Inspirational talk by Chris Paradox

One of the tasks set by the Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability workshop run by Plymouth Futures is to take part in a community project.

The aim of the Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability workshops, in the words of the coordinator Michele Virgo, is to develop in students a set of competencies considered to be most compatible with generating sustainable futures across cultures.

The workshops are open not only to undergraduate students but also to members of the wider community, who are passionate about sustainability. One of the set tasks of the workshop is to participate in a community project. This year, we as a group, decided to link with Transition Plymouth and offer them our help.

Transition Plymouth is part of the wider Transition movement, a grassroots initiative to act locally in practical ways to create a sustainable future for ourselves and future generations.

Our role was to help Transition Plymouth to organize an event with Chris Paradox being the guest speaker. We especially helped with the marketing and management side of the event. This allowed us to apply our skills and put our collective knowledge into practice. We grew as a group and learned so much from each other.

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The event itself was a great success. We were all inspired by Chris Paradox’s energy and enthusiasm. He told us endless numbers of thought provoking stories that left us mesmerized and enlightened.

I must say that I did not know anything about Chris before the event nor what to expect, but I found his talk inspiring, encouraging and uplifting.  His funky offbeat poems, which we took part in as well, were both exquisite and entertaining. Chris talked about his ups and downs in life, his search for meaning and purpose and his adventures. During one of his adventures while searching for meaning in his life in Mexico, Chris lost his leg. For another person this would mean the destruction of his whole life, but that’s just where astonishingly Chris found new energy and purpose. As he spoke about this dramatic experience he was radiant, full of laughter and love. He also discovered his ability to write and to recite the most amusing poems some of us had ever heard.

Chris talked about two books that have inspired him the most in his life: Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch and Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl. He also talked about how to perceive the world around us differently and how to see the beauty – the beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

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I could go on and on and there would still be so much that I could recall from the event.

Suffice to say we were privileged to have the opportunity to meet him and we look forward to many more exciting experiences on our journey with the Collaborative Leadership for Sustainability workshops.


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Elena Novakova

 elena.novakova@plymouth.ac.uk

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