We often get asked how we dream up all the different [sameness] projects.
Sometimes they come to life through lots of puzzling over blank paper, sometimes through inspiration from other people, and sometimes we have 51 helium balloons that we need to get rid of...
Such was the case after we ran a fun little networking session with some NGO's/Charities/Non-Profits and Corporations at the Engage Dubai Fair 2013 at Dubai Chamber. We brought a bit of a Conversation Chair feel to the event and at the end of it we found ourselves with 51 balloons that we couldn't fit in the car.
Our first idea of cutting them loose and watching them float away was vetoed due to the proximity of the airport and the fact that we didn't want the biggest story about the [sameness] project to be a plane crash. As we were right next to the Dubai Creek, and a whole heap of boats, sailors and general hubbub, we decided that giving them away was a good option. So that's what we did.
The next hour was spent watching grown men who were hard at work loading every size and shape of cardboard box imaginable onto their dhows (boats) turn into giggling children with all the time in the world to hang out and make jokes.
We had the Iranian captain of one of the dhows wearing a tin bowl on his head acting like a clown for us, his second in command bringing us up onto the boat to take photos of him behind the wheel, and another group about to sail to Pakistan dancing around while tying the balloons on to every open spot on their boat.
One of the phrases we use a lot in [sameness] project land is "Restart The Heart". It's based on the idea that it's quite easy to get stuck in the average and just move from day to day without any real connection to how awesome life can be. Like defibrillators shock a heart back to life sometimes [sameness] can be a little bit of a defibrillator and shock some inspiration, smiles, happiness, excitement, laughter and general child-like humanity back into peoples bones.
Our spontaneous little balloon project was a total Restart The Heart moment. From the smiles and laughter of the guys getting balloons to the fact that we had just been in a skyscraper at a corporate event and were now hanging out on Dhows with sailors about to head back to Iran, the whole experience was amazing.