All posts in smile

TEDxWellington 2019 Review | A Chance Which Paid Off

My eighth TEDx event as licensee.

Am still reeling from the TEDache which comes from running a TEDx event, although, still smiling.

Everything we tried this year worked, even though we had no cash sponsor and had to cut the livestream option plus be very creative with the budget, all whilst going from a 1,000 speaker venue to 200 (as currently St James Theatre is undergoing earthquake restrengthening).

There’s a full write-up of the whole event on tedxwellington.com but here are the choice cuts relating to the experience (we’re still waiting on the final videos of the talks to be edited):

  • treasure hunts: with the first clue being handed out by our MC’s, this interaction provided an opportunity to gamify building connections between delegates. There were five clues that enabled the team participating to journey through the space, experiencing ‘chance’ encounters with TEDxWellington team members and the installations around the venue;
  • photobooth: creating digital takeaways to share through social channels;
  • head / neck / shoulders massage: because sometimes you need help in getting those ideas into your brain plus to shake off the emotions a little from the challenging talks of the previous session;
  • speaker stations: allocated spots for delegates to both find and connect with the speakers to dive deeper into their shared idea;
  • toilet interactions (yes that’s right): on the back of the cubicle doors we had a matrix of the speakers with an opportunity to mark how the talk made them feel.
  • silent disco: again utilising the colours related to the wristbands so that participants were grooving to tunes by ‘chance’.

Check out all the event photos on our Flickr stream.

The lessons learned from previous years were hard learned but oh so precious:

  • keep the leadership team small
  • outline (via ‘job descriptions’) the specific expectations for each role plus interview for these key positions
  • highlight this is not volunteering but actioneering (professionalism and quality is key).

Again, none of the above would’ve been possible without a dedicated group of humans (volunteers, leadership team, speakers alike plus our partners), devouting their free time / products for nothing (or a reduced rate) but feeding on the hope generator that is TEDx:

Related post: TEDxWellington 2019 Details Announced | Chance Is A Fine Thing

Creative Multiplications | One And One and One Equals Five

Lessons from the production of my favourite three films.

The above is a magnificent insight into the creative process of the Before Trilogy and the bold, collaborative approach taken by director, Richard Linklater.

Ethan starts the interview regaling the genesis of the first movie, along with the way Linklater devolved responsibility of the character plus script development to the actors during six weeks in Venice (a shared creative model which would be replicated in the next two films). The openness and willingness to trust is so uniquely evident in this action from Linklater, although you can still hear the influence of his guiding support, providing them with the courage and reasoning to continue with the project as doubts appear.

Even though Linklater obviously provides the themes and framework, it’s through the joint effort of his associates does the project flourish into beauty. It reminds me of playing in a band (I used to a be a drummer and even in the interview Ethan mentions this as a metaphor – how everyone knows their role against the backdrop of the melody) – the constraints catalyse experimentations and how roles change with the space / atmosphere created (again, just like in a band if someone starts riffing in a different key or to a different beat).

There’s so much to take from the above, from caring about the craft of the shared journey, cherishing artistry, knowing something is important and right as it feel like it’s extracting a toll, how the intimacy created in building something together echoes through to the final product, and how true leadership is collaborative.

As a solopreneur in most of my own endeavours am definitely hungry for these types of partnerships and will take this inspiration to seek them out more.

Related post: In The Attempt

“Make Your Soul Grow” | A Case For Making Art

Why art is important for “becoming.”

A letter by Kurt Vonnegut spoken by Sir Ian McKellen:

November 5, 2006

Dear Xavier High School, and Ms. Lockwood, and Messrs Perin, McFeely, Batten, Maurer and Congiusta:

I thank you for your friendly letters. You sure know how to cheer up a really old geezer (84) in his sunset years. I don’t make public appearances any more because I now resemble nothing so much as an iguana.

What I had to say to you, moreover, would not take long, to wit: Practice any art, music, singing, dancing, acting, drawing, painting, sculpting, poetry, fiction, essays, reportage, no matter how well or badly, not to get money and fame, but to experience becoming, to find out what’s inside you, to make your soul grow.

Seriously! I mean starting right now, do art and do it for the rest of your lives. Draw a funny or nice picture of Ms. Lockwood, and give it to her. Dance home after school, and sing in the shower and on and on. Make a face in your mashed potatoes. Pretend you’re Count Dracula.

Here’s an assignment for tonight, and I hope Ms. Lockwood will flunk you if you don’t do it: Write a six line poem, about anything, but rhymed. No fair tennis without a net. Make it as good as you possibly can. But don’t tell anybody what you’re doing. Don’t show it or recite it to anybody, not even your girlfriend or parents or whatever, or Ms. Lockwood. OK?

Tear it up into teeny-weeny pieces, and discard them into widely separated trash recepticals. You will find that you have already been gloriously rewarded for your poem. You have experienced becoming, learned a lot more about what’s inside you, and you have made your soul grow.

God bless you all!

Kurt Vonnegut

Hat tip

Creative Leadership NZ 2019 | REGISTRATIONS OPEN

The third bold offering.

This morning, public registrations for CLNZ19 were opened.

The theme is NURTURING COURAGE which explores and cultivates the bravery needed to communicate and tackle creative challenges and really looking forward to being back at Te Auaha, NZ Institute of Creativity.

Very excited that this is the first year we’ve taken brand sponsorship (I personally committed to the financial burden and risk of the 2017 & 2018 ones) and it’s great to have the much aligned organisation, Skills on board! The extra money will enable the crafting of the imaginative opportunities to connect with other attendees in between the fantastic wisdom shared by the impressive – and ever growing – speaker line-up (see above).

Building on the insights from last year am keen to continue to hone the event both in terms of market position and also amplify the experience further (which again further differentiates the offer).

So please share on through your networks as it all helps, and see you there – oh and if you need a few ‘whys’:

REASONS TO ATTEND

1. “Creativity, originality and initiative” is the 3rd listed skills in demand come 2022 in the World Economic Forum, Future of Jobs Report 2018
2. Connect with others who are enthusiastic and curious leaders (attendees from last year cumulatively lead 7,295 humans, an average of 40 per delegate)
3. Engage in bold conversations with a community which reflects diversity (2/3rds of attendees from the last two events had female names)
4. Build out your community of influence with a varied network of industry and sector leaders (last year 85+ cross-sector organisations were represented and the year before, 70+)
5. Steal like an artist insights and wisdom from all the amazing speakers / facilitators
6. Define your personal learning journey with the array of workshops throughout the day
7. Apply the learning at the masterclass opportunities available on the second day (where you’re not just listening but testing and doing)
8. Get away from the ‘to-do’ list and into an arena which stretches imaginations and inspires new thinking
9. End the year on a personal and professional development high…

#8 August 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Chase down the content below and fill your face with good wholesome stuff.

READ

This article from the Brexit coordinator for the European parliament about what the UK is getting wrong.

Love this exploration of how happiness doesn’t follow success: it’s the other way round.

If you use Zoom for your conference calling you might want to rethink as it has horrible bugs.

My take on how TEDx is a ‘Hope Generator‘.

If you have an Amazon Alexa in your home did you know the voice recordings are kept forever?

WATCH

Brian Eno on his ‘Apollo: Atmospheres & Soundtracks’ project:

Another AMAZING video essay from Like Stories of Old:

How positive thinking is harming your happiness w/ Derren Brown:

EXPLORE

Here’s a free in-browser image editor, supporting PSD, Sketch and XCF files.

MARK YOUR DIARIES #CLNZ19 is back REGISTRATIONS OPEN 9am, Mon 5th Aug:

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: Photo by Tapio Haaja on Unsplash

CLNZ19 Details Live | Registrations Open Next Week

The third annual conference merging creativity and leadership is back!

“Creative Leadership NZ is a two day conference connecting visionary humans into a creative community to solve contemporary challenges.”

The current speaker line-up has just gone live this morning…

…along with all other conference details, agenda, date, theme and background plus those registration prices (which we’ve kept at the same 2018 price):

This is also the first year we’ve taken financial sponsorship and very excited to have Skills on board (along with the other supportive partners):

Registrations open next week (Monday 5th August), please, please mark your diaries now and assist in spreading the word.

Strolling Through The Stars | The Impossible Magnitude Of Our Universe

Turn off the lights, go full screen, turn up the speakers.

More about the Deep Field film:

The score and film paint the incredible story of the Hubble Deep Field. Turning its gaze to a tiny and seemingly dark area of space (around one 24-millionth of the sky) for an 11-day long period, the Hubble Space Telescope revealed over 3,000 galaxies that had never previously been seen, each one composed of hundreds of billions of stars.

People Are Awesome | The Hope Generator That Is TEDx

The innate goodness of humans.

Last night was the first of five TEDxWellington speaker coaching sessions with these people:

Being surrounded by impressive souls (full bios) was a much needed reminder of the innate brilliance of humans doing superb things (from an initiative to track human rights violations to how to build homes so that the materials can be reused, a programme to teach mindfulness to children to new technology to help diagnose breast health, from ethically built sensors to monitor the health of your home to an ongoing project which cleans our underwater environment, from teaching communities to cook on a budget to an evolving body positive programme for females, from championing the use of menstrual cups for system change to rethinking our criminal justice system).

To feel that warmness of hope and genuine awe seems rare these days in the global gloom which blasts through the news and our other media channels.

Devoting time to remind oneself that the world is not what the media tells you is a must for our mental health. So thank you TEDx for continuing to offer opportunities which lightens the soul.

Deadline for ticket registration ends soon.

ADDENDUM 21.8.19 Here’s a short video from the day of me talking about the above, full reflections here:

#7 July 2019 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Follow the links for connect to stories and wondrous things.

READ

How the brain makes no distinction between a broken bone and an aching heart (sighs).

The news that Amazon got sued over Alexa child recordings in US (shudder).

WATCH

The launch video from (along with the 2019 speakers / ticket registration announcement):

The anti-CEO playbook by @hamdiulukaya:

A jazz pianist improvising in tandem with a piano that plays itself:

EXPLORE

Search NASAs library of 140,000 high definition photos, videos, and sound clips.

There are 91,000 historic maps in this collection to play around with and remix.

Attend the Weta Workshop Workshops (if you’re in Wellington): from sculpting to leather & chain-mailing to movie make-up.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: Y Ddraig Aur (The Gold Dragon), c. 1400 – c. 1416, the royal standard of Owain Glyndŵr, Prince of Wales