fredag den 30. oktober 2009

Otto Scharmer At Natura

Yesterday (Thursday) we filled up a car, and left the concrete city of Sao Paulo, to go Natura - a Brazilian cosmetic company, whom according to the rumor is known for it's sustainable initiatives and eco friendly, natural products. They have a direct sales model, similar to what we know from Tupperware parties, with more than 800.000 consultants or resellers (!), resulting in a revenue that surpasses Avon's.

The headquarters of Natura lay approx 1 hour outside Sao Paulo, in the middle of a nature reserve. It's massive, beautiful buildings, are designed after the principles of Feng Shui, and all offices are said to have a view of the beautiful nature surrounding the compound (...Although we find this hard to believe, as it would imply an obscene amount of toilets and copyrooms at the center of the buildings).

Walking through the glass and concrete corridors, was like constantly walking by a newly groomed person, leaving a scented trail of perfume and beauty products.

The main purpose of our visit however, was to attend a lecture by Otto Scharmer, followed by free snacks and coffee (as most things seem to be here). As Anne has already done some work with U theory, several of the points were familiar to her, but it was mostly new to me.

As a result of our day, I (gunvor) decided to become a published moviedirector/editor/producer, and with an iMovie introduction-movie close by, I created this fantabules film, documenting our visit at Natura, and some of Otto Schamer’s lecture. Enjoy!

The Hatter on Paulista Avenue

Today I walked down Paulista Avenue, down what might be called the dodgy end. Here the shops are filled with materials of lac and leather, metal chains and shorts, which are almost not there, and of course stiletto heals up to a size 46!

In the midst of all this, I met a person, who seemed somewhat to stand out: An elderly gentleman, who looked as if he had just stepped out of the 50'ies, ready to attend to a young ladies request- And this was not far from the truth.

The gentleman is Monsieur Plas. In an area of lac and leather, he values felt, more precisely felt hats in any color shape and size. He has made them, and suits since 1954.

And today I had the privilege of trying them all... I think I will be going for a top hat!

Brazilian Wildlife

With its Amazon rainforest, Brazil is home to more than one third of the species of the world! It has the greatest biodiversity, of any country on the planet, and the most known species of plants, freshwater fish, and mammals.

…But I guess, that this will not effect our exploration of the approx 17 mill populated, over-polluted city of Sao Paulo. Therefor I have sought for another species of wildlife, likewise eye-catching and diverse.

Actually I think I have found something surpassing the natural wildlife in uniqueness. I am talking about the creatures and beings, that lives and sneaks about the concrete walls of SP. Colorful, animated, painted, cut out and glued on, silent, subtile, screaming, with clear messages, or quirky whimsical thoughts. In your face or hidden treasures in alleys and behind downpipes. No matter what habitat they are to be found in, we will try to hunt them down...

onsdag den 28. oktober 2009

And then it rained...

After a sunny couple of days, the sky opened up, and let down an impressive amount of water.

This solved the mystery of why there are so many moats along side the roads.

Luckily, the doomsday-like rain has a tendency to disappear just as quickly as it appears. And by this weekend the weather should be back to it's sunny self.


On a sidenote: Never stand right next to Anne when there's thunder and lightning - she gets scared, and her immediate reaction is to hit whomever is near to her.

mandag den 26. oktober 2009

Our assignments

During our stay at the Hub we have 3 main assignments that we will be working with, and a couple of others that are possible if we have the time and/or resources. Pablo sent us the following map, as a short introduction to it all, before we came here:

Now, during the first week, we are focusing on the coming weekend, where we will be facilitating a teambuilding- and strategic planning weekend for the Hub team (6 people). As part of this we are also learning more about the Hub as an organization, about it's members, and about it's opportunities and challenges.

Today we have made a rapid prototype for the days, as well as prepared for interviews with the participants. We have also tried to make a visualization that can help us plan and document our work (Thanks to Anne's graphic skills, it is coming along smoothly).

All of this has left us very curious and full of questions to explore. Tomorrow we will meet with Pablo, to go more in to detail with what the process should hold and some of the practicalities around it, as well as start creating an overall timeplan for the rest of our stay at the Hub.

Traffic no 1 - Street Juggle

1, 2, 3 tricks in the middle of the intersection, before the lights turn green - so exact, that it barely leaves the street artist any time to collect the extra coins the drivers have laying, and are willing to spare for the brief entertainment, before they move on in hectic traffic.

lørdag den 24. oktober 2009

Our first day at the Hub

We visited the Hub for the first time on Friday, but sadly our contact Pablo was out sick, so we spent the day mostly meeting the people there, and getting to know the place.

One of the first people we met was Henrique (T13) - ...small world... - and we had lunch with him and a russian girl called Anastasia at a Brazilian restaurant, where you take what you want from a buffet, and pay by the kilo. This is very common, and a cheap way to try out different types of Brazilian food.

Mais Amor

A little more love please, it says on one telephone both - In Sao Paulo they also believe in The Beatles.

Here you see cracking colorful walls, lush green grass blankets in the passages between the cement roads and broken tiles. A shoe box town Pablo called the place, since all the buildings are big boxes with secrets inside.

The Shoe boxes are often painted with images and expressions, or long tendrils of foliage. I am looking forward to exploring Sao Paulo, and hope to give you a peek in on the secrets i find.

Electric religion

Visited Sao Paulo da Sé (cathedral) today.

...Turns out that candles are not all the rave of the catholic church anymore - now you can pay 50 cent, and an electrical light will burn in your favor... I lit one for the overwelming success of our future projects.

fredag den 23. oktober 2009

We're here!

After a 30 hour travel from Århus - Sao Paulo, including one planned stop in Madrid, and a not-so-planned stop in Rio, we have officially arrived at our destination!

Host family check
Caipirinha check
Found the Hub check
Drank the coffee check
Wearing shorts check
Bought plastic shoes check