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Creating Generational Legacies

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Are music festivals and doofs - a social experiment - solving the need for jobs? A precursor to the new kibbutz?

My daughters (22 and 25) love going to music festivals, (what they call "doofs" ) 

Are these festivals / communities , a social experiment that will be a base for a "new way" of connecting / adding value / living - creating for their community , a sense of self worth / finding ways to spend your day in a positive motivating way. Is this a better way than the "establishment - 9-5 work week - (for most) doing a job to survive, so they can feed and educate their family, and take 4 weeks a year annual leave - ( they say that job stands for "just over the breadline").

Is this a precursor to the revival of the "kibbutz" ?

Bellow, Katz Kiely talks about a potential new way of a connected community - finding meaning by taking out "the establishment" . 

From katz kiely

Katz Kiely
Founder and CEO 
Kiely & Co
Skype:  katzkiely
Twitter: @katzy

I was lucky enough to be invited by the founders a couple of years ago. I may not have accepted (“I’ve got work to do”) but Dan Ariely explained that I, with my passion for organisational transformation and behaviour change, should experience it.   

I now see Burning Man as a social experiment, exploring what happens when money and brands are taken out of the equation and volunteerism, creativity, collaboration and empowerment are put centre stage.

Participants come from all sorts of sectors: arts, media, finance - you name it. While there are elements of “pagan” festival, many of the activities are less widely understood. 

Contrary to the popular conception, I see the playa as a prototyping engine: with a wide variety of workshops, innovation camps, conferences, unconferences. The level of conversation and debate at Burning Man are, from my experience, exceptional. 

A couple of take aways to share a couple of experiences relevant to this discussion:

I had to visit the onsite hospital last year. The hospital, like everything else on the playa, is managed and manned by volunteers: professional nurses and doctors. I asked why they had given up their precious holiday time to volunteer. Each and every one said the same thing. At Burning Man the paperwork is taken out of the equation. They get to do what they signed up for : help people get better.  The service was impressive, and efficient, but human. The relationship between professional and patient is very different than in your typical hospital. The patients are genuinely grateful. The endless bureaucracy and paperwork is taken out of the equation. Most said they come back to volunteer year after year.

Impressed, and Infected by the volunteer spirit, I did a morning shift at the coffee centre the next morning. I brewed coffee for 4 hours. We served thousands of people. It could not have been a more menial job - but is one of my favourite memories of Burning Man. Why? Because of the work environment. We were working  together to support a connected community. Our efforts were respected and celebrated by those we served. Our playfulness did not get in the way of our work, but made the team more empowered and efficient. Empowerment leads to productivity.

In some ways the playa may have been an appropriate platform for Tuesdays meeting. Maybe next year :) 

Katz Kiely
Digital Strategist & Transformation Agent

Twitter: @katzy

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