Change from the Edge
With 3.8bn years of trial-and-error practice, nature has figured out what works when it comes to innovation designed to help ecosystems thrive. It’s often at the edge of ecosystems – in the liminal space where land meets water for instance, that diversity is greatest. So it feels in St.Davids, where the beauty of the coast, the depth of heritage and the challenges of seasonality, isolation from population centres, poor communication – as well the odd storm or two – have shaped the values, shape and ambition of the new projects, ideas and businesses emerging from this small city.
For 1,500 years, people from around the world have travelled to St.Davids for reflection, prayer and renewal. As well as visiting for the cathedral, hundreds of thousands also visit the church of the open sky or blue ocean for play, learning, and the same sense of renewal.
My question is this: In a world that’s taken itself to the very edge of its safe operating space, what’s the biggest impact that conversations and experiences triggered by a visit to St.Davids or memories from here could have on the way that a few million people rethink their relationship to nature, consumerism and our species’ prospects of living in a future that’s regenerating rather than collapsing?
All travellers to St.Davids are visiting the liminal edge of Wales and of their lives, where work meets rest and exploration of new places, tastes, rhythms and experiences. If we, as a community chose to learn from and with some of the incredible people who already visit us, what experiences and conversations could we co-design to trigger new ways of seeing the world for those who spend time here.
What are the steps – the small things that our visitors could remember us by – that could become giant leaps as they rethink their priorities, their lives and the actions they take to bend the arc of the future? What might our children and grandchildren say to us if they knew we’d done everything in our power to make that happen? Or not?