A thoughtful, inquisitive, slightly off the beaten path weekly newsletter. Covers a very eclectic mix of topics, often having to do with sociotechnical transformations, but also cities, systems, hybrids, the environment, history, scifi, design, and many other ideas that matter. Each issue features the essential quotes and insights for five or six articles, as well as diverse quick takes.
“It’s like a Warren Ellis, Azeem Azhar,
Ben Thompson mashup.”
Sentiers subscribers are designers, consultants, writers, agency creatives, futurists, students, professors, independents, and free thinkers. Some work at companies you probably know but more importantly, they are all curious and passionate about many things, and eager to better understand the world. Join us!
Hi, I’m Patrick Tanguay
An obsessively curious synthesist, and curator of knowledge and ideas here at Sentiers. I’m also a Thought Partner for leaders & organizations.
A Thought Partner is someone who, through a practice of researching, reading, learning, asking questions, and writing, helps partners in developing their ideas, knowledge, and thinking.
My MO is to read all the time and get obsessed with certain topics. I’m on my fourth or fifth career, and for each I was self-taught, learning everything I could until I became the person who’s “generally in the know about stuff,” resulting in jobs and client work. I even led a publication about learning for three years. Sentiers and the concept of Thought Partnership is how I reconcile these habits and the endless knowledge found online; sharing with anyone through the newsletter and for specific needs when collaborating with clients.
Previously I was a web developer for 15 plus years, co-founded the first coworking space in Montréal, Station C, and co-initiated the critically acclaimed print magazine The Alpine Review. Over the years I also helped start a number of groups bringing people and ideas together: The Awesome Foundation Montréal, Webcamp, Creative Mornings Montréal, and Hacks/Hackers Montréal. Back in the day I was caretaker of the oldest and longest running blogger meetup, Yulblog (we still meet a couple of times a year).
Paying subscribers get two more dispatches a month, and more as membership scales (see below). Depending on inspiration and opportunities, those extra emails will be a mix of longform articles from myself and collaborators, interviews, and special issues each focused on one topic. And of course, you’re helping keep the weekly thriving.
With this membership, you help finance longer form content and more research, the variety and frequency will grow as membership does. The next stages will be: making the extra dispatches a weekly occurence; then a quarterly zine-ish compilation; and eventually a yearly, potentially printed year in review. As things progress, the details will be hammered out with the input of members, and Founding members will be able to peek in, influence more readily, and are helping to accelerate the project. You can subscribe now, extra content starts going out in October. (All prices USD.)
By now you might have gathered that I read a lot, connect ideas, and like curating knowledge and sharing it with people. I publish the newsletters above but also collaborate more closely with partners, targeting some topics more specific to their fields but also through discussion, exchange and writing, bringing new insights to their work and accelerating their thinking. I call that process Thought Partnership. (Read a bit more on the concept.)
“Nice, but why do I need this?”
Fact one (nothing new but true nonetheless): Organizations and individuals need to be constantly learning and adapting to shifting landscapes and technologies. Businesses are often stuck in sectorial information silos. Innovation think tanks and consulting groups provide a limited view on the vast possibilities of transformational knowledge. To get out of that rut you need new ideas and access to what’s happening “on the edge” as well as in other fields.
Fact two: Organizations—focused on the day to day and execution as they are—rarely have the time for the kind of discovery and learning essential to relevance and competitiveness. In other words, most companies can’t find the time to discover the things they need to change and stand out.
If you want everything in your career and company to be instantly strategic, tactical, or productive, these collaborations are probably not for you. However, if you realize that the two statements above are true, if you believe that curiosity, broad interests, transdisciplinary connections, insights, and an open mind are the best ways to feed your brain and find new ideas. Then we should definitely talk.
Or use Calendly to book a quick call.
Here are some ways we can collaborate:
Once a month you and I have a chat about what you’ve been thinking about (or things you read in Sentiers) for 30-40 minutes, I then send you some more things to read, watch, and listen to. You can see it as having your own learning and curiosity coach to broaden your thinking.
After an initial discussion where you decide the kinds of topics you want to read about, I start sending a monthly briefing with your own custom “Sentiersesque” recommendations. This is not an industry briefing! It’s meant to be transdisciplinarian, broad spectrum, and to provoke thinking and discussions.
Custom Tailored Partnership
A lot of my work happens through customized projects. Things like one-off reports, research deep dives, participation in offsites, brainstorms, workshops, studios, quick half-day “tell me everything you know about this” documents, writing articles, or developing and leading publications. If you want to accelerate your thinking, or connect knowledge, ideas and people, we should talk.