Once, I lived on the tarred, lonely highways of truth – slugging towards the looming horizons – the promised dwelling places for those who did not waver. The whole world was about being either right or wrong. I was either lost or found. That was many years ago though. Today, when I meet people, I recognize how utterly beyond right and wrong they are – how their lives are symphonies beyond orchestration, how their mistakes and failings are actually cosmic explorations on a scale grander and of a texture softer than our most dedicated rule-books could possibly account for. You see, something happened on my way – and I lost my coordinates, my map, my directives. Now the whole journey is the destination – and each point, each barren point, just as noble as the final dot. Every splotch of ink is become to me a fresco of wisdom, a beehive of honey, a lovely place – and every aching voice a heavenly choir. The world is no longer desolate and empty and exclusive; she is now a wispy spirit, whose fingers flirt through the wind – a million roads where only one once lay. And I need not be certain about the road travelled – since I arrived the self-same moment I set out.
“He is an “old soul” – a wise elder in a young body. Given the critical need for maturity in our world today, this makes him a major asset in birthing of a new level of consciousness that I and like-minded others are working toward. As such, Bayo comes across to me as another partner in my work, bringing about a new consciousness on this planet. He joins many people I have come to know around the world who are part of this conscious leadership movement which has been gaining momentum over recent years in tackling the challenges we face as a species. What sets this young African apart, however, is that he comes at these challenges from different generational and cultural perspectives than the majority of us.”
John Renesch (Author, The Great Growing Up / Founder of FutureShapers)
“Having read Bayo’s work, I am excited by proximity to the specific articulation emerging in his writing. Bayo writes of inter dimensional worlds of understanding, with the ease of expression of a seasoned cosmonaut. His is a rare and emerging talent in these transformational times we live. A handful of writers scale these multiple realities with the joy and triumph of words, language and expression as Bayo does. His writing speaks of a differentiated perceptive ability – one I believe will become more common and familiar as we all evolve at the breakneck acceleration I observe in us as a world community.”
Deepti Datt (Writer)
One word goes a long way to capture the restlessness of Bayo – subversion. Born in 1983 to Nigerian parents, Bayo’s lifelong quest for absolute ‘truth’ was his most cherished preoccupation as a pioneer undergraduate in the then new Covenant University, Nigeria. His Christian upbringing deeply influenced his imagination, and inspired his decision to study human behaviour and, later, to specialize in Clinical Psychology. He graduated summa cum laude in 2006, and returned to his alma mater to teach and pursue a postgraduate degree in Clinical Psychology. It was during his clinical training (at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital in Enugu, eastern Nigeria) that he chanced upon new strains of thought that completely unravelled his quest for epistemic finality. Shaken to his intellectual core, Bayo now holds a largely participatory view about the world – one in which the notion of ‘truth’ is stripped of its pretensions to universal validity. His alter-modern suspicions of ‘knowledge’, ‘development’, ‘progress’ and ‘truth’ as Eurocentric metanarratives led him (and his wife, Ej) to develop the first International Workshop on Alternative Research Paradigms and Indigenous Knowledge Promotion (WARP, 2011).
His writings and publications have taken him to multiple conferences and counter-cultural events around the world. He initiated a book project called ‘We will tell our stories: Reimagining the Social Sciences in Africa’ in 2011, and is currently publishing the book with Professors Molefi Asante (USA), Augustine Nwoye (South Africa) and Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), among other African intellectuals. Bayo is co-founder of Koru, co-designer of Dreamscape, Kalengo (a reality television concept based on community activity that never got off the ground), and the Dreamweavers’ Network (which didn’t fly either).
In 2014, Adebayo was invited to be the Coordinator/Special Envoy of the International Alliance for Localization, a project of Local Futures (USA). He temporarily left his lecturing position in Covenant University, Nigeria to help build this Alliance for a more beautiful world.
Bayo is globally recognized for his poetic, unconventional, counterintuitive, and indigenous take on global crisis, civic action and social change, and was recently enlisted as the recipient of the Global Excellence Award (Civil Society) 2014 by FutureShapers (California). He is the Initiating/Coordinating Curator for The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project) [www.emergencenetwork.org], and host of the online writing course, ‘We will dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence’. As Coordinating Curator of The Emergence Network, Bayo works with other curators like Eric Chisler (USA), Nuno Da Silva (Portugal), Alnoor Ladha (South Africa) and Annie Levin (USA) – and hopes to inspire a diffractive network of sharing – a slowing down, an ethics of entanglement, an activism of inquiry, a ‘politics of surprise’…one that does not treat the crises of our times as exterior to ‘us’ or the ‘solutions’ that conventional activism offers as discrete or separate from the problems that we seek to nullify.
Though young, he is a frequent keynote speaker and has been invited three consecutive times to be the only keynote speaker at the European Union-sponsored DEEEP/CIVICUS Summit on Building a World Citizens’ Movement. His non-linear contributions to the discourse on sustainability, the changing ontology of activism, climate change, poverty eradication and decolonization, led to the adoption of the Johannesburg Compass – in place of a Declaration, which had been earlier intended. Bayo hopes to help co-create a trans-local ‘mycelial’ sharing of wisdoms, evoke a ‘politics of surprise’, and nurture a counterintuitive ‘movement’ for a more beautiful world.
Bayo is author and editor of ‘We will tell our own story!’ with Professors Molefi Kete Asante and Augustine Nwoye, and ‘These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to my Daughter on Humanity’s Search for Home’ (in press; North Atlantic Books, 2017). Ej and Bayo are ecstatic parents of a girl, Alethea. His most fervent passions are Ej, drawing, singing, writing, designing, speaking, and travelling.
Facilitator/Host – We will dance with Mountains: Writing as a Tool for Emergence
Co-Host/Facilitator – One World in Dialogue (Global Dialogue Lab)
Board Member – Mutual Aid Network (USA)
Special Envoy – International Alliance for Localization, California, USA
Executive Director – The Emergence Network (A Post-Activist Project)
Board Member – Real Economy Lab (UK)
Lecturer – Department of Psychology, Covenant University, Canaan Land, Ota, Ogun State