Northern Colombia. 1994.
We’d been stuck at a guerilla roadblock for most of the night. There was no chance we’d complete the remaining 18 hr journey to make our flight out of Bogota to London.
Except we did. The bus company took us off route and dropped us at the airport. Without that support and effort we'd have been stuck. Or the man who bought the camera which meant we could afford a call home, which meant a family friend could buy us an internal flight to bypass the road block. We beat our connecting flight into by Bogota and flew home that night. Against the odds. All made possible by the generous acts of multiple people. Mutually beneficial collaboration.
The doors are primed to open to 200,000 guests. In the preceding 12 short weeks, a team of 200+ had worked with our client, Sony, to create an immersive, visceral, human, emotional experience, living and breathing, to rise and fall over the coming five days. It was a blend of creative ingenuity and logistical impossibility, of boldness and courage. Like FreeState's best endeavours it was the sum of multiple iterations, collaboration between client and supplier, between the creative and the commercial, the strategic and the operational. Teams from Japan, the UK, Germany, the USA, Australia creating together.
Collaboration has become a buzz word. How peculiar. Everything we do is a collaboration. We work and live with others. We are in contact with others all the time. Everything we do is a collaboration. And that’s just the people. The food we eat, the clothes we wear, the buildings which surround us - these are fruits of collaboration too; a collaboration with the earth.
That collaboration is a growing buzz word might signal something else. To collaborate we need to listen, to hear, to connect. Feminine qualities. Maybe the underlying movement is back to this future. Maybe, then, the businesses which will succeed into the future, the qualities which will stand out, attract, ‘win’ you work, will be borne of these qualities too.
Let’s hope so. Collaboration, affection, kindness - these things are generative. When you gain, I gain.