A Shared Purpose and a Vision for Change

Each time we get a room full of wild women entrepreneurs together, I notice very clear threads of commonality running through the group. Shared values and vision and a methodology in our approach to our business that unites us.

Recently we had a bloody brilliant in person gathering in Clapham, hosted by member and fabulous brand photographer Sarah Wills. We went around the room to share a bit about what we do. A common thread emerged; each one of us had noticed something fundamentally wrong with the structures, cultures and even family environments which we had previously inhabited. A framework that was each flawed at its core. A way of being that simply did not fit certain neurodiversities, genders or energies. Structures that were set up to serve just one way of being. A compliant, conformist way. There were structures in place that, at best, failed to create a space where certain groups were able to flourish and, at worst, these same groups were alienated and oppressed. 

The women in this room had noticed. But they hadn’t ‘just’ noticed it, they hadn’t ‘just’ removed themselves from it – believing that they were the ones who were ‘wrong’. They had decided to drive the much needed change as a result of their personal experiences.

Chloe Ambrose talked about how creativity is hindered and quashed by certain company cultures and now she works to free that creativity within companies who are ready and excited to embrace the unlimited potential of their creative staff but also to bring those companies in the ‘grey area’ over to a new way of thinking about their creative process.

Annie Bartley shared her story of how women in design have traditionally been caged or even dismissed because they’re seen as second class and now she works to powerfully change that narrative!

Hedi Sramko shared her personal experience of working within corporate environments that simply do not value the wellbeing of their employees. There is so much emphasis on production and efficiency but what they fail to realise is that by nurturing their workforce everyone wins. So now she creates space for her corporate clients to prioritise wellbeing in a holistic sense by placing more value on individual needs. It is these grass roots changes that will change the world.

It was so inspiring to be surrounded by these female changemakers, each and every woman had a story of noticing what was ‘wrong’ within the structure that they had personally existed. And each one of them decided to stoke the fire within and to drive real change.

“When we know better, we do better”

— Maya Angelou

I’m reading ‘The Persuaders’ by Anand Giridharadas at the moment and it gives me such hope to know that huge social change HAS happened in our lifetime and to know that further change is ALWAYS possible. We have already come so far and there is more work to do but it is entirely possible in our lifetime to see a more conscious, more compassionate world.

We’re striving for a shift in global consciousness here in Affinity. There is much work to do but we are doing it daily through each and every single conversation that we have. This kind of change isn’t about big explosions, fighting or revolutions. It’s a gentle changing of hearts and minds. 

We need to be mindful not to dismiss ‘the others’, who aren’t quite ‘there’ yet, or write them off – in fact it’s nothing to do with otherness. It’s a shift towards togetherness and unity and an understanding that often there is more that unites us than divides us. 

We have the opportunity to meet people where they‘re at. It’s not about convincing people to take on our way of thinking by replacing their ideas, there’s an arrogance in this approach. And the change we seek is about honouring self and others. It’s about love, respect and grace.

So how about, instead, offering a different perspective? Education enables us to make better informed decisions and develop better constructed ideas and beliefs so let’s provide information so that they might choose to create a new perspective. It’s more about displacing the ideas currently clung to. 

Each of us has a world view and perspectives that have been unconsciously constructed by a number of factors; trauma, life experiences, parental and social input, challenges, travel, media etc. Our perspectives are entirely made up of beliefs and beliefs are not immovable objects. I would love to see a shift in the global consciousness facilitated by open hearted conversation rooted in deeply understanding and respecting that fact that every single persons’ views come from somewhere and the knowing that they can be shifted.

Change is possible. I believe that a more compassionate world is possible and it all begins with looking inwards, reconnecting with our own intuition and choosing to lead our lives rather than being led by external forces. When we become whole people, we can heal the connections with others and with the whole. I’d love to hear your thoughts on how we can create change from a place of love and compassion.

Leave a Comment