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.
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
It was a storytelling masterclass with layers of different media from sound to text to animation to video (tapping into the VARK model of learning), all orchestrated by Jad as he weaved our attention deeply around the forms created.
The talk was a personal reflection on Jad’s own grappling journey with finding ‘his voice’ and the hunt for authenticity, ensuring you are true in your own self is so important as you’re often:
…forced to sit in the emptiness to face the authenticity.
In radio / podcasting, here’s his description of where the power lay:
…it’s like being with people whilst being by yourself…
And the ultimate goal in the act of producing is an attempt to:
…create an emptiness which is so much bigger than you.
Chasing the antelope: storytellers are like shamen as they lull an audience into a collective dream state. And just like the shamen, it’s not just asking the questions but living it, chasing it down, just like Scott Carrier;
Chase the little shit: a lesson from a filmmaker friend regarding the cognitive effect of how paying attention to the smallest of details reframes a story to have massive impact;
Follow the odds: how talking to poker player Annie Duke led to understanding how 25% odds are a great bet. Like the time Jad did a radio piece on how many colours we see in a rainbow compared to other animals. Hard to do in the medium of sound. So they converted the the colours of rainbow to sound which led to Jad assembling and conducting a choir in this radio piece.
Here’s an older and much condensed version (not as multi-layered, polished and doesn’t have a lot of the above) presented at a 99u conference:
Thanks Jad and gutted you’re too busy to explore a trip out to NZ to speak—let me know if you change your mind.
If you’re reading this Jad, would love to know what setup you were using (in terms of hard/software).
ADDENDUM (27.4.15): Awesomely Simple Digital Questions
Not exactly a business canvas, more a triage of awesome digital focussed questions which will give your institution / organisation a shot in the arm to rethink / reimagine your approach via Helge Tenno (download here)).
Offered here with permission from Dennis Hodges (the interviewee) is my first attempt at narrative style podcasting:
Here’s what I learned:
have the story in mind before you start: sometimes other stories come out during an interview although having a story you want at least enables you to come out with something solid;
focus on one thing: you’ll hear from the outcome that I focussed on just the politicians eyes work. There was lots of other stuff we talked about which was equally as interesting, just this was something that was very different;
you have to be ruthless: we spoke for over 30mins and I got it down to just over 4mins which was hard work cutting out good stuff;
getting the interviewee to record their audio doesn’t always work: Dennis has a lot of audio hiss in the background which I tried for ages to clean up. Getting interviewees to record a sample in the future will help a lot (my audio could do with a rounder feel to it as well for which I’ll use my new mic in the future);
editing takes forever: seriously, ages!
I’m relearning the medium and upping my game for wysdem.com, and during my research I’ve noticed four types of podcasts:
Soloing / Group—just one person or a group sharing ideas / insights / observations. Sometimes scripted, sometimes loose in its form. Sparse editing is employed and it’s the main model used by most video podcasters / vodcasters / vloggers as well;
Interviews—simple one-to-one question and answer sessions. Medium investment in editing to ensure tidiness and the focus is very much on the interviewee and their offerings;
Narrative—heavily edited and crafted. Emphasis is on the storytelling and clarity of theme / subject matter.
Each have their place although the latter is gaining more traction although it’s obviously the hardest to do well with it’s focus on crafting something the listener consumes as a cognitive or emotional journey.
So feel free to critique and offer ideas / guidance on the above.
It’s a first offering and an attempt to ‘learn out loud’ so approach with kindness which I’m sure you will. Thanks in advance.
My long-overdue moonshot project which has been brewing for the past 2/3 years is set for launch early 2015.
Still crafting the copy although here’s the current draft:
WYSDEM—big wisdom thinking for businesses, organisations & other systems.
Whether it be education, business, startups, governments, food production, economics, organisations, cities, online etc the delicious and driving question is, can wisdom be designed in?*
This project will explore and research the subject of humanising wisdom into our lives, our work, our designs, our businesses, our organisations, our leadership, our world. Featuring curated content, insightful provocations and crafted audio narratives, it will be a conversation. An approach of learning out loud, and being vulnerable.
An idea, manifesting in a voice, hopeful for an horizon to become clear.
I mentor / coach one-to-one clients and throw together longer consulting services, for example, guiding a national sport association exploring the world of social, being part of a larger mentoring team for the UK arts and cultural sector, plus individually tutoring a social media manager for a major university explore sustainable strategies / practices.
As the license holder / curator for NZ’s capital TEDx event, discussions have already started for next years offering. The highlights from this years review is that we sold out in under three hours, had 12 amazing talks / performances and entertained 400 curious souls in person (and 1,500 online during the stream).
A side project which crowdsources stuff you could never get online. Like hugs (and don’t send me this—close, but still not a hug, although what a lovely project).
Sci-fi Trilogy Novel / Graphic Novel
For the past few years I’ve been sharing with a few folks the plot to a sci-fi trilogy I once dreamed. Have never written any long-form fiction before although feeling buoyed by the initial responses with those I’ve shared it with.
If anyone has any thoughts or guidance on the above let us know. Let me know what you’re working on as well?