Next San Antonio speaker

Amanda McMickle

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June 21, 8:30am • Will Smith Zoo School • part of a series on Wonder

June’s theme is Wonder Our sense of wonder is the code for tapping into our most creative selves. It enables us to expand our horizons and encounter parallel universes that haven’t been explored yet. According to the classical Greek philosopher Socrates, “Wonder is the beginning of wisdom.” By drawing us out of our typical patterns, wonderment reconnects us with our ability to marvel at new and beautiful things. We all have the capacity for wonder; but why do we lose sight of it? As our lives get busier, we tend to streamline our schedules and relationships to become more efficient. We want to know what will happen and when it will happen. But extraordinary things occur if we make room for the unexpected. When we leave space in our plans, we create magical conditions for our imagination and thoughts to collide with one another. And it is from these sparks that our best ideas are born.Our Copenhagen chapter chose this month’s exploration of Wonder and Rune Fisker illustrated the theme.

Siboney Díaz-Sánchez spoke on May’s theme PRESERVE.

Hosted at Essex Modern City on Friday, 5/10.

Cheers to our coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And thanks to TEKsystems for our  breakfast tacos!

Felicia and Brandon Guerra spoke and performed on this month’s theme INCLUSIVE.

Hosted at Artpace on Friday, 4/19.

Cheers to our coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And thanks to TEKsystems for our taco fix!

April’s theme is Inclusive When different people come into our lives, they bring gifts. We can blend the best of our wisdom with the best of theirs. We can teach and learn from each other to produce closer circles that foster community and commit to diversity. People who include with intention, raise their hand to do the work of embracing what is unfamiliar. Inclusion is an attitude to consciously be open to ideas that come from outside of our settled ways of thinking or feeling. It’s about making a decision that comes from a place of love, of caring for others. When you place inclusivity at the center of how you live, it has great power to heal, elevate new voices, and change the narrative of who belongs. As diversity advocate Vernā Myers once said, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.” Our Grand Rapids chapter chose this month’s exploration of Inclusive, Libby VanderPloeg illustrated the theme, and WordPress.com is presenting the theme globally.

Anel Flores spoke on the magic of WATER.

Hosted at Confluence Park by the San Antonio River Foundation on Friday, 3/29.

Cheers to our coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And thanks to TEKsystems for our taco fix!

March’s theme is WATER It’s the main source of all life. The lifeblood element that makes up 60% of our bodies. It’s the liquid that we don’t drink enough of, yet waste effortlessly. It’s home to millions of species, mysteries, and undiscovered knowledge. We know more about the stars in the sky than the depths of our oceans. We can use it to save lives. If used foolishly, it can take lives. We think there is an abundance, yet only one percent can be touched. If we don’t protect our waters, then what will happen to life? Our Perth chapter chose this month’s exploration of Water and Sofia Varano illustrated the theme.

William Dickey spoke to the global theme of SYMMETRY.

Hosted at The Impact Guild on Friday, 2/22.

Cheers to our dedicated coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And thanks to TEKsystems for tacos!

February’s theme is SYMMETRY What do a planet, an attractive face, and a snowflake have in a common? Symmetry. Symmetry is prevalent throughout life. You can fold a sunflower in half, stories have an arc, and the human body can bend and create mesmerizing shapes. There are also irregularities that enhances life; it adds beauty and complexity. If there’s symmetry in nature, then there must be a kind of symmetry in the way we lead our lives. Symmetry cannot be possible without asymmetry, the same way sadness magnifies joy. Alan Lightman wrote in The Accidental Universe, “I would claim that symmetry represents order, and we crave order in this strange universe we find ourselves in.” But chaos will happen whether we like it or not, it’s how we respond to it that either creates order or more chaos. When in chaos, create your symmetry. Our Saint Petersburg chapter chose this month’s exploration of Symmetry, Anna Fadeeva illustrated the theme, and Mailchimp is the presenting partner.

Belinda Medellin spoke to the global theme of SURREAL.

Hosted at CAST Tech High School on Friday, 1/25.

Cheers to our coffee partner Estate Coffee Company!

And special thanks to USAA for donuts!

January’s global theme is SURREAL

When you look at the artwork of Frida Kahlo or Salvador Dalí, there’s an element of surprise. Why does it feel familiar yet also otherworldly?

Surrealists sought to break free from the shackles of the rational mind and dive into the deep end of the unconscious. The canvas, then, became a mirror for what emerged out of that process. This movement was inspired by events in the 1920s on the heels of the first world war and continues to influence artists, writers, photographers, and filmmakers. This cultural and artistic movement ushered in new techniques that helped humans expand their minds.

Today, we recognize a sense of the surreal in unexpected moments in daily life. Art exhibits like Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Room are becoming readily available, encouraging people to immerse themselves in experiences that break reality. A ballet performance or a silent meditation retreat can be a dreamlike experience.

Whether we experience a surreal moment or dabble in processes like drawing without thinking or writing without self-editing, there’s something to be learned about ourselves and what lingers under the hood of our desires to keep life orderly and controlled.

Happy New Year! Our Brussels chapter chose this month’s exploration of Surreal and Charlotte Dumortier illustrated the theme. SURREAL is presented globally this month by WordPress.com.

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