All posts in insights

#4 Apr 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Time to use your digit and wander the information superhighway.

READ

A year on after the Cambridge Analytica scandal what has been learned, done, not done.

A new study from Harvard just proved that open plan offices are one of the dumbest ideas of all time.

Apparently the hippies have been right about vibrations and consciousness all this time.

WATCH

This stupendous video essay on what it is to be human within the philosophy of Blade Runner 2049, by Tom van der Linden:

A 90minutes chat between Russell Brand and Douglas Rushkoff:

Men read other men’s deepest secrets by Jubilee Media:

EXPLORE

The 35 questions from the Proust Questionnaire which Vanity Fair uses in their interviews.

Nearly 12 hours of Lo Fi Hip Hop for those who need to chill out / study / work.

An emulator for the very first web browser from 1989.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: Angry Dog

#3 Mar 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Allow your brain to wander with your clicks.

READ

Facebook moderators tell of a sad story of strict scrutiny and PTSD symptoms.

Check out these 30 startup pitch decks with some learnings from each.

Looking for feedback? Try these three questions.

WATCH

Ten Star Wars movies edited down into one super trailer by @TopherGrace & @JeffYorkes:

Listen to @stephenfry & @SamHarrisOrg chat -> two wonderful gents with minds the size of the planet & pools of empathetic insights:

Just some delightful minimal animals:

EXPLORE

A simple platform to create gifs from YouTube vids & other sources.

Here’s an easy-to-use online PDF tool for 18 things.

Over a 1000 free pixel-perfect vector icons for your next project.

A wonderful free service that lets you listen to any YouTube or Vimeo channels, playlists or videos in podcast format.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: via GapingVoid, subscribe here

#2 Feb 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Time to follow the clicks and lose yourself in good content.

READ

Want to make your brain-sphere glow, feed it music.

Researchers analysed over 1700 novels to reveal the emotional arcs of stories are dominated by six basic shapes.

Clayton Christensen shares what he’s learned from 25 years of studying innovation.

The latest from psychology about finding one’s true calling in life.

Reflecting on fifteen of Facebook and how it has changed the human condition.

WATCH

Another great and provocative Do Lecture from Duke Stump, The Beauty of Not Knowing:

Here’s Cory Doctorow and his closing keynote for The Grand Re-Opening of the Public Domain:

Spend a couple of hours geeking out with Brian Cox and Joe Rogan about cosmology:

EXPLORE

Here’s a font that increases the readers ability to remember things.

Check out The Cleveland Museum of Art Open Access collection which has over 34,000 images that can be downloaded as jpgs or high-resolution tiffs (free to use).

The delicious offerings from Alan Moores ‘Living Beautifully’ email newsletter (sign up here).

ClipMenu as an extremely versatile and essential Mac app which is always in use (a PC alternative).

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: via the fantabulous PostSecret

#1 Jan 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

A new curated monthly series of things which made me smile and think.

Sharing on…

READ

Why do so many animated films have great stories? One secret: storyboarding.

Want to be more artistic? Here are 33 rules to take you from clueless amateur to generational talent (or at least help you live life a little more creatively).

A survey of over 1,000 CEO’s uncovers 4 things every leader must do.

Download and read for free ‘The End of Trust’ from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

New research shows the average age of founders who start high-growth businesses is 45.

WATCH

Got to spend an afternoon on Douglas Rushkoff’s stoop last September during my visit to New York, and here he is wonderfully illustrating why he’s one of the most provocative commentators of our times:

John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps” since 1959 has been a rights of passage for all jazz musicians, and here’s why:

Sir Ian McKellen masterfully analysing and explaining Macbeth’s ‘Tomorrow, and tomorrow…’ speech for the Royal Shakespeare Company

EXPLORE

20,000 hours of Apollo mission audio from NASA.

The Art Institute of Chicago have made over 52,000 high resolution images available without copyright.

And finally, check out this database of paper airplanes designs / instructions.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: Under the Wave off Kanagawa (Kanagawa oki nami ura), also known as the Great Wave, from the series “Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji (Fugaku sanjurokkei)”

Creative Leadership NZ 2018 | Reflections & Insights

Building a community of creative leaders.

My little conference, Creative Leadership NZ 2018, was last week. The second year in a new venue, NZ’s new Institute of Creativity, Te Auaha:

The mission is to build a network of pioneers who share the ability to respond to change, identify opportunities and act on them to better shape our collective creative future here in New Zealand and beyond.


To continue the process of learning out loud, here’s my review:

Stats

It was another sold out event with nearly 200 leaders attending from 85 entities (most represented above – in 2017 there were 150 leaders from 70 cross-sector organisations).

One third came from outside the Wellington region (in 2017 it was only 15%) and nearly two thirds have female names (similar to last year which was 65%). It’s also interesting to note the reach in terms of how many humans the delegates accumulatively lead: 7,295 (an average of 40 per delegate).

2017 Learnings

Taking the feedback from last years event, the intention was to create more reflection time and space to connect. Therefore we had nine speakers rather than the thirteen in 2017, simplified the workshop offerings and added in generous time for morning / afternoon tea and lunch (plus networking at the end of both days – click the above image to download the full event brochure).

What was amazing this year was having five volunteers / event assistants (last year I had two plus some venue staff). Was also more vocal about the aim of the conference beyond the usual learnings and networking, this was about building a conscious and hungry community of leaders who are seeking out creative insights, literacies and skills sets.

Speakers Curation

Probably one of my favourite parts of this process is finding / choosing / liaising with the speakers. Nearly all of the speakers I had a previous relationship with so the focus was ensuring diversity and nuance to compliment the ‘intersections’ theme.

All but one of the speakers were paid for their time and involvement plus all expenses were covered. This is a continued attempt to shift the culture in NZ of paying for talent at events (which is not the usual). Each speaker got a plus one also.

Thank you Aaron, ButterscotchJo, Melissa, Paula, Paul, Peter, Te Aroha, Tim full bios here.

Finances

As with the first event last year:

  • this was privately funded venture and delivered under the Creative Welly initiative;
  • financial grant support was secured again from the US Embassy and Australian High Commission who provided funds to cover the expenses for Aaron, Butterscotch and Tim (respectively);
  • further partner support came from Wellington Chocolate Factory who offered gift packs for the speakers / facilitators, MOJO in providing coffee / tea refreshments for both days for all breaks (plus an espresso coffee from downstairs in their cafe), QT Wellington Hotel donated rooms for our overseas guests (with a reduced cost for others), and finally a small but appreciated discount from our caterers, The Lab.

Overall, the event profit doubled from 2017, a result of applying learnings, smaller venue cost and having less speakers to pay.

Extra Costs

Audio and visual (AV services), catering and venue hire are always chunky fixed costs, and this year, there was the addition of some ‘CLNZ’ letters to ensure the stage looked great.

There was also the speakers / partners meal the night before plus everyone who attended got given a printed brochure / agenda, notebook, pen and badge (plus espresso coffee voucher for the cafe downstairs – see ‘partners’):

Other costs were the bar tab for the networking drinks at the end of the first day, We Do (for photography) and Empire Films (for the review video).

DIY

Again with last year, as a solopreneur all aspects of the event are produced by me, which includes:

  • website design / copy;
  • speakers curation / negotiation / support;
  • budgeting;
  • invoicing delegate registrations;
  • partner / venue / catering liaison etc.

The design of the brochure / agenda was a trade with a local supplier for a couple of delegate spots.

Marketing & Sales

As with last year I produced these little ‘teasers’ as way of promoting the talent on offer. Here are all the Linkedin versions: Aaron, Jo, Melissa, Paula, Paul, Te Aroha, Tim.

Other activities were time intensive  in terms of taking time to reach out specifically to folks in my network although it yielded results. The event details got featured in about half a dozen email newsletters of other networks which definitely raised the profile as well.

My interest definitely lies in crafting and curating the experience rather than promoting and selling it. 

Interactions

As the focus was on creating a community through conversation and connection, there were no exhibits or distracting activities other than one: at the beginning of the event the delegates were asked to write down a creative or leadership challenge they are currently dealing with. These were collected in and stuck on one of the walls which became the ‘wall of wisdom’ where throughout the rest of the event, others added their responses to the questions posed.

Also, during the final reflection session delegates were asked to write a ‘letter to self’ – these will be posted early in the new year as a reminder of the experience and commitment they made to themselves.

Learnings

This year I decided to MC the event. Was very overwhelmed and will be doing things differently in 2019 to ensure the pace is kept solid whilst freeing me up from most of those duties.

As it was the first time in the venue there are lots of opportunities to hone the experience from dressing the spaces and ensuring the flow of delegates are positive. Still gathering delegate feedback although wonderful to see some offering their insights and creative reflections:

Photos – Day One

Photos – Day Two

Future

Am going to be working on three things to ensure legacy:

  • sponsorship – looking for one major financial sponsor whose brand values align with CLNZ;
  • videos – capture and editing of main keynotes will allow further reach (which the sponsorship will allow);
  • ongoing community opportunities – already working on a February satellite event (invites will only be available to CLNZ delegates to continue to build the community).

Onwards to Creative Leadership NZ 2019!

Related posts: Creative Leadership NZ 2017 | Reflections & Insights plus Speaking with Purpose 2017 | Reflections On Running A Successful Conference

#TeamKindness | Leading Leaders To Care

Feeling lucky to be a citizen of a country when the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, says stuff like:

If I could distill it down into one concept that we are pursuing in New Zealand, it is simple and it is this: kindness.

In this time of hollow nationalism and fracturing distrust, a call for compassion, togetherness, thinking of the other truly is unusual and all the more important as we struggle forward in these dark times.

Sign me up for ‘team kindness’. Who else is with me?

Hat-tip Shepard Fairey plus large image for downloading / sharing on.

BIF2018 | Connecting, Catalysing And Colliding Communities

BIF2018 Saul

Reflecting on my first Business Innovation Factory Summit (BIF) in Providence, Rhode Island.

Just spent the past two days surrounded by a few hundred ‘innovation junkies’ at BIF2018. The eclectic mix of 32 storytellers echoed the TED format in their variety and structure (each had about 15/20mins to share), and was hosted wonderfully in the Trinity Rep, Providence, Rhode Island.

The broad time given for networking during the breaks and lunch along with the encouragement of MC / Founder Saul Kaplan to add value to each in conversations really amplified into action.

Also, the cross over of the HATCH network (where I attended in 2013, 2014, 2016) added a deeper experience, and was so invigorating to reconnect with this generous and truly special group of humans:

Networks colliding into other networks is crucial in igniting fresh thinking, creative potential and releasing positive energy – just like HATCH and many other TEDx and other events I’ve attended, BIF2018 ignited the desire to stretch myself and also trust my voice in my current efforts.

Truly hoping some of the participants and attendees will also make the trip out to Creative Leadership NZ 2018 at the end of the year (as made an juicy offer through the network).

Creative Leadership NZ 2018 Registrations Open | Get In There

Grab your space (or spaces) now!

A couple of hours ago I opened the public registrations for Creative Leadership NZ 2018:

A two day conference connecting visionary humans into a creative community to solve contemporary challenges.

Just like last years sold out effort, the mission is to build a network of pioneers who share the ability to respond to change, identify opportunities and act on them to better shape our collective future here in New Zealand and beyond.

Held at the new NZ Insitute of Creativity, Te Auaha, on 3rd and 4th December 2018, the line-up is already looking stellar, and includes, cofounder of Masterclass, world’s first female beatbox champion, senior director from Weta Workshop, industry leading foresight practitioner, associate prof in innovation management, president of LIANZA plus CE of NZTE.

This will be another independently produced and financed event delivered under the Creative Welly banner which is “an independent collective – globally minded / locally focussed – providing leadership, action and connections across sectors, with the aim to build the most creative little capital in the world.”

REGISTER NOW

Feel free to share the image above through your networks and channels please.

Hope to see you there!

taking a TEDx break

Taking A TEDx Break | Resetting The Sights

taking a TEDx break

Why TEDxWellington isn’t happening this year.

A few weeks ago I had to share with the TEDxWellington leadership team that I needed to take a break. A venue had already booked for the 2018 event and we were days away from announcing. It was a tough but right decision to make.

For a little over 6 years I’ve been the licensee / creative producer for 5 main TEDx events here in Wellington, plus the two livestream TEDxWomen events and also 8 Salon evening events (which keep the community engaged in between the main ones plus celebrate the success of our previous speaker / performers). Every event has been sold out and all finances are run through the xWellington Charity (which was set up with myself and fellow trustees Helen and Hannah).

*The chunky time commitment has also been matched by a personal monetary investment with three trips to attend two TEDActives (the first to enable us to get the city license and name) and one TEDFest (whereby nearly every other TEDx organiser I spoke to knew about our creative efforts with the TEDx format, specifically our 2016 trust event which sold out in two minutes flat, did things no other TEDx had ever dared and got featured on ted.com).

So why take a break now?

Especially after the massive success of last years 1,000 strong event (with 5,000 souls watching online)!

Well, it came down to three reasons:

  • needing to pay the rent—as you can imagine producing events at that scale is a full time job in itself. Under the TEDx rules (see General > Funds) no TEDx and its organisers are allowed to make money as it’s a voluntary venture only. Very much agree and champion this, although, at the moment there are other things which need to take priority (like paying the rent sustainably);
  • reciprocal energies—on occasions we’ve literally had to expend so much energy just to get access to certain venues or to available dates that it impacted on other aspects of our endeavours. We were hoping for a growing support from certain sections of the community based on the demonstrative success achieved rather than diminishing assistance. Obviously, big learning opportunities for doing things differently to get different results, and another reason to take a break to reflect on future strategies;
  • continued impact momentum—with any growth you certainly don’t want to retract and the 2018 plans, due to some odd factors, meant we were left looking at significantly reducing the event size (which would have a massive negative effect on other areas like sponsor / partner agreements). As a capital city event we were hoping to continue the legacy building and I’m certainly not interested in leading something that is less.

So the public announcement was made at our last community Salon event and the feedback was vastly positive plus highly compassionate.

Special thanks to the leadership team who have been so courteous in supporting my decision as it came so late in the day.

After a few months sights will be realigned for the 2019/2020 events and a slow run up will begin with new ideas / approaches to hopefully get to that desired different outcome.

Efforts will be made to gain support for a sustainable TEDx in the nations capital, a cornerstone in the calendar which uniquely amplifies the regions talent through the talks / performances / global platform, continue to build the social capital via the amazing community, plus proceeds to provides opportunities for the organisers to craft experiences that develop our city’s reputation as forward thinkers and audacious doers (and all the while developed / delivered by volunteers).

*financial support was received from a TEDxWellington sponsor for the first TEDActive to cover flight costs plus contributions from the charity towards attendance / accommodation costs also.