My Unthink Experience

My Unthink Experience

Often we find ourselves having expectations, about the restaurant we’re just heading to, the person we just met or the book we just began to read. Our lives mostly persist of these expectations, they provide a structure for the unknown and often end up in either disappointment or satisfaction.

When signing in to the Unthink experience, it is almost impossible to give rise to tangible expectations. Not because the setting of the Unthink programme isn’t communicated, but because the definite experience relies on different personalities coming together sharing their stories and knowledge, their fears and joys, their failures and accomplishments.

Starting with the speaker: his role is to tell a story of his life or job. He probably knows what this story is going to be about, he expects himself to deliver that content but won’t be able to expect anything beyond that. Because while he may know what he is saying, he can’t know what the others are hearing. So what questions will he be asked? Where will he be asked to dig deeper into?

For the rest of us listening, we know what to expects when it comes to the profile of the speaker and the topic of his talk. But no later than after the first speaker, you will figure out that the introduction doesn’t really work as a ground to build expectations on. So far, all expectations about the stories of the speakers have been exceeded, by far. You’ll always find yourself thinking about where the story could go, what the learnings could be, what emotions could be triggered. And then, pretty soon, you begin so to see all the intersections brought up by the shared experiences, roads that come from and lead into the unexpected. Each story of the speaker has gone far beyond a ‚talk about a topic‘. The stories describe the crossings of jobs and personalities, of hopes and realities.

While listening, we all hear something different. We all understand differently depending on our own experiences and our own story. The questions that come up during and after the talk visualize that next level of intersection: the speakers story crosses personal mindsets, uplifting and devastating experiences.
So far the stories of the speakers itself have been so full of life and learnings, of new perspectives and new aspects to reflect and think about. But only then, the work of Unthink hits in: the ones listening start sharing their perspectives, start looking at the story from an individual angle. Seeing how one speaker reaches out to all these different perspectives is truly amazing.

Unthink can initiate a process of redefining one’s own standpoint, reflect on one’s own perspective, maybe step away from that angle just a little to catch a new view. With every personal comment or question, that angle can readjust or manifest, you feel understood or questioned. In either way, the process continues and with every piece of interaction one gets the chance to grow, laugh, get emotional or ponder.

To me, every session so far has been like reading a book (speakers story) and reading over 30 reviews and comments (break up sessions), something that could never be done in 1-2 hours with this intensity. Moreover, I haven’t been reading on my own, I get to meet many other vibrant and amazing people, also something that reading a book could never replace.

– Nike Lorenz, Olympian & Writer
Unthinker Summer 2020

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