The South American Tipuana or Tipu tree, with its striking yellow flowers, is prominent on the streets of Johannesburg, South Africa, where I grew up. Its distinctive one-seeded fruit has a large wing that causes it to spin like a helicopter blade, as it drifts away from the tree. The seeds can travel quite a distance. As a child, I gathered the fallen seeds and flung them back up into the air to see how far they would fly. In the Northeastern US, where I live now, the smaller but similarly shaped maple seeds remind me of that time. For me, the name Wingseed connects the different phases of my life and my career, across the globe. Wingseed is about connection, fertility and creativity – spreading and seeding ideas, helping them grow and bear fruit. Wingseed works withfoundations, nonprofits and individuals to creatively connect ideas and people and resources. Together, we bring about transformation – in the stories we tell about ourselves and others, in how we see the world, and how we relate to one another.
"Brett is that rare combination of scholar and practitioner, steeped in the research on using arts, culture and story-telling for social change while at the same time effectively applying this knowledge in the field to empower advocates and shift power."
-Stephen Duncombe, Professor of Media and Culture, Gallatin School of Individualized Study, NYU