When I first reflected on quests, I thought about the hero’s journey and how to visually represent that. The hero’s journey felt limiting since there are a variety of quests. I decided to illustrate a map to represent exploration with an end goal, a magnifying glass to symbolize seeking, and a question mark to incorporate an aspect of asking.
I participated in a design session for the next evolution of Creative Quest when the founder thanked us because he found it challenging to ask for help. That interaction reminded me that I meant to have more collaborators for Alpha Projects but have done most projects alone due to logistics.
I then had a wild idea—what if I created “Alpha Quests” for the remaining letters? I put feelers out for the concept in our WhatsApp group and Nikki’s enthusiasm was enough to get me going.
I considered the hero’s journey as a framework to guide volunteers through creating their own Alpha Project. That framework felt forced so I researched other forms of quests which were mostly associated with video games (kill, gather, escort, etc.). Those didn't feel like the right way to engage volunteers either.
After over-researching and overthinking, I quickly drafted a Google Doc outlining what I would be responsible for and what volunteers would do.
To spark ideas and demonstrate the range of possibilities, I listed the types of projects I’d done so far.
A = Alpha, launched project and Notion site
B = Beta, redid website outside of Notion (with my partner’s help!)
C = Community, co-launched a community called Identity Lab
D = Delight, made delightful Venn DIEagrams
E = Emotion, tracked + color-coded emotions + made into playlist w/ album art
F = Friendship, prototyped a friendship connections generating no-code app
G = Game, designed a board game called Flock
H = Home, created Postcards from Home
I = Identity, crafted a GIF-powered fashion mood board
J = Jam, jammed on a jam about jam
K = Kindness, hacked a scheduled self-compassion challenge on Slack
L = Liminal, facilitated a career ‘rites of passage’ workshop for job seekers
M = Memory, drafted and delivered MEMOries to reconnect
N = Narrative, wrote and mocked up a book blurb
O = Oops, celebrated mistakes through kintsugi
P = Play, stirred up some cafe-scented play dough
I then included a table laying out the remaining letters, ideal word options, and a sign-up column.
Inspired, but not limited, by the hero's journey, I sent volunteers a "call to adventure" message to kick off their projects. I have more surprises planned for them, like any good quest.
I still have a few letters up for grabs and am hoping more volunteers will adopt the remaining letters (except maybe Z since it would be nice for me to have the last word 😉).
I’ve been giddy wondering about where the volunteers might take their projects. How would the format work for them? What will they learn in the process? I’m humbled that anyone considered contributing at all.
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