NOW, a place for possibilities. Madrid, Central de Diseño / Dimad, Matadero. 26.1.2013

 

My mother used to tell me that great deeds were my destiny, for I was not too good at small, everyday, trivial things, but I could achieve something great if I wanted to. And well, I don't know whether it was a great deed or just a small achievement, but I do feel proud of having contributed to the birth of NOW Madrid.

The event itself was the demonstration that, if we want to, we can really do things, simply by doing them. And, if there has been something truly genuine about this adventure, it has been the beautiful feeling I have been left with regarding the immense generosity in people.

Of course this has been a jump with a safety net. JonasRay and Paul have always been behind me, each one contributing with his own creativity and knowledge. There have been many, many hours of conversation, reflection, exchange of ideas... I love to be taking part in a project which was born big from its very beginning, proving how easy it is for people from different parts of the world to reach an agreement to initiate a positive change, without hierarchies or bureaucracies.

For the event in Madrid I had three goals:

      To promote new ideas, solutions and behaviours oriented towards sustainability.

      To achieve a thought-provoking, fun and enriching event.

      To manage (at least temporarily!) to change people's state of mind.

Opinions like "the event has made me feel that we can undoubtedly do things better together", found in the evaluation sheets, and others which have reached me in a more informal way, make me think that we were pretty close to achieving our initial expectations.

And as with any other collective work, I am in debt with many people and have to thank many presents:

The time spent by and the involvement of first-class speakers, with great stories to tell and outstanding speaking skills. I feel very proud of having managed to gather so many passionate professionals who are already doing things better. Thank you, Juan Fernández-AceytunoMartín GuiñazúLuis EchánoveVictoria de PeredaJosé Ramón LunaAlberto GarcíaIván Solbes and Paco Viudes.

A relevant, dinamic and enternaining play, written exclusively for NOW in only three weeks. Thank you,  Entretanto Teatro, for your talent and your enthusiasm.

The dynamics regarding sustainability which engaged us all in listening to one another, and its later analysis, which we have uploaded on the NOW Madrid group in Facebook. Thank you, Jesús Anguita.

A charismatic improvising musician, who really managed to involve us all emotionally. Thank you, Julián Bozzo, and thank you, Impronta Teatro.

A live broadcast of the event, thanks to one of the speakers. Thank you, Ágora News.

The making of a dynamic video summary and the opening of a youtube channel with all the interventions. Thank you, Creemos Creamos NRG.

The design of a handout for the event and its printing. Thank you,  Nacho Reina, and thank you, Pedro Ruiz from Crutomen.

The writing and sending of the press release. Thank you, Javier Herreros from Goodwill Comunicación.

The production team: Alberto, Chus, Imarú, Lorenzo, Ismael and especially Rosa, ready for whatever may come right up to the last minute. Thank you.

All the ideas and contacts gathered during our brainstorming sessions at dcollab.. Thank you, 'family'.

My daughter acting as hostess. Thank you, Susana.

The journey to Makro to buy food and drinks for the break. Thank you, Belén.

The magic of the Design Centre / Dimad in Matadero - it wouldn't have been the same elsewhere. Thank you, Concha Moreno.

The good behaviour of the logistics (except for the small blackout during Paco Viudes' talk ... I'm sorry that it happened to you, Paco!).

The posts which have been written about NOW and the affection they convey (thank you, MónicaNoeliaJosé RamónAlbertoPaco and Jesús)).

The version of the NOW song with Elisa Lázaro from dcollab's incredible voice. Thank you.

Thank you, truly, to all those who believed without seeing and made this possible.

The event ended with the reading of some of the beautiful testimonies regarding why the different speakers wanted to take part in NOW. To give but one example, that of Luis Echánove:

"It is always good to be able to give something to society and now is the best time to do it. Now that we are seeing that the system as we were used to living it is falling apart. Now that the individual is becoming more and more conscious of the fact that he is part of a group. Now that this group knows that things can be moved to make progress. Now that the whole world is trying to reinvent itself. Now that I'm becoming older and realising it's now or never, I feel that my experience may be useful to others and sharing it in NOW makes me feel a part of what's happening now."

And a (failed blush) attempt to connect with the other NOW events.

As an amateur mistress of ceremonies, I took the first five minutes as a chance to make a presentation of NOW you can find in slideshare.

And we also gathered up on a board a bunch of new ideas from the attendants about how we can make things better. For example:

"Adding efforts, connecting with each other, sharing what we know or what we have. Collaborating."

"Active generosity"

"Sustainable models. Competitive people. Innovative people. Encouraging ideas. Sharing experiences."

"Using common sense. Especially those who decide, they must think for all and not just for one."

You can find the whole list here.

 

 Our dream for NOW 

 

We obviously don't want it just to stay as it is.

Our dream for NOW is to consolidate it as a sustainable project in time, while at the same time making sure it doesn't lose its freshness or flexibility, making sure it doesn't become bureaucratic. Perhaps turning it (why not?) into my way of life. Consolidate it in Madrid and make it expand. Let all populations in the world have their place for possibilities. Prevent it from losing its virtues, making sure the spirit that created it lives on. Making sure its consequences are clear and visible, prevent it from being just a bunch of isolated events, making it generate a real and positive change wherever it takes place. And engaging in a close follow-up of the results, allowing us to gain acknowledgment from everyday people and have them identify us as a worthwhile initiative.

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