Dear parents and adults of favourite children,
What a time we are living in this unprecedented period! How quickly all aspects of our lives have been affected and needed to change! At the beginning of the outbreak, it has been an interesting social observation of how our city, work, daily life, services are changing and the different responses of governments around the world. Fresh from the reading of Kate Raworth’s Doughnut Economics from our March Green Drinks, it has also been a time of reflection of how the existing systems urgently need updating and to imagine how our world would look like if it’s based on the Doughnut’s principles of on a solid foundation that meets our human basic needs and which does not exceed the resources of our planet.
On a personal level, this age of social distancing and self isolation has also brought me much closer to my friends and family, not only in my current city of Stockholm, but also in my home city of London, and friends who have moved on to different cities. We have never been so well set up technology-wise to stay connected even in this period of social distancing and to find new and creative ways to nurture our innate social creatures not just with our loved ones but also to come together with strangers to support our community and to fight the virus together in solidartity. I have been so touched with the strong sense of human spirit, from the frontline key workers to neighbours, to everyone finding ways to do our bits.
This has also led me to ask myself, what can I do as a company? What can I do from home that makes use of my skills set and capacity? As a remote auntie to three nephews and niece plus lots of special children in my life who have now to be home schooled by parents also juggling working from home, I am excited to introduce this new ”Urban Beings at Home” to offer a daily activity to entertain the little ones in your life.
For those who don’t know me yet, this new idea may seem surprising by an urban designer. Even before I became an auntie almost 11 years ago, I have worked extensively with children - toddlers in the nursery in the UK, a summer camp counsellor in the US, setting up a week of summer camp to children of Costa Rica and even designing a floating nursery in my bachelor architecture thesis project! As a response to the London Riots of 2011, my nephew inspired me to launch Toddle in the City in 2012, a led treasure hunt for toddlers to explore regeneration areas of London and take photos of “treasures” to learn about what makes a city so that they will nurture a sense of love for the city from an early age and will take care of it. More recently, I have been working as a substitute teacher in Stockholm for children aged 8 to 14 as I bootstrap the development t of the Being Stockholm platform (also going through “mutation” now!).
I have lots of ideas of a creative activity for you and your children at home. I plan to upload one activity each school day. These are not just for parents to do with their children at home, but also for aunties, uncles, grandparents and other adults to do with their favourite children remotely. I’d love to see your children’s responses to this, and would also welcome feedback and suggestions to make this as helpful as possible.
All the best,