Utopian Symphony part III


Image: Ying Tian

It’s been half month since I took part in Utopia Works: Energy Hack day at Derby Silk Mill. To my surprise the ‘Symphony of Energy’ keeps come back to my mind and I am still enjoying its honest, passionate, innovative tunes of that day. I’m intrigued as to why was that Utopian Works day so special for me? What made it still linger in my mind?

It’s the time to search my conscience.

First, is it because we had a nice working environment and good food?

Yes, that definitely matters.

The venue of event, Silk Mill is a modernised Works, which provides all workers a pleasant and sophisticated space; also the site is desirable too, there is a quiet river flowing by and a large smart Lawn Park contributes its picturesque, which is just like one of the imagined workplaces from Thomas More’s masterwork, Utopia.

The food in Utopian Works canteen was fresh and healthy, especially the Greek salad I had for lunch: that was a big yum! The food was free for workers and you don’t have to be embarrassed to get another croissant from the counter because eating what you need was not shameful: taking more than what you need was. Each worker cared about recycling things and our energy future and hated to be a fool wasting anything in any way.

A nice place to work, good food and sharing a commonwealth of care. If these three elements are the fundamental building block to create a symphony then what else would make it a great piece; differing from the ordinary?

Would shared ownership be the first?

Each worker was treated equally and free to think, speak and create.

Everybody had an active role to play within Utopia works from the organisers to the canteen staff.  All the workers were divided into 5 work groups, which means each group addressed the same energy hacking from differing angles and utilising different tools and approaches.

The absence of destructive office politics was the second impressive dynamic of the ‘music’ of the event.

My one-day working experiences in Group 5 could not have been better. There was no hierarchical authority. Everyone was a team player and brought their unique knowledge, experience and limits to the table; we just worked together genially toward the team goal.

At the end of day, you understand well why the intensely constructive and productive teamwork generated the most desirable and greater result.

Finally what could be the most unique ingredient was probably the focus more on learning and self-improvement which made this ‘Symphony of Energy’ to be most powerful and memorable.

Done I’ve found the answer!

Just then another question is coming to my mind; “How should we try to make our normal working days more enjoyable, productive and more Utopian – like that day?”



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