Manifesto Reflection | Leonardo/ISAST

Manifesto Reflection

By Merve Şahin

The final manifesto day of the Convening was a day of intimacy, mindfulness, and innovation. Please join me as I recount our journey through the day!

The very first thing that bring us together and closer is the idea of community. It is the community that one of Leonardo’s old friends say, “In the beginning of the ’90s, the internet was not available, I was living in Cayman Islands and the Leonardo was my telescope!”

It is a common experience that each of us feels that we are the only people who are interested in the subjects of art, science, and technology. However, when we find each other, we feel immediately at home. Our community is the source for both assets and responsibilities. It is place for us to exchange our knowledge, as well as cultivate experience and practices in a space where the ideas don’t take side. Therefore, we did our best to make our world better both intellectually and spiritually through our desire to raise awareness to the global and social impact of creativity.

With the first glance at our group, one immediately notices the diversity of this community. We are like a coral reef with sponges, fishes, sea stars, shrimps, and octopuses. This community is a safe haven where we are as inclusive as possible. We desire to hear multiple and varied voices that activate the unknown spheres of lives. This is an empowering state that allows us the opportunity to find ways to decentralize art and sciences to people and their experiences. But, of course we also have challenges as a result of this conceptual diversity.

When a scientist, artist and philosopher came into a room with lots of papers, they were excited to see creative ways of producing the knowledge that they had not thought of before. But, one issue will arise in this room is way we speak about the concepts. These conversations are full of field-specific jargon and discourse. This creates challenges when trying to explain and discuss the same phenomena with different words. Therefore, we came up with the idea, cross-conceptuality, that as a community of Leonardo, we would like to prioritize an accessible language. We believe that it will make us a conceptually diverse society and help us to develop the adaptable communication strategies.

In the fabric of our conceptual flexibility lies the resiliency that makes us a sustainable group of people throughout the history. This sustainable context of our community comes from our never ending desire to collaborate and learn from each other. It is important for us to integrate this mindset into the different domains of school and of life, in which academic and non-academic settings exist in a harmony. Through the rigorous research that is born out and within this critically-inclined public platform, we give each other validation, editorial practices, and outreach for more intellectually challenging inquiries.

Finally, our final message is that we would like to develop empathy and broader civil discourse to built the Leonardo of tomorrow!