Inspirations

Why

Just over three years ago, WÆRK was founded as an inclusive antidote to the single-minded tech- and data- focused approaches to business processes and innovation (and limited ideas of “progress”). The world has changed dramatically since then, and today we are even more convinced that art - the inclusion of art, in all aspects of life - is what will help humans to transform the world for the better.

It’s been a while since our last post, but we hope you’ll “thumb” our archives and continue to visit. We’ll post more regularly soon.

In the meantime, we’d like to share our manifesto with you again.

If you’d like to continue the conversation, please drop us a line at hello@waerk.com. We look forward to hearing from you.

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The WÆRK Questionnaire | Roseann Warren

Photo: Alaric Campbell

Photo: Alaric Campbell

Our advisory board member, Roseann Warren, recently sat for The WÆRK Questionnaire.  We're thrilled to share her illuminating responses - on everything from STEM's current dominance to Wakanda -  with you.

1. Describe what you do, in five words or less.

Purveyor of words and music.

2. What is your favorite artistic genre (and why and how does it influence your daily work)?

Music and books. Both grow from nothing and turn into something. As a music writer, I’m always listening to music, but when editing a book or writing about something non-music related, my choice of music is the instrumental, or I’ll start focusing on the vocals (the lyrics).

3. What's the best (creative or business) advice you've received?

I’ve always been impatient with the process and oftentimes just want things done. To ground myself while in the spin, I recall a conversation I had with my mother during a time of disappointment. She advised, “Take your time, it’s not a race. Everything happens in its time.” I hold that close to the chest. Whatever the time is, is always the right time.

4. What question do you wish we'd ask (please answer as well)?

What’s your plan?

I plan to expand my editorial consultancy to include other mediums (screenwriting particularly). I’ve always had a penchant for documentaries and dramas, and working with various writers will expose me to another style of writing I thoroughly enjoy consuming. I’ve grappled with the idea of being involved in education, initially at the college level, teaching courses in digital marketing. However, the more I think about it, the question of what would have a lasting impact is a stronger motivator. I plan to develop a program to assist children in building critical skills from an early age, by introducing them to literature or expanding upon what they’re already learning in school. Not to sound all Whitney Houston, but “the children are the future; treat them well and let them lead the way.” STEM is not the complete answer. We need to find ways to better incorporate the arts. And lastly, on a personal aspiration of mine. There’s a whole world out there I’ve barely scratched the surface on seeing. I’m focused on travel to faraway places and have submitted my application for Wakandan citizenship.

5. Which forces do you wish would be more influential, in the business world?  

Due to having a liberal education and a career largely in the arts, the creative sector in business has always been of interest to me. What we have seen over the last 20 years is how technology has taken precedence over all, disrupting and even destroying industries, with the effect of dismantling livelihoods. The arts have been hit the hardest. Corporate companies target Business School graduates and ignore humanities and liberal candidates. We’ve witnessed a plethora of tone-deaf campaigns because marketing teams lack diversity. We’ve seen print media forced into unprofitable web entities to survive. We’ve seen the music industry become a non-tangible medium where the very content creators needed for these streaming services to work, are not being compensated fairly or even at all. We’ve seen social media distort perception of once caring about what is out there in the world to turn the camera on oneself, subverting the once ‘us’ into the ‘i’. I would like to see the merging of the arts and technology working together to create solutions that are emphatic, where profits are not rooted in sacrifice but leading a world towards compassion for others. Imagine that world!

The WÆRK Questionnaire | David-Georges Renaud

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Introducing The WÆRK Questionnaire, a regular feature in which innovators in culture and technology reveal what makes them tick.

Our first installment features David-Georges Renaud, a co-founder of Lingoji - an app that "injects culture into the characters" we use daily in digital conversations.

What do you do (please describe your work in five words or less)?

Creative solutions to current problems.

What is your favorite artistic genre (and why and how does it influence your daily work)?

I really enjoy my cinematic adventures, what influences me, specifically, are the frames used by Wes Anderson in his movies. The storytelling abilities of Steven Spielberg. The modern editing techniques of Edgar Wright. Christopher Nolan's plots development. The comedy of Will Ferrell... These are the details I look for when watching movies, details that stimulates my mind into thinking that anything is possible, that anything  in my imagination can be brought to life.

What's the best (creative or business) advice you've received?

Wake up early and always persevere. By following this simple method, displaying passion and being persistent, success is achievable. Gotta tirelessly work everyday to better oneself. 

What question do you wish we'd ask (please answer as well)?

I wish we'd touch on aspirations. As for future plans, I want to display my creativity by working for an award-winning agency, collaborate with other creative minds to really be different and disruptive.

What do you wish could be more influential, in the business world? 

I would like platforms like TEDx to be trending like celebrity news. This would require more interesting lectures which would lead to more discussions, more ideas and some of these ideas might flourish into the next big thing. Intelligence should be cultivated, our imaginations must be reminded that they have no limits.

 

Game Changers: BRIC House

We’re inspired by BRIC House in Brooklyn, New York.  It provides a home for anyone on the creative hustle: from citizen artists to professionals at all stages of their careers.  BRIC House’s open door policy encourages neighbors to drop-in and artists to take up residency, and offers the community a platform for inspiration and innovation.

Photo credit: Thomas Leeser

Game Changer: Cristal Logothetis and Carry The Future

In a world that can appear to be in a constant state of reversal, it's important to remember that we are always moving forward - and it's love, kindness and empathy that fuel this progress.

Mom-turned-activist Cristal Logothetis is an empathetic architect of a better future.  Her "Carry the Future" initiative unites refugee families with resources that bring some safety to their arduous journeys.

We're inspired by Cristal, Carry the Future, and the volunteers and funders who are lighting the way for Syrian migrants.


Game Changer/STEAM Thursday: Brain Pickings - Innovative Examinations of Creativity and Intimate Life

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We’re inspired by Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings blog.  It’s a fount of ideas that atypically examines the work of iconic minds and illuminates the work of lesser-known lights.  Brain Pickings joins the arts, sciences and humanities in ways that broaden our perspectives on life and (its most important element) love.

Image via brainpickings.org

Game Changers: Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts

We're inspired by the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts in the Virgin Islands.  The organization engages with its artists-in-residence, in ways that buoy both the local community and individual art practice.

Photo via the CMC Arts website.