Not For Robots is a new podcast that hopes to dispel some of the myths around the Leave vote
We first met AlterNative Stephane Kolinsky when we were doing a bit of ‘deep hanging out’ in Leave-voting Plymouth, trying to get beyond meeting the ‘usual suspects’ (people like us, who regularly attend events about community development). At the time Stephane was just thinking about producing a podcast that would make the most of the disruption that Brexit caused. We’ll let him take it from there:
What made me do this?
I'm quite introverted and don't go out of my way to network or socialise over pints and things. Podcasting is a great way for me to spend time with interesting purposeful people, hear about their journey and how they are contributing to moving the world forward and give their story space to breath.
Plymouth voted for Brexit along with the rest of the country and I am really, really excited about the space that creates for people to start owning the kind of change they wished that politics would deliver - but never did. I absolutely fly the flag for disruption being an ally in these times. I think we need people to get off the bench and play a role in shaping the world they want to be in. But it takes something big to make people do that.
I welcome the degree to which our political process has been shown-up to be inadequate, out of touch, self-absorbed, overly invested in out-of-date ideologies and not fit for the challenges we are all facing.
Now that aspect of our politics has been so brutally reflected back to us, we can start to do something about it so that in the future, our politics is better able to deal with the stresses of the emerging world in a more co-creative and systemically intelligent way.
Better we stress test the hell out of 'the system' now than try to change it in 30 years’ time when the realities of the climate emergency really start to show. And the economic inequalities that exist here are even more ridiculously distorted and out of control.
Brexit was about the relationship between people and power and, in places like Plymouth, I think there are signs that people are stepping into the power they previously gave away, albeit unconsciously. I see people finding purpose they never thought they had and people encouraging each other to become more accountable for being the change they want to see in the world.
People are starting to create new roles for themselves - roles that the world needs them to occupy in order to thrive and overcome the difficult times we are in. My hope is that this will be the true legacy of the disruption we have invited on ourselves.
Their stories need to heard and reflected back into the world. Not For Robots is a very modest space dedicated to doing this. Hopefully, through alternative glocal media infrastructure we can see aspects of ourselves at work that the mainstream media marginalises. As we come to see this part of ourselves reflected back to us, it will help more people step across the edge into a life where their purpose can be expressed positively and creatively.
What's my background and training?
My background is interesting but utterly average, I've been OK at a lot of things, great at none and I've never bought into the idea of building 'reputation' or wanting a career as a way to achieving things, finding meaning or finding self-respect. Quite the opposite, I've had lots of different jobs in unrelated fields - all of them interesting and meaningful. The things that have meant most to me have been exploring cultures, spending time with people who are different to me and noticing opportunities to be kind and good to others.
In terms of training most recently I've become a certified Organisational and Relationship Systems Coach. I decided to pursue this not because I am naturally good at relationships but because I wanted to become better at them (because the alternative was too stressful). What I didn't grasp at the beginning was just how elite certified ORSC coaches are. Nor did I realise that systemic relational work would be so “zeitgeisty”, in terms of being able to offer something that the world needs.
Through my ORSC training I studied and learned from a global faculty and international cross-sector peer group. They ranged from very senior leaders in companies we've all heard of - the people mediating conflict resolution around the world - to some of the authors of books that professional coaches will have on their shelf.
I'm now one of two people certified to do this work in the South West of England which a position that I did not expect to find myself in. I also hold a Masters Level Diploma in Executive Coaching and mentoring but to be honest I can happily park that. For me coaching the relationships between people is far more exciting, impactful and needed in the world.
I'm a relationship geek. Not because I'm Mr Social who gets on with everyone (trust me on one level I really don't) but because I feel I have to be if I'm going to do anything small or large in this world that matters. I can't remember who exactly but someone said 'it’s not the people that's the problem, it’s what connects them'.... that's my thing!
So much of the work that I think matters at this time is focused on rewiring the connections between people and the world, the economy and the environment, communities and business etc and building new competencies and awareness in those spaces.
If Not For Robots could do anything, it would plant a seed in peoples’ minds that relationships, relational work and the relational economy is A Thing - the only true space for human driven innovation and change making. Everything good and bad comes out of relationship yet we don't talk about how to develop and harness individual and systemic competencies in this space, as a route to making change more meaningful, effective, efficient and creative at all levels of society.
There's a massive opportunity for everyone, of any age or inclination to find purpose, meaning and connection here. Hopefully Not For Robots can turn a few people on to the idea.
I'm not particularly optimistic for the human race and planet earth. But at least I'm increasingly engaged, conscious and intentional about the contribution I will make with my little life to moving things forward. Without Brexit I'm not sure I'd be doing the podcast. I'd be hoping someone else did it.
So check out Not for Robots here!