• Adam Fulford, FRSA


"Anyone can have a good idea. But how do you bring it alive, and keep it alive?" This was the question that participants were encouraged to consider at the first session of "Going Beyond Ideas", an event organised by Japan RSA Connector Tania Coke, with support from the RSA Japan Fellows' Network.

"Going Beyond Ideas" is a forum for exploring new ways to think and act in response to the challenges of today’s world, with participants ranging from established pioneers and trailblazers to those just starting out on the path of change. Each session will feature a short talk by someone who has brought a creative idea to life. Participants can then chat over food and drinks as they think of ways to make use of what they have learned.

Around 20 people, including a number of RSA Fellows, gathered for the first event in a space just off Tokyo's famous Omotesando boulevard called CTW (an abbreviation, appropriately, of "Change the World"). Translated into English, the Japanese equivalent of "Going Beyond Ideas" clearly underlined the evening's objective: "From Ideas to Action".

Japan is probably not the only corner of the RSA world that is bubbling with great notions that somehow fail to live up to their potential to make a positive social impact. In Japan we may have the freedom to turn our ideas into reality, but if those ideas keep petering out then clearly we need to boost their power to actually make stuff happen.

Not only the principal organiser of "Going Beyond Ideas" but also its first speaker, Tania Coke, co-director of tarinainanika theatre unit, described how she quit her career as a management consultant to pursue a passion for Corporeal Mime, the "art of the thinking body". She explained how Corporeal Mime is now helping to spark creativity and trigger new ways of communicating and collaborating in theatre, business and beyond.

As she introduced a few Corporeal Mime basics, Tania showed us how the body can be used to express precisely what we have in mind. By changing the angle of her torso, or the orientation of her face, or the height of her arms, she drew attention to a widespread and habitual waste of the body's potential to facilitate understanding.

Having made it clear that we typically communicate with our mind confidently pressing down on life's accelerator while our body unconsciously fails to select a gear, Tania then encouraged us to think of the superhuman feats we could achieve if body and mind were fully aligned and engaged on the road to change.

Now that everyone was ready to dash off to the nearest phonebooth and come flying out to transform the world, she distributed sheets entitled "The Superhero's Journey". What is our Mission? Who are our Allies? What are our Secret Weapons? Who are our Enemies? What Obstacles do we face on the path ahead? Participants discussed these matters and more as they sought out fresh ways to make a meaningful difference.

The second "Going Beyond Ideas" event will be held on May 17th, with further sessions scheduled every other month in 2017.

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