Radicalzz is on the mission to redefine our relationship with technology and reduce its negative impact on the environment, but I will not lead this revolution alone, it needs people.
My role here is to give it the right form, direction, develop and democratize tools that will help us to make a change.
Story you are about to read is also my legitimization •
With enormous resources of imagination and even greater disagreement with the prevailing system and, as a result, a growing sense of rebellion.
But it wasn't until two years ago that I managed to give these emotions the right direction •
Exactly two years ago I was dismissed from a stable job in a large corporation. The dream job of every of Economics and Business student (I graduated in philosophy) and the peace of mind of all parents. Sensing that this could happen, I started to prepare an emergency exit through which I could quietly escape. Volkswagen Future Design Studio in Potsdam, and a full-time position in their self-driving car design team was to open it for me.
I did not foresee, however, that things would go so fast, and Deloitte would fire me the same day I received information from Volkswagen that I had dropped out of the final recruitment stage.
Double fail, which crushes you into the ground very painfully and deeply.
What do you do then? First, you get angry at yourself, then at corporations, you feel that you are losing your ground and sense of safeness. It also makes you think how badly you do not fit into the system. The usual rules that can be harmful and do not anticipate exceptional situations, but only unify •
Using the energy from being massively pissed at corporations I decided to temporarily change the group of recipients of my efforts, turning to children. I've always had good contact with them, and I also saw how badly they were treated in the current education system.
Furthermore, thanks to my work at Deloitte, I had full access to reports on the future of the labor market, and I was aware of the direction in which the world was going and how big problems would the youngest have finding their place in this world. All this is mainly due to short-sightfulness, clinging to how things were done and lack of progress in the education system.
My answer to this problem was to create my own curriculum for children, called 'designing the future'.
A very important inspiration in the process of creating its assumptions was Chris Anderson's lecture "The New Industrial Revolution", in which he talked about how Maker Movement is able to change the world.
The assumptions of this movement are written down in the manifesto, and delving into it I noticed that each of its points perfectly overlaps with the key skills of the future that we should help children develop in order to adapt them to the changing world of the future.
Chris's lecture made me aware that we already have infrastructure and tools ready, all we have to do now is to democratize it •
The kids started the semester receiving a textbook for empathization, which I also designed myself.
This tool was to help them define the problem in their environment and understand the emotions associated with it. It turned out that the most common problem they were dealing with were the siblings who would beat them, so we were looking for a solution to this problem.
We gave the collected observations and ideas a physical shape by creating prototypes. To teach kids to adapt to changing working conditions, after sketching the concept, I asked them to create a shopping list of articles that they would need to build prototypes. There were various requests on the list.
Kilograms of glitter, two television sets on which you could display holograms, night vision device. In the next class, instead of all these things, the kids got access to tools, raw materials and discards, and their task was to use their imagination and build their projects from scratch •
For most of them it was the first time to hold a hot glue gun, soldering iron or drill. Everything was very clumsy, but the desire to learn and experience more was huge, so right after building prototypes, we started education on the basics of construction.
We sawed, soldered, glued, cut, designed simple integrated circuits, powered motors with solar energy (it never worked, because there was too little light in the room and it was the middle of winter)
When everyone knew what they were good at and what skill gave them the most pleasure we started a group project - a city of the future.
Why a city? Because it was supposed to be a manifestation of how the kids see the future and what are their expectations for it. So a lot of greenery, playgrounds, meeting places, cinemas and a prison appeared on the mock-ups. Why a prison? Because this is how they see the school and how they feel there today.
My classes proved to be a complete success. The kids went crazy during each meeting, to the point where a boy once moved the clock back one hour to make the classes last longer.
I received photos from their parents showing the shopping lists, which grew with new requests after each class, and for Christmas, the most common request in the letters to Saint Claus was for glue guns •
In addition to the joy of the kids, an even stronger proof that the direction I'm going in was the right one was an invitation to a UNESCO conference to India.
As part of the call for proposals, I sent a brief description of the curriculum of the classes that I conducted in Warsaw.
Confrence organizator - Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development liked concept very much and I was invited to present it to an international audience.
Using as much as possible the fact that I landed in India, I decided to extend my stay there and take a vacation during which I could look at my work from the distance and come back with a ready idea for what to do next •
I ended my affair with advertising with the conclusion that marketers should not have a legal prohibition on conducting research, because it allows them to gain knowledge about the behavior and motivation of people, and such data should only be used for good purposes •
While I was starting my professional career at advertising agencies, it seemed to me that it would be the perfect place for me, after all, creative people work there. However, I quickly noticed that these are worthless shells and a factory of promises that make people want to buy more.
The advertising market is nothing but creating and generating artificial needs, a promise of a kind of lifestyle that we agree to by buying a product that has nothing to do with it.
Being in India, what struck me the most was a huge social disproportion. What's more, all trends indicate that they will deepen even more. On the one hand, children playing in the streets, and on the other a diamond market for the richest. I understood then that the only right way was to sustain development •
And that was the moment when I realized that the Sustainable Development Goals should be at the heart of my business.
The next stage of my trip was Australia. I spent a few days on an island with funny animals - Quakas. They are animals that are not afraid of anything and smile. Why is that? Living on the island, they have never had any contact with any predator, therefore they do not feel threat to anyone.
It opened my mind incredibly, showing how much the ecosystem we live in affects us and forms us •
At this point, I assumed that the solutions that I will introduce to the world will work within entire systems, they will not be fragments detached from the context, because it deprives them of the sense and the possibility of introducing real change.
The last point of the trip was Hong Kong. There, I experienced a mix of the future with the past.
Big skyscrapers, developed architecture that sticks high up due to the limited area on the island (this city has the average highest population density in the world), on the other hand old temples and culture of China.
Hong Kong as a city was founded on the basis of the treaty ending the first opium war. It became a bridge between the Western world and communist China.
Historically, China during the Tanga dynasty became the world's greatest power, and the patterns created at that time were taken over by neighboring countries (Korea, Japan). Extensive contacts with the world outside of China and the favorable political and economic situation have created favorable conditions for the development of science and cultures •
And it was in Hong Kong, which embodies a cultural mix, that I created the visual language Radicalzz, which is an extremely important element of the culture that I want to build around this revolution.
Why Radicalzz? It’s a tribute to the Radical Design Movement which was developed from an architectural tradition in Italy and centred on the city of Florence. Its roots began with students who were working with Leonardo Savioli, a professor at the Faculty of Architecture of the University of Florence. Under his guidance students had the freedom to advocate a departure from the past and their work focussed on proposing radical new ways of living. Their visions represented an overt break from the austerity that characterised the immediate post war years in Italy.
As a result of this work, the Radical Design movement grew to give voice to a new generation of architects who wanted to critique the traditional methods of planning and question the very nature of what cities might become in the future. These architects adopted an explicitly speculative approach to both the critique of architecture and the envisionment of future cities •
Radical as a word is very common, so it would be hard to find me in Google, that’s why I added double zz at the end to make it unique.
I never had to pay to google for an AdWords campaign to appear in searches •
Literally a second after I had inserted a Polish SIM card into my phone, a friend called and asked whether I wanted to join a project, quite an exciting one indeed: a report and trend analysis, exactly the kind of endeavour I wanted to concentrate my activities on.
Everything went smoothly to the extent that when I presented her my vision, we both decided to go at it together. We were different in many respects but the same in many more. We managed to put a charm on a few clients, submit offers, but these would usually get drowned in the ether and wouldn’t amount to anything specific.
Our cooperation ended after 9 months. Each of us had slightly different visions when it comes to the aims. Towards the end of our joint journey I heard that “I feel that it is there, but I see it behind a frosted glass”. Initially it really hurt me, but then it motivated me not to stop and lead everything in such a way that people would not have a single problem with understanding what I had to share •
Bouncing off doors of all sorts of clients I quickly came to realise that most of them don’t understand what I am telling them, so how I could expect from them to start building anything together.
Education was needed, all the way from the ground up. That is the genesis of the need which started radicalzz institute – an institution that expands the horizons of consciousness.
Under Institute’s umbrella I began to organise events which I called Designing The Future. The main aim of these meetings was to show how technologies influence the development of various aspects of our lives. I tried to cover topics which are usually dismissed but they constitute an integral part of who we are •
The first meeting touched upon the most pleasant activity we can engage in as humans – sex.
Industrial Revolution’s shift in development drove us into a state of rush and the need to produce on a massive scale, which later led to the so-called hysteria of women, which was treated manually by doctors, so as to bring about an orgasm and a tension release. Then, when doctors could not keep up with the ever-increasing demand for this service anymore, the process became automated, and vibrators entered the market.
And it was the first time when technology separated us from one another – instead of mutual sexual stimulation with your partner, we invited a machine into our bedrooms.
I myself know perfectly well how hard it is to decide between going on a night-out with friends and spending this time under a blanket, with a joint, pizza, Netflix and a beloved vibrator.
In the past we didn’t have such possibilities.
Back then we had to leave the house to get all of that and function in a group and society in order to obtain it.
At the lecture I presented a broad perspective on how vibrators developed alongside the newest scientific solutions, such as latex or sonic waves.
Next, by analysing trends and newest technologies we were considering the fields in our lives where we could notice these solutions at work. Mrs Sexuologist, who on a 3D-printed clitoris model showed us how to stimulate it properly, also showed up to the meeting.
We concluded the meeting with a workshop during which we prototyped sexual toys of the future – surely, if you want to create future you need to give it a physical form.
It made me very happy that most of the solutions were helping in the intercourse with the partner •
The next topic on my agenda was culture, and more precisely: music. I strongly believe that it has an amazing influence over our emotions and memories related to it, which stimulate how we perceive the world.
The lecture presented how technology redefined the business model of the music market. Massive record labels started to produce pop culture icons and to transfer them to a global scale – that brought about capitalisation of talent.
On the other hand, the growth of the Internet allowed independent artists to promote themselves on their own, which decentralised the capital.
Unfortunately, the most money is currently earned on them by streaming platforms, which under the pretence of access pay the artists peanuts for their creative work.
The lecture concluded with a discussion panel with representatives of the music industry, who had their say about the current trends and possible scenarios of development •
The next subject was death. Certainly, we all die, and it is an integral part of our lives.
The current advancements in technology allow us to influence the conditions and the length of our lives.
Concepts such as Avatar 2045 come into being as well. On the other hand, the current burial method is very unsustainable: pools of formalin and artificial flowers on the tombstones create waste that nobody takes responsible for.
This time, to show everyone that life and future is a sum of our choices, the lecture was divided into parts - after each of them the audience decided on the consecutive direction of the developing story. The formula turned out to be extremely engaging. I finally managed to break from the chains of one-sided form of audience interaction and include them in the whole process. •
There are people who like them more, but also those who like them less. All of us have one thing in common: each of us has tried drugs at least once in our lives.
During my lecture, I decided to focus on soft drugs, deriving entirely from natural sources and those that every one of us can grow on their own, without hurting anyone around.
The event took place in a mysterious location on the rooftop of one of Warsaw’s buildings. My priority was to give guests full discretion, as such a lecture cannot take place without tasting.
The goal of the meeting was to provide an outline story of Cannabis and what mystic role it played in the history of various cultures, and how with time it was weeded out by the paper, tobacco and alcohol lobbies.
Today, thanks to the advancements in technology, small entrepreneurs can quickly react to changes and market regulations and thus outdo large corporations.
The rooftop event ended with a quiz on smoking weed, a group of winners lighted a quarter-meter long joint, which we then smoked altogether in happiness and peace •
Another topic was really close to me: education. Being aware of what the current system looks like and how much it harms future generations;
I therefore prepared a lecture to which I invited the most concerned - children.
Despite my sincere willingness, only three of them showed up, fortunately with their parents, who also took their friends with.
A key conclusion with which I wanted to leave the participants with was indicating how the education system created during the Industrial Revolution unified our way of thinking and killed individualism without leaving a space for development of key skills •
The sixth and the heaviest episode in physical, psychological and financial terms was the future of food. This time I really wanted the participants to live an entire experience instead of a normal lecture, so it had to be combined with a dinner!
An important partner of this event were my female friends who run a food joint in Warsaw.
It was all a great physical challenge, and due to a limited budget I had to do most of the things on my own.Starting with designing the concept of the entire event, through its production, i.e. hanging, printing, cleaning, sorting and more cleaning.
Altogether, I spent 72 hours in the event space without sleeping. Only post-factum did I realise how big of a project did we throw ourselves in.
Each of us had a different view of all this should be conducted, which we found difficult to articulate, and consequently, difficult to find a common ground for compromise.
This was probably the first event in the series, which I was enjoying at the end. The organisation of the entire event, although it was ticketed, also had financial consequences. And we all know that one doesn’t sleep and function well being aware of that.
It was a big surprise to me when I saw how on a mutually developed concept the girls managed to start a cooperation at a big Festival, where they organised another supper, but this time with a greater bang, as the budget allowed them to do so. At the same time accomplishing jointly developed ideas, for which we had too little time during our activities.
Another surprise was the moment when I noticed that in the aftermath of this event the girls even managed to set up a studio which deals with food experience – and I remember as if it were yesterday when they shouted that people do not understand this concept and that it is all just nonsense.
I swallowed the bitter pill rather quickly, as I understood that our cooperation has just pushed them towards a different way of thinking and broadened their awareness of understanding certain things.
During this episode I also learnt that if we want to create something really impeccable, the attention should not be dispersed into too many different fields.
Since I heard from some people that my lecture had too little delights related to food as such, I knew that I cannot lead to such an oversight at the next editions. Learning from my mistakes I decided to prepare the next event in cooperation with an expert, who helped me to prepare another topic – the future of Gender, which is how we perceive each other as people •
I invited a queer Polish visual artist based in Montreal to collaborate with us, with whom we discussed together on Skype what gender really is. We also dispelled all doubts about terminology. The main reason for ignorance is lack of knowledge, so from scratch we had to explain the difference between transsexualism and transgenderism and how to define bisexuality.
After the analysis of the status quo I presented how technologies give scale to harmful phenomena such as sexual or racial discrimination.
Advamces in artificial intelligence are chiefly created by white people, therefore their egocentric way of perceiving the world greatly influences large groups of people forcing them to follow one model, to which everyone should adjust instead of celebrating diversity and appreciate that we are all the same, essentially – we are all people.
It all took place on Valentine’s Day, the day in which we celebrate love, the most beautiful feeling which has a great causative power •
the penultimate episode - Solar Punk – was entirely devoted to energy and its sources. The ability to create energy independently in such quantities to become entirely self-sufficient is in the current system very difficult.
Solar Punk is a vision of the future that positively shows how our relations with technology has changed and instead of constantly agreeing to be its subordinates, we can use it to realise our needs, which in consequence will allow us to return to symbiosis with nature.
To show that such living and functioning makes sense, I organised the event in a cottage that produces more energy than I’m able to use. Unfortunately, given the existing law, it’s not able to resell it •
The whole series ended with a presentation of the future of human’s interaction with a machine.
When talking about the future I am a great fan of withdrawing to the past allowing for better understanding of the context and detecting patterns, such as how economic, political or social changes influenced the phenomenon developed.
To find out about what future awaits technologies, during the meeting about HCI we went to the Apple Museum. It was connected with a bus trip, during which I had to conduct a lecture, but for the first time in my life I lost my voice. I knew it was the last event and I found it really hard to utter anything.
I’ve put so much heart, energy and myself into the whole series, that its ending was terribly overwhelming for me. I also knew that the end means the beginning of something new, so a fear of the unknown made it even worse •
Turned out I hit the bull’s eye:
I made lots of new and valuable friends, speeded up the first project, and more importantly: invitations to future events, lectures and workshops.
In 2018 alone, I gave almost 40 lectures.
In 2019, this number already decreased, because commercial projects appeared, but I closed radicalzz on tour in India.
I managed to open the year 2020 in New Delhi, where I conducted a workshop for the team UNESCO MGIEP, and in Johannesbourg, where I trained Young African Leaders and shared my knowledge on how to build business models, everything using Futuro cards •
But about Futuro itself I will tell more in the next chapter.
With services as foundations of my business, I knew that it will be related to a basic problem - it is hard to scale yourself and your way of thinking. Clients quickly get used to a frontman and expect you to be present in every project.
The whole time a thought germinated in my mind: what can I do to cleverly multiply my way of thinking. In the esoteric cultures, it is said that cards reflect the brain.
I therefore decided to design my own deck of cards and teach people to play it •
Futuro is a card game which democratises the knowledge about trends and technologies and allows to use it to build sustainable future scenarios.
I first announced its concept during a conference in Poznan in September 2018. I claimed that it would be possible to work it all out by January 2019, but it wasn’t until the invitation to The Next Web in Amsterdam in May that I received a deadline for the realisation of the concept.
The cards from the printer house went directly to the airport, two hours before departure, but it worked out just fine! Futuro had an official premiere in Amsterdam •
First of all, it educates about new technologies and allows to understand its potential influence on your future life.
How to achieve it? By method of bi-association, that is, the linking of technology with something that at a first glance cannot have anything in common – a personal activity.
Why a personal activity? Because it is something that each of us does daily, has his or her own individual routines, and therefore also individual expectations.
Joining technology with everyday activities allows us to look at them from a whole new perspective and start to think about their role in our lives •
Another field of Futuro is education in the area of trends.
During the gameplay, we wonder how their development can influence our lives on a personal level, then on an organisational level and consequently on our environment (environmental, political, economic, owned resources) •
I’ve just told you how a warmup with Futuro looks like. Now it’s time for the game itself.
This is the moment when one third of the deck appears on the table, i.e. SDG. As the name indicates, they are objectives which we have to achieve till year 2030, in order to realise the agenda of sustainable development.
Players draw one of 17 goals in the process of creating a future scenario, each with a challenge.
The goal of the game is to create a scenario, which solves a given challenge. By creating it we use knowledge of trends that provide us with a clue, the path we take to reach the goal, and finally technologies appear as a tool which allows us to achieve all that •
Long story short, I intended to show how to change the thinking about technology and begin to use it as a tool to achieve goals centred on environment and not vice versa as it is often the case nowadays.
We create new technologies, we patent and centralise potential profit and only later the democratisation process takes places and we – people, gain access to it. This means that our needs don’t matter.
Since the founding of Futuro, I have conducted several dozens of workshops with their help. Each time the discussions developed in completely different directions, and the amount of generated ideas exceeded my wildest expectations.
I have to admit that it overwhelmed me a little bit at the beginning, I’m talking about the feeling, when you create something, and it resonates with people and broadens their way of perceiving the world and thinking •
The most important event to which Futuro pushed me was going to India to a UNESCO MGIEP conference.
I visited this event twice two years ago, so I kept tabs on what was happening there. I sent a proposal in which I described what Futuro is, with an intention to conduct a workshop there for 15 people, but organisers saw in it a greater potential and asked me to conduct a session for all participants during the conference’s opening.
This was the invitation which I received:
With your selected application for the Theme, we are pleased to invite you to TECH 2019 from 10 - 12 December 2019 in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India. Your expertise in simulating various possible future scenarios for people would set the stage for the ensuing conversations in the course of conference. We also hope it would allow people to understand the interrelatedness of complex phenomenon, technology and our daily life in a playful yet challenging way.
At the first moment I read it in disbelief several times in a row.
I realised what kind of driving force was inside Futuro, and it felt as if the fate has given me a fatherly pat on the shoulder, which translated to: you’re going in the right direction, don’t stop.
So, I didn’t stop, I packed, and I flew to visit India once more and yet again this visit has broadened my knowledge of perceiving the world •
The first clients appeared precisely at the end of first year of activity… the long-awaited moment and therefore great expectations.
What came out of it? A series of disasters.
Cooperation with the first client forced me to register the activity using all official numbers, as it was commanded by law.
It was for me an awesome challenge, especially that for a longer time I couldn’t tell gross value from net. Money never interested me much, and issuing invoices was always one of the most stressful activities… Usually it was a hit and miss procedure.
My ignorance in this area will surely backfire and bring about the consequences, but I will take up this challenge keenly, even to discover how the system works from the inside and if there are any cracks that would allow us to escape it.
First client? I cared for the project so much, that I allowed for situations I normally would not. Rude sexual innuendos, emails with invitations to dinners, screaming on the phone.
I remember when on time emotions reached the peak and we gave each other “the last chance”, so in the evening I was preparing a website prototype, content strategies, several visual proposals with which my friends helped me (the project focused on creating a technological brand) and full of hope I went to the meeting telling myself “if it works out you will have a brilliant case study on your website”
When during the presentation crass and non-substantive comments began, I thought that I would be on my way.
I packed my laptop, shook hands with the gentlemen and left with a poker face, and then when I closed the door behind I couldn’t hold it any longer and burst into tears •
Next client? This time we had to create a visualisation of technological functionality, so I thought that it would be an ideal moment to work something out in 3D.
I found an amazing artist, everything was going smoothly, step by step we were accepting the work progress: first visualisation, then low-res renders as the final files needed 24h to process.
The procedure was arduous. Unfortunately, it turned out that the client with whom I cooperated isn’t decisive at all and on the day of delivery it all went to waste and we had to start the process all over again.
I couldn’t take it. The cooperation was not finalised and the advance which I received could not cover the fee for the 3D artist, so in consequence I paid for all of it out of my own pocket, which was empty anyway •
After a losing streak, the time has come for the first serious client, an international Swedish furniture international brand, famous also for its meatballs.
I was in seventh heaven: as they have sustainability in their DNA, it also motivates my activity, a perfect match… or at least that’s what I thought at the time.
I received an invitation to work on a huge project in the area of circular economy: research and creation of recommendations for product lease services, instead of buying them. I put my heart into the project, because its concept resonated with my beliefs.
I quickly understood that it was built on a desire to prepare for maintaining the increase in profits in the age of ever diminishing access to natural resources, disregarding environmental protection.
Another project, also with the same client, concerned a study on how people care for their furnitures.
I was already in India when I returned the results, and a series of accidents, which stopped me from returning the file with results, was terrifying to me. It was a bit as if the universe itself from every side told me: “don’t do it, it won’t get you anywhere”.
Then I realised that fixing things is our basic right, and today’s products are designed in such a way that it is simply impossible to do so.
Why then big companies should build their capital on our desire to save money or to care for our things?
What is more, why should they sell us ready-to-use tool kits, which we open once a year, instead of allowing us to lend them from neighbours free-of-charge and consequently to strengthen social ties and societies? •
Several possibilities appeared en-route, but most of them didn’t amount to anything.
Many people approached me because they saw the website, or the presentation and they wanted to have a similar one.
The only problem was that the website was a physical outcome of my vision and mission, and the presentations a stream and flux of my way of thinking.
At first, I found it surprising that when I work by fulfilling elements of my mission, the effects appear instantly, efficiently and without any major issues and with a great wow effect.
However, if I am to create something for my client, my hands and creativity suddenly seemed to be tied down.
I would cease my cooperation with clients, or potential partners, more or less emotional, but my decisions resulted mainly from the fact that deep inside I felt that the aim which motivated them, was not in line with what I established my organisation for •
And thus step-by-step, with larger and smaller scandals in the background, I consciously parted with:
+ One of the biggest post-production houses in Poland that was opened by an Oscar laureate. I joined the special tasks team, where I had to create a workshop tool to design future. As it implicitly related to Futuro, I found it mentally unacceptable to sell my way of thinking under someone else’s brand.
+ A Swedish brand, a clothing giant, which invited me to a tender to create a concept of their Festival, the original model of which was worked out with Coachella. I resigned, after reading an article, in which their CEO posited that climate activists are encouraging people to 'stop consuming,' which poses a 'terrible' threat to the fashion industry. By doing so, I let down people whom I took on board of my team, but I didn’t want to lose my energy to make some asshole even richer.
+ The largest publisher in this country, owner of many newspapers, which everyday pass through the hands of Poles. I got an invitation to create a business card for an advertising-sales office. I tried sparking an interest in sustainable design, but my call to arms were bouncing off high walls of the glass building of their headquarters on Czerska Street in Warsaw. I therefore retreated after a few meetings.
+ A lifestyle portal, which also created its own Avatar: However, I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that it even though it raises important issues it is created mainly to increase advertising budgets. And despite the fact that they write a lot about equality and inclusion, their website is not adjusted for the visually impaired or deaf persons.
+ Organisation from Cambridge that opened in Warsaw its branch in the tallest skyscraper in Europe, where it is building a space for impact enterprises and startups. However, I quickly connected the dots and realised that its investor is the owner of the building, who through social innovations wants to increase the value of the building. I didn’t like that under the guise of support someone is amping up one’s own financial capital on the want to introduce changes by the people involved. I quickly retreated from there.
En-route, several other projects also collapsed. All this time I wondered: “what is wrong with me and why it is happening?”.
I quickly realised that I just wanted to show everyone so much what I have to offer, and linking it with my fear of rejection, which results from the fact that I don’t want to offend anyone, I agreed to way too much, and my day significantly shrunk in consequence, so I was not able to keep up.
At some point I treated my home as a hotel, at least once a week I pulled an all-nighter, or slept away in the office. When I had plenty of work, I napped on a chair, knowing that I will wake up after more or less 1.5h with an ass-ache, which won’t let me continue sleeping •
Two years of running my business floored me completely. I don’t know why, but I decided to do it the classic way – business registration, office, employing people to work.
A roller-coaster ride, I totally didn’t realise what I’m signing up for.
Instead of drawing all my attention and creativity to brainstorming and creating I had to manoeuvre around 30 or even 60-day payment dates and plan everything in such a way to be on the ball with the office, payments, accountant and my own life, which I hardly had •
I don’t have to hide that I ceased to control it after a few months, everything started falling apart, and the number of sacrifices which I had to make was in certain moments downright humiliating.
I resigned completely from the previous high-standard lifestyle, and I started facing decisions such as: am I buying a face cream or paying for the server, on which my website is placed?
I had to spend weekends crashing at my parents’, who increasingly month by month expressed their discontent with what I was doing with my life, which led to many tensions.
The two years have taught me one thing – they totally redefined my approach to money.
I began to look at it from an entirely different perspective. I saw to what kind of desperation the lack of it can force us, but I quickly realised that we really don’t need a lot to enjoy life.
Everything you could observe I have built myself, from scratch, without any capital, and by designing in pirated software, while extending the access to paid programmes by opening newer and newer accounts •
The truth is that behind Radicalzz never stood a group of futurists, or a team of creative directors. In a peak moment there were 3 of us, but it lasted barely for 2.5 months.
During the meetings, I have always addressed people directly but only to give clients a feeling that there is a supporting group behind me. And shortly after the meetings I would return, plan and do everything myself.
All presentations which I have given I also prepared on my own. Starting from a concept through a graphic project and interactive elements. Plus, I had a fixation that I don’t want to give the same presentation every time, so I would always try to prepare some unique element, which usually took a lot of time.
I also packed all shipments from Futuro by myself, adding cards to each of them with hand-written thank-you notes.
I put as much effort as I could into each element. In all this I had a kind of personal fixation not to sell people smoke and mirrors. I felt responsible for where Radicalzz’s signature appeared. Only after some time I understood that my fixation was in fact my anxieties which resulted from the lack of self-confidence and the lack of belief in having enough power to push the movement forward. Instead of looking for the value in myself, I tried to look for it in other people’s eyes.
How to achieve it the easy way? Back then I thought the key was the credibility gained by working with large foreign publishing studios, which I very quickly managed to get. My work was noticed by: WGSN, El Pais, The Next Web or Trend Watching.
I forgot however that it is the idea which is crucial and what it takes and how it resonates with people, and not what brands it attracts •
The beginning of the end was my birthday, which I organised in May.
It was of course not a regular party as I decided to organise it in the low-techno style: what does it mean? It means that everyone handed me their phones on entry, which I then put inside signed envelopes, asserting that all photos and publication on social media were strictly forbidden.
How did it go?
Two guests couldn’t resist and posted clips to Insta Stories.
Someone approached and then grabbed me and with fear in the eyes said: “you need to give us back these phones”, a guy called but couldn’t get through, and despite clear instructions in the event’s description he couldn’t find the entrance, so he returned home (natural selection).
One girl did not agree to hand in the phone appealing to the right of inviolability.
Walking through the corridor I overheard a conversation from the kitchen: “she is crazy, she took our phones…” - I naturally joined them to explain what it is all for.
I realised that the scale of addiction to technologies is enormous and the problem is really out there but experiencing it yourself was quite terrifying and made me think that something really had to be done about it •
The next element which contributed to the beginning of the end was a conference - I was asked to give an open lecture and a speech as a host of the ceremony.
I approached the matter seriously! Almost 2000 people were expected at the event.
The plan was the following: at the presentation I talk about the future of graphic design, but instead of giving specific indications I explain that our future will be responsibility and awareness of the influence of our digital activities on the environment.
I present Futuro as the methodology, which can be used to create responsible solutions, and for people who like it I make it available for an instant purchase at a pre-designed stand (I printed 120 card decks specifically for this occasion). In order to get the audience moving, I stick the decks under 10 chairs so a few lucky people can get it for free.
And there’s more! Towards the end of the event a series of questions are raised and given that I myself am the chair, I create an Avatar, which asks me questions.
How did it go? Another series of failures. The lecture was bombarded by criticism.
I heard that it was like treading water and my slides were too much to digest.
During Q&A the Avatar jammed, so it turned out hilarious, so I turned it into a joke, but I didn’t feel like laughing then.
Within two conference days none of the Futuro decks sold out, which meant that on printing I wasted money yet again, because I had high hopes that with over 2000 guests in attendance I would sell at least half of the edition.
Running the entire conference was also a huge challenge for me. I had live access to all comments, and please try to image a situation in which as soon as you read a wave of hate speech about yourself you have to stand on a stage and pretend that nothing happened.
I found it really hard to introduce guests to their lectures as there was a very bad sound system on the stage, so I practically did not have a possibility to lead a discussion as I didn’t hear what they are saying to me.
Everything ricocheted at me. The summary poll forced me to run the gauntlet. I read that I’m overenergetic, too charismatic, that I spoke too loudly. In answer to the question “what was the worst part of this conference?” I heard that it was Joanna Skorupska •
And it was all just a beginning of a snowball. After the conference the first employee left me. The start of a big project has been postponed several months, and so have my finances.
After a quick calculation it transpired I have to cut costs as much as possible, just to survive.
Therefore, I had to decide on bidding farewell to another employee and also to resign from the office space.
I lost practically all that I worked for and everything was covered by a mudslide of hate talk which followed me for a long time •
For a while I thought it’s all over.
The light at the end of the tunnel was an invitation to Madrid, where I flew at the end of June invited by El Pais. Going there I didn’t realise the scale of this event.
Before departure I remember that I checked how to get to the hotel by bus, as I didn’t have money for a taxi.
On the spot it turned out that a driver was waiting for me, who took me to the hotel in the city centre, and the next day took me to the venue, where I met the whole team and did a tech rehearsal.
It turned out that my presentation was the opening keynote, and during afterparty talks I got a very warm welcome, even with one lady saying: “you are the reason I came here”.
A totally different turn of events after what happened to me in Warsaw. The next day the summary of my lecture appeared in the press and was distributed in over 500,000 copies in entire Spain.
I quickly understood that you cannot satisfy everyone and force them to change and make choices consciously. Some people just need to grow up first.
That is why it is important who you are talking to. You need to find your niche and engage in a dialogue with it •
I always wanted to stay somewhere behind the scenes when building Radicalzz, as a grey eminence and not to be the face of it all.
You can believe me or not, but I have a big stage fright. My goal was to create something that a large group of people could easily stand for. I understood that it looks differently learning a very bitter lesson with Tate Modern in the background.
I received an invitation to run workshops as part of the Tate Exchange programme.
I think it’s everyone’s dream - workshops at Tate. I booked the ticket in an appropriate advance, planning a few-day stay over there. Unfortunately, it turned out that the workshop will interlock with conducting research for one of my clients.
One of the solutions was to book the tickets and to return on the same day, but the prices turned out to be so terrible, that I just couldn’t afford them at that moment.
I quickly started to look for a different solution. I remembered that I have a good friend in London with whom we once tried to do something. I thought that she would be ideal to conduct such a workshop. Only one issue remained: how to quickly transfer Futuro cards to London? Courier delivery was out of the question; they could accept a parcel till midday to guarantee the next day delivery.
So, what did I do?
I got dressed up and drove to the airport to look for flights to London. No one agreed to take the box from me, mainly because they didn’t know what was inside (and being cautious I put it in a see-through box, to show that inside is nothing but cards). I asked the travellers and the staff. I even found a stewardess. I described the whole problem, unfortunately I couldn’t find anyone.
So, what did I do next?
I digitalised Futuro overnight, so that participants could use it in a mobile version.
I described everything step by step to my friend so that she wouldn’t have any problem with conducting the workshop.
At the venue everything ran according to the plan. Situation saved.
At least that’s what I thought.
I assumed that since the Futuro cards appeared on the site and with them my friend, the goal was achieved.
The next day I got an email from Tate Exchange’s team, who were confused why I was a no-show. Due to all this rush I forgot that I could ask them for help, but what hurt me the most was that they just wanted to meet me in person.
I cried half a night.
And that was the moment I understood that I have to throw my weight behind what I’m talking about.
I cannot be the grey eminence somewhere on the side, but a protector and fighter for what I have to say •
Over the last two years I have lived through an incredible number of failures, but from each of them I learnt a lesson.
I devoted myself completely to what I’m doing.
I gave up my previous life. All that toughened me up like steel. I’m not afraid of anything nor anyone. I’m ready to go against the tide and stir things up.
I disconnected from all other projects, mainly to focus my attention on one subject - Digital Ecology. When you’re distracted, you act like the sun that delicately strokes with warmth. But I want to be a laser, focused on the target, burning holes inside.
I APPROACH THE MATTER RADICALLY!
BECAUSE IT'S TIME TO WAKE UP
AND INTRODUCE RADICAL CHANGES INTO THE WORLD
BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE.
There is a saying in Swahili “ Tuko Pamoja”, which means we are together, we are a group and power, we share sense of purpose or motivation in a group - it transcends mere agreement, and implies empathetic understanding among the members of the group.
Our passion: kindness
Our compassion: to awake the orhers and give them their power back
Our purpose: to be the change you wish to see in the world.
The point where your passion meets your compassion, therein lies your purpose, and our Tuko Pamoja is why we will succeed, because we will be in that together.
NOW GO,SPREAD THE MESSAGE!
LET’S MAKE THIS REVOLUTION REAL.
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