Life as Art: Naho Iguchi’s purposefully jobless year in Berlin

As 2013 draws to a close, we’re taking some time to pay homage to Idealists who’ve made a commitment to doing good across 365 days.

Naho Iguchi is taking a year off.

But the artist and former TEDxTokyo director isn’t studying on sabbatical, and she didn’t buy a backpack and round-the-world flight package.

She’s just being Naho.

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Naho at TEDxKyoto in 2012.
(photo via Shareable.net)

With the financial support of 22 donors, Naho is living without a job or other standard responsibilities for a yearlong experiment in what someone could do if she were free from social constraints.

“What could happen if a person completely follows her intuition and five senses when making decisions, without worrying about income or rent or about social expectations—in other words, the sources of fear and anxiety that drive people to stick with the current economic system?”

Here’s a taste of the answers (and additional questions) she’s found, from her blog:

Vision and goal are something that we human make up in order to illustrate our future and motivate us to keep going. I strongly agree that there are occasions where vision and goal are highly relevant and powerful to have. But, not all the time.

If we are contended with the present state and also the way that we’ve walked along there, then why do we need to be bothered to think about future and run after it?

For more on the ideas behind Naho’s project, read this interview with her on Shareable.

If you’ve been involved with a long-term personal project, tell us: what intentions did you explore?

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Headlines: Muhammad Yunus; Diversity at work; Japan relief

Microfinance and leadership change

  • Microfinance Under Fire (New York Times): For context on the situation of Muhammad Yunus and Grameen Bank, and a caution: “When an organization has a founder who is intimately associated with it (as Jobs is at Apple), the leadership transition needs to be handled with great care.”
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Tim McNichol, "White Males and Diversity" consultant and coach. Photo credit: OregonDOT (Flickr/Creative Commons).

Diversity at work

  • Diversity is Inefficient (New Organizing Institute blog): Ashindi Maxton writes, “With demographic realities and righteousness on our side, we strive to build diverse movements and organizations. My sense – and tell me if I’m wrong – is that mostly we fail…I’d like to make a few concrete suggestions for how any of us can start right now treating inclusion as a part of our purpose rather than a diversion.”

Relief for Japan

  • LivingSocial offered a unique coupon after the earthquake and tsunami: if subscribers donated $5 to the Red Cross to help with relief work in Japan, the company would match it. Total raised: more than $2 million.

Send us a story for our not-exhaustive news roundup: If you read something that moved you to action or gave you hope, leave a comment below or tweet it to us @idealist.

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