Who are the changemakers in your neighbourhood?
People — including myself — talk about how great it could to be to a “changemaker”, whatever that means. People can make change in all kinds of ways and we are seeing that particularly now with people taking part in mutual aid groups, looking after not just loved ones but people they’ve never met before or being first responders.
When I was a kid I didn’t want to be a head of strategy or even work for a local council. My parents were both working in public services, my mum as a teacher and my dad as a social worker, but it didn’t cross my mind to do the same jobs as them.
I first wanted to be a priest, then a baker, then a farmer, then a teacher, a barman and then work in advertising.
I recently wondered what all of those vocations had in common. They all:
- Connect people, are trusted within their local neighbourhoods (except working in advertising) and…are often good sources of gossip
- Educate people about stuff, be it religion, the seasons, history, the different things you can do with food & drink or of new services
- Create symbolic acts be it taking the host, a birthday cake, a harvest celebration, an exam, a lock in or a break (Kit Kate, Diet Coke, etc)
- Assume a responsibility for providing public goods, be it food, drink, education, or…salvation
Although I’ve only done one of those professions, working in a bar, I’ve learnt how to grow & bake food and used it to bring people together, have created activities where people can use their different senses, used symbolic acts to help people discover their neighbourhoods and often am asked to spin a good tale (I guess that covers both being a priest and working in advertising!).
It made me think though:
How can we bring people together from different backgrounds through making together?
How can you turn your hobby into a job? And what if our future jobs were more about making things locally?
What can we learn in how food influences our culture, economy, environment and even politics?
How can we use walking to help us discover how to understand & tackle local issues?
What else beyond growing & making food creates deep & meaningful connections between people from different backgrounds?
How can we understand what makes people tick and connect them emotionally to the places the work in an inclusive & friendly way?