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The ifz calender for more mindfulness, sustainability and personal development.

In order to offer an alternative to classic and mostly consumer-oriented calendars, the institut für zukünfte developed its own calendar in winter 2020: the metta winter calendar. This calendar was filled with daily food for thought, regional and sustainable products and self-designed postcards. The ifz donated the profits from the calendar sales to the organization Seebrücke and thus supported the sea rescue of refugees.

Imagine that there is a calendar that accompanies you through the winter time. A bit like an Advent calendar, only different. A calendar that is independent of any religious affiliation. A calendar that accompanies you not only for 24 days, but for the whole month of December. And a calendar that focuses on you - on your view of the year, your relationships with your fellow human beings and your personal place and possibilities in the world. 

All this and much more could be experienced by the users of our metta winter calendar. Our goal was to motivate people to think, reflect and pause. The focus was on a sustainable and mindful approach to oneself, one's fellow human beings and nature. In 31 small tasks and impulses, the users dealt with themselves, were inspired to a stronger commitment in society and a more conscious interaction with nature. Through the daily use and the regular impulses over a period of one month, we enabled the introduction of new routines and habits in their own everyday life and thus laid the foundation for a long-term change in thinking and acting. 

„The winter calendar was a great opportunity to learn new things and implement them right away as well as to be more in touch with myself." - a user

December, with its short days and cool temperatures, offers the ideal opportunity to pause and look back on the year. What all happened this year? What have I experienced? How did I feel? And what is good for me, my fellow human beings and the environment? In addition to these questions, in 2020 we all had to deal with an unprecedented phenomenon: A crisis that affected all of us and will still do so in 2021. Social closeness was reduced to a minimum, many personal plans and dreams had to be put on hold, and social cohesion became more important than ever.

At the same time, it is clear that the Corona crisis will continue; and it offers us a foretaste - albeit a bitter one - of other crisis situations that may arise, triggered by social inequalities and the climate crisis. But let's not be all negative: This crisis has allowed us to come together as a society in unusual ways: Neighbors who helped each other. Families who had more time together than ever before. Applause for system-relevant professions and a new, more understanding view of people who fall through social security systems. And suddenly there was something that connected everyone around the world: we were all in this new kind of situation together. It affected all of us. And these new experiences were one thing above all: possibilities. They showed us what is possible when we stick together and stand up for a common goal.


So instead of focusing on the negative, we put a focus on the possibilities with our calendar. In particular, the opportunity to engage more with the topics of sustainability, mindfulness and personal development. By focusing more on these three topics, it becomes clear how they are interrelated and interdependent. The person who engages with himself or herself is more likely to come to the realization that a conscious approach to nature (of which he or she is a part), as well as mindful interaction with fellow human beings, leads to greater satisfaction. In this way, we can find a new way of immaterial growth that takes nature and our fellow human beings into account and, in the best case, benefits them

This food for thought was implemented with the help of our physical metta calendar. It was filled with regional and sustainable products, with which we supported local partners, and with self-designed postcards with tasks and impulses. In addition, there were also a number of digital "doors" behind which, for example, a yoga lesson with a Wolfsburg yoga studio was hidden. The fusion of haptic and digital experiences became particularly clear through the daily metta podcast, which we had recorded especially for the users and which could be accessed via the ifz website. In the podcast, we always addressed the content of the individual doors, placing them in a larger context and thus creating scope for reflection on greater themes. It was important to us to address as many different topics as possible. Because in the end, there should be something for everyone that inspires them and accompanies them on their further journey. While for some users the establishment of new morning rituals and a yoga practice could be valuable, for others it might be the topic of food and the environment. It was important to us to reflect this diversity of society and individual interests in our calendar.

Overall, the metta calendar was a journey through the winter, on which the users experienced, learned and reflected on many things without actually changing location. In this way, we also counteract the lack of leisure and employment opportunities in 2020.

„Dear metta, you made me think, pause for a moment, smile. You provided me with great products from the region and gave me interesting recommendations. I look forward to seeing you again!” - feedback from a user

The calendar was available for 25€ excl. shipping. The project was sponsored by the Sparkasse Celle-Gifhorn-Wolfsburg. This sponsorship enabled us to cover a large part of our costs and to donate the remaining profit from sales to the organization Seebrücke. Thus, the users of the metta calendar not only did something good for themselves, but also for people in need.

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