Several important thinkers have a strong influence on what we offer at Convivial Ideas. Central to our thinking is the consideration of what impact the use of technology has on our ability as individuals and teams to achieve our goals and how do we maximise the human outcomes of our work.
Mediation Theory, as defined by philosopher Peter-Paul Verbeek, posits that technology helps to shape the relationship between people and the world. It is based on earlier works by Don Ihde, which explain that the differing relations of humans with technology and the world serve to amplify some aspects of our perceived experience while reducing others.
At Convivial Ideas we use various tools in our workshops and are conscious of the fact that these influence the experience of the participants. In our planning we take this into consideration to ensure that the tools aid in achieving the desired outcome.
In the book ‘Tools for Conviviality‘, controversial thinker Ivan Illich proposes the need to balance industrial productivity with conviviality. Paraphrasing Illich, conviviality is the autonomous and creative interaction among people, and the interaction of people with their environment; and this is in contrast to the conditioned response of people to the demands made of them by others, and by a fabricated environment.
We design workshops that create an environment to maximise the freedom to be creative and innovative and aim to ensure that this offers the greatest possible opportunity for participants to express themselves in a safe and open way.
Chapter 4 of the seminal book ‘Small is Beautiful‘ by author E.F. Schumacher is entitled Buddhist Economics. The chapter talks about the deeper purpose of work and describes: ‘the function of work [to be] at least threefold: to give a man a chance to utilize and develop his faculties; to enable him to overcome his ego-centeredness by joining with other people in a common task; and to bring forth the goods and services needed for a becoming existence.’
We expect a Convivial Ideas workshop to be a safe environment where everyone has the opportunity to contribute, that creates new and exciting possibilities and may even make participants aware of new skills and ideas they may not previously have known they had.