THE RADICAL POWER OF ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS

Atul Gawande, a world-leading surgeon, writer and public health researcher is fascinated by the big questions: death and the art of dying. At the 2015 Auckland Readers & Writers Festival, the audience audibly gasped when Gawande said 70% of us would die with somebody else making the core decisions. 

His ephiphany was not to assume death is a medical problem to solve, but to ask the simple question: 

"WHAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT TO YOU IN THE REMAINDER OF YOUR LIFE?"

A great reminder that in dealing with complex problems where you are the expert, it is important to keep the client/patient/human being at the centre and let them say what matters to them.

R U THERE?

Inspiring social impact CEO, Nancy Lublin of DoSomething.Org has recently launched a 24/7 nationwide, crisis intervention hotline to conduct its conversations (to mostly teenagers) exclusively by text. 

Lublin explains why:

"People who spent their high-school years chatting with friends on landlines are often dismissive of texting, as if it might be a phase one outgrows, but the form is unparalleled in its ability to relay information concisely. The act of writing, even if the product consists of only a hundred and forty characters composed with one’s thumbs, forces a kind of real-time distillation of emotional chaos". 

 Click here to read "R U There?" A new counselling service harnesses the power of the text message. By Alice Gregory.  New Yorker, February 9th, 2015.

Click here to read "R U There?" A new counselling service harnesses the power of the text message. By Alice Gregory.  New Yorker, February 9th, 2015.

Her critical insight is that tapping out a text message acts as a behavioral buffer, providing distance between a person and intense, immediate, and often impulsive feelings.

WANT TO THINK DIFFERENTLY ABOUT THE POWER OF TEXTING?

ART WITH A SOCIAL CONSCIENCE

This year the judges of Britain's most prestigious art prize, The Turner, have nominated three women and a housing estate.

 Click here to read "Turner Prize 2015 Shortlist: Three Women – And a Housing Estate". By Mark Brown.  The Guardian. May 12th, 2015

Click here to read "Turner Prize 2015 Shortlist: Three Women – And a Housing Estate". By Mark Brown.  The Guardian. May 12th, 2015

We endorse judge Alastair Hudson's statement that “In an age when anything can be art, why not have a housing estate?” 

What's got everybody talking is a direct action collective, Assemble, of 18 young designers and architecture graduates who have helped breathe new life into a rundown Liverpool housing estate.

“This is what’s happening,” Hudson said. “It is working away from art as entertainment. These are artists working in very specific circumstances to make something happen, to make something change. It’s very positive for the future of art – they are trying to do something rather than just represent something.