So it has happened. Wayfare is officially FLDWRK (pronounced Fieldwork). We had a party to announce the new name and loved having so many people celebrate with us in both the Fullerton and Costa Mesa spaces. Thank you to all who came!
Now that the name is out there, we’d like to give you some info about why we chose the name FLDWRK. So let’s jump right in.
The Wayfare Journey
We originally chose the name Wayfare because it means the act of journeying and provisions for the journey. We believe everyone is on a journey, and our goal was (and still is) to provide people the provisions they need to do their best work – work for the world’s best future. While changing our name wasn’t something we initially wanted to do, as we’ve gone through the process of this name change, we’ve reflected on the reasons that we started this journey in the first place.
When we first started out on this endeavor to help support people in world-changing work, we didn’t exactly know what it would look like, but we knew that it was a journey we wanted to take. Over the last couple of years, while engaging with our community, we’ve gained more clarity about their unique experiences and what we can offer in order to best serve them.
We’ve found that you can get to know about something by reading and theorizing about it, and this is good in a lot of ways. However, the most effective way to learn about something is by directly observing it and immersing yourself in it as much as possible. As we’ve immersed ourselves in the world of coworking, startups, and social enterprises we’ve gotten to know so many people within various fields of work and in our community that are doing amazing things. In getting to know them, we’ve gained more of an understanding about how we can support them.
As a community we want to meet real needs of real people, experiencing real challenges, and we want to partner with them out in the world. In our startup programs we talk about one of the key things that can make or break any endeavor. This key is knowing the needs of the people who will use your product, program, or service. The only way you can truly do this is through interacting with them. In short, you do fieldwork.
Why we chose the name FLDWRK (Fieldwork)
There are a few reasons why chose the name FLDWRK.
It is Anthropological
Fieldwork is an anthropological term that means the act of gaining practical experience and knowledge through firsthand observation. It means gathering data, interviewing people, and having interactions with them in the field. It nods to adventure and being out in the world engaging with people.
It is Outwardly Focused
We want to get to know people and their experiences. We encourage members in our [startup programs] and [spaces} to do this as well–be immersed, observe, and interview people as a means to get to know what they experience and identify the true root of the problems they encounter. It is only then that we can create solutions, implement them effectively, and serve others well. We want to be a community of people who does work that meets the real needs of real people, experiencing real challenges. We want to partner with them in creating solutions where they live, where they work, and where they experience the joys and challenges of life.
It is Invitational
Additionally, everyone, no matter who they are, is engaged in a field of work. It could be in the medical field, the field of art, the field of education, the non-profit field, the mission field, the tech field, the field of finance, and on and on. You get the idea.
We’re believers that no matter where you are, or what you do for work, when you use the gifts, talents, and unique experiences you have to bring about the world’s best future, you are a creator. Therefore, in your field of work, and in your life, you can have influence and can use it to pursue the common good.
It is Agricultural
When we think of a literal field or garden, we think of planting something, nurturing it, and providing the conditions necessary to allow it to grow. In gardening, there are times when the gardener plant seeds, waters them, feeds them, tills the soil, cultivates the land, prunes when necessary, and, in time, harvests the fruit. There are also times when fields and garden beds are allowed to lie fallow and rest so that they may be reenergized and bring forth more life. It requires patience to see the results of what you are growing.
In a metaphorical sense, these are all important parts of stepping into world-changing work as well. When you are starting something new or working hard, it is often easy to get caught up in the day to day operations and lose sight of the bigger picture. It is easy to get frustrated when things aren’t growing as quickly as we might like, or when there are conditions that come our way that aren’t ideal. But this agricultural nod reminds us of the work that is necessary and the patience that is required to see lasting impact.
We want to be a community of patient gardeners, not frantic salespeople. We don’t want to churn out fly-by-night success stories, but instead want to contribute toward a cultural shift where work is viewed as an act of creating goodness and beauty, where the most simple acts of creating can be viewed alongside the biggest agents of change and are valued as contributions to a collective whole.
Why is FLDWRK spelled without vowels?
We’ve chosen to spell FLDWRK without vowels because it speaks to the process of divergence and convergence. Of taking things apart and then putting them back together in a new way. Spelling the name without vowels makes people take a second look and see something in a new way. The spelling and branding is meant to be a visual representation that communicates our desire to deconstruct the traditional ways work is done and to leave room to form a new way – a new culture of work that is other oriented.
It is also obviously missing something which reminds us that the work is never complete. Pursuing the common good requires continuous effort and is an ongoing endeavor. We should always be willing to evaluate if the work we are doing is serving the purpose for which it was intended. We need to be open to adding new elements or taking them away as needs and circumstances change.
FLDWRK resonates with us all in different ways. It reminds us that we need to be amongst people interacting with them and discovering what work would truly be beneficial for them. It invites people to be creators of goodness in any field of work. It inspires the cultivation of an environment where things can grow and bear healthy fruit. Whatever way it resonates with you, we invite you to be a part of it. The work is ongoing, so let’s do FLDWRK together.