My friend and co-editor Ana Paula often talk about radical circles. Within business radical circles is defined as a small group of people working together to challenge and develop each other’s ideas unto a new vision is created. Researcher Naiara Altuna gives a more detailed definition when she writes that radical circles is:
“… a few selected members working clandestinely and leveraging on criticism, in order to challenge and reinterpret the rules of a given industry. She highlights the characteristic elements constituting such a circle, i.e. leadership, locational resources, voluntary participation and the transition from closed to open.
She also concludes that two important things that a radial circle contributes with is;
encouragement by feeling listened to and criticism by challenging what is taken for granted both by the members as well as by the industry. This makes co-construction the essence of circles.
This geometrical form — the circle — makes me think of an interview with singer Sofia Jannok. She points out that in the Sami culture she sees the circle everywhere. Their traditional houses (kåtor) are circle, the reindeer enclosed fields are circle, and the singing technique jojk is circle. While in the western culture she sees the square, the singing is square, the tables are square, the houses are square, and the fields are square.
She makes an example with the Sami jojk (a way of singing) where there is no end or beginning; instead you can get in and get out where you want to in the melody. Much like an iterative and open ideation process within a radical circle, you can throw your ideas in anywhere and they will join the loop that is already ongoing.
Maybe one of the clues to where to find new and novel ideas is in geometry. Let’s make 2018 into the year we try the circle instead for the the square for a while!