Living Beautifully Compendium No1.

Beautiful things are prepared with love.

Beautiful experiences lift the human spirit. They say, optimistically, life is worthwhile. If we can be more beautiful in our thoughts and in our actions, we can learn to live and work more beautifully. We’ve all had enough of ugly.

This is the first ‘Living Beautifully Compendium’. It shows people striving to deliver truth, meaning and authenticity through beautiful products, experiences and solutions.

This compendium explores beauty beyond the superficial; things beautifully made with the latest technology or uniquely handcrafted, buildings that are beautiful in their conception and construction, food grown and cooked which is restorative and sensual, beautiful experiences and culture that nourish one’s soul…all, Living Beautifully.

I’ve made this list through writing my book and with the help of friends. If you believe something to be beautiful please be touch so we can share it with the world.

Beautifully Made

Gransfors Bruk The best axes in the world. With a story that any company should listen to. Utility+Elegance = beauty.

Flute Office Office furniture beautifully designed and made from upcycled waste materials. They say ‘products made with everlasting life’. But more than that they are so well designed, the Tesla of office furniture.

Jono Smart — Potter The Shakers would take a common object and turn it into a work of uncommon grace. A contemporary exemplar of this mantra is Potter Jono Smart. I love his work.

Solid Wool Table tops, chairs, and a whole manner of objects made from Herdwick sheep’s wool. Mass manufactured, each one unique. Innovative thinking and manufacturing. From Soho lofts in New York, to cold water surfing brand Finisterre, there is an application for Solidwool.

Blitz Motorcycles There is something magical about the smell of a motorbike workshop. Combined with the tools, the paraphernalia of pistons, frames, the half built engines, the drip trays of engine oil glistening reflecting the world in their stillness. A well run workshop possesses a feeling of a monastic application to a life long calling. If you have ever met a real motor mechanic you will notice their hands are impastoed with engine oil, and covered with granite like callouses. They always seem to come with a bone crunching handshake. Fred Jourden and his even hairier brother ­in ­arms Hugo create and hand­-build unique motorcycles. They build them using the frames, engines, petrol tanks and handlebars from machines of another time. They call their company Blitz — as in giving new life, new energy, new purpose, to old motorcycles. What if you were really riding your dream machine that was hand built with loving care by Fred and Hugo.

Blitz Motorcycles. Love the work you do.

Aether “Keep close to Nature’s heart and break clear away, once in awhile, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean” — John Muir.

AETHER (pronounced “e-ther”) was started in 2009 when founders Palmer West and Jonah Smith were inspired to create something they couldn’t find. They were city dwellers with a passion for the outdoors, businessmen who wanted outerwear that supported their lifestyle without making them look like they were in a lift line. And so they got on with it. Go See their store, constructed out of recycled shipping crates, in Hayes Valley in San Francisco. Beautiful.

Etwas leather bags by Will Lisak — enthralls my friend Mads Thimmer Outstanding craftsmanship, and not a single watt of energy used in their making. I cherish my father in laws woodworking tools.

Blok Knives — Benjamin James Edmonds makes kitchen knives by loving hand from his workshop in Derbyshire. These knives like Gransfors Bruk axes combine great utility and beauty. (Beautiful imagery by Andy Gallacher).

Code as Craft — At Etsy, they say their purpose is to enable people to make a living, making things. The engineers who make Etsy run write code, Etsy think of code as craft. This is their blog where they write about their collective experience building and running Etsy. The “Code as Craft” movement /meme has been around since the dawn of computing. And I believe craft as an philosophy, and practice transcends all disciplines. The above ‘made things’ are beautiful as their makers have adopted the concept of living beautifully.

Analogue Life — Japan. Slowed down approach and genuine appreciation for the handmade. — Locks, we all need them. Forgotten your keys, late on your way home, can’t find them. Such things do not make for beautiful experiences. August have reinvented how we think about locks and security. Well engineered products, that have a beautiful aesthetic (they look nice), an elegant mobile interface combined with a clever business model.

Xero — “beautiful accounting software”. These are Xero’s words not mine. Can you scale beauty? Its a question I am often asked. My answer — yes. Accounting is one of those things we all have to do. It can be as ugly as nits. Or, it could be beautiful. A beautifully designed business this one, taking the simple logic of taking one of life’s absolute truths taxes (not death) in this instance, then turning the process into a thing of uncommon grace. Life enabling, Life Simplifying. Beautiful UX, beautiful businesses model. A CEO asked me the other day if any business could be made beautiful? I replied, “why would you want to do it any other way?”

The Future Kept — “An online store, selling small batch artisan-made goods and quality independent magazines. I admire the way they support makers and artists, as well as their ethos of ‘Buy less, buy better’, which resonates with me as I struggle with our throwaway consumer culture. But most of all I am drawn to the beautiful photography of their products and behind the scenes on their Instagram feed. It has become an almost daily ritual to visit their feed and leave feeling inspired and uplifted”. Words by Flora Jamieson who makes beautiful stained glass.

Flora and I also agreed that Luke Hope is most definitely someone that makes things beautifully. He truly is a craftsman. And as much as a someone might be interested in code, UX, all things digital. Luke has much to teach us about experience. Hold one of his spoons and be changed forever. This is what Flora has to say.

Hope in the Woods — “Luke Hope is not your average spoon carver. His pieces are, frankly, small works of art; each so delicate and perfectly made that I always catch my breath when I see them. Recently his work seems to have taken a more sculptural focus, and it is exciting to see where this will lead”. Love the work you do.

Beautifully Built

52m bridge built from Bamboo by Jörg Stamm Bamboo roof designed by Jörg Stamm provides a sheltered workspace for about 300 people in Bali’s Green Village.

Liyuan library quiet contemplative reading spaces Built from natural materials, designed to live in the landscape and become one with it. These are good design principles to start from — how can we lift up the human spirit and be restorative? Beauty tends to endure.

Folkhem — Housing only built from wood. Those clever Swedes have a way to make beauty scale. Folkhem has the World’s First EPD-Certified Building. Environmental Product Declaration (EPD®) is an independently verified and registered document that communicates transparent and comparable information about the life-cycle environmental impact of products.

Urban Farming concept for vertical farm by Ilimelgo — Paris based architects Ilimelgo inspire wonder in how we can meet our growing need for food in fast developing urban environments.

Fully automated multi-story car park Århus Denmark by Lödige Industries

How do you beautifully solve a complex problem of city parking? Is this an example of beautiful AI at work?

Gagosian Gallery London — The price tag of the art Gagosian sell might be out of your league, its certainly is out of mine. But what a building. Sitting in its urban landscape. It is the combination of material and its minimalist scale that work for me. I want to stroke my fingers over that brickwork.

Bosco Verticale — Stefano Boeri Architects. 27 Stories high, it is the world’s first vertical forest and living structure. How can we make living more sustainable, restorative, reduce C02 emissions? These are the questions this building seeks to answer.

Beautiful Food

Faviken, run by Magnus Nilsson, is a 12-seater restaurant on a remote 24,000-acre hunting estate in Jämtland, northwestern Sweden, more than 600km north of Stockholm. Considered one of the most innovative restaurants in the world. All its produce, is grown, culled, harvested, foraged within its locale. The shift to the current Faviken philosophy was slow. “In the beginning we worked with all kinds of produce from all over the world,” Magnus says. “But as we sourced more and more from the region, the need to order in became smaller. You don’t need a delivery for three lemons.” Limitations says Nilsson engenders creativity.

Bocca Di Lupo — I met a stranger at Bocca Di Lupo who became a long time friend. We ate, we drank and we laughed at jokes that no one else would understand. That is a beautiful memory in itself. But what a marvellous marble bar, what gracious hosts, a super maitre di, and food that just does it for me. Chef in front of me lovingly, chopping, slicing, grilling, marinading, happy to chat. It is a delight and spectacle, beautiful to watch and even more beautiful to taste. What a menu and wine list.

Panadería Rosetta — a beautiful artisanal bakery in Roma Norte and Juaréz in Mexico City, create by chef Elena Reygadas who also runs the restaurant Rosetta.

The Queens Head — Newton Cambridge. I have been going to the Queens Head a free house for 25+ years. I have done extensive qualitative and quantitative testing. The pub has been in the same family for three generations. No music, or Sky Sports, no mobile phones (though reception is a bit dodgy). The beer is Adnams and its soup (changes colour by the day) and sandwiches. Platters on Sundays. A Go See is highly recommended.

Hot Numbers — Cambridge. You spend the morning admiring the antiquities at the Fitzwilliam William Museum in Cambridge. Hungry, and needing refreshment you step out onto the cobbles of Trumpington Street. Just a Greek urns throw away is a place as new as the museum is old, but it feels like it’s been around a long time. You sit there drinking a flat white, and eating the most tasty organic streaky bacon sandwich made this side of heaven; you can see, smell, taste, feel the craft that has gone into every inch of this business.

Kleines Cafe — Vienna. I worked in Vienna for two years 1990–92. It is a wonderful city. Like all great cities unique. I love it and go back often. One of my favourite spots is Kleines Cafe. I was young when I went in my late 20’s. Vienna taught me so much about culture, life, living beautifully. Cafe life taught me what service meant and what it means to serve well. Vienna was and is a sensual experience — the city is most definitely, sensual. Vienna introduced me to decent coffee, coffee made with love, before anyone, but anyone, had dreamt about a flat white, or a tall skinny latte. On a summer’s day this is a great place to sit, eat, drink and talk, write your poems, film scripts or short stories.

San Marzano — Wine. I love wine, you might really call it more a love affair. Vienna and Austria taught me well. In later life I came across San Marzano in Italy. San Marzano makes delicious wine, reds and whites. I prefer the reds. Open a bottle of their Primitivo and taste the Italian sun, the care and attention that says, ‘time is earthed’. For special celebrations drink Anniversario 62 Primitivo di Manduria DOP Riserva you wont be disappointed. Memories are made of moments.

Beautiful Conversations

Pixar — We all know the company Pixar — they make animated movies. Pixar are an extremely successful company making great films, not only because they are masterpieces in animation but because they tell compelling stories. But this is not easy. After the runaway success of Toy Story 1, Founder Ed Catmull and his team agreed there had to be a way of openly and tenderly holding a creative idea so that it could evolve to its true potential of excellence every time. To do this required the idea to be open to close scrutiny in every aspect of its script, design and production. It was for this reason that the Braintrust was created. Muhammad Ali was once asked what his best poem was, he replied, “Me, We”.

Unhurried — Johnnie Moore believes that conversations held in trust, where we engage with openhearted compassion are how we get to deeper insights about ourselves, each other and the objects of conversation being explored. It is how we arrive together at making better, wiser decisions. Johnnie runs them all over the world. It is no accident that Pixar uses the same principle methodology in their Brainstrust. What would an unhurried conversation do for you?

Beauty Walks Out with my friend Claire in Snowdonia

Founder of Do Lectures and Hiut Denim, Dave Hieatt has a conversation with me about why beauty is necessary for businesses today.

Nancy Klein on learning to listen, “If you knew you were beautiful exactly as you are, if you knew that listening to you was the most important thing I can be doing right now, if you knew that you can figure this out, that your ideas matter, that your feelings count, that you are important, that you have a choice, that you can face anything, that you can solve this even when the experts haven’t, that you are a delight — what new ideas would you have in this moment?” That is a beautiful invitation to a conversation. I have a few of her books always on the go. They ask me, as I read them, how I can be more beautiful in my conversations?

Grayson Perry — Reith Lectures. I came across the work of Grayson Perry whilst driving from Cardigan Bay, Wales, to Cambridge with his brother, Wozza. That was 2009. It was to be a beautiful conversation, not one I was expecting to have. I should have known about Grayson’s work then, but I do know. What is beautiful for me are two things. A conversation I shall always remember that unexpectedly opened another door to see the world in a different way. And, the introduction into Grayson’s work. I appreciate Grayson’s ability to take on difficult contemporary topics; for example, ‘what it means to be a man’ in 21st Century Britain, then make your observations understandable to all. Compassionately and joyously so. Listen to his Reith Lectures and ask yourself — how can I explain myself in threepenny words? How can I be happy?

Tapestry by Grayson Perry. Wozza, Grayson’s brother is the BMX’er

The Crafting Organisation — The crafting organisation is a phrase I like to use. Drawing upon the insight of the Craftsman’s workshop of how one learns. How one becomes a better practitioner through the sharing of information, knowledge and ideas. Having better conversations. More soulful companies understand the integral value of crafting. LUSH the manufacturer of bathroom products has library, encouraging its staff to take home books to read. Telus a communications company believes social learning is the path upon which a productive organisation walks.

Fred from Blitz Motorcycles in his workshop in Paris

Beautiful Sounds

Rimur — I was browsing in a Heffers, Cambridge. Down in the music section I came across this album published by ECM. ECM has served me well as barometer to beautifully crafted music that lives in the Jazz/avant garde/no one else will have us, spectrum of life. I was not disappointed, Rímur is a collection of seventeen chants, hymns, folk songs and improvisations based on ancient Icelandic, Norwegian and Swedish sources, Over several summers Trio Mediaeval and trumpeter Arve Henriksen spent many days together by the beautiful Dalsfjorden on the Norwegian west coast, and it was there that most of the music for this recording was born. Fascinated and inspired by Icelandic sagas, beautiful chants, folk songs, religious hymns and fiddle tunes.

Go for a walk and say this Navajo Indian prayer as you go

In beauty may I walk

All day long may I walk

Through returning seasons may I walk

On the trail marked with pollen may I walk

With grasshoppers about my feet may I walk

With dew about my feet may I walk

With beauty may I walk

With beauty behind me may I walk

With beauty above me may I walk

With beauty below me may I walk

With beauty all around me may I walk

In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, lively may I walk

In old age wandering on a trail of beauty, living may I walk

It is finished in beauty

It is finished in beauty

In beauty may I walk

Shinya Kimura / Chabott Engineering — An artist, maker of unique creations. Why is a builder of bikes here? In the film listen to the sound his motorbikes make. For me it’s the poetry of Kimura’s spoken words that are beautiful.

Nightingale — My friend and author Louisa Thomsen-Britts writes, “The nightingale song in the fields around our house that keeps me up, sitting in the fields at night, throughout May. It is heartbreakingly lovely. I want to be there to hear and celebrate every note”. What would be your landscape or place to which it sounds give you joy?

Beautifully Restorative

Made in Tohoku — After the devastation of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Tohoku The Inoue Brothers travelled to the region to start a project with some of the affected local artisans. The result of this collaboration is their “Made in Tohoku” collection. Thank you Lars Cosh-ishii for reminding me of this project. As you say, “it’s great story, deserves to be shared” so I am sharing.

Tashi Mannox — Tibetan art and calligraphy. I write about Tashi in my book Do Design. He has become a friend. His work extraordinary and beautiful. He runs calligraphy workshops. To the surprise of his pupils his teaching is as much about ‘being’ as it is rendering beautiful letters, words and forms. “It is focus and commitment”, says Tashi “that sets you free”.

Aikido — The great master of martial arts Morihei Ueshiba became deeply troubled as to his true defining purpose. So he retired into the mountains with a Zen philosopher to reflect upon his work and life. He gave up the practice of martial arts as a form of violence and created the graceful non-violent martial art of Aikido — which is known for bringing calm, peace and strength to its practitioners. Everything we do is shaped and guided by what we believe, whether we notice it or not. It is easy to dismiss the notion of needing a guiding philosophy, just as you might shrug off the idea of beauty as being nothing more relevant to our world than decoration. But without a guiding philosophy, we end up stripping away our navigational compass and losing sight first of our humanity, then our potential. “We may not get to world peace”, said Morihei Ueshiba, “but to live each day as peacefully as we can, may not be such a bad thing”. I think we all have had enough of ugly.

Monte Oliveto Maggiore — “In the dry heavy heat of a Tuscan afternoon the bus drops off retreatants from several continents. They now have to walk carefully down a steep path towards the guesthouse and monastery. The path is a parable: made of slim, ancient terracotta bricks, many crumbling, some missing or replaced with new ones. The stone underfoot, like the pale red brick of the fourteenth-century monastery, is so worn and warm it looks and feels soft. Even as they watch their step down the beaten path they see the views over the wooded valleys and breathe in the pungent scent of ginestra. They are also worried about their bags and wondering what their rooms and food will be like. But they are already forgetting London, Houston, Singapore and Geneva and, to their surprise, they have already begun to feel at home.” Words by Laurence Freeman in Beauty’s Field describing the annual silent Christian meditation retreat at Monte Oliveto Maggiore, South of Siena. “There are not many places in the modern world where there is such a combined sense of stability, harmony and hospitality”, he observes.

Vipassana Meditation Centre — Vipassana is a silent retreat a way of self-transformation through self-observation. It focuses on the deep interconnection between mind and body, which can be experienced directly by disciplined attention to the physical sensations that form the life of the body, and that continuously interconnect and condition the life of the mind. It is this observation-based, self-exploratory journey to the common root of mind and body that dissolves mental impurity, resulting in a balanced mind full of love and compassion. I am going to do a 10 day silent retreat, which my friends tell me is extremely challenging and highly rewarding. I see it as a means to help me tune myself up to beauty.

Helga’s Folly — Hotel. Go paint a mural on a hotel wall and stay in a hotel in Sri Lanka for free. Helga’s Folly Hotel says if you want a regular (MOR) hotel experience, we can recommend some.

Beautiful Reads

Timeless Beauty in the Arts and Everyday Life by John Lane — I read this book after writing Do Design. Why beauty is key to everything. It made me stop, full stop. John Lane writes, “… for a timeless period our species was instinctively tuned to the beautiful… craftsmen and musicians, masons and poets, painters and dancers, simply did not know how to make an ugly thing”. For them countless numbers of them, beauty was as necessary as the air they breathed. Like food and drink it nourished their souls. We have an instinct for beauty, we know it. Take some time and have a read, maybe take the book with you on a walk, find a good place to sit. Spend an hour or two thinking about beauty. In one of our workshops, someone said, “you know when something is beautiful, because you can’t take your eyes off it”.

Image by Julian Calverley

Drawdown by Paul Hawken — A beautiful way to save the planet… my friend writes, “I met Paul Hawken while in NYC, I consider him a Bodhisattva. He presents facts and realistic solutions to address the imbalance of our world that no other government or organisation has done. The book is beautifully illustrated and beautifully clear.

Undoubtedly, the most beautiful treasure of all is our planet — it’s natural beauty. How we respect and embrace life in our global society; is living beautifully. By realising the interconnectivity of everybody and everything gives rise to understanding and in turn empathy and kindness.

This is the bigger picture of us and our Mother Earth, yet every small act of kindness in respect for each other and our environment, is just as worthy and honourable, which no matter how small; collectively contributes to the greater good”.

The Outpost — A beautifully written magazine. Launched in September 2012, the magazine is an attempt to capture the energies of a changing region. Hope is the optimism that says life can be worthwhile. The magazine is published from Beirut, Lebanon, and distributed worldwide. This particular issue resonated with me. Home.

Shop Class as Soulcraft: An Inquiry into the Value of Work by Matthew B. Crawford — On both economic and psychological grounds, author Matthew Crawford questions the educational imperative of turning everyone into a “knowledge worker,” based on a misguided separation of thinking from doing. We need the return to craft based ways of living and working.

A Beautiful Question. Finding Nature’s Deep Design By Frank Wilczek

Is this the most beautiful question in the world — is the world a work of art? Not just the obviously beautiful things, not just the stuff people label as art, but all of it. Frank Wilczek is a Nobel prize winning scientist, he is fascinated with the symmetries and harmonies that at their most fundamental level are the DNA to nature’s design model. And of course we are all made from the same stuff. So, If Wilczek is right, if the world truly is a work of art, what is our role in it?

The Craftsman — Richard Sennett

I read this book having torn the cartilage in my right knee on a walking holiday. So I lay recuperating for a week reading The Craftsman, cover to cover. Richard Sennett’s book brought me home, reminding me of who I am, and what is important to me. For that, I will be forever grateful. Craftsmanship works for the collective good, every day, with hand, heart and mind. An idea slipped into my consciousness whilst reading, that everything man-made is designed, so why not make it beautiful, restorative, engaging valuable and meaningful. Why not make it with beauty and grace?

The Atlas of Beauty — Mihaela Noroc

Mihaela Noroc writes — “My father is a painter so since my childhood I was surrounded by colours. When I was 16, I discovered photography but, unfortunately, in the next years I couldn’t make a living with it, so I had to work in other fields, where I could earn a decent income. Travelling during vacations as a backpacker, in different parts of the world, made me discover the diversity of our planet. So when I was 27 I decided to quit my ordinary life in Bucharest and put all my efforts and savings into travel and photography. Even though The Atlas of Beauty became very popular all around the world, I’m the same ordinary person, with the same backpack like 4 years ago, that loves to explore the unnoticed beauty which lies in people around us”.

Empathy gives us a huge depth of field. It is what we do with it that makes us extraordinary.

The Outrun — by Amy Liptrot is a beautiful, inspiring book about living on the edge, about the pull between island and city, and about the ability of the sea, the land, the wind and the moon to restore life and renew hope. No matter how far you have gone, its never too late to turn back.

Beautiful Experiences

The Hug project — The clue is virtual reality. I guarantee you this will bring tears to your eyes. What a beautiful project. Watch the story. Thank you Lars Cosh-Ishii I am truly grateful for the share.

La Marzocco Espresso Machine — Theses beautiful machines are synonymous the world over for making beautiful espresso coffee. Although sourcing, roasting, brewing and serving coffee have gone through various phases , over past 100 years, and we are about to get the 6th iteration (or ‘waves’ as known in geeky coffee bean circles), the ‘go to’ machine of baristas, restaurateurs and designers is La Marzocco. This could be in beautifully made, but this is all about experience, the sound, the smell of freshly ground coffee being loved into existence for a brief moment to be sipped and a conversation started or a reflective moment in a busy day. Either way La Marzocco have been doing it quite successfully since 1927. Beautiful things endure.

Monmouth Coffee Shop — they say beautiful things are prepared with love. This is why this teeny tiny coffee shop has a constant fluctuating line outside its door. The place just says, ‘real’, ‘great every time’, ‘love’, ‘welcome’, and they mean it. There is also one in Borough Market near London Bridge. It’s bigger, still has the same constant fluctuating line of people. Beauty manifests itself in even the smallest of ways.

SMUK Fest — Jutland in Denmark keeps a secret, it’s called SMUK Fest. Held in a place that holds a natural ampitheatre, in a beech forest, by a lake. It has been given the name Denmark’s most beautiful festival. 60,000 go every year and it’s been running since 1980. The festival is not for profit, revenues go to The Beautiful Foundation which supports initiatives against loneliness. Go practice your Danish, go have a beautiful experience.

Afrikaburn — you have heard of Burning Man, there is also Africa Burn. Friends say GO ‘for the beauty of the experience, the place, the ethos and the community’.

Ett Hem —Stockholm. Ett Hem was once upon a time a private residence built in 1910. The people who built it had I suspect, a propensity for beauty. They left their mark on this townhouse, situated in a peaceful, residential area of Stockholm. This Arts and Crafts building is tranquil, Scandinavian in its aesthetics where functionality meets and lives, harmoniously with beauty. What more can one say.

Buses (Dolmus) — Turkey. Menno is a good friend that works for a very big technology company. When I asked for his thoughts on a beautiful experience his response raised an eyebrow as was unexpected and made me smile, “buses”, said Menno, “buses called Dolmus in Turkey. These buses are stopping when you raise your hand. When they think you might want to jump in they signal you (shall I stop?) Very friendly, you feel wanted in that bus”. Maybe Dolmus is a global business model?

Dementia village — Started in 2009, De Hogeweyk or Hogewey is a gated model village setting in Weesp, in The Netherlands. It is notable because it has been designed specifically as a pioneering care facility for elderly people with dementia. Here you do what you did, lived a life, whatever that looked like as normally as can be possible, whilst cared for by trained staff. People (patients — still people) move around, they interact with the world in 3D the residents with dementia require less medication. Carers, doctors and nurses work around the clock to provide the 152 residents the necessary 24-hour care. There are ugly ways of solving a complex challenge such as dementia and a beautiful way — it just requires compassion.

Julian Calverley is a photographer who loves being in wild raw nature. It’s where he feels most alive and at home. It’s where he lives in his own depth of field, which he renders into meditative timeless images. Julian runs masterclasses for photographers helping them develop their own sense of how to be in a landscape, then and only then, how to create beautiful imagery. Like all great craftsmen and women, what Julian teaches, is really about what goes on on the inside —because it is from inside that truly guides our creation. If you fancy a masterclass in seeing in North Northwest Scotland and the Hebridean Islands. Sign up for his newsletter

Travelling is a state of mind. I asked a good friend of mine what a beautiful experience meant to him? He wrote, “leaving on a trip with a bag and no expectations”. What I feel Chris means is — don’t judge, let go of fear as it holds us back. Life could be really beautiful if you embrace it with open heart and open mind. I wonder what he has in his bag?

Beautiful Cinema

The Salt of the Earth Wim Wenders and Sebastião Salgado

Sebastião is the greatest living documentary photographer of our time. He sees and captures beauty in some of the most inhospitable places on our planet. It is his life’s work which are the subject of this deeply considered documentary study, co-directed by Wim Wenders and the photographer’s son, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado. For most of his life Sebastião has lived alongside and within communities, tribes and environments so far from our world we could not know them. These people exist on what we might call the periphery of life. He not only sees the essence of their souls, he celebrates their humanity and in so doing so do we. Sebastião never judges, but there is an ever present optimism in his work. “Reality” says Sebastião “is full of depth of field”.

Man on a Wire

Tightrope walker Philippe Petit’s daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City’s World Trade Center’s twin towers in 1974, what some consider, “the artistic crime of the century”. Beauty walks out.

A Place to Stand

Jimmy Santiago Baca arrived in the Arizona State Prison, illiterate. By the time he left he was a celebrated poet. “How can it be” he asks in the film, that in such ugliness, one could find so much beauty?”.

The Endless Summer by Bruce Brown

Considered a classic surf movie. Get out there. Now.

Heima — Sigur Rós.

A truly remarkable, beautiful film that captures the soul of this band and its’ musical and cultural Icelandic heritage. Watch the clip when one of the band members just talks about his Grandfathers 100 year old rhubarb. When the film finished it left a deep, calm and satisfied moment with me, I’d just seen a film that married music, film and documentary as one — beautiful.


Through my years helping companies craft innovative businesses, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that beautiful businesses are the future. They are proven to be attractive to employees, buyers and investors. They are profitable. And they are loved. Through workshops, talks and consultations, my life’s mission is to help businesses discover their own unique beauty.

What would your business look like were it more beautiful?

Once a month we do a newsletter that explores what beauty is and what it means. How we can apply that to our daily working lives in whatever shape and form that takes. Come join us explore, sign up.