No Show* // Purpose

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Purpose: the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists.

As a force that directs action and moves both individuals and nations, the sense of purpose is a curious facet of the human experience. In the finale of our first year of No Show* 2017, we gathered to analyze and identify this invisible, yet powerful experience that shapes human decision-making, collective direction, and organizational cohesion.

In typical No Show* fashion, we wanted to hear from diverse perspectives to develop a rich environment for inquiry and exploration. We invited founders, journalists, designers, architects, elders, and innovation consultants together to examine the role of purpose in our personal and professional experiences. We asked:

// How does purpose impact our interactions?

// What characteristics defines collective purpose vs. individual purpose?

// Is there collective purpose that our individual purpose furthers? Is there intergenerational purpose within our civilization?

// How do we shape opportunities for people to achieve their purpose in the future?

Photo by Gershoni Creative

Photo by Gershoni Creative

Through reliving childhood dreams, and following circuitous paths in search of meaning, we developed insight. Purpose, we learned, is not a destination, but a sensation that guides us. Purpose is the accumulation of questions and answers, a continual process of external knowledge and self discovery leading to new milestones and new directions. It changes over time and can mean pursuing a risky endeavor in one moment, or resting in stillness in another. It is shaped by the innovations of the moment, with the current frontiers of possibility influencing the next generation’s perception of purpose for the future.


Over the course of 2017, this series on the Human Condition has covered topics such as: Nourishment, Belonging, Attraction, and Creation. 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