All posts in random

Jad Abumrad | Gut Churn Of Creativity

jad bumrad radiolab

Reflective storytelling and analysing the ‘crappy queasy space’ in the journey of finding your true voice.

This week I attended a talk by Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad at the Warren Miller Performing Arts Center, Big Sky, Montana.

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.

With a splendid assortment of delectable stories and experiences to quote, from napkin sketches of radio shows story structures through to Ira Glass’s gap, Jad also shared his own three big lessons:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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).

Analog Blogging | Capturing Legacy

Analog Desk

Presenting the the analog memory desk open for a myriad of uses.

Imagine the above and it’s uses:

  • at the back of a classroom for students to record each days activities
  • during meetings of a project development cycle
  • as a visitor book in a museum or gallery or restaurant
  • during an event for participants to share their interactinos
  • as a ongoing dialogue of ideas in a companies cafeteria

Each option can be digitalised (or not) and held as a journey record of the project and its oh so important process / legacy.

Love that the plans are available to make under an open Creative Commons license:

analog desk blueprints

What else can it be used for?

Linklove to This Is Colossal

Five Canvases To Create Businesses | Tools To Explore

Make love to the canvas.

A canvas is a tool which can help you to create businesses, social enterprises, communication plans plus deconstruct opportunities and intentions:

Business Model Canvas

Business Model Canvas

“The Business Model Canvas, is a strategic management and entrepreneurial tool. It allows you to describe, design, challenge, invent, and pivot your business model.”

Download ‘Business Model Canvas’ PDF

Value Proposition Canvas

The Value Proposition Canvas

“The Value Proposition Canvas makes explicit how you are creating value for your customers. It helps you to design products and services your customers want.”

Download ‘Value Proposition Canvas’ PDF.

Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas is a 1 Page business model for a faster, more effective way to communicate your business model with internal and external stakeholders.

Download ‘Lean Canvas’ PDF

Social Really Lean Canvas

The Social Really Lean Canvas

Devised by David Clearwater, Acceleration Director at Akina Foundation for social enterprises (with inspiration from the Download ‘Social Lean Canvas, obviously).

The Social Really Lean Canvas’ JPG.

Javelin Experiment Board Canvas

Javelin Experiement Board

The Experiment Board is free for you to use and make money from as an entrepreneur, consultant, teacher, or executive.

You pay via a tweet or just search online and you’ll find it.

ADDENDUM (27.4.15): Awesomely Simple Digital Questions

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)).


Hungry for more? Check out diytoolkit.org resources for a canvas on pretty much everything you can think of.

Am I missing anything?

Narrative Podcasting | Learning Out Loud

different podcast types

Learning. Unlearning. Relearning.

I produced my first podcast nearly a decade ago. I went on to create over 150 more plus taught hundreds / thousands of others how to do it themselves via my social media courses / masterclasses.

Over the New Year break I spent some time unlearning what I know from this Alex Blumberg “Power Your Podcast with Storytelling” Creative Live course. Once you acclimatise to the nervous teaching style (sorry), there’s some fantastic gems for those who are new to this narrative style via Alex’s huge pedigree in this space (award-winning reporter and producer for This American Life and co-host of NPR’s Planet Money plus his new Startup podcast series).

As I’m highly kinaesthetic in my learning style I’ve been doing to learn.

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:

  1. 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;
  2. 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;
  3. 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.

Podcast music credit: Toivo161 via freesound.org
Thanks to @foomandoonian for suggesting the ‘group’ type.

WYSDEM | Big Wisdom Thinking For Businesses & Organisations

wysdem.com

Designing a system for wisdom.

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.

*this is non-spiritual / religious project.

Want to get involved, stay informed, be inspired? Sign up for updates.

Related posts / talks / thinking: DIKUW Content Model | Big Wisdom, Humanising Wisdom | An Exploratory Presentation and Hatching A Better World | HATCH14

Current / Future Projects | Shifting Priorities

changed priorities ahead

Prioritising projects.

Taking inspiration from a recent conversation with Derek Sivers (and his ‘now’ post), here are six things I’m focussed on currently and in the near future:

  1. Advising / Speaking

    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.

    Sadly, the speaking market in New Zealand is extremely small and frugal hence the return trip to North America early 2015 where I already have several gigs lined up.

    This is how I pay the rent.

  2. Wysdem

    An idea being now born into a project which I’ve spoken about and written about before. More to follow next week.

  3. Social Media Automated Strategy Creator

    Currently in alpha testing mode, this little idea is nearly ready to share with the world (if you want to become a beta tester holler in the comments or ping through a message).

    It’s the manifestation of a simple and ongoing idea of extending peoples’ thinking beyond seeing social media as just a marketing platform.

  4. COMPLETED—check it out.

  5. TEDxWellington

    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).

  6. Real Life Has More Bandwidth

    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).

  7. 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?

Image credit

Connecting | Makers, Design, Technology

elon musk innovating quote

Two fast-paced, highly-edited and short-form-doco style films exploring trends in interaction and experience design.

“Failure is an option here. If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough.”
Elon Musk

Connecting Series is a collaboration between Microsoft Design and Bassett & Partners. The following films have a monstrous amount of sweeping statements, provocative questions and leading thoughts, although do provide an insight into the amount of innovative happening out there:

When everyone is a maker, new possibilities emerge, but with them come new responsibilities about digital transparency, cultural awareness, and the role of the designer.

When digital and physical worlds become one, new behaviors become possible, enabling connected humans with a collective capacity to change the world.


For me, these two films hint at the wider ideas of play, collaboration, experimention, failure, mashups etc—what do you think?

Flickr image credit via jurvetson

North America Visit | Looking For Adventure

Eckhart Tolle life is an adventure quote

Open to advisory / speaking gigs, peppermint-tea-meets, creative trouble-making etc

Current itinerary:

  • Weds 24th Sept—Vancouver : session with IBI Group
  • Fri 26th—Portland : potential session with DOWA
  • Tues 30th—Bozeman : attending #Hatch11
  • Sunday 5th Oct—San Francisco : downtime and catchups
  • Weds 8th Oct—Wellington

Life is an adventure, it’s not a package tour.
Eckhart Tolle

Anyone?

Image credit