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The top TWENTY things inspiring the Catalyst Producers this month - Winter edition!

I know, I know - we were just in your inbox recently with the latest things inspiring our team! However, as this is the season of generosity, we figured we’d share twenty more wonderful resources for you to tuck into during this winter season and festive period. Hopefully your December plans include some time to rest, reset and hibernate - the Catalyst producers are about to do just that after an incredibly busy year of review and ongoing transition.

Enjoy this bumper edition of the top TWENTY things that have impacted the Catalyst Producers this month:

  1. This wonderfully inspiring interview with our friend Hera Hussain, from Chayn, landed in my inbox. In this conversation with writer, Lauren Crichton, she explores how we create a violence -free world.
  2. We’ve been thinking a lot about urgency culture at Catalyst also, and reflecting on who gets left behind when we feel trapped on the hamster-wheel of ‘doing’ all the time. This reminded me of a powerful quote by Black Feminist writer, thinker, and filmmaker, Toni Cade Bambara: ‘Not all speed is movement.’ And this brilliant piece reflecting on this quote in the context of wellness feels timely and timeless. 
  3. Producer Ellie shared this great conversation with our friend Indy Johar from Dark Matters Labs, reflecting on moving from the world of small-scale experiments to large-scale transitions.
  4. Ellie also shared this piece on ‘double empathy’ - and although it’s specifically reflecting on how people with autism experience the world, there are also important reminders for everyone of the importance of reciprocity in our communication with each other.
  5. Producer Jo shared this piece about ‘turning away from complexity’ and leaning more into the ‘simple’. At Catalyst we’re often holding lots of complexity and ambiguity, and are always thinking about simpler ways to work and communicate, without losing the stuff that matters. The writer, Barbara Patterson, shares some deeply personal experiences to frame this, and reminds us that ultimately, in the end, ‘We have what it takes to meet the moment. One move at a time.’
  6. Following on from his first post asking what will governance look like in 2040, which I shared in my last WOOR post, James Plunkett now asks what we do about a problem like Elon Musk.
  7. One of our Initiative Leads, the brilliant and courageous Zoe Amar, has penned some reflections on what asking where someone is ‘really from’ means, in response to the recent experiences of Ngozi Fulani of Sistah Space, a domestic violence charity focused on supporting Black women who have endured harm. 
  8. And related to the point above, Ngozi - a community leader and campaigner for an end to the domestic abuse of Black women - has received endless vitriol and racist pile-ons ever since speaking about her experiences of being interrogated at Buckingham Palace. And this has led to the interruption of the vital work of Sistah Space (‘The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being…’ - Toni Morrison). Now is as good a time as any to show tangible support and donate to her and this essential organisation working tirelessly for Black women’s safety.
  9. Our colleague Sonya has shared this joyful (and free!) database of stock images of eldery people from Centre for Ageing Better, which can be used to ensure there is more representation of older folks in our resources and materials.
  10. The absolutely genius folks at Huddlecraft have designed their 2023 huddles series -  see the full listings and get stuck into huddles about everything from grieving; to reimagining hope; to moving beyond burnout.
  11. Needing a podcast in your life? I came across this series by writer and actor, Miranda Keeling, called Stopping to notice, which feels like exactly what I need to do more of to counter a fast-paced life. 
  12. Fancy a queer love story, period drama, murder mystery, thriller? Yeah, me too! Check out this outstanding offering from ITV - an adaptation of Sara Collins’ novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton.
  13. Watch this beautiful TED talk delivered by Indigeneous Surinamese Politician and environmental campaigner, Jupta Itoewaki, where she explains why Indigenous peoples are best positioned to lead the world's efforts to preserve nature and maintain a habitable planet - after all, over eighty percent of the world's biodiversity is within Indigenous territories across the world, and yet these communities often don't have a say when it comes to protecting the lands they inhabit. 
  14. And did you know that TED now have a whole audio collection? I’ve recently enjoyed listening to The Secret Somali Mixtapes with Saleem Reshamwala. This is an historical journey as well as a musical one. And you can even enjoy the music from this podcast as a spotify playlist.
  15. Inclusion - and how to ensure all efforts on this area of focus feel meaningful and are impactful - is a live conversation for us, always, and especially as we do our end of year reflections. Here’s a reminder from me that Inclusion is not a project, but a lifelong commitment - it’s a marathon and not a sprint, requiring not just stamina, but courage. 
  16. We also continue to confront and grapple with power. Here are some important, detailed reflections from writer, thinker, and ‘practical visionary’, Miki Kashtan on how we grapple with our own power
  17. This quick summary by Catalyst Initiative Lead Joe Roberson of the highs, the hard, and the meta involved in being part of the Catalyst Initiative Leads experiment is a great read - everyone is leaning into the discomfort of new(er) ways of working and the messiness that brings.
  18. At this time of year, burnout is REAL! Here’s a ‘tactical guide’ for tackling symptoms of burnout and feeling more able to do less, have firmer boundaries, and protect your peace. Much easier said than done for sure, but important for us to keep striving for more sutainable ways of working together.
  19. SZA has FINALLY dropped her long-awaited sophomore album, SOS, and it’s truly glorious! Listen to the entire SOS album here, whilst also learning the words to every song (she kindly gave us lyric videos for e-ve-ry-thing - a generous queen!).
  20. And finally, I absolutely LOVED this endearing account from writer Phoebe Greenwood of lessons learnt from watching her beloved therapist die. It’s not as morbid as you might assume - in fact, I found it a really joyful and humbling read. The reminder here is to live more.

Pheeew! And with that, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a wonderful festive period, however you spend it. We look forward to connecting with you all in the new year!

And remember, if you have a resource of any kind that you think we should have on our radar, please share it with us! We would love for the wider community to influence our work and provide creative input. 

Drop us a line at hello@thecatalyst.org.uk Or tweet us @wethecatalysts.

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What’s on our radar #18?

Ellie Hale
Ellie Hale