My Wildwon experience.
I stumbled upon Wildwon on one of my many Google tangents. Studying Social Science has fostered my interest in social change but like a lot of University students, I'm unsure of where I can and would like to take my studies. I discovered that co-founder Sally had a similar education origins and she was now tackling social issues but from an angle I had never considered.
When people ask me what Wildwon do, I am reluctant to call them an events company because that label really doesn’t capture the depth of their work. Depth feels like an appropriate word because when I had thought about event planning in the past I had thought of work with a shallow purpose, which couldn’t be further from Wildwon. Their work goes far beyond general event logistics such as venue hire, catering and styling. Unfortunately not many people are familiar with the term 'experience design', so events is label I am left with when explaining what I’ve been involved in for the last eight weeks. This is what they truly do though- they design quality experiences that generate long lasting social change.
After getting in contact with Wildwon I was delighted to hear they would take me on as a 'Wildwon Fresher'. They were so thoughtful, tailoring a schedule to my interests, tasks I enjoyed and what I wanted to learn. Their approach to my internship gives you an idea of how they approach their work - always going above and beyond to get results. My time with Wildwon was an enjoyable learning experience but like all good things it must come to an end. I am thankful for the time that Sally, Yvonne and Benedetta have generously given me and I will return to my studies inspired by their passion and armed with Wildwon wisdom.
1. People are humans first
People are not consumers, they are not a market audience- they are humans. That is how Wildwon approach their work, how they design their events and how they treat their co-workers. Our humanity is the thing that we all share and evoking it is the best way to connect and communicate with each other.
Communication is the key to a successful relationship whether it is personal or professional and it is essential in teams.
Wildwon have devised a system of tools that nurture their fluid and thriving teamwork- from digital, pen on paper and face to face. They have regular meetings amongst themselves to discuss what they have been doing, to debrief on projects and plan what is coming up. Sally and Yvonne made a point of allocating time- weekly breakfasts- where I had their full attention.
Wildwon's internal culture extends into their work relationships. They encourage their freelancers to work along side them in their beautiful open space office. They also host interactive workshops for their clients to hash out details and ensure transparency throughout the project.
Purpose drives everything, it drives good ideas and it drives Wildwon's work. Wildwon put on beautiful and engaging events but with the purpose of creating positive social change. This is what sets them apart from other event agencies. Their projects start with a list of principles that help shape every decision throughout the lifespan of the project. This ensures that everybody has the same vision and a shared purpose is the driving force.
People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it. It's not enough to just do, fulfilment comes when you do with meaning. Likewise, what you believe in is not enough either, you must take actions. You must 'eat your own dog food'.
Collaboration between people, between companies and organisations or between industries. Great things happen when we work together!
Networking is a word with sometimes negative connotations. It may make you think of shmoozing or trying to get ahead, but what it is really about is finding like minded people. It is important to build communities around shared values and ideas. Sometimes our first instincts can be to compete with one another but what we need to do is collaborate.
Collaboration is not just beneficial between bodies that are similar but also those that are contrasting. Innovation is a new way of looking at something, a solution no one has thought of before, thats why innovation happens when unlikely things come together.
Many of Wildwon's events foster this idea. Progress brings change-makers together from people in policy, NGOs, not for profits and campaigns. Link brings together professionals across the design and technology industries- architects, engineers and designers working together to find solutions to real world challenges.
Constantly learn! Being exposed to new ideas and experiences exercises your mind and gives you material to make realisations and draw connections.
Wildwon encourage the exploration of ideas. They share discoveries with each other, sometimes ones that are relevant to their projects, other times just because they think it is interesting.
They regularly attend events, to benefit their own event design but also for new knowledge. They attend conferences, seeking ideas on social-change, business and design that they can feed back into their work.