Reflections on Sea Changes

Thoughts on transformation
by Lauralee Alben

Signs of Hope

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It’s curious how the arc of one life can shape the arc of another. In the blink of an eye. And so it happened with Malcolm Grear’s design career and his influence on mine.

As a sophomore graphic design student at RISD, I was fascinated with Malcolm’s teaching and his professional work. I grew to deeply respect the big-hearted, sharp-witted, gregarious Kentuckian that he was. He could tell a story that could stay with somebody for a lifetime.

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Born to create | Part 5: Wisdom

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Creativity sources from our souls. This unifying spirit is always flowing. Design with it for the highest good. Its intention is to co-evolve us. 

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Born to create | Part 4: Care

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Creative commitments. Who are we becoming?

Each and every one of us is a designer. As designers, we are life-givers, caring for the questions that ensure the viability of our future. Our legacy is dependent on how we create the present.

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Born to create | Part 3: Connect

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Creative acts. What are we designing?

Everyone is a designer. As designers, we can connect this multi-varied world into one interdependent whole. This numinous nexus is where our rich and diverse sensibilities, skills, and streams merge—and emerge into form and motion.

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Born to create | Part 2: Source

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Creative inspiration. Where does it originate?

From a Sea Change Design perspective, we are all designers. As designers, we are vision-seekers, summoning transformative resolutions and revelations.

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Born to create | Part 1: Life

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During this great climax of our time, creativity is essential—if we are to resolve the pressing issues that define whether our way of life evolves or dissolves.

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What’s at risk? | Part 4: The Salt Doll

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What is it about water that transforms risk into rewarding experiences?

At the Blue Mind Summit, I heard the mesmerizing call of water in the inspiring talk by retired neurologist Dr. Andrew Stern, Founder of the Lost Bird Project and Smart Fin. He shared a story that embodies Flow, which we define in Sea Change Design as a dynamic convergence of desired outcomes that presence our evolutionary potential. Andrew began by pulling out a folded piece of paper from his pocket and reading the Buddhist parable of the curious Salt Doll, who asks of the sea, “Who are you?”

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What’s at risk? | Part 3: In a new light

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What is it about water that transforms risk into rewarding experiences?

At the Blue Mind Summit, Ben Thwaits showed astonishing photographs taken by the at-risk youth who participate in his innovative art and nature-based therapeutic programs at Northwest Passage. This quote by Joanna Macy came to mind: “A heart that breaks open can hold the universe.”

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What’s at risk? | Part 2: The mother wave

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What is it about water that transforms risk into rewarding experiences?

In her fast-paced, fun presentation at the Blue Mind Summit, Professor and Early Childhood Educator, Louise Zimanyi declared, “Playing with and in water is evolutionary.” She explained that according to research conducted across many countries by Norwegian Dr. Ellen Sandseter, “risky play” includes great heights; high speed; dangerous tools; dangerous elements (including deep and/or fast moving water); rough-and-tumble; and getting lost.

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What’s at risk? | Part 1: A mythological feat

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What is it about water that transforms risk into rewarding experiences?

Risk is an essential component of any sea change. At the Sea Change Design Institute, we work with leaders and organizations who are committed to co-creating life-revering transformations. At the Blue Mind Summit, I searched for sea changes in the intriguing presentations by adventurers, educators, biologists, scientists, neurologists, artists, filmmakers, journalists, entrepreneurs, and athletes. An upwelling of high stakes surfaced from their stories.

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