I am sitting in a dark auditorium in Sydney. The conference I am attending is called ‘Purpose’, and there is a different air and energy to this conference than any other I have been to: not hyped; engaged and joyous with a hint of fun.
A bearded man walks onto the stage, our MC for the next few days. There is no bravado as he calmly stands in front of us. His voice is gentle and humble, his body still. Every eye and mind is fixed upon him.
He holds a small notebook and begins to talk, welcoming us, acknowledging the traditional owners of the land upon which we gather, and then continues with a statement of context which went something like this:
“I would also like to take a moment to acknowledge the context within which we gather. We meet at a time when the human species is having an unprecedented impact on the planet.
“We acknowledge this at the beginning of this gathering as a reminder that the discussions we have here, the decisions we make and any actions we take as a result will have consequences for other people and other species – both those living now as well as future generations.”
A silent ovation echoed around the room.
Matt Wicking is a freelance facilitator through his business Cloud Catcher, is a member of the band The General Assembly, and also facilitates the Melbourne cohort of people coming through the Centre for Sustainability Leadership each year.
Listening to him at that the conference last year was the first time I had come across him. Over the subsequent 9 months I have heard others talk about him, bumped into him at other events, and seen him in action as a facilitator. As I have got to know him more I have become aware of the subtle influence he has had on my own life.
The congruence of his actions according to his own awareness of who he is as an individual, as a human, and the environmental and social context he finds himself in, slowly become apparent the more I am around him.
There is no preaching or telling, rather the creation of an environment and setting where those he works with, good people doing good stuff in the world, can engage with themselves and create their own learnings and outcomes.
I thoroughly enjoyed this conversation with Matt and the mood he was able to create, and I hope you do too.