TEDxOverlake Reflections And Thoughts

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The TEDxOverlake was everything a TEDx event should be : inspiring, challenging, personal, educational, awakening…

Here’s the experience summed up in a glorious Twitter technicolour :

#tedxol over – brain melted – soul ignited – heart overflowing… thanks to all involved!less than a minute ago via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply

I was invited to attend as a back-up speaker (never got on stage as everyone turned up), but the ones who left a permanent mark in my head / heart from the great lineup were :

  • Merilee Wilmore—how even without a traditional education you can have something to teach and share. Provided a great question around what is more important : what you know or who you are?;
  • August de los Reyes—stated that everything we design is alive. There were other gems plus the fantastic quote at the end of this blog post;
  • Christian Long—provocative and engaging. Reminding us all to ‘fall in love an go’ and how failure is a way forward;
  • Susan Scott—wicked thoughts along the lines of ‘leadership is not a title but a behaviour’ plus how radical optimism and transparency would transform organisations;
  • Krissy Moehl—honest, heartfelt, triumphant (in her achievements of ultra-trail running);
  • Alex Kummert—was fortunate enough to share a giggle with Alex over lunch, then he gets on stage and blows my sides off with stories of how comedy has taught him valuable and life-long lessons;
  • Dr. Gary R. Gruber —calling upon seven decades of learning Dr Gruber was a perfect final speaker, leaving us with a wonderful challenge to ‘pay attention to the sacredness of human beings’.

Many thanks again to Greg, Ryan and Megham for hosting / organising the fantastic event (plus the other wonderful backstage peeps).

“The future is a race between education and catastrophe.”
H.G. Wells

UPDATE: All videos are now live

Starting A New Job | Focus, Worries & Excitement

By | opinion, think | 2 Comments

The video above shows what happens when 5,000 residents of Grand Rapids, Michigan collaborate on proving to the outside world their city is not dying.

It also sums up the outcome I will be trying to achieve with my my new job as Social Media Manager for CORE Ed in Christchurch, New Zealand : a collective adoption and support of a shared goal (in this case, social media use).

How I do this will form part of many future blog posts.

Now I haven’t had a *proper job in over seven years so there are a couple of things I’m worried about :

  1. having a boss—my new one is pretty awesome and we already have a great relationship but it’s still going to be odd to have a line of authority above me (luckily the culture at CORE Ed is very autonomous so I don’t think it will be too much of an issue);
  2. office politics—never been good at this and just not a fan. Luckily the New Zealand attitude is very straight and to the point so again thinking this will be another one to be aware of but not worry too much about;
  3. what to wear—seriously, what do I wear? There is no dress code so I might explore wearing the same set of clothes like my minimalist crush Nina Yau did. What do you suggest I wear for this?

Coupled with the concerns are things I’m really excited about :

  • inspiring change—this is why I get up in the morning;
  • being part of a community—one thing you miss when you work for yourself is that sense of place. Really looking forward to embracing this side of package;
  • theory to practice (on a large scale)—with over 100 employees internally plus all their partners and affiliates etc this will be a big challenge. I can’t wait!

Most importantly I can’t wait to be creative and explore building on the skills already in house to fashion and progress the organisations goals.

*Haven’t had a proper job as been running my own businesses (Phatgnat and MediaSnackers).

My Stand-Up Desk

By | opinion, random | 2 Comments

stand up desk

Inspired by other standup desks seen on the interwebs. Simply took my unused computer table and shoved an old IKEA self-assembled-free-standing-storage-type-shelves underneath. Low and behold a perfect height.

Looking forward to the next few days trying it out.

Loving this as well:

2011 Reflections

By | insights, opinion | 2 Comments


Instead of listing things to focus on like previous years (I’ve already done this over on the to-dopage anyway), time to embrace the reason we’re here :

“Let us not look back in anger, nor forward in fear, but around in awareness.”
James Thurber

It doesn’t matter that it’s a new year or that we’ve achieved / failed things in the past one, what is of importance is:

This moment.
So, be happy.

Related posts : 2010 & 2009

Zen And The Art Of Punching

By | insights, opinion, think | No Comments


Punching is an art.

A physical expression of control and movement. An inward exploration of channeled aggression.

Here’s the three biggest things I’ve learned from strapping my hands in the past couple of years:

  • reduce the form, increase the function : once you have the basic biomechanics of a punch down the aim is to concentrate the movement to its barest elements whilst intensifying the impact;
  • learn, unlearn, relearn : it’s essential to adopt the constant ‘amateur state of mind’, relearning everything you know again and again as you deconstruct your actions and hone new patterns of motion;
  • cultivate balance : a left jab starts with a solid right heel, a right cross begins with the pivoting left foot, sounds counter-intuitive, but all part of the karmic order of punching.

If you’re a puncher what have you learned?

Image credit and related post: Paradox Punch

iPad Keynote Remote : A Proposal : Part 1

By | insights, opinion | 49 Comments

ipad keynote app

So here’s the pitch:

“I will put up £500 of my own money (and invite others to donate also) in an attempt to find someone to develop a bluetooth app/clicker/remote for specific use with the iPad and Keynote app.”

I’m after two things:

  • *iPhone / iPad whizz-kid / developers who fancy a challenge, PLUS
  • other speakers who also have this issue and want to pool some money together to make this a more attractive proposition to be made

*By the way, it doesn’t have to be an iPhone app, just something that works as a clicker with iPad / Keynote over bluetooth AND the solution needs to be done without jailbreaking any device. Why? Well, much of my living is made through speaking at conferences and other events. My weapons of choice :

  • MacBook Pro / Keynote—to make my presentations (and me) look slick
  • Motorola SLVR / Salling Clicker—used in combination to provide a bluetooth clicker and connection because:
    • the infra-red clicker you get with the Mac has insufficient range for someone like me who wanders the stage when talking (as I don’t do lecterns or scripts) plus anyone in the audience could use theirs to forward my slides
    • sometimes the audio / video setup is at the side or back of the stage / venue and therefore the bluetooth connection between the Mac and SLVR gives a range / stability the infra-red could never offer

During my recent stateside trip I bought an iPad (it is glorious btw) but it has one HUGE flaw, its lack of capacity for using any type of remote for the Keynote app (and it’s not just me asking for this pretty obvious piece of functionality). If the missing piece could be found then speakers all over the world could rock up with this fantastic piece of kit and plug and play.

I’ve already laid out the case for the use of bluetooth and not just the existing wifi connection (especially as some venues I speak at don’t have wifi) and I know bluetooth pairing can be achieved between iPhone and iPad as the 2Screens iPhone app plus the 2Screens iPad app demonstrates this.Plus Apple also allows bluetooth pairing with it’s wireless keyboard—maybe some clever peeps could ‘hitch a ride’ using this same ‘profile’?

There’s also a call (in other discussions online) for the iPad screen to support speakers notes, this is neither a priority or concern of mine as don’t use a script, therefore, not something which is needed under this brief.

If you’re interested in either tackling this problem or pledging some money towards finding a solution then leave a comment.

Batman vs Superman

By | opinion, smile | 5 Comments

Superman and BatMan Team up at C2E2 2012

My butty thinks Batman is better than Superman—I think they’re wrong…

Even though Batman is well cool, got the better gadgets (because he hasn’t got any real powers), the funkier costume, the more charismatic villians to defeat… however, after all said and done he’s just a man in a bat costume.

Maybe that makes him all the more incredible although I’m not convinced.

Superman by his very nature is super. Has an array of special powers, is the man of steel, from another planet (literally) and can fly (not just glide).

I know, I should get out more—what do you think?