“Thank you for your courage…”

Escaping the gravitational pull of a flat world

Box of artefacts

“Thank you for your courage in presenting in this way”

So spoke a prospective client after a really rich hour of discussion about experiential learning.

Not the sort of courage one associates with acts of heroism or other heart thumping, air gulping moments.

More the use of a big word to recognise and value that something different had happened, something which required a thoughtful step away from “normal.”

Quite simply, the “normal” we had stepped away from was the use of PowerPoint.

It’s a flat, flat world. Or is it?…

Have you noticed how many workplaces are flat? Really flat? Devoid of vitality?

How many times have you sat on your flat chair at your flat desk looking at your flat screen, and then printed off flat papers to walk along a flat corridor to a meeting where you sit around a flat table in a room with flat, featureless walls onto which are projected flat images? What are those meetings like?

Even the word “meeting” is revealingly flat. There is very little expectation in the common use of that word of the rich possibility of people fully engaging with one another with all their powers of intellect, imagination, emotion, and bodily feeling. At home and at play, yes. But we call that living and loving – not “meetings”!

Walking the talk…

So, what was our courageous act? We didn’t use PowerPoint. We tipped out a box of artefacts and used them to share stories of past events and excite thoughts of future possibility, whilst frequently checking in to how we all were in the moment.

It wasn’t a meeting. It was a powerful experiential learning engagement. When we use the term “experiential learning” we simply mean engaging into our worlds with all of our senses and capacities. Simple really. It’s how we humans are built to thrive.


Dave Stewart
The Fresh Air Learning Company Ltd