Monthly Archives: June 2014

Chris Connors

Chris Connors creates spaces for change and transformation. As a Creative Director, Business Mentor, Corporate wellness coach he bridges the worlds of innovation, wellness, futurology and philanthropy. He has been trusted by many of the worlds leading thinkers and creators to guide their personal visions through his coaching and mentorship programs. He is currently running embodied leadership programs for clients such as Kering, Yoox Net a Porter and has recently run programs for Nike, Aesop, Fornasetti and LVMH He runs bespoke coaching and mindfulness programs for leaders of exceptional talent including personal development and personal quest work. For the past 17 years he has been in deep conscious inquiry about inspiration, purpose and creativity as he searches for solutions for a better global quality of life. It has taken him to many extreme places in himself and in different, often conflicting worlds. Background

Originally graduating in economic studies, art and design history – and following a subsequent post at the European Parliament in Brussels – Chris first embarked on working as a planner for Sony at Saatchi and Saatchi, before shifting into the design and the luxury industry. There he created his own fashion and design label, ie uniform, which went on to win three British New Generation awards and a British Fashion Award in 2002. One of his first subsequent roles as a creative consultant was to research and develop architectural briefs for Prada SPA – at 26 he was challenging the conventions of global brand thinking – this culminated in the groundbreaking flagship buildings by architects Herzog & de Meuron. At the same time he curated the exhibition Planning, Design, Construction – an architectural approach to fashion, mounted at the Museum of Modern Art, Barcelona, and featured Paul Smith, Vivienne Westwood, Martin Margiela, Comme Des Garcons, and the cream of young British fashion talent. It was evident that he would not sit quietly in one industry. Es wird referat schreiben mit der schaltfläche oder dem befehl fenster/neues 2d-graphik-fenster geöffnet; It has since become his trademark position. He has become recognised for his development of trend-leading strategies and creation of inspiring projects for architects, interior designers, web designers, wider creative thinkers and leading design-led brand. Previous client projects have included, Louis Vuitton, Commes des Garcons, Levis, Selridges, Maison Martin Margiela, Converse, Bang & Olufsen, Nokia. He has been associate creative director at Atelier Fornasetti for 13 years. He has ventured into the world of wellness, philanthropy and urban design with a set of initiatives aiming to incorporate design and craft thinking with personal and planetary wellness. He has teamed up with the Arison Group a major investment and philanthropic organization, he has been placing doing good at the heart of their business and investment strategy culminating in business and philanthropic innovations. Chris coined the term ‘Poetic Innovation’ which is his way of defining mind and heart innovation; the most important values needed in modern society. He took the Poetic innovation theme to Beijing Design week in 2012 with an aim to encourage master craftsmen who have been silenced, to speak for the first time publicly. This was done in tandem with Ai Wei Wei platform in Cao Chang Di. Chris has also worked passionately with iconic Italian handmade brand Fornasetti for 10 years in product and business creation. Fornasetti is often cited as a benchmark for global success in hand made products. Chris’s personal vision is realised through his company Still. A small organisation dedicated to bringing our physical, mental and emotional wellness in inspiring urban innovative spaces. He was responsible for the initial development of Londons first holistic spa and concept store Calmia in 2004. Chris has lectured at the Royal College of Art and Central St Martins in London, and the Instituto Maragoni in Milan. He is currently a guest mentor for Crafted, a Walpole programme supporting young luxury craftsmen and new generation designers, and has been invited to judge global projects for Design Boom and Parsons School of Design NYC. He also leads meditation groups and coaching retreats around the world from Maui to Rajasthan. He lives happily between the city of London, the seas of Ibiza and the Mountains of Ireland.

I was born in Belfast during a war in the early 70’s, and as a young boy I would witness beautiful historical buildings being destroyed by bombs, people being destroyed by war. Devastated, I would take notebooks and redraw those buildings in the rubble, in some way envisioning that they would bring back beauty, meaning and healing to a broken society. I never lost hope or sight of this. These moments would go on to define my life. I now dedicate my time to creating more stillness, empowerment and innovation in our world by inspiring people, products and places to be consciously prolific. I’ve been venturing the worlds of design, luxury, meditation, art, movement, entrepreneurship, leadership, consciousness, war and peace, and global sustainability. Quite often they served as distinct, exclusive and specialist worlds but more and more I believe in the power of integrating these worlds as I weave them into my purpose and encourage those I mentor to do the same of their different worlds.

This integration of polarities, integration of what was once seen as mutually exclusive in our lives, is taking us on a fascinating journey through modern life and we are witnessing connections and co-creations between extraordinary leaders from luxury brand to young tech leader, global philanthropist to young social entrepreneur, sage to siren, designer to dancer. One thing stands clear in all of this abundance and chaos; a deeper need to connect to the wisdom of people, products and places that really matter and of course what really matters to us is a fascinating personalised inquiry”

 

The Bincho

Sort of Coal

Sort of Coal is a brand
focused on human design processes, inspired by Nature’s unique ability to adapt
and transform to overcome new challenges. The natural material at the heart of
the brand is charcoal. Handcrafted, activated, Japanese White Charcoal to be
precise.

I’ve been using Sort
of Coal ranges of water, body and air purifying products for years. For me they
are the next generation of beautiful ethical products, which perfectly showcase
how ethics and aesthetics do not need to compromise. Beyond green.

Their purifying
products represent Nature’s extraordinary processes of transformation. Nature
is constantly transforming substances when they are exposed to new
circumstances; transforming into new forms with a new ‘purpose’. Trees are
growing absorbing carbon dioxide, fire transforms the carbon into a solid form, charcoal and charcoal purifies the surroundings by adsorbing toxins and
adding nutrients to the soil. An amazing circle and a true qualified process.

The charcoal is
processed by Japanese craftsmen who have carefully studied and optimised the
process of turning carbon into a solid form with qualified abilities. They are so sensitive to the natural
processes that they service nature rather then abusing it.

What I love is their
commitment to these ancient holistic traditions to naturally purify our
environment, without the need for harsh chemicals. This knowledge and
craftsmanship has been so neglected in our modern culture, it’s beautiful
to witness how reverting and innovating this wisdom, and letting the
power, beauty and balance of nature work its magic, can enrich our lives.

The Bincho water
filter is the finest on the
market, with the highest grade of charcoal that can be found. The charcoal adsorbs
the water, detoxifies the water and at the same time pumps minerals back in. A
truly active product. After 3 months using the charcoal in the water, just throw it into the soil where it will continue to do its work.

I asked Pernille
Lembcke, the Founder of Sort Of Coal, why she has been so moved to dedicate her
life to this: “For me business is about relations. Relations are about having
something to share. The craftsmen really have produced a natural material worth
sharing and I love to help them share this with a new audience. I believe that
this unique material will help us understand how brilliant Nature is and how
the relation between Nature and humans can lead to qualified products if we do
our best!”

By Christopher Connors

Li Edelkoort

I first met Li in Lisbon
in 2002 when we shared the stage presenting our seminars about future global
trends. I was struck by her wisdom, her intellect and her presence, and from
then her world intrigued and inspired me.

Li is the shaman of
futurism, she often called herself a transmitter of future concepts in our
life. Often her creations were presented in her trends bibles with such
artistry that we could only be intuitively guided by it, exactly her intention.
Although her work serves the fashion and textile industries her sensibility
belongs to the industry of behaviour.

I remember her talking in
2000 about how all of our products would become more and more flat and how
coffee shops would be taking over the world. Now I read about her on my iPad
sipping a fine Colombian blend from the local hipster café!

What really struck me was
her commitment to a love of our planet and man’s creations on it. She is an
original pioneer of sustainability, having created a clothing line called ‘heartwear
in 1993 – “a non-profit organisation that collaborates with
artisans by helping them produce their products on a larger scale, without
compromising their know-how, skills, culture or the environment they live and
work in.”

Like many shamans of
modern times, when people are baffled by their methods and medicines today they
discover their future unfolding to be true.

By Christopher Connors

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (also known as Golden Rock) is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Mon State, Myanmar.

It is a small pagoda (7.3 metres (24 ft)) built on the top of a granite boulder covered with gold leaves pasted on by devotees.

According to legend, the Golden Rock itself is precariously perched on a strand of the Buddha’s hair.

The balancing rock seems to defy gravity, as it perpetually appears to be on the verge of rolling down the hill. The rock and the pagoda are at the top of Mount Kyaiktiyo.

It is the third most important Buddhist pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda and the Mahamuni Pagoda.

A glimpse of the “gravity defying” Golden Rock is believed to be enough of an inspiration for any person to turn to Buddhism.

Wisdom 2.0

The ‘Wisdom 2.0’ conference is taking place in San Francisco
from 27th Feb until 1st March 2015 and is a major
milestone in solution making for the modernconscious generation.

How do we live our daily life integrating
innovation with mindfulness?

How do we not only live connected to one
another through technology, but do so in ways that are beneficial to our own
well-being, effective in our work, and useful to the world?

Inspired speakers including Ariana
Huffington will be encouraging the co-creation.

“Founders
from Facebook, Twitter, eBay, Zynga and PayPal, and executives and managers
from companies like Google, Microsoft, Cisco … in conversations with
experts in yoga and mindfulness.” – The New York Times

Ginger Flight Therapy

This warm, spicy and exotic therapeutic
product from Aesop is the perfect partner for your daily meditations.

The key in this product is not just what it
is, but how and why you use it. Connecting with why you’re using it as
important as the product itself. Every time you open it, you’re giving yourself
some mental time and space to do something good for yourself and to take a
moment out of your current thinking patterns.

Using slow movements, apply the lightweight
oil directly onto neck, temples, wrists, behind the ears and abdomen before
meditation, or in times of stress, nausea or weariness.

Ginger Flight Therapy works to stimulate the senses. The power of
fragrance as both a relaxing and stimulating property invites you to be more
present, as with meditation practice. So in some ways it’s there to relax and
de-stress, and in other ways it’s there to help you to become more alert and
clear.

This invigorating blend – formulated by
Aesop to lend weary workers and travellers a much needed sensory lift – will
enliven the spirit.

Aesop was founded in Melbourne in 1987 and today offers
its skin, hair and body care products in beautifully crafted stores around the
world.

Before They Pass Away

There is something uniquely beautiful and
sacred about British photographer Jimmy Nelson’s book, ‘Before They Pass Away‘. 

He
carried his 4×5 plate field camera to 44 countries around the world – from
Papua New Guinea to Mongolia, from Ethiopia to Siberia – to capture and
document 31 remote cultures that may soon disappear. The portrait images are
exquisitely elegant and haunting, evoking the emotional and spiritual essence
of these faraway cultures and sometimes hidden societies.

Beyond the beauty of this visual
anthropology lies the piercing awareness that these guardians of ancient living
cultures who have lived in harmony with nature for so long, are in real danger.
Their natural habitats are being destroyed, their lifestyles and traditions
with it. The message of this masterpiece is clear: the
world must never forget the way things were.

As well as being a record of a fast disappearing
world, the book is a testimony to the value of natural simplicity – a concept
that we are losing sight of in today’s 24/7 hyper-connected world. Nelson gives
us a taste of ‘the purity of humanity’.
Whether in the jungle, on an ice field, along rivers or by mountains, the
images show humans in tune and complete balance with their surroundings. And in
tune with each other as a community, achieving that sense of perfect harmony
that we all dream of. As Nelson says on his website, “There is pure beauty in their goals and family ties, their beliefs in
god and nature and their will to do the right thing in order to be taken care
of when their time comes.”

There is much we can learn from these last
resorts of natural authenticity – very real lessons about love, respect, peace,
survival and sharing.

“The
book is a catalyst for change, a museum of knowledge. Not one filled with masks
and spears and feathers, but a place of learning.” –
Jimmy Nelson

Here is a selection of images that have
moved us. You can find all the images and more information about this poignant
project at http://www.beforethey.com/

By Kim Kalinowski

Images: Photo © Jimmy Nelson Pictures BV, beforethey.com

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Sigur Rós

Sigur Rós are the free spirits of the music industry.

Valtari, their sixth studio album, was launched to critical acclaim all
over the world. In their words they didn’t feel much like talking about it and so, instead, asked a
bunch of talented directors to make whatever they felt like making to go with the
music. Called ‘The Valtari Mystery Film Experiment’, these 16 films are the result.

Sad, funny, beautiful, and occasionally plain bewildering, they represent just some
of the available emotional responses to this most contemplative Sigur Rós
album.

One in particular stood out for us. Film 4: REMBIHNÚTUR by arni & kinski. A modern testimony to meditation. Breathe deep.

 

 

The Invisible Helmet

When I was invited to the Index Design Awards in 2011, I made a beeline for these
finalists. I envisioned that they would really succeed with their
modernconscious creation. Today Hovding’s products have arrived and are
defining the next generation of road cycling.

The Swedish design company’s ‘invisible’ helmet is an air bag tucked
away in a collar that gets fastened around a cyclist’s neck, much like a scarf
or snood, providing as much protection as a standard helmet. It’s aimed at
urban cyclists.

By Christopher Connors

Green Carpet Challenge

The Green Carpet Challenge is the dynamic vision of the
celebrated entrepreneur Livia Firth and championed by sustainable fashion
enthusiasts worldwide. Livia bravely seeks to integrate the conscious message of
social justice and sustainable processes with the high profile glamour of
celebrity. And it’s working.

Since its launch in 2009 it
has done just that, involving all the top fashion designers and an
array of A List celebrities on the most influential red carpets worldwide.

In March 2013, the Green Carpet Challenge created the GCC® Brand Mark and launched with
Gucci a new frontier of sustainable style: the world’s first zero
deforestation certified bags from Amazon leather.

During London Fashion Week in
September 2013, the first ‘Green Carpet Capsule Collection’ was launched at an
exclusive event at Apsley House, co-hosted by Anna Wintour, Livia Firth and Natalie
Massenet. The collection featured five of Britain’s leading fashion designers –
Christopher Bailey, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Roland Mouret and Victoria
Beckham.

This year sees the GCC®’s fifth
international Awards Season, where it continues to prove that ethics and
aesthetics can co-exist to powerful effect, bringing positive change throughout
the fashion and luxury goods industries. The initiative has garnered real
support from designers including Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Tom Ford, Gucci,
Valentino and Burberry, as well as renowned A List celebrities.

To kick of the Awards Season,
the first GCC® of 2014 saw history being made at the Golden Globes, as Cate
Blanchett accepted her Best Actress award for her role in Woody Allen movie ‘Blue
Jasmine’ in a beautiful pair of Chopard earrings from their Green Carpet
Collection. The earrings are set in sustainably sourced Fairmined white gold
from artisanal community mines in South America, supported by the Alliance
for Responsible Mining (ARM) – a Colombia-based charity and
developer of the Fairmined standard – and adorned with 72 marquise cut diamonds
representing delicate leaves. The diamonds are sourced from the IGC Group, one
of the world’s oldest diamond firms. Their origin is certified by the Responsible
Jewellery Council (RJC).

“Cate Blanchett is both a
fashion icon and a woman with an intuitive grasp of the issues that matter. By
choosing to wear Chopard jewels for the Golden Globes, she is supporting a
profound and dynamic shift toward sustainable luxury that affects change right
at the beginning of the supply chain among artisanal miners”, commented Livia.

Partnering with GCC®, Chopard has embarked on an ambitious programme of sustainable change
entitled ‘The Journey’ that will set new environmental and social
standards for jewellery. Chopard is the first luxury jeweller to develop a
partnership with NGO, Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM).

We look forward to hearing
more from the GCC®, which plays such a vital role in creating real change within
the fashion industry.

Images: Chopard and Eco-Age

By Kim Kalinowski