Wade Davis, a Canadian Ethnobotanist, wrote The Wayfinders, a CBC Massey Lectures collection of accounts of the cultural nuances of finding one’s path in uncertain territory. In the book he tells the story of Mau, a polynesian boy chosen at birth to become a great wayfinder in his community. Mau dedicates himself to the art and science of wayfinding, and as a teenager he ties his testicles to his boat in order to have the fullest experience of the nature of tidal currents and and the rhythms of the sea so he can truly understand his medium.
Sidenote: a colleague related this story to me a few years ago, however, she told me the wayfinders would use their thighs. I was corrected years later in a meeting with a client that it was actually the testicles that did the guiding. This anatomical conversation provided an excellent bonding moment with my clients that has served our working relationship to this day.
I write this blog with the purpose of carving out a place for the science and art of Wayfinding in the complex realms of human service and social innovation. I will use this modest little corner of the vast noosphere of the internets to share my thoughts, experience, and questions on wayfinding as I see it described in favourite articles and by important thinkers.
I hope what you find here is useful, or at the very least, an amusing way to spend your time.
Just outside of St. Tropez, France (April, 2015)