This is what I’ve been spending the last nine months managing.
The programme website was launched mid January so the whole initiative has had about a six month stint and as the council funding year runs from July to June, we celebrated the first year this week.
In that time the initiative has:
hosted 124 events
had 3,209 curious attendees
averaged 21 events per month (our KPI is 15)
The rest of stats can be found in this handy to read and downloadable infographic:
The true excitement which is brewing is building on the momentum into year two with a mandate to explore more smart city focussed options. The programme will continue to support existing meetup groups and activities plus run masterclasses, workshops, roundtables etc, although know we have the encouragement to explore new ideas.
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
In terms of gigs in 2015, the final total was 3 keynotes, 6 other talks, 2 workshops, 4 roundtables, 2 facilitations (totalling 6 days), 18 mentor sessions, 2 consults, and 2 MC gigs (R9 Accelerator and AnimFX).
Many of the above you can read about here and here—heartfelt thanks to all the clients for the opportunity to continue to learn and hone my craft.
There were some mammoth highlights professionally in terms of my own personal development and achievements, however, the challenge was always sustaining regular gigs from my base in Wellington, NZ.
As for my online efforts, a modest offering compared to previous years:
The last in the list is a post indicating where the majority of my days will now be focussed in 2016 (the rest of my time being split amongst TEDxWellington plus a personal pledge to recommit myself to punching again).
The new job takes me away from the specific social media sector and into a broader ‘smart cities’ and ecosystem development space. The long-term goal of which is threefold:
have the City Council (who provide the funds both for the role plus operational budget), widen it’s commitment beyond the three years;
for Wellington to start to attract global interest in terms of the work we’re doing, evidenced by web traffic, enquiries and invitations to share;
make people smile and / or think.
Obviously, all of the above relies on demonstrating a causal link between the activities of the Collider programme and the more connected and effective creative, digital and tech city ecosystem. An audacious challenge, but then again, if we aren’t being audacious then what’s the point in turning up‽
Our purpose is to transform Wellington into an innovation capital and an internationally recognised Smart city by activating an effective creative, digital and technology ecosystem.
This basically means developing and delivering a series of event, activations and collaborations with existing service providers whilst also creating new opportunities as a way to fill the gaps between current operations.
Nestled in a vibrant and stimulating environment, surrounded by a kick-ass team who have collaboration as part of their DNA plus a community of ambitious residents, this is exciting opportunity to serve the city and hopefully add value in its continuing development as the creative capital of New Zealand.
The role came at a time I was considering opportunities overseas and against a growing tiredness of a decade in the social media sector. Making the decision to take the job was a commitment to the three year funded programme (success being the continuation and wider evolvement of such a venture due to its impact).
So it’s back to getting up every morning, putting on pants and going somewhere to do a job, and that feels good to me…
As explained in the last update, the main reasons I use Twitter are for:
connecting / keeping in touch with wonderful souls / minds around the planet
listening and researching ideas / stuff
distributing delicious and juicy finds from my web wanderings
The last one, which I’ve been doing for a number of years now, is also a strategy of not just distribution and adding value, but also one of recording for future reference. I save all my tweets to a dropbox text file, an online google spreadsheet plus into an evernote folder (via ifttt.com), where it can be searched any time for previous content.
Also aware that many of these goodies get missed as only tweet them out once, hence the curation.
When I first gained the TEDx license for Wellington, one of the best illustration of this great community came from the then license holder of TEDxQueenstown. Was attending their first event and commented how much I liked something they did, here was the response:
Take the idea. Make it better. Give it back.
It’s become a utility phrase for so many creative situations and always provokes a positive response.