All posts in think

#18 June 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Time to surf the information superhighway for treats and things.

READ

Why an Amazon executive resigned over company’s ‘chickenshit’ firings of employee activists (stop buying from Amazon).

A flood of coronavirus apps are tracking us – now it’s time to keep track of them.

Our lives are now run by ‘Persuasion Engineers‘ – shudder!

How Facebook could use Giphy to collect your data.

Another Apple whistleblower goes public over lack of action – “I am extremely concerned that big tech companies are basically wiretapping entire populations…”

WATCH

EXPLORE

Your illustration dances to the music.

The spoken articles list of Wikipedia.

A curated timeline of COVID pandemic events related to Wellington city here in NZ.

The British Museum has added 1.9 million images free to use for anyone under a Creative Commons 4.0 license.

Free video conferencing background images of empty sets from the BBC Archive.

Play with Mikutap – great for bored kids / kidults alike.

Blush: Create, mix, and customize illustrations made by artists around the world – then use them commercial free.

AutoDraw which converts rough scribbles and doodles into beautiful, symmetrical icons/clipart that you can download for free.

Check out this platform which make acapellas from any song or this one which remove vocals from any song.

thisworddoesnotexist.com creates words which does not exist using AI.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: By en:Charles Burton Barberhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Gelert.jpg, Public Domain, Link.

#17 May 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

Lumping some tempting online items for you to check out.

READ

The city of Amsterdam is going to embrace the more sustainable ‘doughnut’ economy model post-covid19.

There are always the helpers.

Why putting Jared Kushner in charge as utter madness.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Listen to my mates podcast on how Jacinda Ardern is a communication master from David McQueen.

A website that helps you to see satellites in orbit from your backyard.

This will keep you busy for while.

This website teaches you Morse Code in around 15 minutes.

Love In The Time Of Coronavirus (free ebook download from GapingVoid).

If you have a spare laptop or computer check out Folding@Home, a distributed computing project for performing molecular dynamics simulations of protein dynamics (currently focussed on aiding a COVID19 vaccine).

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: A View from Moel Cynwich: Looking Over the Vale of Afon Mawddach and Toward Cader Idris, c. 1850, William Turner, from Cleveland Museum of Art.

COVID19 | Managing Your Personal Privacy Liability

Where does the liability lie when employers stipulate the use of certain platforms / programmes / devices which could become a future privacy issue?

Following up on my ‘Working From Home Privacy Check‘ post last week, I tweeted out the above query as conversations with some of my peers raised the challenge they were facing. It doesn’t take much to come up with some other scenarios where issues could arise:

SCENARIO 1 : An educational organisation is transitioning to virtual classes and is using an online platform to deliver to the students. Teachers are working hard to digitise the content and subsequent workflow for all involved. During some of the online lessons, a couple of students innocently post images of the classes with all the faces plus full names of their fellow students publicly on social media.

SCENARIO 2 : A small company wants to ensure its employees are staying connected and has started using a messaging system which the teams are asked to download on their devices. This creates the opportunity for work discussions along with more personal communications, just like a work environment. The platform they use gets infiltrated with a spambot and it starts sending phishing messages to all the employees personal contacts in their phones contact book.

SCENARIO 3 : A large governmental department is starting to utilise a new video conferencing platform as everyone is working from home. Its operations and the information shared are highly confidential as they deal with issues of national security. Due to a flaw in the video system, some of the discussions are accessible to other parties who use it for nefarious means.

The question about liability bounced around for about a week until I got the following response via this tweet from John Edwards, Privacy Commissioner of New Zealand:

Employees are obliged to follow any reasonable instruction from an employer. If an employee conveyed reservations about using a particular tool and the employer said please proceed, they would likely be obliged to follow that instruction. The employer assumes the risk.

Which was also corroborated by another tweet from 2018 Wellingtonian of the Year and an employment law specialist, Steph Dyhrberg, Partner at Dyhrberg Drayton Employment Law:

Agree. I would put it in writing to have a record of the concerns being raised. Employer should record the direction in writing too.

So if you are working from home and you have concerns regarding your privacy please do detail them via email with your employer. You might want to also ask for some risk assessment and scenario planning from the leadership also.

Stay safe and sane out there, plus wash your hands!

Related posts: COVID19 | Working From Home Privacy Check, COVID19 | A Global Pause, Effective Digital Presentation Skills | Five Quick-Fire Tips.

#16 April 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

A gaggle of curated stuff to aid the lockdown situation.

READ

Forgive yourself if you’re barely functioning right now.

Not a comfortable read but how one person freaked out after getting their file from Clearview AI.

Māori tribe restricts hongi greeting over coronavirus.

WATCH

EXPLORE

If you’re on a Mac use Fluid and turn your favorite web apps into real apps.

Nine Inch Nails releases some free music.

Upload a video or GIF & remove the background with Unscreen.

Some free royalty free premium music for projects (cleared for YouTube) via UnMinus.

The most dangerous writing app.

Undraw is a constantly updated design project with beautiful SVG images that you can use completely free and without attribution.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: Beautiful Dingbats’ Pattern Generator

COVID19 | Working From Home Privacy Check

With citizen lockdown now spanning half the globe, don’t forget about privacy during these times.

Most work environments are now private homes. Collaborating and staying in touch with colleagues has changed rapidly, so lets have a quick look at the main areas through a privacy lens:

CONFERENCE CALLS

As we replace normal face-to-face meetings with video conferencing platforms, Zoom has exploded due to it’s simple interface and scalability. However, there are historical and current issues to be aware of when considering using this service:

One option if you can’t get away from using the platform is to not download the app but log in via a ‘secure’ browser to a meeting using a something like Brave or Epic (just don’t have the app downloaded and click the link from the invite which takes you online).

Zoom though is not the only option out there. Other alternatives include:

If you can use a browser based video conference option (along with a proxy-based privacy-centric browser) then the only thing to allow is access to camera and microphone, which can be turned off again in the browser settings once the call has finished.

CHAT

To replace the casual opportunities for quick chats and interactions the office offers, think about setting up a group channel utilising chat functionality to stay in touch.

Something like Slack is very popular for this as might already being used in a corporate setting, but again this has privacy considerations [Are Your Remote Work Apps Spying on You?]. Some folks also utilise WhatsApp although this is owned by Facebook who have a history of capturing and then commodify data for external use like influencing elections etc.

Explore something like Signal or Telegram which have end-to-end encryption. Also, both have desktop versions so your phone can be kept for personal use and you’ll only be ‘at work’ when on your computer.

PERSONAL vs WORK

You might be using personal technology devices for the first time for work such as laptops and / or phones plus other tablets.

For laptops / home computers / tablets, set up a separate user account so that all work activities plus programmes / apps are set up there. For phones there’s also an iOS and Android option (hat tip Mike Riversdale)

This will aid the psychological perspective of ‘going to work’ in the morning when you log on to these accounts.

If you’re adding any apps to your personal phone during this time ensure you’re not giving access to all your contacts and access fully to your phone.

Also, if you have any smart speakers running Alexa or Google Assistant, consider that they also now are privy to your calls and any verbal interactions you have. For some professions unplug the devices completely as they could become a potential security risk for information leakage.


Truly appreciate there are bigger things going on for many at this time plus many will be mandated by ‘HQ’ on preferred systems / platforms / apps (which again why setting up alternative user accounts and separating personal devices from work is important).

Remember to read the privacy and data policies of any websites, platforms and technology being utilised and make informed choices from that basis.

Very much open to other alternatives explored above so add them in the comments below and will check them out plus add to the blog post.

Related: What You Should Know About Online Tools During the COVID-19 Crisis plus this tweet to the Office of the Privacy Commissioner NZ which inspired this blog post.
Image credit: Cameras, Conference Calls, Chat, Personal vs Work.

COVID19 | A Global Pause

A meandering thought ramble on the current pandemic to redirect my overly-anxious brain.

This week, New Zealand went into lockdown for four weeks after announcing a national emergency plus moving to the highest Level 4 alert. The opposite was sent to all mobile phones in the country to announce the nationwide curfew.

At the time of writing, we have nearly four hundred cases here (no deaths) and taking this approach could ensure the spread is contained.

Nearly all of my paid work has been cancelled although I just got notified I was approved for the COVID-19 Employer Payment for the next three months.

I feel lucky to be where I am.

However, the whole world is sharing this experience and every country is approaching it slightly differently, although many are adopting as isolation strategy.

I’m wondering (out loud) what good can come as we collectively pause together:

SOCIAL

We weren’t ready for this. Some knew:

It’s becoming clear that a mammoth economic recession is coming, along with a radical disruption of societal systems. This is a start not the end, and our overlapping society of nations will have to rethink many of its operating structures.

There’s a collective growing literacy at understanding exponential curves, inter-dependent industries and sectors plus how much small percentage points matter when it relates to economies.

Everything is being revealed as fragile.

Although this does present an opportunity to reflect on what is important. How, after a certain level of comfort and freedom is gained, everything else is a bonus.

We’ll also be critiquing the stale idea of traditional working cultures as swathes of humans turn to digital methods to deliver and continue their workload. However, as the crisis abates, I feel there will be a massive hunger for the physical and in-person again.

There are no special cases when princes, politicians, celebrities are getting it. The real super stars are those illustrating the innate goodness of humans:

ENVIRONMENTAL

The above video shows China’s nitrogen levels falling and then rising slightly again as some of the curfews are lifted.

Wildlife have rediscovered usually polluted areas like the canals in Italian cities:

As time goes on, this global pause will provide precious data and critical evidence for scientists to go further in proving the impact we’re having on the world.

CULTURAL

Talking here about the wider understanding that we all share a common space and are part of an operating system which is now in danger of collapsing.

Our streets and towns and cities personify the quiet we need to reflect on what’s crucial. To ask questions which transcend a rigged monetary system, to recognise the importance of community and amplify the need for evolving the politics of our time.

This forced reset is also ironic, separating us all from symbiotic elements of family, friendship, food, nature, place, space etc. which make us, us.

Going forward, the medical (especially front-liners) and educational establishment needs to be elevated, celebrated and remunerated properly (along with others who are now deemed ‘essential’ like rubbish men, supermarket workers, warehouse workers etc.), whilst we dull the idea of celebrity in its importance.

We have such a distinct divide of leadership during these times across nations from silly men who took so long to listen to professionals to other larger and even sillier men who thinks letting people die to save the economy is the way forward (Johnson is what happens when a guy like Trump can speak Latin) to our own PM here in NZ, leading with kindness and compassion (jumping online after putting her baby to bed to take a Q&A for those entering their first night of the impending lockdown):

This crisis simply illustrates how interconnected we all are.

Everything is linked.

All aspects of our well-being are joined to man-made constructs like capitalism as well as natural systems like the wider environment which need to remain healthy.

This is an opportunity to transform.

Become warriors and guardians of wiser and kinder system of living.

This joint deep breath, allows us a chance to redesign our intent as humans in focusing on the right things (rather than continue doing the wrong things righter).

The world has changed so much in three months, imagine if it we were intentional in rebuilding it.


Truly hope wherever you are reading this you’re staying safe and sane.

Your solitude will be a support and a home for you, even in the midst of very unfamiliar circumstances, and from it you will find all your paths.

Rainer Maria Rilke
Image credit.

Effective Digital Presentation Skills | Five Quick-Fire Tips

Mashing up my analogue speaker coaching for digital mediums.

Was asked by the wonderful humans at Teulo to put together some insights for presenting online for their leaders, members and partners, as they (and many others) move to online presentation formats for their events.

The above is a snappy and concise look at the main aspects of effective communication when using digital means which I’ve noted during the past fifteen years of delivering, devouring and learning from stuff online, covering:

  • Lighting
  • Camera
  • Audio
  • Engagement
  • Presentation

The content side and story narrative is a whole other (series) of video(s) and depends on the person, audience and intended outcome, hence, why the tips solely focus on more functional elements.

Had permission to share with the wider (global) community during this troubling time, so thank you Teulo for allowing, means a lot for my anxious brain and heart at the moment.

Related resources: Act as if You’re Really There: What learning to speak remotely teaches us about how to compensate for the coming era of social distancing, Douglas Rushkoff & The Definitive Guide To Facilitating Remote Workshops: Insights, tools and case studies from digital-first companies and expert facilitators (free ebook)

#15 March 2020 | Monthly Digital Breadcrumbs

A bunch of wild and wonderful things to spend your time on.

READ

Another face-collecting AI company hosting three billion images hacked (this one scrapped their database from Facebook so nothing to worry about really).

How Amazon tracks all that you read.

About a mystery radio signal from deep space appears to be following a 16-day cycle.

Some deep truths here about the lack of ethic consideration in technology advancements.

How 1,000 is now a 100 in terms of what is needed as a fan base to sustain oneself.

WATCH

EXPLORE

Those nice people from The Smithsonian Institute have just released 2.8 million images free to access and use.

150,000 botanical and animal illustrations available for free download from Biodiversity Heritage Library.

This great example of environmental storytelling & journalism from Norway.

A brimming online database of old book illustrations.

All monthly digital breadcrumbs posts.
Image credit: mine, sunset colours over Welly.

Looking For A Keystone Sponsor | Align With A Community Of Leaders And Creatives

An opportunity to amplify your brand in the NZ leadership and creativity space.

For two years, I bootstrapped the Creative Leadership NZ conference and was turning a profit from day one. Last year I took financial sponsorship for the first time (outside of a grant from the US Embassy to support the expenses of bringing over two US nationals to speak) to enable the production side of the event and record all the talks (watch them here).

For CLNZ20 (Mon 30th November & 1st December 2020), am looking for a brand who wants to connect with 200 amazing pioneers at a (three-times) sold out conference, whilst also taking the opportunity to develop related content and outreach strategies in the leadership and creativity space.

Have a whole sponsor deck ready to share with interested parties although here’s the important bit:

CLNZ20 is offering one keystone sponsor opportunity for $40,000+GST, in return for:

– 15x two-day VIP delegate places (worth $15,000)
– 2x verbal mentions at event from MC (both days)
– 3x invites to pre-event speakers meal / meetup
– 3x invites to satellite events throughout the year
– prime interaction space in venue plus 1x signage space at satellite events throughout the year
– keystone sponsor logo features:
– website*
– 2x announcements on CLNZ Linkedin private alumni group
– speaker & registration announcement email newsletters
– pre+post delegate email newsletters
– post event review video
– post event speaker videos
– event programme (with 50 words)

*will last for a year from time of signed agreement.

As detailed in last years write-up and review, the diversity and variety of organisations represented provides a tasty opportunity to amplify your brand in this arena:

Read and digest the 2017, 2018 plus 2019 reviews which includes details of all aspects of the conference.

So if you’re interested in aligning your brand with a community of leaders and creatives please do get in touch.

CLNZ19 Talks Are All Live | Watch, Learn, Share

Including conference opening remarks (above).

At the end of last year, the third sold out Creative Leadership NZ conference brought together nearly 200 leaders (read full event review here) plus created another wonderful challenge to curate nine impressive humans to inspire the delegates.

Curating voices is one of the best aspects of being a creative producer and my process focusses on finding folks who are doing and / or have done great stuff plus have the ability to share that in a compelling way. It’s less about the titles and more about the personal traits these individuals can offer a madly curious audience.

CLNZ19 was the first time I took financial sponsorship which enabled me to up the production options to include recording and editing of the nine keynote talks (for legacy and showing others what they missed):

So any gems from above which stood out for you? What and where are you going to apply some of the lessons shared? Oh and have you signed up to receive email notifications for CLNZ20 so you can attend this year‽

Related posts (where the three referenced videos are taken from in my conference welcome): Greta Thunberg (Plus Harrison Ford) | The Voice(s) We Need, The Process Of Remaining Innocent | Building Creative Literacies & TeamKindness | Leading Leaders To Care.