The evening of Thursday, November 17th, we at Ziksana hosted our last PlayTank(™) event of 2016. PlayTank is a free, 90-minute creative workshop for professionals to network and explore using the science of play.
Unlike anything of its kind, PlayTank brings together a group of diverse, motivated leaders for a fun, educational evening with plenty of games and meaningful dialog. This event is a great opportunity to connect (and reconnect) with other professionals.
In November 2016, we were proud to host a PlayTank with the theme, “A Dr. Seuss PlayTank Holiday Celebration.”
Why Dr. Seuss?
Dr. Seuss is dear to us because of his unique way to see the world around him, his local roots, and his unrelenting quest to become better by constantly learning and asking questions.
As a San Diego local like us, Theodor Geisel and wife Audrey, lived out their end years in in La Jolla on Mount Soledad. UC San Diego’s Geisel Library is proud to house the Dr. Seuss collection, which houses over 8,500 items documenting the full range of his work.
Through Dr. Seuss’ work, we were able to draw parallels to our own philosophy here at Ziksana. Dr. Seuss’ books balance silliness and nonsense with the serious purpose of expanding literacy and enhancing self-confidence of kids and adults around the world. For us, this is a true link of play and productivity.
Dr. Seuss also presents the ordinary as questionable, and asks us to question underlying assumptions and habits that govern our beliefs and behavior unwittingly.
What We Did
When participants arrived to our downtown office, we handed them one of two Back Pocket Mantras:
“From here to there, and there to here, funny things are everywhere”
“I’m here to learn what people care about”
We simply asked each participant to read their mantra and let the mantra influence how they interacted with others that evening. There was no wrong way to interpret the mantra, they simply had to decide what it meant to them personally. The only catch was they needed to keep their mantra a secret.
We asked everyone to think about their Back Pocket Mantras and share their experience of how it influenced (or didn’t influence) their experience so far. One participant said their mantra, “I’m here to learn what people care about” helped them to listen more deeply to what others in the room chose to talk about. Another professional, given the ‘Funny things’ mantra, shared that her ears and eyes were more attuned to take in the funny, not just in a “ha-ha” kind of way but in a curious, open kind of way, to be able to take an exploratory stance for the PlayTank experience. This experience, like others we design, connects productivity with the science of play.
When the evening was over, we asked participants to think about the following:
What is your mantra for the holidays?
Holidays can be a stressful time for some, and having a mantra may impact the way in which you experience them. Perhaps it’s time to experience the holidays in a different way and challenge yourself to become more open, curious and silly, just like Dr. Seuss.
Each participant received a copy of Seuss-ims, with a recommendation to put this gem in their professional library. Here’s a quote from the book that we love:
“Today is your day.
Your mountain is waiting.
So…Get on your way!”
We’d love to see you there.
Happy Holidays to you and your family!
From your friends at Ziksana