Efficiency and Wonder

by | Apr 11, 2022 | Ideas |

Efficiency and wonder

I would have loved to be in that meeting. The one where someone said, ‘Let’s put a tree on the ceiling of the theatre!’ ‘Umm but the theatre is dark and no one looks up, they look at the screen.’ ‘I know, I know, but some child might and it would give them a sense of awe.’

Or the meeting where someone said, ‘Let’s make people stand in a queue that winds itself through a pub with a library, then they have to climb through a painting taking them into a tunnel lined with treasure.’ ‘Umm the ride doesn’t need a pub, can’t they just wait outisde?’ ‘They could, but pubs, painting, and smuggler’s tunnel are much more fun.’

Or the one where someone proposed creating rubbish bins in shape of people. Or ATMs in treasure chests…

We went to Efteling Park over the weekend. It is a magical place, full of awe and wonder. And in one sense completely inefficient. Many aspects of the park have no purpose but to inspire awe, wonder, and a sense of magic. It is utterly delightful.

In our idolisation of efficiency and ‘value for money’, we have forgotten to ask what we lose out on. What the cost of this efficency is. We have only defined effciency by a financial metric that paper pushing, disconnected, number hungry investors can relate to. Scrooge would be proud. We have sucked the joy out of work and life in the name of efficiency.

Unfortunately, humanitarian aid is no different. We hae idolised numbers over people, over resurrecting joy and wonder.

How can you add a bit of joy, awe, or wonder to your approach today?

The choice is up to us.

Photo taken from Efteling website.

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