All posts in think

TEDxWellington 2019 Announced | Here We Go Again

Still learning and hungry to get better.

Last night we announced this years TEDxWellington event along with opening the call for speakers and performers.

This will be my eighth as licensee (2x TEDxWellingtonWomen, 2x TEDxTeAro, 3x TEDxWellington) and have mentored other events in the city (Women and Youth plus University) plus other new licensees in other parts of the country, although I’m still learning so much and find it incredibly challenging.

After taking a break last year it’s good to be thinking with a TEDx lens again and serving my fundamental why: to give people voice (not just those on the stage but also my fellow volunteers who work their bits off to bring the event to life and allowing them space to grow into action).

Please do share this opportunity to those across the region who might have an “idea worth spreading”, with thanks.

#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
Mark Brand + DK

Opportunity Through Diversability | Mark Brand, Sandbox Session #1

Mark Brand + DK

“We have to see the ability, not the problem.”

Last week, the ‘Sandbox Sessions’ was launched (exclusive and intimate gatherings for the CLNZ community to gain insights and inspiration from impressive creative leaders) featuring my pal Mark Brand.

Watch this:

nowthisnews mark brand

It was a beautiful reminder of the transformative opportunities in societal challenges plus the power of designing through the lens of inclusion and from a place of courage.

These smaller experiences heightens the emotional impact as well as accelerates openness and personal connections as the CLNZ community continues to thrive (there has been nothing but positive feedback from the participants of the event and there will be a few more before the next event in December).

Big thanks for PwC Wellington for hosting us.

Image credit

One Breath Around The World | Floating In Wonder

Free diving and neutral buoyancy plus balletic composition.

A short film featuring free diver Guillaume Néry by his wife Julie Gautier, an underwater cinematographer.

Maybe it’s the water cushioning the walk / run of the diver which we all experience when trying to do the same in our dreams, or the confusing and tantalising shots upside down which tricks the brain into delight, or the interplay of nature both live and solid rock which makes this a tantalising viewing experience.

Lose yourself in the wonder of this, full screen, heaphones on.

#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)”

2018 Out | Gliding Into The Future

Rounding off another rotation around the sun.

2018 was my first full year away from any digital service offerings and a pure focus on the analogue. A healthier year in many respects and one which has been defined by the quiet acceptance of limitations plus a gentler approach to myself and others.

Again, travel was a highlight along with the pleasure of collaborating with several clients on crafting delicious learning experiences, any chance I got to speak publicly plus the success of the second Creative Leadership NZ.

This year saw an extremely modest blog offering of:

Here comes 2019:

“And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

Wishing for you (and me) those ‘things that have never been’ are full of wonder, delight, majesty and growth. Onwards!

Related posts: 2017 Review | Embracing The Mess, 2016 Darkens | 2017 Lightens, 2015 Review | Taking Stock, Switching Paths, Future Gazing, Current / Future Projects | Shifting Priorities, 2013 | Create / Curate, Next Year Baby | 2012, 2011 Reflections, Crimbo 2010, 2009 New Year, An Exception

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