No Show* // Belonging



We met not knowing each other’s titles - without name tags and without pretense - to explore a human emotion central to our society, a key ingredient shaping culture, community, and our identity: belonging.

NO SHOW Photo by Gershoni Creative

NO SHOW Photo by Gershoni Creative

With the pressing tensions of community and exclusion, we found belonging ripe for inspection. To cross-pollinate for new perspectives, No Show* brought together hospitality brands, refugee rights leaders, user experience experts, art innovators, and social behavior specialists, exploring how our industries could drive purpose and shape a sense of cohesion, kinship, and safety.

Ranging from personal reflections to broad cultural trends, we explored the qualities and urgency of belonging in the 21st century, asking:

// How do we communicate safety through our actions?

// Where can companies shift social perspectives through internal culture?

// How can we utilize belonging within brands and across culture to actualize the aspirational self?

// What opportunities can we create, within our agencies and daily lives, to generate community and innovation?

We dove into the deep end, sharing moments of exclusion that highlighted the desire to belong, dissecting the process of othering that is all-too-often coupled with group identity. Through cross-industry inquiry we landed in how a true sense of belonging is in being understood, not fearing criticism, and not having to edit our self-expression for the safety and security of those around us. To generate a sense of belonging requires a combination of altruism and selfishness. To generate a sense of belonging for others requires deliberately creating opportunities for connection. Once we develop bonds of connection across difference, we develop belonging.

Over the course of the year, this series on the Human Condition will cover topics such as: Attraction, Creation, and Purpose. We aim to use No Show as a space to grapple with issues that are central to the challenges society, in hopes of building a more connected, caring, and innovative future. Additional insights on each topic to follow.


No ShowAriel Cooper