Two entrepreneurs in Lemon Grove came together in a design of events to create a space where people from different cultures and generations can exchange knowledge, and to convene in a space to feel seen, inspired, encouraged, supported, and loved.
Their first event, Wisdom Sharing Experience, was held at The Hamlett on Jan. 11, a networking event and gathering that presented a unique opportunity for young entrepreneurs to gain wisdom from the experience of community elders. Fostering cross-cultural and generational unity, the Wisdom Sharing Experience brought together individuals from all walks of life including entrepreneurs, educators, change-makers, healers, creatives and adventurers. The intimate networking experience included a tea ceremony, mediation and movement, an elders wisdom circle, and storytelling performance arts. Hamlett and Gima believe that through the power of community, people can learn from the wisdom and experience of elders and build a stronger and more inclusive society.
Gima said Wisspire came from seeing a gap in their own experiences in their communities, and she felt like she was living in a bubble learning about business and herself with people around her age.
“I really do not have people who are modeling to me what was possible,” she said. “In life, in relationships, in community, and as I gathered more about my own journey, I noticed how important it is to have shared experiences in life across different ages. I realized that I needed that and I do not see that often. I feel that culturally, naturally we are meant to be in community and within villages, and I do not believe that is encouraged in our culture through society.”
Hamlett said in reflecting on elders in her life that there is also this feeling of separateness and lack of value in that wisdom. She said this is an ongoing conversation about what happens to elders, and at a certain point they might go to live in a home as many families today live far apart.
“You do not know how much longer you have with your family members, and on average, people in their 30s are seeing their parents twice a year,” she said. “That shows the disconnect in our families, let alone our society as a whole. There is this huge gap between generations and a lack of seeing the value of what an elder can offer and honor that. There are not many spaces that talk about that value of wisdom.”
Hamlett said many “hide away” from that age of wisdom as youth in society is placed high on a pedestal.
“We are interested in offering another pedestal for wisdom,” she said.
Hamlett said they plan on continuing a series of events like this, but for this event, they wanted to create a “magical experience” for generations of entrepreneurs and professionals to gather and share experiences, both in life and in business.
Gima said there is nothing like having conversation with people with life experiences, lessons learned, and how they navigated the good and worse times in their lives.
“They can actually be a mentor or guide from insight from their own experience,” she said. “The number one thing in this is to learn from someone’s experiences which kind of gives you insight into your own life experiences. And ideally, some guidance. Seeing and recognizing elders for what they have gained in wisdom also provides an opportunity for us to see ourselves in those seats one day. I think if we see ourselves scared stepping into that role as we grow older, it can provide an opportunity for us to realize that it is something we are interested in. And, that it is not scary, it is beautiful.”
Gima said the foundation of their intention of holding this event was to see how interconnected everything is.
“Business is not separate from life, from relationships,” she said. “The more guidance that we can see in business for example, is going to be reflected in the possibilities that we see in our relationships with our partners, our kids, our parents, our friends. That all has a ripple affect in our businesses as it is all interconnected. I feel one of the foundations of this is about possibilities and connections, and the interconnectedness of all of our being. A part of my own journey has been integrating these different aspects of me. The creative side, the business side, and all the different versions of me and allowing myself to share that in every in every room that I am in.”
“I think that is very important for business owners and entrepreneurs, and from whatever business aspect they are in, is to allow all of themselves to be allowed to be seen. We do not need to compartmentalize ourselves anymore. This is an experience to see how multifaceted and multidimensional we really are.”
Hamlett said they are both in agreement that there is a practical side to this type of event, as it can bring relationships that turn into mentorships, and help both the young and older professionals as they share their experiences with each other.