All in a days work…
Three months ago Sam wrote a post about his experience of being the new guy at Curative. He wrote about how his first weeks were a heady mix of myriad tasks. He wrote about how July was a month of disruption and that things seemed to be moving incredibly fast as Curative grew. But he wrote all of this with a tone which implied that it was only temporary – that there was some base-line of normality to which Curative would eventually settle.
This idea has persisted; yarns of a world where things don’t change quite so fast were spun to me in my first few weeks as well. “It’s not normally like this…”, I would be assured. “Wow, this week is crazy”, would be exclaimed. “Amazing events like this don’t always happen”, I would be emphatically reminded. But, having been here for over a month now, I’ve come to realise something: it *is* always like this; life at Curative goes at a million miles an hour - and that’s exactly the way I like it.
This month’s list of things to keep us on our toes has included launching some very exciting new projects. It’s always a delightful experience finally opening the gates on a piece of work that we have poured so much time and love into.
One such project that deserves special mention is The Harbour: Everyone here says that it seems so long ago that the wonderful people at SAFE, Help and RPE asked us to produce their incredible new online resource.
The Harbour is a platform for people to access information and support about harmful sexual behaviour, addressing a really important need within this area. The material we needed to tackle covered some pretty heavy stuff, especially when it came to collating contributions from both those who have been harmed, as well as those who have caused harm - there were certainly times when this content weighed heavy on our minds. That said, we are already starting to hear some really rewarding feedback about how affected users have been by reading these contributions.
And so now, all of a sudden, it’s complete & launched. For me, The Harbour has been one of the first projects I’ve seen fully-launched at Curative, and it’s taught me a lot about the transient nature of our working process: about the necessary level of connection we have with our projects and their subject-matter, while knowing that eventually we will have to let go and set it free at some stage in the future.
The Harbour’s release came right off the back of an extremely full-on period for the Curative team, a time when a whole bunch of projects were coming to a head at exactly the same time. As this particularly busy period approached, anticipation rose to the point where the phrase ‘hell-week’ started being bandied about. But we were determined not to let this week get on top of us; we are the masters of our own time, and so we collectively renamed hell-week ‘HELL-YEAH Week!’.
One of the largest (and definitely the most delicious) components of hell-yeah week was our Social Innovation dinner event, The Feast, which Curative hosted in collaboration with the Sustainable Business Network and our friends at Innovate Change. The Feast is an opportunity to get some of Auckland’s greatest social innovation minds in a room, feed them wine and delicious food from POPdining, and then let them loose on a challenge. This year’s dinner was based around identifying interesting and innovative solutions that could provide safe, warm and sustainable housing for the Auckland’s growing population. Lots of great connections were forged during many interesting conversations. Check out the photos of the evening here…
But even as the final morsels of dessert were devoured, the Curative team were all conscious that ‘Hell Yeah’ week was still in full-swing; we managed to race home for a few short hours of sleep before being up again to host CreativeMornings six hours later. Another global collaboration, which this month saw 50+ chapters from around the world host a talk which followed the theme of ‘Play’ proudly set by our own little team.
All the while, I still had a sense that everyone expected things to slow down soon, back to some level of supposed normality…
‘Hell-Yeah’ week ended with a special treat for Eddy & I (Double-Eddies!) when we were asked to speak at the Tall Poppy conference that was expertly brought together by Brook, Elliot, and the awesome team at ZEAL. Tall Poppy pulled together some of the most interesting change-makers in the country to share the ways in which their work is having positive impact on the lives of young people. While the day was choc-full of incredible speakers, some stand-outs for us included hearing NZ’s principle youth court judge Andrew Becroft talking about progressive new approaches to youth justice. Another memorable moment was hearing Chris Clark, CEO of World Vision, talking about the importance of adaptability within the social sector - which certainly resonated with us during this fast-paced week. From my perspective, it was fantastic to get a chance to meet some of the best movers and shakers in the sector up here, and to reconnect with some I’d met before.
As the sun set on Tall Poppy, so too did it set on ‘Hell-Yeah’ week. Eddy and I both (respectively) went home to our first home cooked meals, our first early night, our first chance to not be out the door before 6am, in a week. Team Curative slept well that weekend, no doubt. Perhaps they did so under the illusion that it wouldn’t be the same in the coming week; that this was going to be the settling week, the promised-land where time comes in healthy portions, and nothing needs to get done until tomorrow.
Maybe this is the way we need to think in order to stay sane, but as for me, the new guy, I see through it; I’m quickly coming to the realisation that the pace never drops in a place like this, there is always more to do, more exciting projects and ideas, and more wonderful organisations to help. But then again, I think the thing we all share in common here is that none of us would have it any other way.
Have a great November, everybody.
Edward & Kaan