Cumbia People

Cumbia has not always been Cumbia, at its beginning its name was Radical.

In this article I explain the story behind Radical. In the next articles you will read the reasons behind this change and the example of how a challenge can become an opportunity!

Choosing Radical as a name for my project was mandatory after a series of meetings with my friends from Zero comunicazione integrata ( that helped me finding it. We had several options on the table but there was one that kept coming back: Radical.

Every time I think about Radical, it makes me smile; because my boss when I worked in France, used to say – when we were discussing sensitive subjects, complex matters, tough decisions to be made or risks to take – « Iamena, you are too radical… » and I always laughed as I knew he has right.

Yes, Radical is a name that puts me in a good mood. It makes me smile and brings me back to some good old times : memories of a professional experience with people that trusted me, that gave me freedom, helped me growing and then, not without difficulty, let me go to find my own way.
And then, Radical summarizes some concepts that are key for me and that represent my approach and my values.

First of all, change must be radical. We need a paradigm change. It means rethinking everything we take for granted and those things that have always been part of our life. We cannot approach such a change by only modifying the surface, it must be done deeply and with the courage of putting ourselves at risk and question all (or some, at least) of our certainties. This change can only begin if we raise our level of awareness of who we really are, if we find our own purpose, our road, if we choose the proper values that will guide us in the journey, if we listen to ourselves and harness our own history and our roots to make the most of it. We shall be ready to write a new story and build new and stronger roots, being aware of our choices with the intention of building a better future for our kids.

Radical talks also about our contact with the ground: about the need of being always linked to the concrete, the material. Radical implies a pragmatic vision of change that starts from reality, facts, people, everyday challenges, in order to find a way of doing so that’s more sustainable and that aligns everybodies needs.

Radical talks about small steps every day: big speeches, full of good intentions that share an utopic and dogmatic vision of change are not my cup of tea. For sure they are inspiring, but they are usually not constructive. I believe that it is this gap between ideology and pragmatism, that generates closure among people that think the same way and that judge the rest from a self referential wisdom and a often too mediatized spirituality. I am convinced that this posture is not the good one if we want to achieve deep change. I say Radical, because I believe in a concrete and sustainable long term change, that starts from the ground, with many baby steps, but with strong and non negotiable purpose and values. Radical.

Radical is, of course, also about roots. About the importance of having roots, being aware of them and value them. If one has strong roots, it means one is connected with its own origins, regardless of where one is at a given time. Having roots, is having a place where you can always return to, a safe place where the network is strong, solid and always ready to welcome us back. Having strong roots allows us, first of all, to stand up and look forward and, then, to make the right choices to grow and walk through a space that we could only imagine. Having strong roots allows us to fly high and take risks because if we fall, it doesn’t matter, we have our safety net. Radical.

Finally, when I think about trees and plants, and how they communicate by their underground network of roots, I feel inspired, and think we should apply these principles to way we build companies and community. It means putting at the center collaboration instead of competition -between companies that operate in the same business for example. Because the crisis that we are going through -which is cultural, climatic, economic, energetic- is so deep and complex that no individual can solve it alone. Radical is also this, building networks, getting together, sharing knowledge, time, energy, is about being truly open to others. Yes : let’s take trees as an example and let’s connect our roots, let’s share feelings, experiences, skills : maybe we will find a way to create new woods !

Now it’s time for Radical. Because we are living an era where we need new and strong visions. Concrete values. Willingness and energy to do something, step by step, together. We need to leave behind us excuses and make no compromise on what really matters. Change is progressive, deep and rooted in the ground. And most of all, urgent, we cannot wait.

Be Radical with me ! Jump !

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Credits: Zero Comunicazione Integrata

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