Beginning this series on cultivating wisdom and work our initial focus was to stand back and share ideas which we will be exploring over the year, as we seek to ‘join the dots’ across work, worker and workplace wisdom. We live in challenging times as we continue to deal with the impact of the pandemic and big issues including climate change and inequality. Our aspiration is to model wise dialogue and practical collaboration and it was great to work with a group of 25 people, listening to provocations and sharing reactions and reflections through breakout group discussion and wider inquiry.
Considering the foundational relevance of wisdom, we noted increasing interest from a range of disciplines moving into the mainstream and recently being voiced by public figures including David Attenborough. Wisdom has ancient roots and we offered definitions from philosophers past and present which captured reflection and action inherent in wisdom. Moving our focus to wisdom and work our speakers took us on a journey from our early ancestors and their relationship with work (more relaxed than ours?), to the challenges of capitalist modernity and negative impacts on climate and human wellbeing. In the current workplace we were invited to consider choices prompted by the pandemic and the opportunity for positive change. We were challenged to think about purpose, leadership and collectively shaping a healthy future, through wise conversation and practices. Finally, we were invited to think personally about our courage to acknowledge where wisdom is lacking and how we might characterise and cultivate wisdom in ourselves and our organisations.
Prompted by ideas shared there were many observations and questions which will be pursued through the series.
Next session 10 September 0930 to 1300 – Work