All posts in think

Crafting Creative Collisions | 100 Starts

100 Collider : cupcake view

Reflecting on activating a Smart city.

Last week we held the 100th event under my day job as manager of the city-wide activation programme Collider.

Each activation has been an opportunity to learn, explore plus move closer to a concept of how best serve the digital, creative and technological ecosystem and transform the city into a Smart capital.

This three year (Wellington City Council funded and BizDojo delivered) programme, is a bold attempt at raising the capability of a region.

As we near the end of the first year the time to reflect seems appropriate and here are some learnings:

  • variety is key—the usual sage-on-the-stage presentations is now mixed with seminars, workshops, masterclasses, roundtables, one-to-ones, mentoring etc, ensuring all tastes and learning styles are catered for. It’s also a trial of see what fits and sticks, plus what formats can be morphed and realigned with others;
  • reframing was important—originally, many were describing the piece of work as an umbrella although the quick reframe as a scaffold (supporting existing good projects and initiatives whilst filling in the gaps to create a broad foundation) made it more accessible. It was also gentler as there’s a huge amount of good work in the city and moving forward with humility has been crucial;
  • trying is better than not—as you can read from some of the highlighted choices in this blog post review, there’s been some fun goes at changing the offer. Merging disciplines and styles is always a step into the unknown although excited we had the opportunity to try;
  • capacity is the biggest issue—a four-day-a-week (which is what I negotiated before I start to ensure I can still produce the most creative TEDx event in the world), does not leave a lot of time other than nailing KPI’s (which we are with a little added on top). Reflection is still needed although the accepted transition into a more quality-versus-quantity mode has ignited the creative possibilities;
  • hidden impact—the softer side of running an activation programme is in the connections made, the conversations had, the thoughts sparked, the ideas inspired etc. The stuff incredibly hard to monitor or track, however, can be found in the stories shared back and the side chats had. It’s the fabric which builds communities of practice and the stuff which amplifies opportunities.

Here’s the next 100 and year two with an emphasis on audacious activations which make the world take notice.

bizdojo collider logo

Twitter Roundup #5 | Curating The Curated

tasty fruit

Mouth-watering selected offerings from my tweetmailing.

Here we go:

  1. INTERESTING: @PodcastMotor is a complete podcasting production, editing & publishing service http://buff.ly/1XGHLMX -> emerging industries / Tweetmail link
  2. LISTEN to cofounder of @stanforddschool @bernie_roth sharing insights on How to Design a Life http://buff.ly/1Rl4wSR with @GAllenTC / Tweetmail link
  3. READ Belgian court orders @Facebook to stop tracking non-members (which it’s been doing for 5 years) https://t.co/onzpTX1ACg / Tweetmail link
  4. WATCH @PhilipSheppard create a musical masterpiece out of nothing at this years @C2Montreal http://buff.ly/1LkXIPL / Tweetmail link
  5. LISTEN Remembering Oliver Sacks from @Radiolab http://buff.ly/1MWs3Fs “the generosity of his curiosity” / Tweetmail link
  6. WATCH This is how to store human knowledge for eternity http://buff.ly/1OnkAmk via @BBC_Future -> one for @JasonSilva to riff off ;-) / Tweetmail link
  7. WATCH @jerrycolonna’s ‘Disappearing into the Fire:Surviving the #Startup Life’ http://buff.ly/1Nju7hn / Tweetmail link
  8. WATCH the last talk at this years @TEDTalks event by BJ Miller from @zenhospice http://buff.ly/1LECWel / Tweetmail link
  9. WATCH people react to being called beautiful http://buff.ly/1SylA8o -> so lovely / Tweetmail link
  10. WATCH The Story of Buckminster Fuller & the Union Tank Car Dome http://buff.ly/1NyGQuT / Tweetmail link
  11. WATCH another great offering from @TheeNerdwriter -> deconstructing @neilhimself’s Sandman: What Dreams Cost http://buff.ly/1NTBypt / Tweetmail link
  12. / Tweetmail link
  13. FREE from @nypl (thanks) 180,000 out-of-copyright photos, maps, letters etc http://buff.ly/1PTgp2r -> get remixing / Tweetmail link
  14. USE @fulltextrssfeed for getting around those who truncate their feeds http://buff.ly/1W26Xwd -> tweeted before but deserves another / Tweetmail link
  15. WATCH this amazing video essay from @AdamWestbrook about the struggle for art in a world obsessed with popularity https://t.co/blXMQjVD4L / Tweetmail link
  16. READ about biowearables via tattoo circuits http://buff.ly/1OIJ8GU / Tweetmail link
  17. DOWNLOAD 40,000 Works of Asian & American Art for free from @Smithsonian http://buff.ly/1OQq8DH / Tweetmail link
  18. LISTEN to @Calnewport talking about his new book ‘Deep Work’ http://buff.ly/1ORkNfW -> “focus is the new IQ” / Tweetmail link
  19. WATCH / READ 1st driverless bus trial on public roads in Netherlands http://buff.ly/1nEgvSQ / Tweetmail link
  20. DOWNLOAD 48million artworks, artefacts, books, videos & sounds from across Europe http://buff.ly/1Q0GwCk / Tweetmail link
  21. DOWNLOAD Free Coloring Books from World-Class Libraries & Museums http://buff.ly/1R5yvAJ / Tweetmail link
  22. WATCH ‘X-Ray Audio: The Documentary’ about bootlegging music on X-rays in USSR http://buff.ly/1Q0SX1t / Tweetmail link
  23. WATCH The Boy Behind The Burqa http://buff.ly/1RMaZox @AsifaLahore UKs first out Muslim Drag Queen @TheLostLectures / Tweetmail link
  24. READ London pigeons with tweeting pollution backpacks http://buff.ly/1pmyEoD / Tweetmail link
  25. WATCH & be inspired by Bhutan’s Prime Minister @TsheringTobgay’s http://buff.ly/1psBVDs / Tweetmail link
  26. WATCH The Next Rembrandt http://buff.ly/1Spr1EQ & marvel how science & technology can produce art / Tweetmail link
  27. READ The Wood Wide Web – trees can exchange large amounts of carbon via the their roots http://buff.ly/1WAwsH0 / Tweetmail link
  28. DOWNLOAD 67,000 Historic Maps (in High Resolution) -> thank you @davidrumseymaps http://buff.ly/1YGLSbk / Tweetmail link

Haven’t done this since November last year due to things like TEDxWellington and my new role.


Why am I doing this? Well I tweet some good stuff I find during my RSS adventures and online digital breadcrumb following, thought it be a good exercise to curate them.

Read previous Twitter Roundups posts.

Just in case you want to follow me on Twitter (or better yet, follow your dreams instead).

Image credit | CC 2.0

TEDxWellington 2016 | Trusting In Trust

TEDx experiences should be special.

The above was special. It was scary. And hopeful.

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

Read about the other things we did in the TEDxWellington 2016 Review | The Story Of Trust blog post.

Oh and just wait till you hear what we got planned next year.

ADDENDUM 18.3.16: our little event got covered on the TEDx Innovations blog on ted.com.

2015 Review | Taking Stock, Switching Paths, Future Gazing

Recapping the year and welcoming the future.

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:

  1. have the City Council (who provide the funds both for the role plus operational budget), widen it’s commitment beyond the three years;
  2. 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;
  3. 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‽

Come at me 2016!

Activating An Ecosystem | Collisions, Connections, Collaborations

bizdojo collider logo

Changing tracks and prototyping a smart city programme.

I’m two months into a new role as Activation Manager for BizDojo, the largest co-working space in Australasia.

The post is funded by Wellington City Council and focuses on a programme called Collider:

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…

Twitter Roundup #4 | Curating The Curated

tasty pep flakes

Mouth-watering selected offerings from my tweetmailing.

Here we go:

  1. Introducing the Citizen Equality Act of 2017 by @lessig : Vimeo link / Tweetmail link
  2. The British Library put 1 million images for up ‘re-use’ : Flickr link / Tweetmail link
  3. Older people reacting to 3D printing : Youtube link / Tweetmail link
  4. From US Marine to Zen Monk : Vimeo link / Tweetmail link
  5. CH25 is a showcase of creators & innovators who are working to drive the world forward : Website link / Tweetmail link
  6. Mindfulness: From the monastery to the startup : Article link / Tweetmail link
  7. Why “follow your passion” is an astonishingly bad piece of advice : YouTube link / Tweetmail link
  8. NASA posts 8400 high-res Apollo mission pics in public domain : Flickr link / Tweetmail link
  9. A zine to spark imagination : Website link / Tweetmail link
  10. 100 images for visual brainstorming : Slideshare link / Tweetmail link
  11. ‘Unicorns’ & ‘decacorns’ and the potential looming dot com bubble : Article link / Tweetmail link
  12. The Story Of Light from Bell Labs : Vimeo link / Tweetmail link

Why am I doing this? Read previous Twitter Roundups posts.

Just in case you want to follow me on Twitter (or better yet, follow your dreams instead).

Image credit | CC 2.0

Inventing Worlds In A Changing One | Creativity, Faith And Curiousity

Wisdom and insights from heavyweight creatives.

What a combination: Sir Jony Ive and J.J. Abrams interviewed by Brian Grazer. So many pearls here to chew on, digest and adopt.

The openness of Ive remembering his boss as someone who was focused on simplifying things to be beautiful, functional and good whilst championing the idea of craft and care to create superior utility. Love his highlighting the designers quest for being desperate in that care so others will sense it. Other gems include the challenge to how, when you create, you should learn from the things you worked on and the things you learned from the act itself. And finally, his sharing of how Steve Jobs taught him focus by asking: how many times have you said no today.

jony ive discerning quote

We are capable of discerning far more than we are capable of articulating.
Jony Ive

J.J. Abrams unpacks the creative process as asking the right questions along with having ferocious curiousity (something Ive also agrees with—see above). Abrams also advocates the concept of following your gut and not starting from a place of deconstructing other peoples work, rather, find a story which should exist and do that.

jj abrams creativity quote

Any act of creation is a leap of faith.
J.J. Abrams


What did you take away?

There And Back Again | Rounding The World

amelia earhart adventure quote

Delivering some kick-ass gigs whilst adventuring for AMA, BBC, Hasbro and The Friday Institute.

“When a great adventure is offered, you don’t refuse it.”Amelia Earhart

A couple of months ago I returned from a six week (felt longer) round-the-world adventure via Singapore, UK, Ireland, USA and back to NZ—an intense trip of family, reunions, love, illness, meetups, tragedy, reconnections, friendship, plus the following gigs:

Arts Marketing Association Annual Conference

Was the closing keynote for the three day Arts Marketing Association annual conference in Birmingham to 650 arts and cultural folks. Also did a panel on ’embedding digital experimentation’—good times:

Bringing the biggest AMA Conference to date to a close, DK delivered an absolute blinder of a keynote. Of course we knew he would—that's why we asked him to do this particularly important job!

Our theme was “Stay Curious” and DK urged and inspired us to think and do differently: To use social not just for marketing but to create uniting explosions of wonder; to seek not just improvement but innovation – embracing disruption, failure and risk; to consider all three ROIs (Return on Investment; Ripple of Impact & Risk of Ignoring); to adopt the number one social media strategy – comment on other people's content; to think about our audiences' audiences. DK was a total hit with our delegates and ended the conference on a real high.”
Jo Taylor, Chair of the Board for Arts Marketing Association

BBC Wales Internal Innovation Staff Lunchtime Sessions

Every month the BBC Wales innovation team sets up an internal staff lunchtime session to hear from three speakers (each getting 10 minutes to speak on their chosen topic). Was humbled to be given all three spots to share my thoughts on social media and digital innovation.

Afterwards, I got invited to be a judge on the Welsh Media Awards (specifically focussed on online):

What a thought provoking and entertaining presenter! DK delivered three superbly succinct talks for us, helping inspire staff here at BBC Wales and give them a glimpse of where we should be going on Social Media.
Robin Moore, Head of Innovation & Connected Studio, BBC Wales

Hasbro Social Media Days

Created and facilitated a two day off-site for the innovation and wider supporting team to explore developing a social media strategy for a new initiative. A mashup of design thinking and my own brand of discovery and exploration created an intense and challenging (in all the right ways) experience:

“DK crafted and facilitated a two-day off-site for a cross-departmental group of folks to explore the digital and social media opportunities / consequences of a new initiative. He steered the discussion and activities superbly, sensitive to the levels of literacies whilst igniting the latent talent in the room to a great set of outcomes.”
Phil Sage, Senior Director : Global Product Acquisition & Inventor Relations, Hasbro

North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network

Keynoter for a two day event plus did a workshop on digital curation for the North Carolina Digital Leaders Coaching Network in Raleigh, organised by the wonderful The Friday Institute:

“DK recently spoke at an event we held in Raleigh, North Carolina where he was well received by all who attended. Prior to the event, DK spent time talking with the planning team to identify the needs of the audience to make sure that he would meet the needs of the participants. His presentation style was engaging and fast-paced and he took time to answer questions from participants afterwards. DK is a wealth of knowledge and a great presenter!”
Nancy Mangum, Digital Learning Lead, The Friday Institute


Always grateful for the opportunities to collaborate with amazing people who are passionate and good at their core.

Twitter Roundup #3 | Curating The Curated

tasty treats

Sweet treats from my tweetmailing.

Here we go:

  1. How to start a successful blog (no excuses now) : youtube link / Tweetmail link
  2. 75 Years of classic poetry readings released free by Library of Congress : website link / Tweetmail link
  3. World’s biggest data breaches (greater than 30k records) visualised : website link / Tweetmail link
  4. 100,000 free art images in high-res from the Getty Museum : website link / Tweetmail link
  5. Umberto Eco: advice to young writers (& all us creatives) : vimeo link / Tweetmail link
  6. Handheld GoPro gimbal which stabilises your shots : website link / Tweetmail link
  7. An amazing tool / app to teach stuff : website link / Tweetmail link
  8. Pocket-sized-attachable-DSLR-quality iPhone cam : website link / Tweetmail link
  9. Another reason to love Keynote, you can create motion graphics with it : website link / Tweetmail link
  10. 12,644 public domain video footage for creative use : website link / Tweetmail link

Why am I doing this? Read previous Twitter Roundups posts.

Just in case you want to follow me on Twitter (or better yet, follow your dreams instead).

Image credit | CC 2.0