It was a spider’s web that made Amelia Loye realise tribe was the key to her own sustainability, and the answer to the burnout amongst her friends and peers working towards social innovation, public service and smart, sustainable, resilient cities and communities.
Late last year, Amelia, the Managing Director of engage2, went for a walk in a forest after a particularly difficult two months of witnessing friends and peers struggle with burnout because of their relentless commitment to public service and community. Once in the forest, she walked head long into a spider’s home.
“When I walked into the web, after doing the ‘shit, where’s the spider’ dance, I realised that the spider was probably just curled up on a leaf and happy in its little home,” says Amelia. “But it had created this big web around it that would hold this little leaf up, and it could reach out into the web when it needed support or sustenance, even if it just wanted to be in its little nest,” she says.
“It made me realise that webs are part of the ecosystem too, which brought home the difference between tribes and community, and how important it was to have tribe. I knew that instead of just working for the trees, I needed to create the spider web.”
This desire to build tribe for herself and others led Amelia to launch Australia’s first ChangeCamp on July 1.
“Through my work at engage2 and my volunteer work I have the great fortune of meeting amazing people and organisations across the world consciously trying to have a positive impact on our planet, places and people,” says Amelia.
“But I also see people and organisations passionately contributing to community in unsustainable ways. It can be hard to find the time to look up, to see what others are doing and to have the courage to ask for support. And sometimes, on a bad day, even the optimists, altruists and doers need some encouragement.”
With the first ChangeCamp AU a huge success and more planned for other cities, the process of building tribe continues amongst its attendees and beyond.
According to Amelia, the concept of tribe relies on asking and giving, a mutually beneficial process that reveals, allows and multiples value.
“Even if the exchange is not directly reciprocal you will see, feel, experience or have some awareness about the benefit and value you have helped to create,” she says.
“If someone makes an offer and it has value to you and you accept it (you don’t need to – sometimes it’s better to say no), listen as you receive and look for opportunities to give something back. If it is not immediate or directly reciprocal, that’s okay. If you value what is being shared, you will have another chance,” says Amelia
“This is our new economy. This is how we will sustainably support each other to contribute to our communities. When you find your tribe, you will see, feel and become the reward – and we will too.”
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