As an event planner, there's this new thing I'm trying out. I'm calling it Immersive Exploration (IE) - and it's a short, organized immersive experience that culminates with a main event. Kind of like back in college, when you would pre-game before the party. Pre-gaming warms you up, makes you feel comfortable before walking into a new scene. When you get to the party you feel confident and open to new ideas (you're also drunk, but this part does not relate to my version of this).
I organized an IE trip to Manaus, Amazonas. This was an opportunity to explore the rainforest as a source of inspiration for our upcoming event with Natura, who sources all of their cosmetics from this region.
We spent two full days exploring the Amazon. Day 1: listening to (very thick) forest noises with bugs that sound like machines and monkeys that sound like pre-historic monsters. Watching its movements—every tree was vibrating with ants. Smelling its scents—some trees smell like women's perfume. Avoiding its dangers as almost every plant has its own defense mechanism like razor sharp two inch thorns hidden under gorgeous green leaves. It was simply unbelievable. Day 2: on the Amazon river watching soaking wet sloths cling to trees, indians shoving massive pythons in our face for just two Brazilian reals per photo op (about $1 USD), lily pads the size of a car tire, and more monkeys only this time they would snatch the banana right out of your hand and run off laughing into the trees.
At the end of our IE journey, we headed to Sao Paulo to begin our event, where we would join up with researchers and developers from Natura and some bright Brazilian university students to prototype ideas for the future of wellness that bridge the virtual and physical worlds. And having just come from an extremely physical world (the Amazon) and prior to that, the digital world (the Media Lab) I would say our team was quite prepared.