The HOPE list #7

Bite-sized hopelets to warm your soul. With the young, the old, the steadfast, and a slim volume from a rare and generous talent.

I have been calm this month. Keeping my eyes forward. Focussing on putting one foot in front of the next. Progress is always possible, but not without traversing chasms on tightropes. Such is life – a helluva ride.

1.       Mind-blowing innovation by Trees (and Stora Enso)

I love trees. Walking amongst trees makes me stronger, surer, more resilient. I soak up their implacable confidence – a tree knows what it’s about, they don’t waste time or energy.

Humankind has mostly ignored the wisdom of trees. Late in the day (but hopefully not too late) we are realising how much we will depend on them to sort out the mess we have made of the planet.

But I had no idea of all that a tree can now do. Watch and wonder.

2.       Hopeful ingenuity by The Young

I have spent much of July observing people in their 20s trying to solve the big problems of our age – sustainability, healthcare, climate change. It has been a privilege and a pleasure. And the ideas have been thrilling, not simply their substance, but also the scope, ambition, and integrity with which they were conceived.

The Global Challenge Lab 2021, for which I was a judge, is an international 10-day virtual entrepreneurship programme run by Imperial Enterprise Lab, Tsinghua University and Futurize, to create solutions to improve health and wellbeing.

I wasn’t expecting too much from 10 days. I was wrong. Ten days is plenty of time to change the world if the right people are doing the changing.

The pandemic has been hard on many people, but students have had a particularly rough time, which makes their hopeful engagement in making-the-best-of-it even more inspiring.

  1. Steadfast resolve by Music Activists

I have written before about the exploitation and injustice that artists and songwriters are suffering at the hands of streaming companies and big labels. This week a damning UK Parliamentary report was published, calling for investigation and change.

The conclusion: “Streaming needs a complete reset”.

The practical, simple solution they recommend is for streamed music to be classified as ‘rental’ so plays are treated in a similar way to radio plays, for which royalties are effectively recouped through music rights societies.

This movement was started by a small band of brave, well-organised artists – the #BrokenRecord campaign, who decided the injustice had to stop. Because it is unfair, and because it has made it impossible for even successful, popular, much-loved artists to make ends meet. That cannot be right.

Thank you #BrokenRecord from everyone who makes music and everyone that listens to it.

If you want to support the campaign, please try to directly support the musicians you love – buy music from their websites, or listen on Bandcamp. We can all make a difference.

  1. Generous creativity by Kae Tempest

Kae Tempest (formerly Kate Tempest) is a rare talent. A poet, spoken word performer, recording artist, novelist, playwright, rapper. I consume anything she makes, without question. I know it will teach me and enrich me.

I discovered Tempest accidentally in 2016 when I happened upon a performance of the astonishing ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’. I was spellbound. A trailer is below. You can see the full 52 mins here.

On my first trip to a bookshop post-lockdown I was surprised, happily, to find a book by Tempest at the counter that I hadn’t heard of. A slim gentle meditation on the power of creative connection. Written with tenderness and honesty and a deep, generous desire for all of us to be saved by our own creativity.

You will recognise yourself amongst the pages. You will be more connected to yourself and the world after reading it.

Yours hopefully,

Nazneen xxx

Yours Hopefully is an experiment in living hopefully. With music and musings, from a singer-songwriter-scientist. Why not subscribe and get a post every Sunday in your inbox?