Be Here Now: Presence and Creative Leadership

Photo of Sarah Dickinson
Article by: Sarah Dickinson
Be Here Now: Presence and Creative Leadership

“Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?” – David Bader


The quickest way to understand something is to pull it apart (there is no school like the school of reverse engineering). As we prep and race to get FUEL underway, there’s a pull to both construct the notion of ‘conference’ and deconstruct it. And so we’re doing both.


FUEL’s Deconference session is all about presence: a bringing-back-to-the-body at the end of the day. We cap off all that thinking with a designated session of very intentional unthinking. We fill up the vessel and then empty it again—this is how we lend clarity to all that new input. This is how that happy discordance of new input arranges itself into insight. This is how new thoughts and ideas enter. No phones, no chatter. In our waking lives these days, it’s a rare indulgence, even stranger and more challenging when you’re surrounded with highly stimulating conversations and people. But valuable—so valuable. This is how visions emerge.


“Creative leaders really know how to connect to what is happening here and now and can feel and use how it affects them on a deeper personal level,” says Paul van’t Veld, THNK leadership coach. “They are not just reacting on impulses; they are giving true answers to themselves and to the people around them, continuously. At THNK we call this presence.”


Van’t Veld and THNK Vancouver co-founder Lee Feldman see this kind of openness as being integral to creative leadership—and an openness that needs an organizational pry bar. Time and space set aside to be centered. “It is through the process of emptying the mind that we create space for new ideas to enter” says Feldman. “


FUEL’s Deconference session will happen between 4.15pm-5.15pm on Day 1 Thursday May 29th, as we break from the rich dialogue of the Sessions and move into the evening Dialogues. It will feature techniques of clearing, quieting, and re-opening the mind. You’ll emerge feeling not only revved up by FUEL, but harmoniously clear as to what’s next for you—and more ready than ever for the THNK workshop on Day 2. See you there!  


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