All posts in insights

Minimalism: A Documentary | Challenge Consumerism, Live Intentionally

Love people, use things—the opposite never works.

On Saturday, 23 October 2010, I posted the first blog entry to my Declutter100 project, an attempt to take one hundred hours to explore minimalism.

Nearly two months later, a comment from a chap named ‘Josh (one half of the minimalists)’ started a conversation which transitioned into a friendship (including the other one as well).

The Minimalists have forged a movement and rallying cry towards a simpler and fuller life through their writings, talks and wonderful storytelling.

Last night I watched their documentary (finally, sorry guys) and was reminded again about how living intentionally, without forced consumption and expectations of ownership, increases the richness of the moment plus amplifies the essential experiences of human relationships:

How might your life be better with less? MINIMALISM: A DOCUMENTARY ABOUT THE IMPORTANT THINGS examines the many flavors of minimalism by taking the audience inside the lives of minimalists from all walks of life—families, entrepreneurs, architects, artists, journalists, scientists, and even a former Wall Street broker—all of whom are striving to live a meaningful life with less.

Watch the film although be prepared to have it question your habits, ideas of success and consumerist lifestyle.

Well done Ryan and Josh for this great achievement and thanks for doing what you do.

Speaking About Speaking | KiwiBank Internal Knowledge Cafe

HUGE thanks to Michelle and KiwiBank for filming and allowing me to share this presentation on ‘speaking with purpose.’

Twenty minutes, full of advice, sometimes contradictory and hopefully some useful.

It’s a concentration of learning from a decade of public speaking experience, what we do with our five/six week coaching course for TEDxWellington (which is where the presentation starts, after I showed the latest review video from the 2016 event) and some stuff borrowed (like an artist) from others.

What did I miss out? What do you agree / disagree with? What were the takeaways for you?

We were very privileged to have DK present to Kiwibank as part of our Knowledge Cafe series. His presentation highlighted tips and tricks for improving as a public speaker, and I was very impressed with both the presentation and his advice.

As someone that fears presenting, his tips provided easy yet elegant advice for how to overcome that fear.

I would unhesitatingly recommend DK for anyone that is looking for either a presenter, or a coach. His techniques are excellent and he is inspiring to work with.
Michelle Farrell, Knowledge Manager at KiwiBank


In the last six months I’ve been lucky enough to secure some paid coaching work around public speaking. The first was a three half day sessions for a major production studio in the capital, the second with a science communicator sharpening her delivery and confidence, plus the latest is a set of one-to-ones with senior executives and public sector officers for an important NZ-based government-led symposium early next year.

Think it may be time I updated my website to include this in my offer to the world.

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.

hatch-lone-peak-rilke-quote

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.


Thanks

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.

hatch-poem

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

Past posts / HATCHs: HATCH 2014 and HATCH 2013

hatch-drone

Twitter Roundup #5 | Curating The Curated

tasty fruit

Mouth-watering selected offerings from my tweetmailing.

Here we go:

  1. INTERESTING: @PodcastMotor is a complete podcasting production, editing & publishing service http://buff.ly/1XGHLMX -> emerging industries / Tweetmail link
  2. LISTEN to cofounder of @stanforddschool @bernie_roth sharing insights on How to Design a Life http://buff.ly/1Rl4wSR with @GAllenTC / Tweetmail link
  3. READ Belgian court orders @Facebook to stop tracking non-members (which it’s been doing for 5 years) https://t.co/onzpTX1ACg / Tweetmail link
  4. WATCH @PhilipSheppard create a musical masterpiece out of nothing at this years @C2Montreal http://buff.ly/1LkXIPL / Tweetmail link
  5. LISTEN Remembering Oliver Sacks from @Radiolab http://buff.ly/1MWs3Fs “the generosity of his curiosity” / Tweetmail link
  6. WATCH This is how to store human knowledge for eternity http://buff.ly/1OnkAmk via @BBC_Future -> one for @JasonSilva to riff off ;-) / Tweetmail link
  7. WATCH @jerrycolonna’s ‘Disappearing into the Fire:Surviving the #Startup Life’ http://buff.ly/1Nju7hn / Tweetmail link
  8. WATCH the last talk at this years @TEDTalks event by BJ Miller from @zenhospice http://buff.ly/1LECWel / Tweetmail link
  9. WATCH people react to being called beautiful http://buff.ly/1SylA8o -> so lovely / Tweetmail link
  10. WATCH The Story of Buckminster Fuller & the Union Tank Car Dome http://buff.ly/1NyGQuT / Tweetmail link
  11. WATCH another great offering from @TheeNerdwriter -> deconstructing @neilhimself’s Sandman: What Dreams Cost http://buff.ly/1NTBypt / Tweetmail link
  12. / Tweetmail link
  13. FREE from @nypl (thanks) 180,000 out-of-copyright photos, maps, letters etc http://buff.ly/1PTgp2r -> get remixing / Tweetmail link
  14. USE @fulltextrssfeed for getting around those who truncate their feeds http://buff.ly/1W26Xwd -> tweeted before but deserves another / Tweetmail link
  15. WATCH this amazing video essay from @AdamWestbrook about the struggle for art in a world obsessed with popularity https://t.co/blXMQjVD4L / Tweetmail link
  16. READ about biowearables via tattoo circuits http://buff.ly/1OIJ8GU / Tweetmail link
  17. DOWNLOAD 40,000 Works of Asian & American Art for free from @Smithsonian http://buff.ly/1OQq8DH / Tweetmail link
  18. LISTEN to @Calnewport talking about his new book ‘Deep Work’ http://buff.ly/1ORkNfW -> “focus is the new IQ” / Tweetmail link
  19. WATCH / READ 1st driverless bus trial on public roads in Netherlands http://buff.ly/1nEgvSQ / Tweetmail link
  20. DOWNLOAD 48million artworks, artefacts, books, videos & sounds from across Europe http://buff.ly/1Q0GwCk / Tweetmail link
  21. DOWNLOAD Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums http://buff.ly/1R5yvAJ / Tweetmail link
  22. WATCH ‘X-Ray Audio: The Documentary’ about bootlegging music on X-rays in USSR http://buff.ly/1Q0SX1t / Tweetmail link
  23. WATCH The Boy Behind The Burqa http://buff.ly/1RMaZox @AsifaLahore UKs first out Muslim Drag Queen @TheLostLectures / Tweetmail link
  24. READ London pigeons with tweeting pollution backpacks http://buff.ly/1pmyEoD / Tweetmail link
  25. WATCH & be inspired by Bhutan’s Prime Minister @TsheringTobgay’s http://buff.ly/1psBVDs / Tweetmail link
  26. WATCH The Next Rembrandt http://buff.ly/1Spr1EQ & marvel how science & technology can produce art / Tweetmail link
  27. READ The Wood Wide Web – trees can exchange large amounts of carbon via the their roots http://buff.ly/1WAwsH0 / Tweetmail link
  28. DOWNLOAD 67,000 Historic Maps (in High Resolution) -> thank you @davidrumseymaps http://buff.ly/1YGLSbk / Tweetmail link

Haven’t done this since November last year due to things like TEDxWellington and my new role.


Why am I doing this? Well I tweet some good stuff I find during my RSS adventures and online digital breadcrumb following, thought it be a good exercise to curate them.

Read previous Twitter Roundups posts.

Just in case you want to follow me on Twitter (or better yet, follow your dreams instead).

Image credit | CC 2.0

TEDxWellington 2016 | Trusting In Trust

TEDx experiences should be special.

The above was special. It was scary. And hopeful.

To be part of the TEDxWellington team who volunteered and put this together will remain a creative and significant high point in my life.

We started with an idea of trust which soon became a real action to be taken as more and more people (as part of building an event on this scale) had to be bought into the ‘inner circle’. Not one person let us down.

It was a year we intentionally stepped beyond our comfort zone, and:

  • sold out in 2minutes
  • tripled the amount of speakers / performer applications
  • doubled the livestream count
  • tripled the amount of volunteer applications
  • nailed something which has never been tried before with a TEDx event

Read about the other things we did in the TEDxWellington 2016 Review | The Story Of Trust blog post.

Oh and just wait till you hear what we got planned next year.

ADDENDUM 18.3.16: our little event got covered on the TEDx Innovations blog on ted.com.

Twitter Roundup #4 | Curating The Curated

tasty pep flakes

Mouth-watering selected offerings from my tweetmailing.

Here we go:

  1. Introducing the Citizen Equality Act of 2017 by @lessig : Vimeo link / Tweetmail link
  2. The British Library put 1 million images for up ‘re-use’ : Flickr link / Tweetmail link
  3. Older people reacting to 3D printing : Youtube link / Tweetmail link
  4. From US Marine to Zen Monk : Vimeo link / Tweetmail link
  5. CH25 is a showcase of creators & innovators who are working to drive the world forward : Website link / Tweetmail link
  6. Mindfulness: From the monastery to the startup : Article link / Tweetmail link
  7. Why “follow your passion” is an astonishingly bad piece of advice : YouTube link / Tweetmail link
  8. NASA posts 8400 high-res Apollo mission pics in public domain : Flickr link / Tweetmail link
  9. A zine to spark imagination : Website link / Tweetmail link
  10. 100 images for visual brainstorming : Slideshare link / Tweetmail link
  11. ‘Unicorns’ & ‘decacorns’ and the potential looming dot com bubble : Article link / Tweetmail link
  12. The Story Of Light from Bell Labs : Vimeo link / Tweetmail link

Why am I doing this? Read previous Twitter Roundups posts.

Just in case you want to follow me on Twitter (or better yet, follow your dreams instead).

Image credit | CC 2.0

Inventing Worlds In A Changing One | Creativity, Faith And Curiousity

Wisdom and insights from heavyweight creatives.

What a combination: Sir Jony Ive and J.J. Abrams interviewed by Brian Grazer. So many pearls here to chew on, digest and adopt.

The openness of Ive remembering his boss as someone who was focused on simplifying things to be beautiful, functional and good whilst championing the idea of craft and care to create superior utility. Love his highlighting the designers quest for being desperate in that care so others will sense it. Other gems include the challenge to how, when you create, you should learn from the things you worked on and the things you learned from the act itself. And finally, his sharing of how Steve Jobs taught him focus by asking: how many times have you said no today.

jony ive discerning quote

We are capable of discerning far more than we are capable of articulating.
Jony Ive

J.J. Abrams unpacks the creative process as asking the right questions along with having ferocious curiousity (something Ive also agrees with—see above). Abrams also advocates the concept of following your gut and not starting from a place of deconstructing other peoples work, rather, find a story which should exist and do that.

jj abrams creativity quote

Any act of creation is a leap of faith.
J.J. Abrams


What did you take away?

There And Back Again | Rounding The World

amelia earhart adventure quote

Delivering some kick-ass gigs whilst adventuring for AMA, BBC, Hasbro and The Friday Institute.

“When a great adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it.”Amelia Earhart

A couple of months ago I returned from a six week (felt longer) round-the-world adventure via Singapore, UK, Ireland, USA and back to NZ—an intense trip of family, reunions, love, illness, meetups, tragedy, reconnections, friendship, plus the following gigs:

Arts Marketing Association Annual Conference

Was the closing keynote for the three day Arts Marketing Association annual conference in Birmingham to 650 arts and cultural folks. Also did a panel on ’embedding digital experimentation’—good times:

Bringing the biggest AMA Conference to date to a close, DK delivered an absolute blinder of a keynote. Of course we knew he would—that's why we asked him to do this particularly important job!

Our theme was “Stay Curious” and DK urged and inspired us to think and do differently: To use social not just for marketing but to create uniting explosions of wonder; to seek not just improvement but innovation – embracing disruption, failure and risk; to consider all three ROIs (Return on Investment; Ripple of Impact & Risk of Ignoring); to adopt the number one social media strategy – comment on other people's content; to think about our audiences' audiences. DK was a total hit with our delegates and ended the conference on a real high.”
Jo Taylor, Chair of the Board for Arts Marketing Association

BBC Wales Internal Innovation Staff Lunchtime Sessions

Every month the BBC Wales innovation team sets up an internal staff lunchtime session to hear from three speakers (each getting 10 minutes to speak on their chosen topic). Was humbled to be given all three spots to share my thoughts on social media and digital innovation.

Afterwards, I got invited to be a judge on the Welsh Media Awards (specifically focussed on online):

What a thought provoking and entertaining presenter! DK delivered three superbly succinct talks for us, helping inspire staff here at BBC Wales and give them a glimpse of where we should be going on Social Media.
Robin Moore, Head of Innovation & Connected Studio, BBC Wales

Hasbro Social Media Days

Created and facilitated a two day off-site for the innovation and wider supporting team to explore developing a social media strategy for a new initiative. A mashup of design thinking and my own brand of discovery and exploration created an intense and challenging (in all the right ways) experience:

“DK crafted and facilitated a two-day off-site for a cross-departmental group of folks to explore the digital and social media opportunities / consequences of a new initiative. He steered the discussion and activities superbly, sensitive to the levels of literacies whilst igniting the latent talent in the room to a great set of outcomes.”
Phil Sage, Senior Director : Global Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations, Hasbro

North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network

Keynoter for a two day event plus did a workshop on digital curation for the North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network in Raleigh, organised by the wonderful The Friday Institute:

“DK recently spoke at an event we held in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was well received by all who attended. Prior to the event, DK spent time talking with the planning team to identify the needs of the audience to make sure that he would meet the needs of the participants. His presentation style was engaging and fast-paced and he took time to answer questions from participants afterwards. DK is a wealth of knowledge and a great presenter!”
Nancy Mangum, Digital Learning Lead, The Friday Institute


Always grateful for the opportunities to collaborate with amazing people who are passionate and good at their core.

Twitter Roundup #3 | Curating The Curated

tasty treats

Sweet treats from my tweetmailing.

Here we go:

  1. How to start a successful blog (no excuses now) : youtube link / Tweetmail link
  2. 75 Years of classic poetry readings released free by Library of Congress : website link / Tweetmail link
  3. World’s biggest data breaches (greater than 30k records) visualised : website link / Tweetmail link
  4. 100,000 free art images in high-res from the Getty Museum : website link / Tweetmail link
  5. Umberto Eco: advice to young writers (& all us creatives) : vimeo link / Tweetmail link
  6. Handheld GoPro gimbal which stabilises your shots : website link / Tweetmail link
  7. An amazing tool / app to teach stuff : website link / Tweetmail link
  8. Pocket-sized-attachable-DSLR-quality iPhone cam : website link / Tweetmail link
  9. Another reason to love Keynote, you can create motion graphics with it : website link / Tweetmail link
  10. 12,644 public domain video footage for creative use : website link / Tweetmail link

Why am I doing this? Read previous Twitter Roundups posts.

Just in case you want to follow me on Twitter (or better yet, follow your dreams instead).

Image credit | CC 2.0

Email Gating | Blocking Versus Trusting

tim ferris email gating

An email signup pop-up which appears directly above an actual email signup form on the page itself (via Four Hour Work Week blog).

Imagine this:

You head to a restaurant that a friend has told you good things about, all hungry and keen. You arrive and the place looks good. As soon as you take a step inside though someone blocks your way and asks for your postal address, with a smile. It’s explained that it’s so the restaurant can send you notices of when there’s new items on the menu or special offers. Again, said with a smile and a trusting wink accented by the promise they won’t send any spam, just good stuff.

Now you haven’t tried their food or experienced their service let alone seen a menu, would you want to eat there?

When you have your own site there’s a huge amount of control of the experience you want visitors to have and the relationships you want to build. Email newsletters are an element of that potential connection and content distribution.

Unfortunately, the growing trend in the past few years is ‘gating’ access to websites via email newsletter signup popups which block the content either as soon as you enter the site or after you scroll a little.

‘Email gating’ is slowly eroding the web and illustrates the shallow nature of the reliance on numbers to prove impact.

Some of us can still recall those intrusive popup ads in the early years of the web and how there’s a collective understanding how obtuse this strategy is (so much so we now have the blocks built into our browsers). There’s no difference for email newsletter signup popup.

If you visit a site which is email gated, there are three decisions available:

  • sign up
  • leave
  • close the popup and continue surfing

Only one of them serves the creator and unless the website owner is using a system utilising cookies to track the closing of the message so as not to serve it up again plus the website visitor is not using cookie blockers or software which cleans these out, this will happen every time someone visits the site. Every visit corroding the experience and the relationship (potential or existing).

And why do so many organisations, companies and individuals email gate?

Fear!

They are scared they aren’t relevant. Scared the market or tribe will walk away and won’t come back. Scared that quantity rules over quality. Terrified of doing this (ironically you have to sit through or click the ad off to get there).

If website owners don’t trust both their story and the ability of the visitors / tribe / users to find a simple signup form which sits in the sidebar or bottom of the page, then what other message does that convey. There is no hope. No trust. No respect.

Do the opposite.

Have more faith: in yourself, and us (as visitors).

The visitor also has a role. These tactics will only change if we the viewers of this content reach out to the creators and just ask for a little respect. Request, politely, that we now how this stuff works and if we like what you have to say we will trade. Our time or even our email address for a continued relationship.

So content creators and website makes / designers / founders, learn to tell your story and we’ll stick with you. Please stop interrupting us. Please stop making us not like you. Please help us, help you. Stop email gating.