Category Archives: shine2008

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Podcast about blogs from Shine is up

Dave Dawes, of Entreprenurses fame, has posted up his podcast of bloggers talking about blogging (and a bit about twittering) at Shine 2008. It features not only myself (the most incoherent / inaudible of all the participants) but also a range of other blogging advocates and sceptics, and covers, amongst many other things:

  • Meeting and networking with people via their blog
  • Making time for creating and following blogs
  • How blogs can raise the profile of your social enterprise
  • The role of blog comments and blog readership
  • Corporate vs personal/informal blogging styles
  • How to start blogging (typepad, wordpress, etc)
  • Check out and download the podcast here.

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    Photos from Shine 2008

    Pictures from Shine have been posted on flickr and should be appearing above in a nice slideshow. If you took any pictures and want to share them on flickr, tag them shine2008 and we’ll show them here.

    shine shine2008 stories

    Live blogging: final pitching event

    OK – final event here at Shine 2008, with 3 social entrepreneurs pitching to an esteemed panel for £5000…..MC’d by the ‘compere without compare’, Matt Kepple. I can see David Wilcox doing some video of the pitches, so I’ll aim at an edited highlights commentary.

    First up is Minnie from India, who wants to go round Devon doing workshops on climate change, based on things she has learned from her time at Schumacher College. The panel are being very nice about the pitch (which rambled a bit and lost me), but the kernel of the idea came through: a people-powered movement to locally inform and reach out. Questions were about the need for brand, about the need to differentiate, and about the possibility of sharing and working in partnership with others. Minnie gave pretty good answers to most of those.

    Second up is Alexia, who used to be the Social Enterprise Coalition membership officer, is pitching for a project….which aims to utilise yoga to tackle mental health issues / eating disorders etc. She wants the money to help inform and advocate the various stakeholder communities (care services, yoga practitioners, funders etc. and so forth), as well as deliver workshops herself. In the first instance, she wants to do some market research as the first stage of her journey. Good presentation, which was very clear and, to her credit, started with a clear outlining of her personal motivation. Questions are pondering the scope of ambition (too much?), planning effectively, and the barriers there may be: not least because it’s about working in the NHS. Good answers, particularly about not wanting to ‘own the space’, but ensure others can learn from her work.

    Third up is Ben, who is pitching for a third sector communications agency for those whose projects and organisations can’t afford big budget investment in this area; utilising volunteers (students, but also those with experience from different agencies). Is now explaining the business model, and the potential social impact. Probably the clearest pitch so far: pretty impressive: “at the start of the weekend, I wasn’t sure this was a good idea….but now I know it is”. Questions are around quality control (particularly if using volunteers), about the internship culture already existing (a suggestion around providing the training scheme to the existing big marketing agencies gets a decent response), uniqueness, method:purpose…..

    [I have to say, and I am aware that this might be the jaded, slightly tired grump in me, but why are people incapable of phrasing a succinct, concise and clear question? Hey ho….]

    And finally, the voting, people are holding up different coloured cards like a low-budget Apprentice:You’re Fired…. and the winner, with the blue cards holding sway….. is….Alexia.

    That’s a wrap, people!

    shine shine2008 stories video

    Talkaoke lite

    Saul Albert and his friends are running a version of their Talkaoke in the final stages of the Shine conference.

    This involves a roving microphone, plus a camera and computer throwing a mix of video and snippets of text on screen. I’m shooting some video on a phone, which you will find over here.

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    Chats and conversations: David McQueen

    Just been chatting to David McQueen, who’s been helping us out here with some MCing and discussions around communication and presentation skills. David was telling me about how he does some group coaching every other Friday in a coffee shop and, by way of payment, the people coming along have to give him a book. So I interrupted him whilst updating his Amazon wishlist.

    Also chatting about creating your personal brand / identity, the importance of communication (and finding your right medium for doing so), and the importance of storytelling in this sphere. David has great presence and is really inspiring guy to speak to. Check out his various blogs…which I will now try to find links to.

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    The vibe is: chilled and engaged

    It must be the hottest and sunniest day of the year, and, in combination with the Premiership title decider , that means the crowd is smaller today. There is a lazy, Sunday vibe today….but still people from different walks of life, different backgrounds connecting, getting advice and taking part in a really wide range of sessions. Currently, there are sessions about partnership, about authenticity in social media, about marketing, and different 1:1 sessions on tax, business planning and so forth.

    What always interests me are the unique points of view and preferences that everyone brings. I thrived on the energy of Friday / Saturday, but there are others finding today’s atmosphere more to their liking…interesting to think about how an event can try and cater to those different interests and emphases: a challenge for next year.

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    Insights and wedding dances

    Just attended a great session led by Servane Mouazan of Ogunte about different ways of gaining insights into dilemmas, obstacles and situations. Introductions via the senses (i.e. less what’s your name, and more what’s your favourite colour, smell, sound etc.) were remarkably illuminating, and there were some interesting connections from those first thoughts alone.

    Then we had to choose a dilemma (mine was worrying about the first dance at my forthcoming wedding (considering my two left feet), then utilising thinking cards and cross-pollination cards to think about it in new ways. So, for me, that was thinking about ‘how my superhero would do it?’ and then a few ‘what would happen if?’ questions to prompt answers. Whilst I didn’t arrive this morning thinking about how Superman would approach a first dance at a wedding, it was interesting to do so….and certainly brought about some new insights: about the ability to use an alter ego to gain confidence, about everyone having insecurities / anxieties (re. Lois Lane / Clark Kent), and about the possible use of pants outside the trousers as a distraction tactic.

    Nice methods to gain insights, and approaching problems in creative ways. Check out Servane’s site (link above) for more.

    Day 3 begins….and a look back at Day 2

    Thankfully, no hangover this morning, and it’s another beautiful day here at the ever-more-appropriately named Shine 2008. There was so much going on yesterday that I barely got a chance to sit down and type before being whisked away somewhere…

    Some highlights for me:
    – the Kaos Pilots living up to their name with their mental refreshment games outside (see the videos via the Qik link to the right)
    – the School for Young Social Entrepreneurs co-designing session, led by SSE Fellow Tom Bulman and former SSE CEO James Smith, which also decamped outside; such good engagement and interest that they carried on beyond 5.30pm….
    – recording a podcast (with Dave Dawes’ marvellous ‘pocket recording studio’) with the fellow geeks…sorry, social reporters ;0)
    – seeing the great 1:1 sessions taking place by the What If-ers, admirably marshalled by James Baderman….as one social entrepreneur said to me “you couldn’t pay for that”, to which James said “actually you could” followed by me saying “but it’s more than £20″….
    – the Foundation for Social Improvement (I think)’s session on fundraising was packed out both times in the Clinic, with chairs having to be dragged in from elsewhere…

    Overall, despite the beautiful weather luring people outside (is it wrong as an event organiser to pray for rain?), it seemed to go well. As ever the richest stuff was taking place in all the different conversations and relationships being built in the cafes and snugs all around this amazing building. I hope that the videos and blogs are giving off a bit of the vibe that’s marking this out as a really different event….and one to build on.

    And on that note, off to Day 3; I’m delivering my blogging session again in 10 minutes, so must dash. If you want to see the powerpoint, check out the embedded slideshow from my earlier post.

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    Making mapping part of the event

    Nick wrote earlier about the importance of better understanding how to help people connect at events, and the experiments that Shine Unconference is carrying out with The Social Network Company.

    I explored those possibilities further with organiser Jess Tyrrell, and Tom Alcott in this conversation.

    Mapping connections at Shine

    The Shine unconference is very much about connecting people: acknowledging the value that comes from one-to-one connections, intimate conversations, personal advice, peer-to-peer learning and so forth. This did make it difficult at times to pitch to funders: so mapping those connections, trying to track them, and start to measure the value of them, is really important.

    And that’s why we’re excited by the conversations we’ve been having with The Social Network Company, who are going to experiment with using their graphical mapping tool at the event….which (as with much at the event) is very much an experiment and a trial, but could have interesting results. Particularly if we can go back to those people after (say) six months, and see how such relationships have developed over time.