Manifesto: Sydney, The Kindness Capital.
The world we live in is created by the visions we hold.
We are inviting Sydney to become the kindness capital of the world.
To be the first global city to start a kindness revolution.
This means creatively exploring how the radically simple notion of kindness can be lived in our complex world. We are keenly interested in how we can put kindness at the heart of our personal lives and society at large - in our families, schools, businesses and social policies.
Given the will, kindness could unleash our potential to create a harmonious, creative and peaceful city where the citizens are mindful, kind and flourishing. Why Kindness?
We believe kindness is our planet’s greatest need – kindness toourselves, each other and the earth. By focusing our energy on what connects us rather than what we fear, we help create a more sustainable world.
We believe it is time to dust down the concept of kindness without sentimentality, nostalgia and religious agendas
. Quite frankly, we want to bring an edge, vitality and relevance to this powerful quality that can help create a better world for all.
Kindness is not just about being nice and sweet – it is about living fully, loving openly and having the courage to make a difference. We want to breathe new life into kindness so that it inspires people and organisations to do something good, whether big or small.
The power of kindness comes from its overwhelming simplicity. It is universally agreed on by all - regardless of race,religion or differences.
Kindness is also showing up in science and psychology as one of the greatest measures of happiness. Why Sydney?
Former US President, Bill Clinton, said:
"I cannot think of a betterplace in the entire world, a more shining example of how people can cometogether as one nation and one community than Sydney, Australia."
Sydney is one of the few global cities that is poised to lead. We have unprecedented freedom, wealth, beauty, diversity and have proven ourselves time and time again.
We know how to lead the world - whether it was the 2000 Olympics
, Earth Hour
, New Years Eve Fireworks
, Aids prevention or Clean Up Australia
. Now it's time to become a beacon of inspiration, creativity and kindness. This could be our boldest work of imagination yet!
We want to challenge Sydney’s best creative thinkers, change agents and business leaders to ask some questions. Could we...
- Become the first city to start a kindness revolution that puts kindness at the heart of our society?
- Begin to measure progress in more than just economic terms alone?
- Actively advertise a new version of happiness, meaning and well-being based on the evidence of science?
- Host world leading events, concerts and conferences that promote kindness, flourishing and inner-wellbeing?
- Provide proven practices to help people bring out the best in ourselves, within relationships and social action?
- Encourage mindful interventions across the life course in contexts such as schools, organisations and communities?
- Put our energies towards addressing issues core to the world we live in (sustainable business solutions, climate change, foreign aid, homelessness, unemployment, immigration, food security etc)?
At a deeper level, kindness in Sydney also strikes a deeper chord of connecting to each other, the community and humanity.How Can You get Involved?
The Kindness revolution starts and ends with you. The simplest ways to get involved are:
1. Be part of creating community by joining the tribe
2. Find your way of being kind and warm to yourself
3. Order some free kindness cards
4. Ask the question: What can I do today to make somebody's day?
5. Attend our events
& be inspired to live with more kindness
Our philosophy is simple: Small kind acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world. A kindness revolution invites us to embrace the everyday opportunities to practice small, ordinary and deliberate acts of kindness that can transform the way we feel about ourselves, others and the world we live in.
Our goal is for as many people as possible to flourish and developtheir full potential to then contribute in positive ways to their society.The beauty of kindness is that it always involves small, ordinary acts - that when multiplied by millions, can transform our world. What Does Wake Up Sydney do?
For starters, we have sent out 45,000 beautifully designed kindness cards
that encourage anonymous acts of kindness. We send them out at no cost and simply ask that people pay-it-forward with an anonymous act of kindness.
We also plant ‘seeds’ of inspiration through live events
and campaigns that we hope will grow into a groundswell of support for a fresh way of living and thinking about ‘the big issues’.We hold three types of events:
- Inspiring Event Series: evenings of meditation + music + talk shows + film screenings + kindness awards
- Kindness Conference: 2 days of creating kind society
- Kindness Concerts: huge celebrations to inspire kindness
We believe in the power of bringing together artistry, wisdom traditions, dialogue and media to forge a community of kind and courageous people. All our projects spring from the principles of creativity, conscious business, mindfulness, sustainability and social justice with the intention of creating a kinder world.Background
A Kindness Revolution is already under way as an initiative of Wake Up Sydney
! - an events and media company dedicated to inspiring change in our world through fresh, creative and entertaining ways.
Founded in April 2009, Wake Up Sydney!
is the initiative of Jono Fisher. As a ‘one-man band’ with no marketing budget but the support of a community of volunteers and like-minded people, Jono has already successfully staged nine sell-out events in Sydney and a large community has formed.
A recent event attracted 1,100 people to Sydney Town Hall
.In the audience have been a mix of everyone from Buddhists to bankers and celebrities including TV personalities Kylie Kwong, Gretel Killeen, SBS gardener Costa Georgiadis and ‘Packed to the Rafters’ star Hugh Sheridan.On stage
, Wake Up Sydney! has welcomed musicians including ARIA award
winners Katie Noonan, Lisa Schouw and Abby Dobson, former headline act for Aerosmith
Dave Ireland, Australian Idol
star Bobby Flynn and world music icons Sacred Earth. Speakers have included the first ecologist on staff at The Whitehouse
, John Milton; author and founder of Quest for Life, Petrea King; change agent, Dr Margaret Wheatley; journalist Jeff McMullen; mindfulness pioneer Dr Craig Hassed; Buddhist nun and founder of the Prison Project founder, Robina Courtin to name a few.Where we are at
Wake Up Sydney! has already achieved a lot with very little including:
- Twelve sell-out events in Sydney for over 7,000 people
- A large and growing community
- Status as an official partner of the Dalai Lama in Australia
- Informal alliances with yoga brands, wellness bookstores, health centres, author promoters
- Distribution of 45,000+ free kindness cards
- Australian Financial Review’s Boss Magazine rated this initiative as one of the "top 10 ideas for right now" - Aug 2010
- Sold out 2-day kindness conference
- 2010 Innovation leader scholarship at the ANZ Creativity and Innovation conference
Where we are going – the next phase of A Kindness Revolution
Now we have a few runs on the board, we have a vision to take A Kindness Revolution to the next phase through our four key projects:
1. An annual Kindness Day & Concert to raise money for kind causes.
2. Intimate Wake Up Sydney! events that entertain and inspire.
3. An online hub for kindness campaigns, merchandise and media.
4. Partnership & ambassador programs to spread more kindness.
*Thanks to Kris McIntyre
and Generation Alliance
for their guidance and input in shaping this manifesto.