Japanese design studio Nendo recreates the impossible world of M.C. Escher in an immersive exhibition at The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne. (All photography by Eugene Hyland)

I have gathered a posy of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.” — Michel de Montaigne

Since I started using Twitter, I have created a library of more than 25,000 articles, talks, thoughts and ideas on subjects ranging from developmental psychology, social anthropology and cognitive science to architecture, art and philosophy. It is, in the words of the French philosopher Michel de Montaigne, “a posy of other men’s flowers” with my meandering curiosity as “the thread that binds them.” The myriad connections and combinations become explicit through my work with senior executives…


Wheatfield with Crows, 1890, by Vincent van Gogh; oil on canvas, 50.5 cm x 103 cm. Courtesy of the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam / Vincent van Gogh Foundation.

It has been fashionable in recent years for business leaders to talk about the need to adopt a ‘purpose.’ And although the meaning of the word itself is seldom clarified, it is probably best described as ‘an abiding intention to achieve a long-term goal that is both meaningful and makes a positive mark on the world.’

In this first instalment of a 2-part series, I explore some of the critiques on purpose and purpose-driven leadership. I don’t aim for completeness. Far from it. But hopefully, these meandering thoughts will lead to some reflective thinking. …


The Red Roof in Quang Ngai, Vietnam, by TAA Design, is topped with a vegetable garden that also serves as place for socialization and interaction. The rooftop garden is adjacent to the courtyard on the mezzanine floor, creating a playground and vegetable garden that connects the roof to the ground floor. fresh and readily available, the vegetables from the garden can be used in meals everyday. the abundance of produce is often shared with neighboring families, with the architecture credited with generating interactions with the surrounding community. (Photograph courtesy of the architects)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: From monks to existentialists and hipsters, the search for a true self has been a centuries-long project. Should we give it up?; why numbers are a poor substitute for the richness and colour of the real world; how an epiphany of Vincent van Gogh’s sister-in-law Jo created our idea of the painter; Aristotle on fear; our most effective weapon is imagination…


Swiss studio Manuel Herz Architects has created a synagogue at Babyn Yar in Ukraine to mark the 80th anniversary of a massacre that took place during the Holocaust. Named the Babyn Yar Synagogue, the place of worship consists of two large walls that can be manually opened and closed like a pop-up book — “If we conceptualize the synagogue as a building typology in its purest essence, we can consider it as a book. During the religious service, a congregation comes together, to collectively read a book — the Siddur (the book of prayers) or the Bible. The shared reading of the book opens a world of wisdom, morals, history and anecdotes to the congregation. It is this notion that informs the design of the new Babyn Yar Synagogue.” (Photograph courtesy of Babyn Yar Holocaust Memorial Center)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: Gazing at a painting feels like an almost magical encounter with another mind but what real effects does art have on us?; why walking outdoors has the potential to unlock our brains; hope nudges us to think about means as well as ends; the devil’s advocate’s advocate; why the fall of the Roman Empire wasn’t a tragedy for civilisation; the unbearable…


Antoine de Ruffi School in Marseille, France, by TAUTEM Architecture + bmc2 architectes — “The architects have voluntarily limited the number of architectural and technical components to guarantee simplicity and longevity and to ensure easy maintenance. Built with ‘low carbon,’ light-colored concrete, between the pearl white blanc and beige of the coquina sand, the building was poured in place and without joints. The painstaking work of the ‘skin’ has produced alternating parts of coquina and smooth, mat and shiny surfaces and an interplay of light and shadow in the embrasures.” (Photographs: Luc Boegly)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: Why leaders must be both of good character and competent to achieve sustainable success; where’s the evidence that grit predicts success?; the more you know, the more vulnerable you can be to infection; why applied history matters; are we enslaved by the finer things in life?; …


Tasked to redesign the WW II memorial monument for the submarine Uredd, Haugen/Zohar Arkitekter created Uredd Rest Area, a striking rest area in Ureddplassen (which in Norwegian means a ‘fearless place’), a frequently visited site just along the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten. An idyllic place to admire Aurora Borealis in winter and the midnight sun during summer, the architects wanted to honour the area’s views of the fjords and the Norwegian ocean while satisfying the architectural quality and public service requirements of the project. (Photograph by Statens Vegvesen)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: How the belief in a ‘true self’ affects the way we behave and see the world; talking out loud to yourself is a technology for thinking; we must embrace the age-old idea of Arcadia and reform our stewardship of the earth; why read the classics?; …


Georges Batzios Architects restores a rare example of Greek brutalist architecture, designed in the 1970s by Alexandros Tombazi — According to Batzios, the overhaul was “a moral challenge.” (Photograph by Giorgos Sfakianakis)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: Asian literature can show us how to live well in troubled times; ideas about machine intelligence in both East and West still reflect some key cultural divides; we fear and yearn for ‘the singularity’ but it will probably never come; the awe before there are words; Prometheus’ toolbox; when your authenticity is an act, something’s gone wrong; the opposite of placelessness…


“After 20 years of frantic city-building, rustic China is in a death spiral. Now architects are helping to reverse the exodus — with inspirational tofu factories, rice wine distilleries and lotus tea plants,” Oliver Wainwright writes in China’s rural revolution: the architects rescuing its villages from oblivion. (Photograph: DnA’s Tofu Factory in Caizhai Village, China, is operated by a “villager union […] to engage family workshops as shareholders of this collective economic entity.” Photography by Ziling Wang)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: The fragility of the gig economy’s promise to ‘work flexibly’; imagination is a powerful tool, a sixth sense, a weapon; if your goal is to become a better person, and to help others do likewise, virtue ethics is the name of the game; Petrarch and the virtues of the quiet life; Diogenes and the difficulty for social critics; the latest must-have…


53 Units, Low-Rise Apartments, Social Housing in Saint-Nazaire, France, by the Pritzker Architecture Prize 2021 Laureates Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal — “This low-income development consists of 53 units organized in a series of three-story buildings, each with six apartments. The units include private gardens for each ground-floor residence and balconies or winter gardens on those of the upper floors. The architects’ use of transparent, retractable polycarbonate panels and insulating thermal curtains throughout the interior rooms create comfortable environments full of light that are also ecologically and economically responsible.” (Photograph by Philippe Ruault)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: Wherever you are in life, whatever your character, you are always going to be a work in progress; a moon shot model for the transformation of capitalism; according to Pritzker 2021-winners Lacaton & Vassal, “transformation is the opportunity of doing more and better with what is already existing”; the disquieting rise of the tiny home; the lost art of listening; Ovid’s…


The Hill House Box Museum, by Carmody Groarke — “Rather than incarcerate the house away from view whilst the restoration is undertaken, a more radical approach to active conservation has been taken. As an integral part of this process of conservation, which it is thought will take up to 15 years, the project places a ‘big-box’ temporary museum on the site to contain and protect [Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s] The Hill House as an ‘artefact,’ whilst also maintaining access to the house for visitors.” (Photograph by Johan Dehlin)

Reading notes is a weekly curation of my tweets. It is, as Michel de Montaigne so beautifully wrote, “a posy of other men’s flowers and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.”

In this week’s edition: How virtue ethics helps us navigate the complex and often frightening world; how do we go about finding a meaningful life, not just a happy one?; the difference between ambivalence and ambiguity; ‘aimai,’ the Japanese concept of ambiguity; what is philosophy?; …

Mark Storm

helping senior executives and leadership teams navigate complexity with wisdom & clarity of thought

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store