All posts in smile

New Zealand Is Calling | Land Of The Long White Cloud & Opportunity

adventure

Come on over.

Since arriving over five years ago, Aotearoa definitely feels like home.

Due to the international audience and network I’ve been luckily enough to accumulate over the years, here’s a couple of ways to get your bums over here, live the dream and add value to this progressive little nation:

Looksee Wellington

If you’re in the tech industry then *Looksee Wellington gives you no excuse to explore opportunities in the creative capital. If you’re free 8-11 May 2017 then hurry and submit your details to the site:

“…we’re bringing 100 of the best people we can find to fill 100 great tech jobs right here in Wellington. It’ll be four days of pre-arranged job interviews, meet-ups and exploration, with all flights and accommodation paid for. At the end of the week there’ll be offers to jobs you never knew existed in a place with a lifestyle you never thought possible.”

Edmund Hillary Fellowship

*Edmund Hillary Fellowship is the brainchild and result of the good work my pals at Kiwi Connect has been doing. Be sure to check the small print though as applications can set you back $850-$3,000 if applying from overseas (although this is cheaper than other visa routes):

“Global Impact Visas (GIVs) is an innovative new visa programme that aims to give visionary entrepreneurs, investors, and startup teams a platform in New Zealand to build, incubate and support ventures with global impact potential.”

Other paths

There’s the Traditional Visa Path which can be an expensive and sometimes lengthy route. Check out the skilled migrant category as definitely the most advantageous route.

There’s a few incubators and accelerators who I’m sure are open to overseas interest like: FinTech NZ, Mahuki, R9 Accelerator to name a few.

Oh and you can always buy your way in like Thiel.

*Looksee is not exclusive to overseas folks and will be taking applications from anyone outside the Wellington region and Edmund Hillary Fellowship is also taking applicants from NZ residents also.

NetSquared Wellington Unconference | Giving Is Receiving

Participatory learning.

Originally, I intended to be a simple paid-up attendee of the NetSquared Wellington Unconference last week (Fri 10 February 2017).

Soon after registering the organiser reached out to invite me to say a few ‘inspirational’ words at the beginning. With the theme of “networking technology for social change” definitely lighting my fire it was an easy yes, however, leading three social media sessions and one on creating videos on your mobile phones sessions later, being a simple attendee was somewhat scuppered.

As with all good unconferences, the agenda is never set with the participants defining the events content. Switching mindsets early on and being open to offer as much as to take from these community focussed affairs certainly increased my enjoyment, plus the conversations provoked by the sessions definitely added to my knowledge / understanding.

Huge thanks to the organisers and sponsors of the event. Volunteering, attending and supporting such initiatives is so important in building informed communities of practice from which good things always are born.


“When I asked DK to share some insights about what he’d learned from running TEDXWellington at our community unconference, his answer was a very quick yes. His opening words really set everyone up for the day in terms of creating an atmosphere where people were willing to freely share. The well chosen stories gave people confidence to take a leap into the unknown. From there, many participants, probably two thirds, took the opportunity to join a impromptu session DK ran. It was a delight to have DK involved in our day, something I hope we are able to do again.”
Stephen Blyth, Organiser, NetSquared Wellington

Top Ten Speaking Tips | Revisited And Revised

For those who present and deliver talks often.

Seven years ago I wrote a My Top Ten Speaking Tips piece on my old company blog and thought with the impending Speaking With Purpose conference, it would provide a good time to revisit and revise.

Was very surprised how little my ideas and tactics have changed, spruced them up a little though and here they are:

    1. Finish the presentation the night before—it stays fresher in your brain than if you completed it a few weeks previous. Gives you time to add in new industry and sector developments plus it also offers the opportunity to add in references from earlier talks (if it’s more than a one day event). Most importantly though it doesn’t give you a chance to practice (GASP)…

    2. Don’t practice—a great talk is like a conversation (and no conversation goes the way you planned, no matter how many times you practice it in your head). Sure, run through it once or twice to check the timings plus transitions etc but this is more an exercise of knowing what you want to convey rather than rehearsing exactly what to say verbatim. Remember, you can practise your talk but you can never practise speaking in front of a room of strangers / your colleagues / your board etc.

    3. Don’t do lecterns—it forms a physical barrier between you and your audience. Less is definitely more in this instance and before you say, “where do I put my script?”…

    4. Never use a script—if you know your stuff you don’t need it written down. This method means: head down, losing intonation / connection with your audience / professionalism. We don’t talk the same way we write and it just doesn’t work. If you’re an organiser of any events / conferences, ban podiums and scripts. It will scare a lot away but I guarantee you’ll be left with fantastic speakers who simply know their stuff.

    5. Let your client dictate the topic not the content—I once had a very needy client who heavily dictated the content of a presentation to the point of even signing it off weeks before. It’s the ONLY time the organisers didn’t think I delivered (even though three quarters of the audience thought I was good/very good). Coincidence maybe, but experience tells me otherwise.

    6. Move—the best speakers are passionate and passion means movement. Move around the stage / floor. Move your arms, your face, your eyebrows. Communicate with your body not just your words / slides.

    7. Look at your audience—don’t pick a spot at the back of the room / hall and drift off. Sometimes this is hard if you’re speaking on a lit stage but you can still make people out. After a while you can have some fun with this: I like to pick out those yet to be convinced (you’ll spot them through body language—the ones with their arms crossed and sitting back in their seat—once you have them coming forward and sitting on the edge of their chairs and nodding their heads you know you’re onto a winner).

    8. Bullets kill people attention—people can read faster in their heads than you can read it out loud. Break each point up into a slide and use one word titles for each to direct your talk. They act as cues for the topics or a point I want to convey. The figurative underline comes from the images/video plus the story weaved around it.

    9. Fool your nerves—those damn butterflies can turn into courage-eating moths which can eat you from the inside out. Trick them. The emotional and physiological response to fear is exactly the same as when you’re excited. Tell yourself it’s not nerves but positive anticipation and after a while you will create an ingrained learned response.

    10. Enjoy it—if you don’t have fun speaking then don’t do it. There are other ways to promote yourself or spread your message.

Hope the above helps…

Open Letter To Air New Zealand | Designing For Privacy First

Would you give an airline and their partners access to all your phones images and files?

Air New Zealand has the best customer flight experience I’ve ever experienced during my global travels. I feel very lucky to live in the same country where I fly often on this superior airline.

However, at the end of last year, a recent change to their very useful little smartphone app requesting a new permission created a small but massive privacy issue for its users.

The new update requests access to all images and files on my mobile (see opposite). Why?

Well, I tweeted asking for clarification and the reason: access will give me the user an opportunity to add an avatar and / or change background images of destinations (although the app will never see anything but those images selected).

So that’s full access to a users images and files on a users phone for a little customisation.

That’s like giving your house keys to a friend who has agreed to hang a painting for you. Although in doing you have to agree they never return your keys. They state it’s ok as they only will ever go in and do what they promised. You kind of trust them although they have the keys to your home. They can share these keys at any time with other people. You won’t ever know unless you ask them.

That’s what Air NZ just did.

Of course this is probably a limitation of the software and operating system they are designing in although certainly not something to just accept without further exploration.

Lots of other tweets followed after my initial queries above which then switched over to Twitter DM discussion (which you can download and read yourself here) during which time I was given the email address of the Privacy Office to pursue further.

Here’s the questions (in bold) I posed with the airlines responses (in italic):

1. It’s been stated a couple of times that the app permission request ONLY sees the single image file used to create a new avatar not all files which is stated in the permission update. Please would you evidence this via a video or software workflow please (bearing in mind I’m not a coder or app developer).

The Air New Zealand android app does not access a user’s photos without their knowledge, and does not access a user’s gallery folder. In order for a photo to be uploaded to the Air New Zealand android app, the image must be saved locally within the app on a user’s device. The process required to save the image locally is declared by the Google Play Store as an ‘Access to photos’ permission, hence why the permission is sought during the update process.

The online team and the Privacy Office have confirmed that the image is only saved on a user’s device, and Air New Zealand has no access to user’s photos (including the image chosen by a user)

Due to the commercially sensitive nature of the information, Air New Zealand is unable to provide the position stated with a video or software workflow. We hope the detailed explanation provided by Air New Zealand in this, and your earlier correspondence suffice in covering your query.

2. In terms of future privacy, please legally confirm there is no future app development plans which will enable said app to access more than the stated one file as such action taken it would directly contravene the previously stated privacy policy (as described in previous conversation the danger here is that if users accept this permission without such assurances then it would open up future erosion of privacy without the need for future permission to be sought).

We are unable to confirm there will be no future app development, as our Privacy Policy is subject to change. Air New Zealand complies with applicable Privacy Laws, under New Zealand Privacy laws, any personal information collected by Air New Zealand can only be used for the purpose for which it was collected. Air New Zealand would therefore be required to notify customers and seek their consent if the purpose for which the Air NZ app requires access to the photos changed. Please refer to clause 13 of our Privacy Policy (below).

We will make changes to this Privacy Policy from time to time. When we make changes, we will update the Privacy Policy on our websites. We will also specify the date of the last update.

3. It was mentioned access to all information held by AirNZ could be gained although there’s no specific route for this. Would you please outline via a simple graphical workflow of how to gain this information plus the timelines involved (again, I have requested it through the means described in previous conversation and at time of writing still no response)?

The information for how to access your personal information can be found in clauses 9 and 10 of the Air New Zealand Privacy Policy found here. As per the Privacy Policy, a personal information request can be made by contacting Air New Zealand, our staff have been trained on dealing with personal information requests. Your personal information request acknowledgement should be sent to you within 20 working days as is stated in the Privacy Act. We endeavour to provide all requested information as soon as practicably possible.

We hope we have satisfied your query by providing an explanation of the process and timeframes. We are unable to provide a workflow on this process as we have referred you to our Privacy Policy which is where Air New Zealand provides information on how to make a request.

I can appreciate the intellectual property nature of some of the software stuff and hesitation in illustrating what’s happening openly, however, the option still remains that at anytime the app could change it’s function and then access the files / photos as no further permission would be needed or requested from its users (as that has been agreed to). Again, a future scenario which is probably not intentional, however, with foresight this should become obvious in terms of the privacy issue it’s creating.


As an ironic aside, the above response from the airline wasn’t signed and / or named. I requested a name so I could direct my response personally but they stated: “The Privacy Office email is a shared inbox, we do not disclose the names of individuals.”


As a further aside, I requested all information that the airline has on me on 19 December 2016 although at the time of writing this blog post I have yet to receive anything.

There’s is no actual process for this. There are statements in the Privacy Policy outlining users can request this information but no specific pathway. I ended up using a general customer contact form and it’s obvious that here’s a very simple area and opportunity for the airline to improve upon.


I finally got the names of those in charge of Privacy which are the GM Governance, Risk and Compliance and the Senior Manager Data Protection (thanks public affairs office as privacy office wouldn’t share). Can imagine they are good humans and interested in responding in the comments about the above and looking forward to them doing so.

So for any Air NZ customers reading this: did you allow the app update and think about the above? Did you think about the consequences and others I haven’t thought about? Would you like the options to roll back the update if it was granted?

air nz update mistake admission

UPDATE

Just before making this blog post live today I checked the update and permission request again on my mobile.

As you can see from opposite it seems someone else also challenged them about the above in the app comments.

Furthermore, it appears the airline has admitted it was a fault plus rolled back the permission requests.

Fantastic news and a wonderful surprise.

Obviously, there’s been a great amount of energy expended on all those tweets, conversations, emails (from myself and the staff at Air NZ) not to mention the crafting of this blog post, however, it’s so important to keep asking these types of questions related to personal privacy of companies with whom are requesting more and more data from us.

At the time of posting no-one has gotten back in touch with me personally to cite this mistake and reversal of requested permissions.

*all of the above related to using Android.

UPDATE 19.2.17

Had a personal email response from the GM Governance, Risk and Compliance, apologetic as to the delay in the airline sending through my requested data (it’s now two months since the original request). Someone else from the Privacy Office then got in touch requesting lots of data already held by them via my Koru membership. They also requested I email them a scanned copy of an ID or mail it.

The above citation for extra information is not anywhere online or explained as a process which a user has to go through. The data the airline already holds is enough to qualify the request.

Obviously, I welcome any instances where clarification of identity is needed to combat fraud, however, actions which undermine personal privacy should always be refused. I responded stating this and also offering two solutions: the first to show my ID to any of their colleagues when I fly for validation and then for that person to send an email or call any person to qualify it, or to take a phone call to answer any personal identifiable information held by them.

Still waiting on a response.

Am hoping also my pro bono offer of assisting them in the human centred design approach of them reimagining their current data request process will be taken up. Truly keen to assist in making this airline a fully rounded excellent company.


Also received the following response from Senior Manager – External Communications | Group Communications:

“Thank you for getting in touch with your queries around the photo permissions on our android app. Our developers have been working on an update to support the ‘avatar’ functionality without the need for the user to provide access to their files/photos and, as you may be aware, a new version of the android app (v 3.19) was released early this month. Installs of the updated version, or any new installs, will ensure that the user’s permissions will be updated and it will no longer request access to their files/photos.

Please be assured despite the relatively broad permissions with respect to photos on the app previously it was never our intention to collect any personal information from the files or photos on our customer’s phones and we certainly didn’t do so.

We take privacy very seriously and privacy is designed into all of our systems that collect, process or store our customers’ personal information.”

Good to have the reversal of the app design and it’s questionable permission requests validated.

Would be great to know if the decision was due to internal work on road mapping and realising it’s impact or users asking questions like myself and others via Twitter / app comments / other avenues (or maybe a bit of both)? Would also question if this case has created a new thinking about feeding back to those who have raised points which are now resolved (as again, I didn’t get any personal responses but found out of the changes after my own research)?

Don’t want to diminish the decision here, more keen to celebrate the impact of procedures which are at work here.

Brands struggle with these things. Of reversing decisions. Of getting things wrong.

We should celebrate the new decisions and actions which rectify mistakes. Show gratitude and humanise the instances (and encourage similar language from people representing the organisations). Because every company, no matter how large or small, are built and moulded by infallible and glorious humans.

Well done Air NZ for fixing an error in their app design. Looking forward to seeing the same rigour and simplicity applied to the personal data information request.


UPDATE 21.2.17

Got confirmed with a phone call I am who I am so hopefully the personal data request will be put through and all information received in due course.


UPDATE 22.2.17

Got my personal data via email from the privacy office. Lots to wade through although there’s nothing about app use.

Therefore, am wondering is there no way of knowing what data the airline is gathering through the mobile app from users OR maybe that data is not held by the airline and they don’t have to share it as part of the Privacy Policy?

2016 Darkens | 2017 Lightens

So here’s to another year to learn from.

A chance to reflect and build on the kindness and compassion already shared. To understand that to leave this world better than we found it is one of the better reasons to live by.

Even though it feels like 2016 is closing out with a general feeling of unease and darkness with a lot to be scared and sad about, just remember the simple power we all have in making it a fantastically light or shitty day for someone else (and focus on the former please).


My modest efforts of blogging this year produced the following:

See you in 2017 you lovely humans!

Speaking With Purpose | Announcing A New Wellington Conference

Maya Angelou words quote

Raising the skill set of presenting / public speaking / storytelling.

Am triple excited to announce Speaking With Purpose, happening on Monday, 27th March 2017, at the fantastic Roxy Cinema:

A one day conference for those looking to increase their public speaking confidence and hungry to develop their storytelling techniques.

The event will feature inspirational keynotes plus masterclasses and workshops so attendees can broaden their professional skill set.

Inspired by my recent tenure overseeing nearly 200 events in fourteen months, there’s an opportunity to assist and develop presenters here in Wellington, the wider region and New Zealand as a whole.

Have seen so many folks stand and speak about their particular topic then struggle with the storytelling aspect of their message. Or suffer with nerves and other nuances which detract from the talk in some. Or fail to understand the importance of a well crafted slide deck in assisting their delivery.

This conference is for them.

It’s the wrong time to be announcing any kind of new initiative, let alone a medium-sized conference, however, just couldn’t keep it under wraps till the new year.

Check out the current impressive line-up who will be sharing their wisdom (more to be added soon):

swp speakers 2017

The early-bird offer along with the 25s-and-under registrations rates are currently active under a first-come-first-served scheme*:

swp prices 2017

As already mentioned, the day will include a mix of keynotes and workshops focussed on deconstructing presentation styles, understanding the psychology of what makes a good talk, exploring models of speaking, other good practice insights and delivery methodology. On top of the usual food and refreshments and networking opportunities.

*At the time of writing, over half of the early bird spots have already been registered, so please act quick.


Would truly appreciate you sharing the above announcement:

  • with team members, colleagues, friends, family members etc.;
  • via any newsletters, blogs and / or communities;
  • through your online social media networks.

Thank you and hopefully see you there,!

Collidering On | Refocussing On The Creative Purpose

Crafting creative collisions elsewhere.

Tomorrow is my last day managing Collider, a programme which is transforming the city into an internationally recognised Smart capital.

In fourteen months the project has notched up *nearly 200 events with over 5000 attendees averaging quality rating of 4.2 and above (out of 5).

An epic piece of foundational work—developed from a standing start with no precedent—focussed on raising capabilities and literacies via a plethora of tech, creative and digital seminars, talks, roundtables, meetups, masterclasses, workshops etc.

Due to managerial changes and iterations of the original aim, my personal purpose and values no longer align, so the time has come to allow someone else steer the ship for the remaining Wellington City Council funded initiative.

Huge thanks to my previously line manager, the collaborative Jessica for her guidance and steerage, the partnership of Caitlin for her tireless enthusiasm and spirit, the superb colleagues and friends, Monique, Jeff and Petreece, plus the wider BizDojo whanau (and of course all the facilitators, speakers, stakeholders, partners etc which made this a pure adventure).

Onwards…


…towards manifesting my purpose to shape more creative collisions of and for incredible humans.

Will be amplifying the curatorial nature of my skill set plus the cross-sector translatorial aspects of my talents. In the first half of 2017, that means:

  • launching a curative service of exclusive conversations whilst building micro-networks of creativity;
  • continue to produce TEDxWellington which will be the fifth and biggest TEDx event in the capital;
  • forge an offer to serve as professional development for those seeking to improve both their public speaking skills and to understand deeply the power of kick-ass storytelling;
  • attend TEDFest in NYC;
  • liaise on other smart city-wide / internationally focussed related endeavours.

The aim as ever is to make folks think and / or smile.

Add value where I can.

And forever reach beyond my grasp.

*not included are the mentor sessions created by both the Step Up programme and the InformMe (probably at least doubling the amount of ‘events’ in the final number).

Culture Hive Digital Marketing Academy | Everything Is Beta

abraham-lincoln-axe-quote

Mentoring is never linear.

For the past three years I’ve been honoured to be mentoring ‘fellows’ from the cultural sector via the the Arts Marketing Association, Digital Marketing Academy.

Fellows are invited to devise, test, develop and share digital marketing experiments with the help of a leading digital specialist as their Mentor. The experiments are developed on real audiences in order to trial and adopt good practice and achieve new ambitions and perspectives in digital marketing.

Every year, I’ve been working with three fellows and although many experiments have seen fruition, like using printed flyers to promote digital offers, connecting schools with arts and cultural organisations online and using online data to drive digital efforts, the most important learning is that everything is beta.

Ideas don’t follow a neat, linear pathway to actualisation, there are just too many factors which influence things, like resources, time, other projects, literacies, organisational culture etc. Developing pathways to action is sometimes more about understanding deeply the causalities of the hurdles and / or clearing the route rather than walking them.

The two most common challenges facing the fellows during my time as mentor is that of capacity and expectations. The first relates to simple the amount of ‘other’ in the professional portfolio the mentee is juggling. Space for reflection let alone experimentation is rare so even being part of this initiative is a fantastic opening of potential. The latter is obviously an internal, softer set of attitudes which the organisation manifests. Again, another ongoing, sometimes abrasive hinderance to the intent of the projects, which is specific and is tackled by rephrasing or positioning the efforts in a digestible and values / outcomes based manner.

Without at least attempting to address these factors then experiments rarely gain deeper traction.

Put another way, the axe needs sharpening first.

Big thanks to my mentees this year: Rachel and Ryan from the digital team at Barbican Centre plus Helga who’s heading up the marketing team at Pavilion Dance South West.