Watching the children together, at play, it was clear. They were ‘from’ the same place… maybe Childhood.

Or?

They were from, let’s see.

Let’s get creative here.

In how we define bounds.

They were from ‘a world that invites,’ ‘a place of connection,’ ‘a universe where laughter is joy, and joy is currency.’ They were from, that is, let’s see… ‘a community that holds hands, smiles, laughs and engages with that which might be interesting, that which might invite sharing of stories, making of plays and jokes.’ They were from… ‘Humanity.’

At this awareness, I got happy. There might be hope for us as we all explore our identities, and how we’re more alike than different. These little girls were all smiling, all three of them, skipping about beneath their mothers’ elbows, pointing at frilly dresses, testing out the oversize shoes the way any little girl in any place might.

Does this resonate with you? I’m going to keep posting bits and pieces from now through 21 April, when we will host our last conversation salon in Phnom Penh on the topic of ‘fromness.’ ORIGIN will invite anyone who identifies with this topic, anyone at all. Perhaps you grew up in #PhnomPenh. Or outside of it. Maybe you’re ‘from’ Kampot Province, or somewhere else. Maybe you want to just discover who else is curious about this idea. Join us in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, to mix and connect, to talk and discover what it is that outlines your own sense of belonging. Come and share with us, Where are you +local+?

Come play. 21 APRIL in #PhnomPenh is Origin.

The Art of Not Knowing

Art of Not Knowing by Dipika Kohli
Read more >

A NEW ESSAY COLLECTION, by DK’s Dipika Kohli. It’s about many, many things but most of it is about uncertainty. How we can’t possibly know a thing before we start, and how we simply must investigate our way towards what feels right, and how that even works.

First release will be 1 June for members S P A C E. Then, pre-orders will be released 1 July.

Read more >

Meet me in Vientiane: ‘N’ is NEXT

16N gathers 16 strangers in real life. To talk about a thing that starts with an ‘N’…

 

‘N’ Vientiane: NEXT

LET’S MEET IN REAL LIFE. Just 16 people. To talk together about the idea of ‘NEXT.’ This is the idea of 16N: to gather people whose paths might not have otherwise have crossed. Briefly. Once. For a conversation of the kind you’ve never experienced before: it’s not a workshop, it’s not a party. It’s nothing like you’d expect. That’s what people have told us, at ‘N’ events in Phnom Penh, Bangkok, and London. ‘N’ Vientiane is NEXT.

#play16n

More information, including details of how to request an invite, is at this page >

16N

Metaphilosophy and metaphysics, with clouds

MEET ME IN THE SKY?

Get together with a very small group of people to talk about things that feel more interesting than the usual drone of:

  • ‘How long have you been in Phnom Penh?’ (yawn)
  • ‘What do you do here?’ (Why? Are you job hunting?)
  • ‘Where are you from?’ (How about ask me where I’m local?)

The idea. After a series of four really amazing ‘Rooftop Philosophy in Phnom Penh’ salons, limited to just a few people and small and informal in style, we bring back Rooftop Philosophy in Phnom Penh, this time the #5 edition, by invitation only. Share your availability with DK by email and we’ll choose a date and time that works for most. Max 6.

Agenda. Guided, prompt-led conversation. No experience or expertise necessary. Proficiency in English is best, but all are welcome. Light, relaxed, nice view. How to design space for great dialogue? Conversations that, I promise, will veer far from the vein of the above. That is the work of DK.

Fee. USD $15 per person to participate. Free for patrons of DK. (Want to become a patron? Here’s how.)

RSVP through the form below. Details to follow.

Rooftop Philosophy in Phnom Penh
Rooftop Philosophy #1 – #4 happened here.

A new plateau

LEGACIES ARE MADE AND BUILT based on the learnings we can articulate clearly, and share. Dialogue makes us gather our ideas and respond to those of others, too. Perspectives can shift and whole rooms of internal awareness can open, if we allow ourselves room to reflect. It’s why I am always taking pictures like this, I think. I like to make the space for zooming into quiet. Processing ‘N’, which just happened on Wednesday here in London. No pictures. No social media. Just quiet space, to feel what it was, and reflect. Quietly, alone.

NEXT.
There are a few things coming together for 2017 for members of our online community, S. P. A. C. E. A different kind of thing than me posting blog entries, much more interactive: both real-life spacemaking events in cities like San Francisco and Bangkok, and conversation forums in online ‘rooms.’ The big idea is much like the 16N experience: connecting us to new and different others, making space for us to reflect and better tune in to our own selves, our own hoped-for legacy, whether we’re conscious of what it is or just open to ambling our way towards something bigger than simply existing day-to-day. I came to London a year ago to see George Bernard Shaw’s Man and Superman. In which similar questions of existence and purpose and meaning popped up. I can tell you where all this is going, but only if you are interest in hearing more. Are you? If yes, leave me a note.

ffffff

‘HELLO. CAN I ASK YOU A QUESTION?’

‘Sure.’

‘What do you think makes a thing noteworthy?’

‘Makes a thing noteworthy? Is that what you asked?’

‘Yes.’

‘Something that is an experience.’

‘Good answer! Right. So what are you doing at 6PM? Because we’re going to have a conversation salon, on noteworthiness. Yes! And someone just cancelled their spot. I mean, these tickets were booked months in advance, some of them, and some of them just yesterday, but it’s all part of the design of it, you see, chance, and serendipity, and the connection that happens when, poof!, you meet, in real life. But briefly, and once.’

‘I’m interested, but not today… is it a regular thing?’

‘Good sir, briefly and once is the thing about ‘N.’ Because you can never set foot in the same river twice, et cetera.’

*thinking*

‘Think about it. I like your answer, and you seem nice.’

‘Yes, well, I have a client meeting at 7…’

‘Move it! ‘N’ just happens once! And ‘N’ is an experience.’

‘I, um. How can I get in touch with you?’

‘The website. There’s a form.’

Tonight is ‘N’ London: NOTEWORTHINESS

MANY THANKS TO THE DOZENS of people in our online and real-life community, S. P. A. C. E., for helping DK connect with the 16 ‘new and different others’ we are meeting for the first time in one moment tonight.

TONIGHT IS ‘N’. Here, in London. A year in the making, this one. We are getting together to talk about NOTEWORTHINESS, what’s remarkable? Why?

Esoteric perhaps in nature, the actual experience of an ‘N’ is, I hope, I think, I believe, much more playful, open, engaging and by design fun. What would be the point of it if it wasn’t fun?

Fields will be represented from many directions: mathematics, curation, anthropology, culture studies, photography, writing, design, business and technology and more. The magic moment is almost here. Tonight, tonight, tonight. —AS