I grew up in the United States and Northern Ireland, studied in Scotland, worked professionally in the United States, United Kingdom and the Netherlands, and now live between Egypt and the United Kingdom. In London I teach about creativity, design, innovation and transformation and occasionally run a Meet-up group called ‘the new enlightenment’ via GlobalNet21. In Luxor I am piloting a project to do with social enterprise, local empowerment, tribal wisdom and the role that creativity and design can play in catalysing the wellbeing of a small community. I am also an RSA Fellow, a Freeman of the City of London, a Reiki Master and an architect of books, buildings and new philosophical realities. I do more than a little globetrotting for speaking and teaching engagements.
The origins of the name ‘Best’ are from the days of the Medieval Courts where the troubadours – lyric poets – were granted great freedom of speech. They were charged with spreading stories of chivalry and courtly love, and acting out news of far off lands and historical events – since it was long before the invention of theatres and newspapers.
Troubaire (langue d’oc): to compose, to discuss, to invent
Troubadours were trained artists who lovingly crafted their words to please and woo the listeners. Compositions were formulaic in their inclusion of metaphysics and intelligence, metaphor and symbol. What a poem appeared to be about on the surface was rarely the only meaning available.
During the Crusades, the troubadour tradition led to a new and unprecedented interest in beautiful objects, elegant manners, poetry, music and literature. Eleanor of Aquitaine was the matriarch and worldwide patron of the troubadours and their ‘courts of love’.
Today, courts of love and stories of inspiration and beauty are needed more than ever. I believe that the wisdom of love, compassion and wellbeing is the most valuable asset we can share with each other. It is especially important in light of the world we live in, the challenges we face, and the systemic rethink taking place all around us. We need to put beauty and balance back into our systems.
The other origin of the name is… Beste (French): beast or ‘brutal person’…..