WHERE IS YOUR PATH
Every person is walking a different path through life, and our experiences along the way help us make sense of the world we live in. Our different paths can make it difficult to understand where other people are coming from. On the other hand, our differences also create the possibility for transformative collaboration.
In our work, which is grounded in the biography and social art approach, we create spaces where people can come together to explore their life stories, work with them artistically, and share them with each other. This work can bring new insights into your unique potential and increased interest in the lives of other people.
WHO WE ARE
Anne de Wild is a naturopath and biography worker in Basel, Switzerland. She specializes in artful listening, finding the story, and humor. She gives lectures and teaches biography and social art on a variety of topics.
Chris Burke is a psychology professor and biography worker in Pennsylvania, USA. He is skilled at guiding discussions, working with folk tales, and finding questions that open up stories. He loves to bring biography and social art exercises into his classes.
Together, we've offered biography and social art workshops on three continents on themes ranging from "The Art of Listening" to "Intergenerational Collaboration".
THE HUMMINGBIRD PRINCIPLE
Looking out at the world can feel overwhelming. Globally, domestically, and in our daily lives, we are confronted with problems that can seem much bigger than ourselves: global warming, intolerance, addiction, unemployment, loneliness. We were inspired by the book The Little Hummingbird by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas to connect biography work to these social challenges. In the book, a fire in the forest has all of the animals running scared and unable to act. The only exception is the little hummingbird, who goes back and forth from the stream to the fire, delivering one drop at a time to combat the fire. When the other animals ask what he is doing, he replies simply: "I'm doing everything I can."
To us, the moral of the story was not only that everyone can do something, and that if everyone does something the big problems won't be so big. It is that the hummingbird was doing what he was uniquely suited to do. He understood his capacities and his limitations and worked within them. Through biography and social art work, individuals can develop this kind of view of themselves and form a clearer picture of their role to play in meeting the challenges of our time.
HOW WE WORK
We offer workshops on a wide range of topics related to human development and social engagement. We collaborate with individuals, organizations, and community groups to identify the key questions or themes that they want to work with.
We are also developing webinars and online courses to introduce biographical concepts and bring a biographical perspective to the questions that are living in the world. In these offerings, individuals can connect with others around the world, share their stories, and deepen their understanding of themselves and others.
In each format, our approach weaves back and forth between the individual and the social – seeing how the story of the collective is linked to the stories of the individuals that have touched it, and how the lives of the individuals have been shaped by those they have met. We believe that everyone has the capacity to answer the questions they carry, and our goal is to kindle a love of the questions and the search.
“The healthy social life is found
when in the mirror of each human soul
the whole community finds its reflection,
and when in the community
the virtue of each one is living.”