Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Did you say WWOOF?

No, this is not a post about puppies. The topic at hand, however, may be just as wonderful. WWOOF, or Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms, is an organization that connects volunteers with farmers around the world. Essentially, the network works as a way for visitors to receive free housing, food, and knowledge about sustainable farming practices in exchange for about 4 to 6 hours of daily labor. WWOOFing has become extremely popular among those who want a unique travel experience. WWOOF farms can be found in over 90 countries, and is certainly an example of a creative way to connect people to new ways of traveling and expanding knowledge through experience.

Image result for wwoof

The founder of WWOOF is Susan Coppard, who came upon the idea for the enterprise while hoping for an opportunity to experience rural living. She said, "It started in 1971 when, as a London secretary, I thought up the idea as a way of getting back into the countryside." She wanted to do so in a way that was affordable and meaningful - not to mention with good company. After getting volunteers to work with her in a farm for one weekend, more farms and more helpers began to show desire to participate in the program, which has now expanded to some of the most far-reaching places in the world.

In 1962, as individuals began to study the types of motivation that come with creativity, it was found that people may be more creative if they were more intrinsically motivated to complete a task (Crutchfield). This is something that would certainly apply to Coppard, as she began her organization purely for the purpose of allowing others to participate in the Organic movement and experience the joy she did from being able to escape to the countryside. What has kept her going for all of these years, she says, is that she understands how important the work that is being completed is. By allowing people all over the world to share their way of life and the ways that they are caring for the planet, ideas can spread and come to fruition in the places that need it the most. She spoke about the success of the organization when she recalled, "We realized we had joined a very important wider movement which had immense power to transform the world." This inner desire to promote positive change is truly what has allowed her creativity to stay fresh and develop the movement on a global scale. Coppard is one of the clearest and most inspiring examples of an intrinsically motivated creative.



Collins, M. A., & Amabile, T. M. (1999). Motivation and creativity. In Robert J. Sternberg (Ed.) Handbook of Creativity.New York: Cambridge University Press.

Crutchfield, R.S. (1962). Conformity and creative thinking. 

1 comment:

  1. I think that this is an incredible idea! I would love to be a part of this someday. Susan Coppard seems so intrinsically motivated and it really shows in the work that she does. The idea of the project itself is far from something that is extrinsically motivated. The idea is also very creative because it combines two separate needs (the need of visitors for food and shelter and the need of farmers for labor) to produce something that is mutually beneficial. It's a win-win situation!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.