by | May 11, 2020

In this time of video calls and remote contacts we feel the need to connect and share more than ever before. Then we do this en masse! Even with people with whom we previously did not just do that. As it turns out, we are much more connected than we may have previously thought. Even though every situation is different, we recognize ourselves in each other and appear to be able to help by talking about it. Sharing your story is healing, it is ‘off your chest’ and you will see and experience that you are not alone in this. It will enlighten and delight us. This alone is a reason to do it.

And there is more!


The bigger picture

When we meet up in a larger system in which we all fulfil different roles and functions, we discover that we can really work together much more. Seeing each other’s perspectives gives us a better view of the bigger picture which allows us to see the whole system. It helps to zoom out and thus also to distance yourself from your own concerns and interests. This allows you to see new perspectives that were not visible from your own perspective. Understanding the whole story and feeling connected to the whole system often gives us new meaning and perspective.

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. ”

Kenyan saying 



As it turns out, along the way in our lives many of us experience more distance from others in our environment or in the systems of which we are part. Whether it is the company where you work, the profession or the sector you are part of or your family or friends. Our busy and hurried life has taken its toll and that is more tangible than ever. If you were or are forced to a standstill by the lockdown, because you can no longer work or leave the house, you suddenly experience the space for reflection and attention for what is really important to you. And that usually turns out to be other people! This can be the need to care for close relatives and distant friends or to show appreciation for people in health care. We cannot and do not want to do without each other and that is exactly why social distancing hurts us so much. I also argue in favor of calling this ‘physical distancing’. Socially, we may have come closer than ever, although we can’t experience it physically now. We experience the power of our solidarity and that creates new perspective for the future.


inJazz Online Sessions

I experienced a good example of this in the Dutch jazz sector. At the initiative of the annual international conference and showcase festival inJazz (Buma Cultuur), a dialogue has arisen between all parties involved in the jazz sector, from venues and festivals to musicians, media, labels, agents and other professionals. A conversation between all these parties has never before taken place in this way. It brings together a multitude of perspectives and at the same time also many values ​​and interests that are shared. Having an open dialogue online without a fixed agenda or clear purpose turned out to be quite a challengeand I was asked to host these weekly 2-hour conversations.

By applying a number of Art of Hosting principles, a more open and equal field for the conversation has been created. A check-in gives everyone the opportunity to say what is on their mind and creates the necessary mutual connection. We then determined the content of the dialogue together and there was room to go into more depth on issues that mattered to the participants. We concluded with a check-out to hear what everyone takes away from the conversation. These basic principles provided clarity, focus and space to really listen to each other.

Bringing together and questioning this diversity of people released many different sounds and that also created chaos in these already uncertain times. Especially about what is no longer available, or is possible, or has not been right for years, but also about all kinds of ideas and possibilities. Can you listen through or beyond all these different opinions and ideas, what is it that you are curious about, what do you really want and what things are more important to you than others? There will only really be room for innovation if you are also willing to let go of how you see something now, what is present now or what you have now. Doing that takes courage. By opening yourself up to what could emerge, you switch from fear and the resulting need for control to compassion and the resulting (self) confidence.

Every crisis also contains the seeds for change. Seeing this and being able to use it requires you to rise above yourself (read ego) and to connect with those deeper values ​​that we as humans share with each other. The invisible part of who we are. Our MOROSOPH. In this way our imagination is addressed and the potential of innovation. That is exactly the spirit of jazz and what jazz has to offer society. We’ve continued our weekly conversations for two months and gradually started to experience that power. After the summer we will continue our conversations and look for a meaningful way to continue this in the longer term.

We get moving and  feel the energy of improvisation, potential and togetherness. We are Jazz!