August 2019

It was interesting reading Neuroscientist Shane O’Mara’s article on the positives of regular walking: ‘It’s a superpower’: how walking makes us healthier, happier and brainier. He makes some great points, and “favours a “motor-centric” view of the brain – that it evolved to support movement and, therefore, if we stop moving about, it won’t work as well.”

O’Mara’s perspective is a useful reminder of the benefits of getting away from our desks and moving about! For Nilofer Merchant, “we sit more than we do anything else. We’re averaging 9.3 hours a day, compared to 7.7 hours of sleeping. Sitting is so prevalent and so pervasive that we don’t even question how much we’re doing it.” In her opinion, sitting is the smoking of our generation (check out her TED Talk)! Merchant is one of many extolling the virtues of walking meetings instead of traditional sit-down meetings. However, not everyone is convinced.

In my BeWeDō research I also found moving enriches conversation. Interestingly, every-so-often, people compare the approach to a walking meeting. I can see where they are coming from … however, BeWeDō extends the possibilities of movement to transform conversations BEYOND simply ‘walking and talking.’ During BeWeDō: physical movement and touch amplifies connection and trust; and, everyone contributes equally to the conversation :–)

Dr Mark Bradford
Founder and BeWeDō
® practitioner



I have travelled to Tokyo, Japan! One of my highlights was visiting the Aikikai Foundation Aikidō Hombu Dōjō (also named the Aikidō World Headquarters) in Shinjuku City, Tokyo. It was a pilgrimage of sorts … a small gesture in the rain to say “thanks” for all the incredible things I’ve learnt on-the-mat training in Aikidō . . . and continue to learn off-the-mat practicing BeWeDō!


BeWeDō® interactive design events

It was exciting to get the opportunity to led two BeWeDō® interactive design events while I was in Tokyo in late June.

I was invited by Dr René Carraz, Faculty of Global and Regional Studies, Toyo University, to facilitate the Toyo University BeWeDō: A creative workshop. For Carraz, “the BeWeDō method would complement and enrich [the students] understanding of contemporary design thinking approaches by letting them be enveloped in a multisensory experience.” The workshop also offered me a wonderful opportunity to gain cross-cultural research insights from participants representing Japan, China, Myanmar, Indonesia, Vietnam, Australia as well as the United States of America! For student Hoang Thi Ha Uyen, the “BeWeDo process helped create an atmosphere and space where people were comfortable to share and discuss.” She felt that

“simple changes in movements can improve the quality of the conversation.”

A few days later, I linked up with Eri Sugiura, Talent Specialist, IDEO Tokyo as their guest at their weekly ‘Lunch and Learn’ session. I presented my BeWeDō research and led the IDEO Tokyo BeWeDō workshop with staff! IDEO Tokyo invited me to visit their studio because they were “interested in learning new and creative ways of brainstorming and co-creation.” For one designer, the BeWeDō approach could “help our clients be more engaged/intentional with brainstorming.”

BeWeDō “movement helped us stay away from serious talk and helped us come up with wild ideas.”

Finally, I met with Associate Professor Takaya Kawamura, Graduate School of Urban Management, Osaka City University to discuss the possible application of BeWeDō creative practice within Japanese health/social care organisations.  


Research trajectories…

From 1-3 July I participated in the Does Design Care…? [2] Workshop at Chiba University, Tokyo, Japan #DoesDesignCare2. The event involved: “46 participants from over 12 countries, worked on 4 projects, wrote nearly 10,000 words, completing at least 3 publishable outcomes. An amazing collaborative effort from all” (Professor Paul Rodgers, Imagination, Lancaster University, UK).

BeWeDō was also profiled in MUSUBI, the Aiki Extensions newsletter.

What’s next?


My meeting with Professor Takaya Kawamura may result in an invitation to collaborate with Osaka City University's executive MBA program in 2020! I’ve also been invited to present my paper BeWeDō® Kenkyukai: Small moves can set big ideas in motion at the International Conference of the DRS Special Interest Group on Experiential Knowledge – EKSIG 2019 – at the Estonian Academy of Arts, Estonia 23–24 September 2019. EKSIG 2019 addresses the theme of “Knowing Together – experiential knowledge and collaboration.” I’ll be applying for funding next week … fingers crossed!

I completed a review of Design Thinking Comes of Age for the ‘NextD Journal [reboot]’ (a reinvented version of “Open Peer Review” by GK VanPatter Elizabeth Pastor of Humantific) which should be published very soon. My BeWeDō Japan research trajectory will be profiled in Massey University’s ‘Massey News.’

I will also start blogging …

Let’s move!


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