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Part consultancy, part thinktank, part social enterprise, Halcyon helps you prepare for and respond to personal, organisational and societal change.

See Halcyon's unique reporting on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and contact us to discuss how we may be able to help you contribute to and/or create value from the SDGs.

Halcyon monitors, analyses and advises upon personal, organisational and societal issues and responses. Contact us to discuss how we may be able you deal with these issues and develop your own responses.

Follow Halcyon's forthcoming 52:52:52 campaign on Twitter, which will feature 52 issues and 52 responses over 52 weeks.

Halcyon In Kaleidoscope

On Henry David Thoreau

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In the 1840s Henry David Thoreau swapped his busy schedule in Concord, Massachusetts, for a wooden hut he built himself near Walden Pond. We had the privilege to visit Walden, five years ago, in July 2012; it exceeded expectations in its tranquility and beauty - and the swim in the pond itself was unforgettable.

See also:

On Beltane

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"See Pan the Piper dancing in the greenwood dawn...Earth, Water, Fire, Air, dancing round the Beltane", light a Beltane fire, high on the skyline" - from Ancient Dream, Aeolian Songspell

On Robert Pirsig

William Morrow/HarperCollins

Robert M. Pirsig, who inspired generations to road trip across America with his "novelistic autobigraphy," Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, died in April 2017 at the age of 88. Pirsig wrote just two books: Zen (subtitled "An Inquiry Into Values") and Lila: An Inquiry into Morals, both of which moved and influenced me deeply.

What I am is a heretic who's recanted and thereby in everyone's eyes saved his soul. Everyone's eyes but one, who knows deep down inside that all he has saved is his skin - Robert Pirsig 

On Lions

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I have been a proud member of Lions Heraldic in Brussels since 2006. 2017 sees the centenary of the global Lions movement, started by Melvin Jones in Chicago.

Highlights include:

On Pan


I have long been entranced by Pan, probably inspired - as I'm guessing many others have been too - by the beautiful and haunting passage in The Piper at the Gates of Dawn chapter of The Wind in the Willows.

On Humour

We often assume that laughter occurs when we hear something funny, but research has shown that it is the people doing the speaking who laugh the most - 46% more than their audience.

On Now

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Dave Pollard wrote thought-provokingly of the "Now Time”, a multidimensional recursive eternal present familiar to aboriginal cultures the world over, and recalling Friedrich Nietzche's desire to be a "yes-sayer" to each moment.

This recalls Camus' celebration of Sisyphus starting afresh each day and more recently, Eckhart Tolle's "power of now".

On Others

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For me the purpose of life is to know other people…is to discover what life is. Who inhabits the world? What is it to be human? What can I give to the world which it doesn’t have…a gift for tolerating my presence in this world..…and unless I know the people, I can’t know what it does not have - Theodore Zeldin

Imagine balancing self-interest and caring for others. If this is possible, then:

(1) What is the approximate balance between the two today - in individuals, organisations and societies? How much time do we really spend thinking about and then acting on other people's needs?

On what mattered in the past

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Asking which shifts, in which centuries, really shaped the modern world. a historian identified 10 leading drivers of change, century by century (see below).

Meanwhile, Prospect believes that reflecting on the past can give great in sight into the present and has published accordingly The past in perspective e-book.

See also:

On Theodore Zeldin

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Theodore Zeldin re-iterated his belief in the powerfully transformative role of conversation:

"Individuals are no longer what they used to be, each is unique. That makes a big difference to how they work. Each one is an enigma. There are six billion people whom we need to discover. We are now in the same position as the scientists of the last century, discovering the different elements and molecules of the natural world. So there is no need to feel lost or aimless. There is a wonderful adventure before us."

On Joseph Campbell


Joseph Campbell's The Masks of God have been a constant companion to me for more than 25 years, while his The Hero with a Thousand Faces outlines the common journey of the archetypal hero across a wealth of ancient myths from around the world. Now a short animation from TED Ed presents a synthesis of Campbell’s foundational framework for the eleven stages of the hero’s quest - from the call to adventure to the crisis to the moment of return and transformation.

On Books

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Above and beyond the many unread volumes in our library, there are many other books that I'd still like to read, given sufficient life and leisure, including the following:

On Stars...and On Us

The nitrogen in our DNA, the calcium in our teeth, the iron in our blood, the carbon in our apple pies were made in the interiors of collapsing stars. We are made of starstuff - Carl Sagan, Cosmos

While the saying “we are stardust” seems poetic but vague, it is literally true. The atoms of our bodies were created in the cores of stars billions of years ago.