I just spent a wonderful day in London, seeing friends old and new and having a series of fascinating conversations. I’m sure many more things will happen out of those conversations, someday, maybe, probably than out of a meeting with a large number of agenda points and a working lunch.
When I first went freelance I met a lot of people. I’d invite them for coffee or lunch or meet them at their office. Some were people I’d wanted to meet, some I hadn’t seen for a while, some were people who I thought were doing interesting stuff. I’d often start a meeting with them or invite them using the phrase “I have no idea where things would go, I’d just like to chat about what you’re doing”. It became a mantra, but not a false one.
Lots of meetings happened. Sometimes work or projects would follow a long while later, sometimes those people became collaborators on things. Directionless things have outcomes which tumble out of them. Unforced wonderful outcomes. The best things take time to percolate in brains for a bit.
Village halls are wonderful places, full of promise but no preconceptions of use or functions. They’re focal points without a focus. One day they host the WI, the next a kids party, the next a barn dance: useage and outcomes tumble out of them being welcoming but neutral.
This is why James Governor and the people of Shoreditch work are doing something amazing with the Shoreditch Village Hall. It’s why I backed it straight away even though I live a train journey away. Magical things, unexpected things will tumble out of it. It’s a place for everyone to meet, the community that we’re in, the community we’re amongst, the community of the future. It’s brilliant.
And if you haven’t backed it yet you really should. It’s got 10 hours to go on Kickstarter and every penny will result in a chance that the right people will be in there for no directed reason at all and something magical will happen.