Behind ‘The Unsettled Founding Story’
By: Michael Youngblood, Unsettled Co-founder
Unsettled was founded on a question, how might we live differently in the 21st century? Two years into the work of exploring this question, it came time to ask the question, how might we tell the founding story of Unsettled?
The answer, much like the years of experimentation behind Unsettled, was to tell our story through collaboration across many continents.
That’s the thing about questions. The nature of a question often determines the nature of the answer. Beautiful questions lead to beautiful answers, or more importantly, a beautiful search for an answer. An open question, such as how might we… usually leads to an open, collaborative process to discover, or in this case, to create an answer.
This question at hand, how might we tell the Unsettled founding story, led us on a global 4-year video production that we didn’t even know we were creating.
The Unsettled Founding Story
The seed for Unsettled was planted on a sailing trip in the British Virgin Islands in June 2014. For one week, we invited friends from all over the world to gather to spend a week sailing together and to explore questions about how we are living in a rapidly changing world. We had no plans to start a global venture that would define our lives.
Among our crew that year was Vibol Moeung, a London-based videographer, who came to us via mutual colleagues. That year, unbeknownst to us, we started working on Unsettled and the story behind it was being documented without us even knowing it.
Today, I consider Vibol one of my closest friends. We’ve lived, worked, laughed, created, and have gone on many adventures over the past 4 years. This video project aspired into a natural collaboration precisely because we invested our time into people, adventures, and to the creation of stories in our own lives.
The moments we captured on film respond to the questions that we ask: this is how we live differently. This is how we organize work in the 21st century. This is what collaboration looks like. The video is what it looks like to actively contemplate these questions.
After that first trip to the BVI, Vibol joined us on our following sailing adventures. Another friend and videographer, Mykim Dang, joined us on the first trip in Bali. Mykim pulled out her camera in Bali in October 2014 and she began filming bits and pieces of this story. We were creating just for the sake of creating.
Vibol came to the BVI with his video camera ready to shoot because: “Back then there were a lot of ‘I had ‘nevers’’: never been on a sailboat, been sailing, been to the BVI, been on a shared experience with this many people, and I’m pretty sure that that was the case for a lot of other people on that trip. I wanted to faithfully capture the day-to-day experience of such a journey.”
Questions spark change, growth and ultimately creation. By definition, there is an unknown on the other end when we ponder out loud, What, Who, Why, When, or How. This search for an answer leads us on a journey. On a journey of infinite possibilities.
Ask beautiful questions and you might receive a beautiful journey.
Now that you know the story behind the story, check out the final version of the story here.