For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #2 | Wood Block Carving, Intimation & Family Secrets

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

Even if you don’t carve Japanese wood blocks for printing, this is a delightful experience. Softly delivered with barrels of enthusiastic knowledge regarding one persons learning journey. A 30mins piece-to-camera with very little deviation (I only counted one cut), no script, just chapters of a thread regarding a teacher and their impact on an eager student with a wonderful piece towards the end of the manifest artistry alluded to throughout the video.

One of my favourite shorts. Dripping in suggestive narratives and tenderly framed, the sparse dialogue focuses attention whilst the actions conveys the emotional depth of the situation. Subtle and monumental all in one.

An example of how oratory can be performative. Complimented by musical overtones plus amplified through a slick and calculated delivery, an illustration of the power of humanising lived and generational experiences.


All offered up to inspire, teach and make you smile / think.

Check out all the ‘For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories’ posts.

Image credit.
Published

#39 March 2022 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Several things (which I tweeted) for your eyes and ears plus brain to spend time on.

READ

March 1st is St Davids Day / Dydd Gwyl Dewi, did you celebrate in an appropriate way?

Just 15 companies are responsible for three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand (and there’s no strategy to tackle this).

The boss of games platform Steam explains why NFTs are banned.

Got any little humans? Check out this child-friendly explainer on the Ukraine / Russia situation.

Read about Facebook’s African digital sweatshops.

A write-up on a NFT event here in New Zealand.

If you use Tik Tok you might want to read this.

Life would be very good without’ is the response from leaders in Europe when parent company of Instagram and Facebook threatened to shut down it’s operation in said continent.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Play around with some happy, jumpy birds.

Driving around cities in the world whilst listening to local radio stations.

I Love PDF is where you can ‘merge, split, compress, convert, rotate, unlock and watermark PDFs with just a few clicks.’

An analysis and visualization tool to help readers better understand space situational awareness (SSA) data, with a focus on particularly interesting on-orbit activities, Satellite Dashboard.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
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For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories #1 | Death, Poetry & Puppets

A few chosen narrative examples, to uncover forms, inspire the soul and stir the creative spirits.

The closing talk of the 2015 event flaws me every time (was lucky to experience it in real-time at TEDActive). A challenging topic delivered with poise and flowing humility, weaved around a set of lived experience and humanising adventures of those at the end of their life. A gentle approach with surprisingly uplifting insights.

A stunning mash-up of words from Rilke, real-life footage and animation, over-layed with wonderful sound design to form a mix which entices and arrests. A revealing vignette of our current climate state with also a poetic call to action for involvement along with creating a poignant sense of hope. Marvelous.

Captivating. Hilarious. An emotional ride of a story. Delivered with an array of pacing and continued narrative arcs. Even though our storyteller is a puppet, recognise and track range of feelings which heightens the rhetorical journey. What an end as well where we’re all challenged by our roles as story-listeners to consider some big questions of validity, superb!


What did you learn from the above offerings?

Check out all the ‘For Those Who Want To Tell Better Stories’ posts.

Published

#38 February 2022 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Trawl through this cyber-assortments.

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How there’s a new stackable artificial leaf uses less power than lightbulb to capture 100x more carbon than other systems.

That Facebook & partners stole over $9 million from users across the Global South they preyed on specifically because they are low income (but don’t worry as you only use to stay in touch with friends and family, oh and how it’s parent company Meta might be broken up very soon).

You probably been reading about this metaverse thingy – read this: “I can’t help but wonder if these giant companies are so intent on selling us & the markets on the idea of a virtual future in order to distract us all from what they are doing to the real one.

There’s also a salient deconstruction on how bad NFT’s are (why Mozilla has recently stopped using crypto plus some graphs on how bad the energy consumption bitcoins are).

How to claim your settlement from Zoom from it’s previous illegal data privacy operations (why I don’t use it and why others don’t plus why you shouldn’t).

There’s scientists who have made a new COVID19 vaccine and it’s patent free (which it should’ve been in the first place).

About HopePunk, an antidote we all need right now.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Iconoir, one of the biggest open source libraries (no premium icons, no email sign-up, no newsletters).

Template Maker: download custom sized papercraft and packaging templates for free

Did you celebrate ‘Dydd Santes Dwynwen‘ (the Welsh version of Valentines Day).

FakeYou: Deep Fake platform to say stuff by your favorite characters.

Nitter: a great way to grab an RSS feed from a tweetmailer.

10 design principles which could save the world.

Looptap is fun although a tad addictive.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
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#37 January 2022 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Starting the year offering up a buffet of things I tweeted last month.

READ

A deconstruction of the negative things around the whole Web3 discourse.

My end-of-year-write-up on producing a unique, beautiful and independent video podcast.

Great piece about how most successful tech investments are not from the over-hyped ‘unicorns.’

WATCH

EXPLORE

These LEGO inspired home products.

A chilled web experience of walking in different cities whilst listening to local radio (which you can turn off if you wish).

THX Deep Note is good for waking up kids, scaring the birds / cats & for general awesome creative things.

Create random AI art from words and styles.

Townscaper is a procedural town building online toy.

Image credit: Visualizing the Accumulation of Human-Made Mass on Earth.
All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
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2021 Annual Review | 2022 Strategy / Guesswork

After 8,760 hours of 2021, my take on that which made me smile / think plus some ‘finger in the air’ stuff on what’s ahead.

2021 OVERVIEW

Well I’m patting myself on the back (and you should also) for making it round another orbit of the sun. Putting, the global situation of the continual pandemic, terrible institutional leadership regarding climate change, crypto capitalistic insidiousness, global elite tax avoidance which went unchallenged, silly Web3 proclamations, aside, this year has been one of exploration and action, misery and laughter, heartache and gratitude.

From moving between the different domains of my clients disciplines to some explorations of my personal creative agency, storytelling has been the thread between all the activities, along with the desire to add value to the world through collaboration. It’s been a year of internal revelations and a renewed hunger to try new things in a future which is starting to glisten with potential.

CLIENTS

To enable me to pay the rent, services were delivered to the following superb array of entities:

…plus individual speaker coaching sessions took the total to 35 clients for 2021—an honourable haul in current climes and very much appreciate deeply each and every opportunity.

In terms of what services were delivered, it comes out something like this (‘speaking’ includes talks as well as my ‘purposeful storytelling’ beginners and advanced full-and-half-day masterclasses for leadership groups):

How that equates to monies earned:

A couple of the choice highlights have been:

MC’ing the monthly online Teulo Talks whereby I get to interact plus learn from internationally renowned architectural and construction industry talent. Hearing how these leaders are exploring new computational approaches plus putting the climate crisis at the heart of their designs is wonderfully hope inducing.

Producing a three-day ‘purposeful storytelling’ learning experience with the good librarians of the Christchurch Libraries was a joy. Spending a repeated amount of time with clients is rare so it’s very much cherished when it occurs. And hearing after about the positive impact of aiding those to embrace their stories with the skills to share them makes me soul sing.

And here’s what a few folks said about me in other realms of my delivery (which makes me shift in my seat and feel odd although am trying to get better at celebrating myself more):

“I recently had DK run the ‘presenting engagingly online’ session at a virtual conference I was managing for our organization. We had many great speakers, but based on the feedback (and my opinion too!) DK’s was the highlight. The session included tangible take aways that I use daily while presenting and was fun and energetic. Coordinating the session with DK was a breeze (even with the time difference), and he tailored his approach to fit the group I was working with. Could not recommend enough!”
June Kinloch, Lead, Digital Products, The HIVE at IBI Group

“When in lockdown, at Pharmac we asked DK to deliver a zoom presentation on ‘presenting engagingly online.’ Our objective was to give staff an opportunity to connect virtually after we had all shifted to working from home and we had few opportunities for a shared experience. We used DK’s prepared session to shift from presenting in this new medium (zoom) to how we adapt generally, with shifting mediums as a metaphor for the broader pressure on all of us to adapt and change in response to our external environment. The latter part was progressed via a moderated Q&A session. Staff really enjoyed the session – both parts – and I consider DK’s role as catalyst to have been really helpful.”
Mark Woodard, Director of Corporate Services/CFO, PHARMAC NZ

“I have had the great pleasure of inviting DK to work with our team for 2 enjoyable and valuable sessions so far: an in-person (those were the days!) public speaking and storytelling workshop; and a virtual Presenting Engagingly Online session.
These were both very highly rated by our team and we’re looking forward to having DK come and share more magic with us to help us continue to hone our skills and confidence. On top of that, DK is one of the kindest, most compassionate and generous people I know. He builds an environment of trust, confidence and care, role modelling respectful feedback and gently supporting people to build confidence and strength with public speaking, storytelling and presenting. I cannot recommend DK highly enough.”
Kimberley Gilmour, People & Culture | Health & Wellbeing, Uneeq

TED

A layering of operational challenges on top of the extremely uncertain COVID situation meant the team decided to cancel TEDxWellington 2021 and I also took it as an opportune time to ‘retire’ from the license holder position plus step down from the charitable board established to oversee the endeavours. It was a very bittersweet decision for many reasons.

The above was my first pass at the ‘delegate experience’ which was a result of a few sessions with the interactions team which I was leading this year. My aim was to inspire and guide the group to craft a creative experience for the 2,000 attendees which surprised and delighted whilst tapping into the subjects explored by the speakers and also literally recording plus increasing the nature of the chosen theme of the event, which was ‘hope’ (the speakers were already chosen by this stage as well as the theme, and after the event was cancelled were ‘gifted’ over to a new license and event TEDxPipitea to continue with).

TEDxWellington was so aligned to my purpose and I gave nearly a decade of pro bono time to it. Even though it nearly broke me a few times and constricted my ability to explore paid work, what an amazing 9 years selling out every event, giving many an opportunity to speak on a TEDx stage to catapult their stories into the world and a chance for many more to volunteer on a world-class initiative (many of which have leveraged in their own personal / professional journeys). I feel blessed to have had the experience which included:

HEART

Image credit

“My heart is a beautiful mess of things, like an Hieronymus Bosch painting, full of magic and weird characters plus brilliance and terror!”

Something I tweeted

Have been taking the time to go inwards and explore spirit versus ego, values and character, trauma and healing. It’s been long overdue and I know will never be a completed exercise as my ‘bastard brain‘ still pops up and does its usual thing. But there’s an emergence state occurring as a wider range of literacy regarding my emotions are being accessed.

There remains a deep reverberating ache for companionship, and that’s okay. I have a high level of trust in this longing which sparks an odd but familiar hopefulness in me. I have bared my calon and the outcome was the opposite of what was hoped for but I am proud of me for making the it known:

CURATED / CREATED

As evident in the 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36 digital breadcrumbs offerings⁠⁠—the good stuff I tweet collected into cohesive and more snackable monthly blog posts⁠—my curiosity is still sharp and I delight in having a wide view on the world. Between those and a modest blogging offering this year I will continue to seek out a wide-ranging media diet and delight in the brilliant intersections I see in most things:

first 25 Creative Welly episodes image

This year I continued my Creative Welly activities along with my collaboration partners, and produced fourteen episodes featuring 28 bold humans (read the end of year review here). It continues to be a unique visual approach to the medium and keen to build off the wholly independently produced venture as still have a big list of people to get to.

Earlier in the year I got to making⁠—have designed and developed a working prototype focused on amplifying human connection (born out of a failed attempt at an ebook on the same topic which I’m revisiting for the new year in a different form).

After lots of cardboard cutting and glue gun fun, a friend helped with the final ‘cut file’ to get it fabricated, and over a thousand bucks later I had the chance to fit it all together and… it works!

Have pitched the concept to a couple of agencies for use in the New Year (fingers crossed).

LESSONS LEARNED

Extrapolating from the types of services plus financials more speaking opportunities will be sort along with consulting, however, I’ll be dropping the in-person MC offerings (as actually know better practitioners out there I can pass on my inquiries to).

The self-care and self-awareness values have been ignited after being in dormancy which has sparked so many cognitive and emotional reactions in me that I know it’s important. Tenderness, kindness and grace have become often cited and lens by which to navigate this crazy life.


2022 ACTION STRATEGY / THE NEXT 8,760 HOURS

We’re all grown-ups and know that planning is guessing, shallow attempts to manifest best intentions, action is key.

Throw in a layer of doing things which serve my spirit and purpose, plus creative collaborations with other impressive people, then that’s an action list I want to chase down.

My purpose remains the same:

“I’m driven to enable people find and have voice.”

via justadandak.com /about

Beyond continuing to offer my current speaking / coaching services, my desire is to give attention to projects which raise eyebrows, both individually and in collaboration with others (centered around the above purpose statement). This will manifest in the following actions (no particular order):

  • as described above regarding the prototype, been researching for about 9 months and developing out a product around augmenting gathering experiences, so intending to go live in the first quarter with a few paid service offerings and one free informational offer;
  • also in the first quarter, will launch a series of online course offerings relating to presenting online (a deeper dive from what I’ve been delivering this past year or so to many clients);
  • Creative Leadership NZ (which ran in 2017, 2018, 2019 then paused due to the pandemic) will make a return at the end of 2022 to “connect visionary humans and creatives into a community to solve contemporary challenges” and is already in development mode (venues, curating speakers, exploring partnerships);
  • Creative Welly will continue to be my pro bono project and more episodes will follow soon enough (as an aside, the “Welly” in this title does not stand for “Wellington” as most assume, read about it on the about page);
  • artistic expressions through sound, artifacts and visuals (not NFTs because they are mainly a ponzi scheme which hurts the world);
  • and finally, have an audacious moonshot documentary project brewing which is titillating the senses and aiming to close the deal this year.

Also want to throw a big hope and that is to visit the family back in Wales and then other friends in other countries during the trip. With the current state of the virus who knows, am doing my best not to miss people / places and recognise in gratitude where I am and what I have also.

As for the more personal side of things, am keen to craft a ‘theme’ for the coming year and have settled on:

Radical creativity responsibility.

Towards the end of the year I unfollowed a bunch of people and entities on Twitter / Linkedin which were constantly creating a negative response in me and it triggered the realisation that it is up to me to define my state (or at least do my best to react to the world in the positive). Integrating traumatic experiences and sad-inducing moments I will take personally and treat them like adventures to be grateful for.


So, how was your year and what guesses / actions do you have for 2022?

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Colliding Good Humans | An Intentional Place To Sit And Be

first 25 Creative Welly episodes image

Current thoughts on producing a unique, beautiful and independent video podcast.

In 1176 the then Prince of Wales, Rhys ap Gruffudd, invited a wide range of learned folks to Cardigan Castle to participate in the first ever Eisteddfod⁠—Eistedd means “sit” and Fod means “be”⁠—a cultural festival with the aim of sharing and learning from each others artistic expressions.

Creative Welly‘s model is simple: bring together two souls from different disciplines whom have never met, and then through a modern-day fireside situated discussion, we uncover the person plus lessons behind the projects / initiative / companies / organisations / approaches.

The dinstinct visual concept of the final video form is all about creating intimacy for the viewer, to offer through the peripheral, the sense of being connected deeply in to the discussions (check out the latest two episodes to see what I mean if you haven’t already seen):

For the participants themselves, nearly all comment on the wonderful sense of space it offers, simply having the time to explore ideas and experiences in unhurried conversation. This is how it’s filmed:

As for the financial model of such a creative endeavour: it’s independently produced which means we rely on the generosity of David Hamilton at Flashdog Studios who hosts us (for free) and the technical talents of Jono Tucker of Empire Films who produces the video offerings (for free). I work hard on curating the participants plus make it all go live to the world via creativewelly.com (for free) as well as pay for the video / domain hosting. There is no funder or advertising involved which ensures no agendas being pushed, so in essence we lose money although we gain so much in offering the world a totally original way to ‘sit’ and ‘be’ (as a viewer or participant).

After twenty-five episodes I can honestly say the whole experience has been vastly fulfilling. After finishing up nearly ten years of producing TEDxWellington (and its subsequent activities / events), this is now my pro-bono offering to the community in which I am part of.

Through the platform, relationships have been formed. Community has been created. Awareness has been sewn. Collaborations have begun.

The adventure continues in 2022!

And to the fifty superb humans: thank you for being part of this story by being open to participate in sharing yours…

Published

#36 December 2021 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Spend some time rambling through these digital assortments which I tweeted this month.

READ

It is currently possible to drive a mid-size electric car 1.8 million kilometres using the same energy it takes to mine one single Bitcoin.

We see crypto as a mob of misguided fools repeating the ecological disaster of Easter Island on a global scale for the sole purpose of selling man-child themed Neopets.

Ethical beauty brand co-founder shows courage by quitting Facebook which potentially means losing £10m.

Damn, investor calls for criminal charges and prison for Facebook execs.

Exploring the scary evidence which suggests social media is causing real damage to adolescents (especially teen girls).

A proposal in Scotland to ensure all new homes to be built to Passivhaus standard.

Satellites discover huge amounts of undeclared methane emissions.

Just 15 companies are responsible for three quarters of greenhouse gas emissions in New Zealand.

UN announces plan to adopt Welsh approach on Future Generations legislation.

WATCH

EXPLORE

This website which presents a new icebreaker question every time you refresh.

Only works as a Chrome plugin but this online app helps you save time by automating repetitive tasks in your own browser or in the cloud.

A wonderful online tool where what you write triggers accompanying art.

DevTunesFM includes 18 stations and around 8k tracks to play in the background whilst you’re working.

Chosic is a fantastic resource to find royalty free music for your creative projects.

Excalidraw is a collaborative whiteboard / diagram maker which is fricking ace.

Unmodified complete collection of Mac Wallpapers (although will work on other laptops).

OUIGO Lets Play is a great online pinball game.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
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An Audio Accompaniment For Your Trip To Mars | Create22

Three chilled audio offerings to add to the playlist when experiencing a cheeky getaway to the cosmic colonies:

Pre solarboost – 1m23s – First Audio Recording of Sounds on Mars – create22 – justadandak.com
Peri solarboost & chapters of interstitial space – Sounds of Perseverance Mars Rover Driving – Sol 16 – chapters of interstitial space – create22 – justadandak.com
Post solarboost & positioning to land – 2m30s – NASA’s Ingenuity Mars Helicopter in Flight – create22 – justadandak.com

All remixed with actual sounds from Mars via NASA plus an audio-Easter-egg cleaned-up snippet of Orson Welles from 1938 Radio Station’s ‘Attack By Mars’ Panics Thousands clip via a little help with AudioDeNoise.

Image credit (clipped): Orson Welles: The Mercury Theatre On the Air (1938).

Create22: a creation for which the only reason to exist is due to the creative act itself.

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Nature x Humanity | A Lesson In Adaptive Architecture

Radical material varietals which replace the current extractive system, buildings that react in bio-sensitive ways, and cities which heal our planet.

“The documentary debuts at a critical juncture when the anthropomass—the mass produced by humans—has exceeded that of the living biomass on our planet.”

Neri Oxman is an impressive human.

I watched her give her Design at the intersection of technology and biology TED talk whilst attending TEDActive in 2015 and we connected virtually shortly after. Ever since I’ve been trying to bring her out to this fair land to either speak at TEDxWellington or Creative Leadership NZ (however, diaries never aligned).

She is the founder of The Mediated Matter Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology plus originator of Material Ecology: exploring / teaching at the intersection of technology, biology and sustainable design. The above is a retrospective of sorts relating to her work and an invitation to explore what is being done beyond ones own level of literacy.

I watched the short documentary hanging on by my cognitive-fingernails, as the conceptual and material potential shared realigned with something precious which has been lost of late when speaking to local leaders and industry professionals about their approach to city planning / building / construction industry practices, and that is, hope.

There is a vast amount of latent possibilities in the projects explored: whether it be 3D printing optically aligned glass with a molten calligraphy pen for high-efficiency solar-energy capture, adaptable bio-based structural materials with programmed decomposition, co-designing with silk-worms to inform future architectural forms and processes, synthesising pigments to enhance structures with their embodied properties, plus building autonomously at large-scale for urban settings; one ends the viewing experience seriously considering either retraining into this emerging field or at least supporting the best way one can to allow it to shape future discussions plus positively rebalance the world back to bio-equanimity*.

It’s all about making nature your / our client.

Thank you, Neri!

*my work as MC and podcast producer for the wonderful teulo.co platform is playing some small part in this.
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