HATCH 2016 | Curating People, Creating Space And Crafting Engagement

#becauseofHATCH we find purpose.

I’ve just spent four days participating in HATCH.

Located this year at Moonlight Basin, deep in the Montana Rocky Mountains, a stunning setting with an elevation (7,000 feet) which matched the magnitude of experience.


It was a delicious cacophony of hugs, conversations, hugs, challenges, hugs, inspiration, hugs, provocations, hugs, presentations, hugs, performances, hugs, exploration, hugs.

As a third time attendee, I still find it hard to describe: it’s an event of sorts, a space where mentorship and personal/professional development is rife. A tribal, enriching, challenging, fulfilling, frustrating, expressive, dangerously optimistic place. Where it fails in fluidity it excels in impact, spurned on by the vast variety of the 150 curated souls.

There were diplomats, rappers, actors, app developers, inventors, sustainability champions, musicians, students, academics, makers, scientists, marketeers, film-makers, entrepreneurs, dancers etc all openly sharing, hungry for collaboration, being present.

The long and full days are littered with immensely powerful stories offered through presentations and unique performances, workshops driving deep questions like ‘what is your intent?’ coupled with sessions to truly play and create, accompanied with relaxed evening activities and an abundance of opportunities to simply converse and connect. These layers provide a richness which resonates beyond the traditional event format to create a community of shared experience that endures.

I’ve learned over my three visits that my favourite and most important thing to do at HATCH is to listen.

There is a copious amount of legacies being built for those who take notice and new pathways being treaded lightly or with barbaric servitude (a first time for many). These are extremely talented people who are shaping their future in the open, raw, honestly and with encouragement.

HATCH is a unique place which gives permission and provides the support to start/continue/stop (depending on where you are).

We were offered a fantastic lexicon to explore around ‘intent’ and ‘purpose’, whilst also being challenged to decipher our ‘ask’ and ‘offer’ to not only those in attendance, but also to the world.

It’s a new model for mentorship based on designing a space and time to cultivate relationships, which manifests trust through shared narratives (a forgotten element in creating deep and lasting change).

And as the event continues to mature and polish it’s rougher edges, the brilliance has always been in the people curation (as it’s invite only and deliberated through the lens that is Yarrow Kraner, founder / organiser who understands magnificently that if you bring a group of fantastic souls together, you can trust in their ability to add value to each other).

What I learned

Listening is an art.

Better questions really do exist.

Curation + purpose + space + time = impact.

Be bolder and don’t shy away from your voice.

Your worth is amplified when adding value to others.


There are too many to mention although HUGE thanks to the organisers, facilitators, performers, sponsors, volunteers and all the HATCHlings who hugged me, shared their story and listened to mine.

Together, we’re hatching a new world:

The purpose of life is to be defeated by greater and greater things
To dance and love and be apart
To hug and hold those around you
Fill your soul with the life of others
Embrace your place in life through your soul
Challenging more and more tomorrow.


Deep thanks to BizDojo for contributing to the costs of this trip.

Past posts / HATCHs: HATCH 2014 and HATCH 2013


Read other HATCH posts.


  1. Wow, sounds like a beautiful experience on many levels (and my type of place considering how much hug-gage was being dished out).

    I just want to touch on the art of ‘listening’ as you focus on that as a key part of your article. I’m just in the process of reading a book written by a friend who was Chief Police Negotiator in NZ and one of his core lessons and takeaways from all his experience was that of being a great listener(empathy has a symbiotic relationship with such a skill). As Lance would say, you have one mouth, however 2 ears…!!

    Montana looks like a unreal from a nature perspective and is now most definitely on the list.

    Thank for the post.

  2. You touched on every impactful moment! This was truly an indescribable experience, and what a pleasure to share the excitement of the unknown with new friends. The sessions of play and creativity broke down so many walls for all of us. Lots of real connectiveness at HATCH, and growth. Great post DK! Hugs!

    1. Wonderful to have your voice here Julia and thanks again for your contribution and positive energy throughout the event – was great to share it with you :-)

  3. It’s almost a cliche. I go to HATCH to contribute to those in attendance and always walk away humbled by how much I’ve learned from others. One of my life’s great pleasures is being part of this tribe. Hugs, George Bradt

    1. A fantastic intention plus a superb a reversal of impact right there (although obviously your contributions / listens / insights / guidance / support are also noted and appreciated). We’re lucky tribe-folk :-)

  4. My heart is full and happy, thanks to: ” a delicious cacophony of hugs, conversations, hugs, challenges, hugs, inspiration, hugs, provocations, hugs, presentations, hugs, performances, hugs, exploration, hugs.” and “A tribal, enriching, challenging, fulfilling, frustrating, expressive, dangerously optimistic place. Where it fails in fluidity it excels in impact, spurned on by the vast variety of the 150 curated souls.” and HUGS! Couldn’t have explained it better if I tried. <3 #hatchexperience2016 #hatchhugs2016

    1. Was such a JOY meeting you this year and thanks for what you offered in energy and spirit. Thank you for leaving your thoughts and #hatchhugs has to become a hashtag for next year, surely :-)

  5. Great way to capture the essence of the HATCH Experience. As I was struggling to find the right words to honor this amazing vortex of love and abundance in the world, you very beautifully and eloquently summed it up. I continue to HATCH and grow beyond my imagination. Missing the hugs!

    1. Wow – extremely kind words and just glad it resonated with your experience as well. Was amazing to hear about your work and so happy you were there :-)

  6. I agree with the mentoring approach- in fact, the Ask & Offer seemed more than mentorship… It was (and continues to be after the event) a proactive connection of interest and value in the spirit of collaborative progress. Loved it!

    1. Thanks for highlighting on of the most important language reframes and manifest takeaways for many a folk – it certainly is a powerful tool to reshape discussions at events like these along with sharpening your own rhetoric / skills base. Thanks also for your talk which was one of the highlights for me also!

  7. DK. Beautifully written and accurately expressed. I love how you always use the word delicious and I am grateful to have explored super powers with you personally. The work can be hard but the willingness to go there can reap beautiful rewards. I love you my friend. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Heartfelt thanks to you Tanya as couldn’t have summed that element of the event better than that – was truly special seeing and reconnecting with you again. You’re my hero! x

  8. I am always challenged to bring back what I can from HATCH to my life, friends, and colleagues. My perspective of Robust vs. Resillient was challenged and changed by Ping, my concept of motion and music was enhanced by Alan and Quentin, and I got to just play…because of Phil, Mark, and David.

    I need to bring those things back to my life everyday and that is always my challenge, because of HATCH

    1. Thank you for your takeaways and read with nodding head – we’re lucky souls and I have no doubt the learnings you outlines will resonate through your work / brand / culture. Keep making fantastic liquor my friend and thank you for your continued support of this fantastic event!

  9. I was so SO happy to read this post by you (all the while channeling your Welsh accent). Having this been my first HATCH, I feel so honored and humbled to have gotten to know you and the rest of the HATCHers at Moonlight this year. I went into it with zero expectations and even less of an idea of how the four days would play out, but as every note fell into its chaotic place all I could see, hear and witness was a beautiful symphony playing on around me. I’ve never felt that much love, support, openness and, as you said, willingness to listen from people I’ve known for years, let alone absolute strangers. I was also so touched by the ability of speakers to open old wounds and expose them to us, in order to help us learn from what they had to endure. I truly believe that I made lifelong friends that are holding pieces of my soul in whatever far off land they flew off to after leaving Montana. I am so grateful to you, Yarrow and everyone else for welcoming me into the HATCH community. Currently, I am suffering severe withdrawal, shakes and all, and still in decompression mode (obviously in need of more hugs, and badly in need of stopping my impulsion to hug strangers that don’t want hugs), and I already cannot wait for HATCH 2017. Hopefully, those of us on the event setup end can make it a bit more fluid for everyone next year ;)

    1. A superb rendition of the experience right there – thank you for summarising it in your tremendous way:

      “I truly believe that I made lifelong friends that are holding pieces of my soul in whatever far off land they flew off to after leaving Montana.”

      WOW – and lets all hug a stranger today!

  10. Hatch was a fantastic experience. Yarrow Kraner’s genius (well, he has several, but for purposes of this comment…) lies in the curation of the event. Hatch brings together a host of “ambicognitive” (a word I made up at Hatch!) souls, invites them to doff their uniforms and masks, and prompts interaction through conversation, dance, play, intense listening, and hugs in a fashion that rewards vulnerability and concomitant kindness.
    My personal description of the gathering is based on my experiences with Yarrow at a host of festivals, including several Sundances and Cannes, as well as at Hatch 2006, an excellent celebration of film, music, and creativity in its own right, but, indeed, so much more. My belief is that, consciously or subconsciously, Yarrow noted that the most intriguing experiences for the participants at the early Hatch festivals occurred before, between, and after the events, in bars and restaurants and living rooms, when the artists dropped the professional personas they carried with their contributions to the gathering and interacted with others for the pure joy of it.
    Hatch 2016 encouraged participants to leave the fruits of their labors (or at least the focus on those achievements) at home and bring with them the roots of their labors. The alchemical commingling of all those creative roots, the germinated seeds of art, music, film, poetry, prose, tech, science, business, and philosophy resulted in visions of entirely new, future harvests that emboldened us all to accept the challenge to make the world a better place, and to do so through directed and immediate action. It is a rare and remarkable achievement, and I am humbled to have been both a witness to and participant in its magic. Much love to Yarrow and all the Hatchers, past and present. I look forward to living the change with you.

    1. Ha loved the use of the word “ambicognitive” :-)

      Read the rest with a smile and sighs echoing around – thank you for your contribution in terms of adding a new depth to the background of the event plus it’s uniqueness. See you soon when you next visit NZ!

  11. What an absolutely gorgeous Hatch’16 group photo — sounds like a simply life-changing experience.

  12. DK – A slight delay in responding to your very well written piece on the 2016 Big Sky HATCH experience. It captures the experience well. When people ask what the experience was like I say that it’s the most intense blend of personal and professional realism I’ve ever experienced to date in my life. I didn’t know what to expect and I found the listening part to be at times overwhelming, inspiring, humbling, and beautiful. I was taken out of my comfort zone many times and am grateful for that. Thank you to Yarrow Kraner for creating such an experience – I’m feeling fortunate. It was great meeting you as well DK and I hope to bump into you again.

    1. What a treat to have your ‘voice’ here Jenn – overwhelming is definitely something I forgot to mention although for me it’s in a good way, like when all your senses get activated and it’s hard to focus on the true signal (until you realise it all needs to be considered). Hope we get to spend time together again soon :-)

  13. Wow DK! This post is beautifully written and expressed. As always you know how to get people’s attention and get the message across. I am truly inspired by your words of wisdom and hope to apply them in my lifelong learning journeys. Thanks heaps. 

    1. Thanks Kate and I think writing the post 36 hours after the event was a great way to keep the language and essence of what I experienced to come to the fore. Appreciate the kind words :-)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *