The Possibility Club

always possible

The Possibility Club podcast explores the future of business, culture and education. Richard Freeman talks to the people at the coalface of change. read less

CHRISTMAS BREAK
Dec 23 2022
CHRISTMAS BREAK
Hello   This is a quick note from The Possibility Club podcast team to wish you a very merry Christmas, or holiday season, whatever you celebrate.   If you've missed any of our 5 Big Questions interviews over the past 12 months, then you can find all 41 guests by searching The Possibility Club on your favourite podcast platform - or by visiting alwayspossible.co.uk/podcast   I've had a lot of food for thought speaking to my guests about measuring impact, preparing for the future, skills and the future workforce, creativity and collaboration. A lot of common threads about looking beyond numbers in order to find the real stories of what is happening in the 21st century, and a sense that whatever industry people are making change in - that we must always be thinking bigger than what we sell, or what's on our job description. The 2020s demand added value, with continual improvement and a transparency about values and methodologies building stringer and more resilient communities - whether that's commercial, social or cultural.   My chat with Deborah Meaden was the last for 2022, and for this series.   We'll be back in the Spring, with a whole new set of questions focused more deeply on the idea of added value. What do you do, and then what do you want to be famous for? If your organisation, business or project stopped tomorrow - what is it that people would really miss?     I'll be talking to leaders from across business and public life to go in depth about what added value they are creating beyond what is expected - for the world and people around them - with some very exciting guests lined up already.   Until then - please do tell your friends about, and write a review if you can - this really does help people to find us. And have a wonderful festive break and start to 2023.   Richard + Chris, Uschi and Molly
5 Big Questions: DEBORAH MEADEN
Dec 19 2022
5 Big Questions: DEBORAH MEADEN
What is entrepreneurialism in 2022? How do we know who to trust in business? Why is the personality of a business important?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to serial entreprenuer and star of BBC's Dragon's Den DEBORAH MEADEN.   Known for: Investor - Dragon's Den (BBC)Host - The Big Green Money Show podcastAmbassador - The Marine Conservation SocietyMember of the Council of Ambassadors - World Wildlife FundFormer Director - Weststar Holidays Twitter — @DeborahMeaden Instagram — @DeborahMeaden   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: "I’m not hard but I’m tough. It’s different.” “Yes I have wealth, and I’m not affected in the same way as the huge swathe of people in this country but it doesn’t mean I can’t care about other people and in fact that makes my life better — if you’re connected to your society, if you care about your society and think actually I want to help, it makes your life more worthwhile as well. Even on a purely selfish basis I don’t get people who don’t connect with society and don’t care about it.” “I want to be the same person in business that I am outside of business and it worries me, we’re all becoming much more aware of people who are one thing in one scenario and then there’s something somewhere else — and actually I don’t trust those people.” “I’m not a character, I am me, in that situation. What you’ve got to think about Dragon’s Den is, some of those pitches last three hours, and they’re boiled down to the essence of that pitch. Quite rightly what the editors do is say okay, the lesson in that is this, and that’s what we’re going to hone in on.” “Your business is a personality, and it’s become even more so now, people see businesses as a personality. Think of your business as a respected friend.” “Just remember what it is that your customers love about you, and get rid of all the other stuff. Now that takes headspace. But the power of either having a mentor who can pull you out of that, or having the discipline yourself to say, I have to remember what matters.” "If you can’t take the time out to think about your business into the future, then there’s a big problem in your business.” “We are all creative in some way. Some of us have a wide spectrum of creativity but I think it’s what makes us human. We yearn it. It’s in our DNA.” “One of the fundamental attributes of a successful entrepreneur is having a good nose for things. You’ve got to be able to read when you’re not being well received as well as when you are being well received.” “Well, The Apprentice is not so much a business programme anymore, but I’d like to think that Dragon’s Den, well it is, it’s fundamentally still a business programme.”   Useful links: BBC Dragons Den Deborah’s profile on the Dragons Den siteBBC The ApprenticeThe Big Green Money Show (via BBC Radio 5 Live)     This episode was recorded in November 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: DR MONA MOURSHED
Dec 12 2022
5 Big Questions: DR MONA MOURSHED
What does employability mean in 2022? What are the best environments for people to thrive at work? How and why is the education system broken all over the world?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to founding global CEO of Generation DR MONA MOURSHED.   Known for: Founding Global CEO - GenerationFortune Magazine’s ’40 under 40Board Member - Last Mile HealthBoard Member - New America Board Member - Teach for AllMember - US Council on Foreign RelationsFormer Govenor - International Baccalaureate OrganizationFormer Head of Global Education Practice - McKinsey   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “The tragic reality is that the global workforce system, or education-to-employment system is broken in many different ways. The system is broken for adult learners of all ages.” “Generation is a global non-profit to support adult learners to achieve economic mobility through a career.” “When they enter our programme, 90% of our learners are unemployed and half of those are long-term unemployed. Three months later we’re able to get to an outcome of 80% employed.” “Unfortunately age is often not included, or not considered to be a part of ‘diversity’. But the reality is we live in an inter-generational workforce, so we need to hire — and have environments — that take that into account.” “Frankly there’s a lot of shit that happens in five years! Here’s what I will say: the ability to do two things is critical when you’re in environmental flux. One is, you have to think about where the jobs are and therefore what education and training is required for those jobs. Jobs first, and then education and training required for them. Second is, how are you able to rapidly support an individual to achieve learning mastery of either a new set of skills, or to be able to transition to a new career?” “There are absolutely critical care roles that require technical skills, behavioural skills, and a very resilient mindset and the reality is that in most parts of the world these jobs are not paid at a level commensurate with the effort and expertise required to do them. This is an endemic problem that becomes even more challenging with an ageing population. This is a very thorny issue that I have yet to see a country actually crack.”   Useful links: Mona Mourshed founding CEO profile at GenerationGenerationMona on LinkedInMona’s profile at World Economic Forum   This episode was recorded in October 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: TIM HEALEY
Dec 5 2022
5 Big Questions: TIM HEALEY
Can a purpose-led business also be commercial? How do you use the Pqualizer? And what is the ‘mullet economy’?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to writer, broadcaster and musician TIM HEALEY.   Known for: Founder - Shoot 4 The MoonCo-author - Better Business On PurposeFounder / Former Owner - KooksDJ & Music Producer - Bennun & HealeyFormer Director - Surfer Rosa Records   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “My flat became our headquarters for the best part of a year, as we met as often as we could, typically on Wednesday mornings, and discussed all manner of topics. After doing that for about nine months, we were like, well okay, what are we going to do next?” “We did have different writing styles, that was a learning as part of the process, and we did recruit an editor to help us pull it together. Essentially we just carved up the content, and said right, it’s going three ways, that’s yours, that’s yours and that’s yours. And off we went”  “Strickler called it the ‘mullet economy’, business up front and a party in the back. That’s why people are getting paid no more than twenty years ago but the shareholders are taking out more and more. It’s why the film industry has become a series of prequels and sequels and reboots. It’s also why every city in the world has shopping malls with homogenous brands in every single one.” “The Pqualizer is a way of visualising how you — or anyone in your business — feels about how your business is doing, across seven key areas: purpose, positioning, products, people, planet, profit and platforms.” “We’ve gone through an unusual period of business where we’ve become obsessed with technology, technology platforms, unicorn businesses, mega investment in concepts that perhaps aren’t even turning a profit, and we’re really starting to see that now. I’m feeling a really big tidal change.” "I’ve worked with a number of founders who’ve been hugely successful in technology and in my experience they’re scared of the word ‘strategy’. Even using the word in some meetings gets people’s backs up. I’ve been told by colleagues to use words like ‘goals’ because just the word ‘strategy’ seems to stress people who don’t like applying it.” “Setting really clear objectives, in terms of strategy, informs everything else you do. And of course, these objectives should be smart.” “The world isn’t in a completely downward negative spiral, there are fantastic things going on all around us and we can build on them. Which is one of the major reasons why we think businesses should be more ethical. I think you’d be forgiven as a business owner to go, oh it’s just too late, what’s the point? Whereas we’re saying no, it’s never too late, we have all the possibility of making the world a better place, and every tiny bit helps.” “I have a threshold for poor behaviour at work, and I don’t mean people that I’m directing not delivering, I mean typically people above, that disgrace themselves. I just can’t work with them, which sounds terrible, but that is something that I’ve kept I guess from my world of being hugely independent, doing music.”   Useful links: Shoot 4 The MoonTim Healey, Nikki Gattenby, Neil Witten — Better Business On Purpose (from The Hive) (from Amazon)Tim Healey — ‘Why I decided to write a book’Nikki Gattenby — SuperengagedPatagonia ClothingYancey Strickler — This Could Be Our Future (Amazon link)Tony’s Chocolonely social impact reportThe Pqualizer — free downloads pageBill Hicks ‘got ourselves a reader’ bit (via YouTube)Mark Ritson’s mini MBA in Marketing‘strategos’ (from the Greek, via Wikipedia)Politics UK Weekly episode with Ed Miliband and Just Stop Oil (via The Guardian)The Knepp Estate in East SussexBroughton Hall Estate in YorkshireJohn Higgs — The Future Starts Here (Amazon link)   This episode was recorded in November 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: WAI FOONG NG
Nov 28 2022
5 Big Questions: WAI FOONG NG
What sort of tech start-up would be founded by a network of charities? How do you measure impact, when your core business is to enable impact? How can dating app technology evolve for global good?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to social entrepreneur and tech start-up CEO WAI FOONG NG.   Known for: CEO - MatchableTop 100 Asian Stars in UK Tech 2022Computer Weekly Women In Tech Rising Star 2021Co-Founder - Suits & Startups FormerDirector (Real Estate & Private Equity M&A) - PwC UK   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “My sales team will be very happy to hear that you compared Matchable to a dating app because that’s what I get told to say on sales pitches!” “Matchable was an idea that came from an incubator called The Good Lab, which was a collaboration between the innovation teams at eight of the UK’s largest charities. They didn’t want to build it themselves, they have other things to do, so they put an ad out for a founder.” “We only want to onboard projects and organisations onto our platform that are high impact and/or innovative. So, for example, instead of going out and painting a fence, someone could be working with a social enterprise helping to re-skill cocoa farmers and using blockchain to make sure they’re fairly remunerated.” “At Matchable we are constantly with the ‘crazy feet paddling under the surface’ analogy, that’s definitely us. And we also say ‘every day is a school day’, because we try loads of things and we’re a very open team. Being willing to learn every day is very important, I think.” “Companies are understanding more and more that this needs to be part of their fabric. And their employees are asking for it.” “Gen Z thrive when you give them ownership of something and they can run with it, because they feel empowered to put into practice a lot of their ideas, etc. And the thing that doesn’t work well with them is just telling them what to do.” “People only work at their best if they believe in the company, if they believe in what they are doing.” “There is so much that companies and employees get from volunteering that is intangible but can be life-changing as an experience.”   Useful links: Wai Foong NG on LinkedInMatchableThe Good Lab Report (2019)B CorpB Corp certificationElla's KitchenMark Cuddigan (Ella’s Kitchen) '5 Big Questions’ episode   This episode was recorded in November 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: DAVID RICHARDS MBE
Nov 21 2022
5 Big Questions: DAVID RICHARDS MBE
How does Sheffield compare with Silicon Valley? What if we reimagined degrees for the 21st century? How do you feel about driving a computer with wheels?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to British Silicon Valley entrepreneur and technology executive DAVID RICHARDS MBE.   Known for: Chairman, President & CEO - WANDiscoTrustee - The David & Jane Richards Family FoundationFounder - EyUpCo-Founder - LaptopsForKidsNon-Executive Director - TechNationFormer Vice President - Netmanage, IncFormer Chairman & CEO - Librados, IncFormer CEO - Insevo   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “He’s probably a genius. As a summer intern at IBM they filed three patents based on his work, as an intern. That doesn’t happen every day.” “We have probably the only usable implementation of Paxos in the world.” "What we’d actually built a product using massive scale data and actually everybody said how come your revenues aren’t through the roof? And it was because the data sets weren’t there yet. Then along came 5G.” “I was at a conference where Jaguar LandRover said that their passion and focus was their products and customers, but their monetisation was data.” “The competition is going to be the power of your algorithms and the data sets that you have, which is why Tesla have been so successful. Our technology now is being used to move these colossal data sets, some as large as an exabyte, growing at fifty percent per year. So our technology turns out to be very important with the advent of 5G and we’re sat in a very good place right now.” “The beautiful thing with our business is we’re licensing intellectual property, we’re not selling services or shipping goods. When it hits, scaling a business like ours isn’t actually complicated. It’s like that old Mousetrap game, you build it, and then you watch the ball go around. Structurally our operating margins, even on ten times current sales and revenue, the incremental cost increase would be small.” “Social impact is critical for this business. We will not do deals with social media companies and gambling companies because they can’t be trusted.” “My personal viewpoint is that the regulation on the gambling industry in the UK is just an absolute travesty. Why do we let these guys get away with it? And now when they’re using data science techniques they can figure out the level at which they can maximise their revenue from an individual. In the same way, the tricks that Facebook have played on us in the past are not good for society.” "We sourced 15,000 laptops in less than six months and that had a huge positive impact on the business because the local economy and people in our locale can trust us.” “We have to find a way as a nation to provide free, safe and secure Internet for those who need it the most. It’s not just giving them free Internet, it’s empowering the community. But the most critical thing then is that you measure the impact — independently — and publish the research. Then you can go to government and say ‘you should nationalise OpenReach because the socio-economic impact is going to be this.’ You can solve digital poverty very quickly if you adopt this strategy.” “I’m just appalled at the UK’s education system, I have to be honest. It was designed by Victorians and the class system was very important. I think it’s indicative of a huge weakness in our economy and society.” “The dirty little secret we have in this country, is we can’t hire fresh graduates and put them straight into our company. We have a shortage of hundreds of thousands of software engineers in the UK. But the good news is the solution is incredibly simple.” “Philosophy is a brilliant lead-up to computing. You can do philosophy and then go on to do something else. You can have a brilliant education but you need to do the bit at the end where you train someone with the skills for a job.” “Every one of our offices has on the wall the Einstein quote, ‘imagination is more important than knowledge, for knowledge is limited whereas imagination embraces the entire world.’”   Useful links: David Richards MBE on LinkedInDerwent Edge (via Wikipedia)WANdisco PLCWANdisco (via Wikipedia)Dr Yeturu Aahlad (profile via Crunchbase)Sun Microsystems (via Wikipedia)Paxos (via Wikipedia)Leslie Lamport (via Wikipedia)TeslaGeoffrey A. Moore — Crossing The Chasm (via hive.co.uk)Geoffrey A. Moore — Inside The Tornado (via hive.co.uk) Dr Charlotte Rae’s 5 Big Questions interviewDryden Estate, Southey Green in Sheffield cheap broadband pilot (via Sheffield The Star)David and Jane Richards Family FoundationEyup Coding AcademySheffield Hallam UniversityAMRC   This episode was recorded in November 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: TAMARA ROBERTS
Nov 14 2022
5 Big Questions: TAMARA ROBERTS
Will English wine ever be taken seriously around the world? How can traditional wine making be a 21st century force for good? What is the key to grow from 'cottage industry' to major brand?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to the multi award-winning CEO of Ridgeview Wine Estate, TAMARA ROBERTS.   Known for: CEO - RidgeviewPresident - International Wine & Spirit Competition 2020Sussex Businessperson of the Year 2019Sussex Business Woman of the Year 2017   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “The intention was always to do traditional method sparkling from the beginning, from day one, and also to elevate the position of English wine, from farmers’ markets where it was found mainly back in the nineties to the top end retailers and restaurants, which is where you’ll find quite a lot of English wines these days, particularly the sparkling wines.” “When I talk about quality, it isn’t just quality of the end product, it’s of the entire process. All I’ve done is taken those values that were brought to the business by our parents and found ways in which to embed those into the business, and to free people or enable people to make decisions based on those values. People are empowered, provided they have a framework.” “We’ve had to build confidence with lots and lots of stakeholders.” “It switched quite dramatically in recent years from being very ‘cottage industry’, bumbling along, until actually now we’re being asked to sit on strategic boards for tourism because they’ve realised how important wine tourism is becoming for the region.” “We are from a place. We grow our grapes here, so we’re very rooted where we are.” “I don’t envy any business leader, it’s incredibly difficult at the moment to prioritise, there are so many competing demands and expectations. When the pandemic came along for me it was a really good time to think. I’m going to value that.” "We are working on successions now. We have kids and lovely if they come in, but the gap between us and them is too big to bridge at this stage — and too stifling for them to be told, this is your destiny!” “Your innovation seems to take a long time, sometimes.”   Useful links: Ridgeview Tamara Roberts on LinkedIn Ridgeview CEO Tamara Roberts wins Sussex Business Woman Of The Year Tamara Roberts profile on The English Wine CollectionDecanter World Wine AwardsVisit DitchlingDenbies wine estateTinwood wine estateB Corp certification Viticulture BSc at Plumpton College     This episode was recorded in October 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: BILL WALLSGROVE
Nov 7 2022
5 Big Questions: BILL WALLSGROVE
What is the psychology of a brand’s colours? What is the secret of consultancy? What is your Ikigai, and how do you know?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to brand consultant, copywriter and creative director, BILL WALLSGROVE. Instagram — @bill_chig   Known for: Independent Brand ConsultantBrand Consultant & BRITE Xpert - Plus X Innovation HubsBrand Specialist - PoetDirector - Brandad UKBrand Director - NeujuiceCreative Mentor & Brand Consultant - Studio BLUPFormer Director - BrandVoice Marketing GroupFormer Vice President - European Brand & Packaging Design Association   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “I speak to very mature companies who still think branding is a logo. Jeff Bezos said a brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” “The whole thing about colours is that they are an instinctive thing and we forget that as humans we are the most successful animals but as animals we have an instinctive reaction to colours, for danger, for poison, for desirability.” “More and more, particularly with young companies that I’m working with now, they all want to give something back, they want to do things which are sustainable, inclusive, not using cheap labour, being ethical, all these things are becoming more and more important to the next generation of consumers and I think the next generation of businesses.” “I hate to see big businesses doing the greenwashing that they do. I’m not going to name names but there are lots of companies out there who claim they’re digging wells in Africa, when they’re dumping plastic bottles in the sea at a rate of knots!” “Sometimes when people start going on a brand journey, they try to do everything all at once.” “You’ve got to encourage people with experience to go back and tell apprentices, students, graduates about the commercial realities and contexts. It’s changing all the time.” “Part of what I do is the helicopter view: I can fly overhead and see a bit more because I’m not immersed in it. I joke that sometimes a consultant’s role is to steal a watch and tell you the time. There’s truth in that joke because usually the answer lies in your clients, it’s just you help them get there.” “Design doesn’t mean creativity, design means problem solving.” “You can’t predict the future. But you can gamble.”   Useful links: Bill Wallsgrove LinkedIn ProfileBill Wallsgrove at NeujuiceTesco wine tasting notes — in The Grocer (from 2014)Martin Kihn — House Of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You The Time (via GoodReads)‘Ikigai’ (Japanese philosophy of a motivating force, via Wikipedia)Plus X Innovation Hub, BrightonJohn Alexander - Citizens   This episode was recorded in October 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: BONNIE GREER OBE FRSL
Oct 31 2022
5 Big Questions: BONNIE GREER OBE FRSL
Why are Gen Z so valuable to solving current problems? What is wrong with so many social mobility initiatives? How do you collaborate when you’re an introvert?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to playwright, novelist and broadcaster, BONNIE GREER OBE FRSL   Known for: Vice-President - The Shaw SocietyFormer Deputy Chair - British MuseumFormer Trustee - Royal Opera HouseFormer Trustee - London Film SchoolFormer Chancellor - Kingston UniversityAuthor - Langston Hughes: The Value of ContradictionAuthor - Obama MusicLibrettist - YesAuthor - Hanging By Her Teeth   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “I like people, even though I’m actually quite shy. I don’t go out in public. I stopped going to dinner parties because I couldn’t stand the small talk. I don’t really go anywhere.” “I don’t know my phone number, on purpose.” “I’m really excited about Gen Z and all those generations afterwards, who are going to be making new consciousness for us, so that’s who I want to talk to and who I want to try to dialogue with.” “The metaverse is a complex conglomeration of different IT systems that create another reality.” “We have to get rid of elitist education, we can’t keep doing that. You know, Stormzy talking about sending kids to Oxford, that makes me vomit! What is he doing? Why doesn’t he build some schools? I mean, Oxford isn’t a great place for a black kid to go to, is he crazy? Well, he’s a capitalist, it’s a commodity thing.” “If we make education as long as it is, it should really be of use, not only academic, for intellect but also the community. Kids should be sent out to just stack shelves. I don’t care what kind of degree you’re getting, encounter ordinary people in the aisles at Tesco.” “We’ve got, in the Conservative Party, a cohort of people in their forties who’ve had no encounter with human beings. And it’s a bad, bad thing.” “We’re going to have to get off this planet, just to let people breathe. These are questions your children are going to grapple with.” "The last pay-check I ever had was when they found John Belushi dead at the Marmont hotel.” “We need each other in order to expand our brain, so I’m always up for working with other people.” “We’re in an era where people are open about their trauma. We carry institutional trauma, we carry inter-generational trauma, I think we’re trying to reclaim, not the trauma but our sense of survival and transcendence.” “We are a survivor species and we’ve survived because we co-operated with each-other. And the other way we survived is that the women moved out. We moved around quite a bit.”   Useful links: Bonnie Greer OBE FRSL (Wikipedia)Bonnie Greer writer profile in The GuardianCuban Missile Crisis (Wikipedia)Premiership of Liz Truss (Wikipedia)Metaverse (Wikipedia)Bonnie Greer takes on Nick Griffin (BNP) on BBC Question Time (via YouTube)Jean-François Champollion, lexicographer (Wikipedia)Stormzy Scholarships (BBC News)John Belushi death (Wikipedia)British Museum — Bonnie Greer: The Era Of ReclamationThe Little Boy and the Robot: A Tale of Our Time - Bonnie Greer TEDx talk (YouTube)   This episode was recorded in October 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: NEIL GIBB
Oct 24 2022
5 Big Questions: NEIL GIBB
How do we accept that change takes time? Can small systems changes have any impact? What does mass digitisation mean for society?   In this week's 5 Big Questions interview we talk to author, strategist and social entrepreneur NEIL GIBB.   Known for: Author - The Participation RevolutionCo-founder - Where to from hereFounder - Participation NationFounder - The South Lanes ProjectFounder - 21st Century Leadership Project   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “The problem with words is, they’ve all been in someone else’s mouth.” — Dennis Potter. “A lot of people have become disillusioned with the consequences of technology. It’s difficult to remember that once upon a time Google’s slogan was ‘do no evil’ and everyone thought they were wonderful and now it’s like, oh my god are they the new Big Brother? That’s the challenge.” “Sometimes we feel like we have to be almost like Jesus Christ to make a difference, whereas actually if everybody mobilised and did something small and impactful where they are, that would have a huge roll up. You feel empowered.”  “Organisations deep down are there to deliver on their business model. So it’s always a productivity conversation.” “A lot of people are dealing with important but secondary issues, when they’re looking at engagement, around employee wellbeing, things like meditation, all stuff like that, really important things, but they are secondary. Engagement really is about how you engage people in the business of the business.” "What digital technology has done is connect everyone up, and what it’s also done is create a distance between people.” “One of my concerns about the word ‘culture’ is how it’s been co-opted by the high arts. In Bradford a lot of the culture is about rugby league and South Asian cuisine, it isn’t about theatre.” “The root of the word ‘home’ isn’t ‘house’, it’s ‘village’. It was in the old English word ‘ham’, and when there wasn’t a big society, the village was the place you felt safe. We need to have communities that we feel held in. And that’s at odds with individualism.”   Useful links: Neil Gibb on LinkedInNeil Gibb - The Participation Revolution (Hive link) / (Amazon link)Neil Gibb bio at Shape-EducationNeil Gibb at publisher Eye BooksDennis Potter (Wikipedia)Bradford City Of Culture 2025Carlos Tevez (Wikipedia)Dan PinkThe Beatles: Get Back (Wikipedia) / (Disney+)Sapiens International Corporation (Wikipedia)Agile At Scale (via Harvard Business Review)Fillets Fish and Chips   This episode was recorded in September 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: AMY O'DONNELL
Oct 16 2022
5 Big Questions: AMY O'DONNELL
Can the internet ever be safe for children? What is the impact of digital exclusion on the UK economy? Why is our digital life usually demanding more and more from us?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to digital inclusion and online safeguarding expert AMY O'DONNELL.   Known for: Senior Programme Manager (Social Impact) - Nominet Project Leader - Digital Youth Index Co-district Commissioner (Oxford) - Girlguiding Former Digital Programme Manager - Oxfam The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate? Key quotes: "We can’t underestimate the learning that we need to do as a sector around power, around bias.” “The only thing that we can do is have a quest for knowledge. Setting out with a mindset not to put ‘impact’ on this big pedestal, but rather the slower, more agile, pieces of the puzzle.” “Over half of young people are teaching themselves digital skills.” “We have to go beyond the idea of counting numbers, really think about feedback, qualitative insight into our learning, helping us see the world through a different lens, from a different perspective.” “Organisations will only ever be as relevant as their ability to relate to individuals in their audiences. Putting people first, in human-centred design processes and in true processes of diversity.” “The attention that digital platforms are demanding of us daily is having a huge impact on our mental health and the mental health of young people.” “We know that 870,000 technology and digital jobs are open at the moment in the UK economy. This is presenting a huge risk to the digital economy because there are jobs not being done, but also wouldn’t it be cool if we made a strategy that made for a really diverse workforce, which allowed us to plug that gap with people with a diverse range of lived experience that could create those solutions for the future.”   Useful links: // Amy O’Donnell (LinkedIn) // https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-o-donnell-17751518/?originalSubdomain=uk // Twitter // @amy_odonnell // Nominet UK // https://www.nominet.uk/ // Girl Guiding UK // https://www.girlguiding.org.uk/ // Online Safety Bill UK // https://bills.parliament.uk/bills/3137   Online Safety Bill government fact sheet https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/online-safety-bill-supporting-documents/online-safety-bill-factsheet // Tony’s Chocolonely social impact reports // https://tonyschocolonely.com/us/en/annual-fair-reports/ // Good Things Foundation https://www.goodthingsfoundation.org/ // Nominet and Barnardos ‘Project Backpack // https://www.nominet.uk/barnardos-to-help-professionals-keep-children-safe-online-in-new-programme-funded-by-nominet/ // Nominet’s Digital Youth Index // https://digitalyouthindex.uk/ // The Scouts’ Digital Citizenship Badge // https://www.scouts.org.uk/staged-badges/digital-citizen/ // Microbit // https://microbit.org/   This episode was recorded in July 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: GAVIN POOLE
Oct 10 2022
5 Big Questions: GAVIN POOLE
What happens when tech innovation meets education? What can the military teach us about social mobility? What is the real legacy of the Olympic Park in Stratford?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to former RAF Commander, government social policy adviser and innovation space creator, GAVIN POOLE   Known for: CEO - Here East Non-Executive Director - Plexal Former Trustee - Scope Former Trustee - The Legacy List Former Executive Director - The Centre For Social Justice Former Private Secretary - Ministry of Defence (UK) Former Commanding Officer - Royal Air Force The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate? Key quotes: “Before you know it, our little piece of policy work suddenly became the Modern Day Slavery Act. We did that, that makes huge change.” On Here East: “We can be a social change agent, using the power of commercial real estate to change people’s lives.” “This is a vehicle for social change. A vehicle where we could probably test some of the policy ideas we’ve been working on for the last four-and-a-half years at the CSJ and roll them out into a wider local community around Olympic Park.” “We’re always looking five years out. That necessitated us to be quite lean from the get-go. In December 2014, whilst we were building these huge buildings on Olympic Park, there were three of us and that was it. But we needed, in 2015, to stand up the organisation because we were going to operationalise part of Here East. So that year we went from three to just under 40. Keep things lean!” “How were we hedging energy in advance of the Ukraine crisis kicking off? It’s probably a bi-product of my military background. You know it’s the old adage of great plans don’t survive first contact with the enemy. When you join the military they spend over a year just training you on leadership.” Useful links: // Twitter — @GavinJPoole // Instagram — @GavinJPoole // LinkedIn — Gavin Poole, CEO Here East // https://www.linkedin.com/in/gavinpoole/?originalSubdomain=uk // Here East // https://hereeast.com/ // Gavin Poole profile on Centre For London // https://www.centreforlondon.org/person/gavin-poole/ // Gavin Poole profile on New London Architecture // https://nla.london/contributors/gavin-poole // Royal Air Force apprenticeships // https://recruitment.raf.mod.uk/apprenticeships?gclid=Cj0KCQjwhY-aBhCUARIsALNIC05R6e5a5dYr8ITEOsL8SgwQvl_n3YBS30PUVp1TnsJqipNX7VqlJnwaAgX0EALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds // Centre For Social Justice // https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/ // Iain Duncan Smith (Wiki) // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iain_Duncan_Smith // Philippa Stroud (Wiki) // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Philippa_Stroud,_Baroness_Stroud // Centre For Social Justice — Modern Slavery // https://www.centreforsocialjustice.org.uk/about/the-five-pathways/modern-slavery // Modern Slavery Act 2015 (Wiki) // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modern_Slavery_Act_2015 // Modern Slavery at the University of Sussex // https://blogs.sussex.ac.uk/global/2019/03/11/examining-the-relevance-of-the-modern-slavery-and-human-trafficking-discourse/ // Oxford Economics // https://www.oxfordeconomics.com/ // Loughborough University // https://www.lboro.ac.uk/ // Gartner [curve] Hype Cycle (Wiki) // https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gartner_hype_cycle // UCL // https://www.ucl.ac.uk/ // Bartlett School of Architecture // https://www.ucl.ac.uk/bartlett/architecture/bartlett-school-architecture // LMA // https://lma.ac.uk/ // Ken Robinson // https://www.sirkenrobinson.com/     This episode was recorded in August 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: MIKE ADAMS OBE
Jul 28 2022
5 Big Questions: MIKE ADAMS OBE
How do we change the conversation about disability for good? What can disabled leaders teach about the real power of ‘vulnerability’? How can you be more purple?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to entrepreneur, innovator and equality campaigner MIKE ADAMS OBE   Known for: CEO - We Are Purple Executive Director - CareTech Former CEO - Essex Coalition of Disabled People Former Non-Executive Director - Mid Essex Hospitals NHS Trust Former Director of Delivery, Learning and Leadership - Disability Rights Commission   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “It’s been an interesting journey for me because from day dot, I was born with a disability, I have been defined as ‘vulnerable’ and I have raged against the machine about being labelled this ‘vulnerable’ individual because I happened to have a disability. Then as you go on your Chief Executive, leadership journey, they start telling you that the more vulnerable you are, as a leader, the more impact you can have. The irony has not been lost on me!”     “The ‘purple pound’, the consumer spending power of disabled people and their families equates to £274billion per year and it’s rising at 14% per annum.” “We buck convention. How do you make an issue inclusive? How do you make an issue relevant to non-disabled people, so they become part of the journey and transform the lives of disabled people? The way that we did it was to focus on the economics.” “If there is a legacy of Covid it will be the greater influence of social impact on investors, businesses, customers and staff. I think we’re starting to see it talked about much more than just a tokenistic tick-box.” “In this decade, organisations that get disability, inclusion, diversity, will absolutely thrive. Those that don’t will struggle to survive and I really believe that.” “What kind of society, neighbourhoods, workplaces, do we really want in the end? If you look at it in terms of what you’re trying to shift, change and create in the end, it helps you to think through a much longer-term thought process on what the right skills would be and knowledge would be.”  "I would say to all your listeners: go on your work website, unplug your mouse, and see how well you can navigate. It’s a really good barometer about how accessible you are.”  “Digital development has exploded a lot of the myths around the ‘built environment’ and lifts and ramps and all of those kind of things. It’s strange: organisations are being pushed and forced into places that will benefit them enormously.”     Useful links: Follow Mike Adams on LinkedIn for his hugely popular regular posts // linkedin.com/in/mike-adams-purple/?originalSubdomain=uk CareTech Foundation trustees page // caretechfoundation.org.uk/trustees/mike-adams-obe/   Purple // wearepurple.org.uk/ Purple on Twitter — @wearepurpleorg Purple — Mike Adams on the About Us pag // wearepurple.org.uk/about-us/meet-the-team/mike-adams-obe/ The Body Shop — Wikipedia entry // en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Body_Shop Purple Tuesday (next one: 1st November, 2022) // purpletuesday.co/ Purple Tuesday on Twitter - @purpletuesdaynov   Purple Tuesday business advice via VisitBritain // visitbritain.org/business-advice/purple-tuesday                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Enable All — inclusive e-commerce // enableall.com/     This episode was recorded in June 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: KIT MESSENGER
Jul 21 2022
5 Big Questions: KIT MESSENGER
Is quitting on principle the right thing to do? Is the UK education system fit for purpose?  How fast is change?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to social entrepreneur, trainer and former head teacher KIT MESSENGER   Known for: Co-director - Changing Chances Former Headteacher - Manor Field Primary School Teaching Fellow - University of Sussex (UK)   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “A person can shift their thinking and then they can shift in terms of their skills and behaviour. Then they can start operating differently with a child, speaking to them differently, supporting them differently. But the impact for the child won’t be straight away, because they’ve got to embed. Neural pathways take time to build and strengthen.” “Some people can work outside their principles for a long time and seem to survive, and some people can’t.” “I had this naive belief that it could create this momentum and things might change.” “When they know that you’re doing something because you really, truly love it and you’ve got their children’s best interests truly at heart, you get a different value system going through a community, going through an organisation.”  “What kind of society, neighbourhoods, workplaces, do we really want in the end? If you look at it in terms of what you’re trying to shift, change and create in the end, it helps you to think through a much longer-term thought process on what the right skills would be and knowledge would be.”      Useful links: Kit Messenger LinkedIn // https://www.linkedin.com/in/kit-messenger-186a8579/?originalSubdomain=uk Changing Chances // https://www.changingchances.co.uk/ ‘Headteacher quits…’ — Evening Standard // https://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/headteacher-quits-amid-claims-schools-are-factory-farming-children-in-heartfelt-letter-a3229066.html ‘Kit Messenger Quits Manor Field Primary’ — Brighton Argus // https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/14438811.kit-messenger-quits-manor-field-primary-school-over-academy-plans/ Kit Messenger profile in The Mirror // https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/headteacher-who-resigned-over-academy-7913854       This episode was recorded in May 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: SAM KNOWLES
Jul 15 2022
5 Big Questions: SAM KNOWLES
What are the best questions to ask, and when? How can we be more curious?  And why should we still heed advice from Socrates?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to data-storyteller, experimental psychologist and marketing man DR SAM KNOWLES Twitter: @SamKnowles   Known for: Founder/Director - Insight Agents Host - Small Data Forum podcast Former Group Director (Strategic Planning) - WCG Europe Former UK Managing Director - Echo Research Author - Narrative By Numbers Author - How To Be Insightful Author - Asking Smarter Questions   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “We are rewarded by answering. We live in an analytical culture and we are rewarded by providing answers — and I wanted to subvert that.” “I’ve stopped, by the way, this is the last book. Four is a list and two isn’t enough but three is ‘friends, Romans’, countrymen’, the power of three.”   “Asking questions, start from a position that Socrates took: ‘all that I know is that I know nothing’. You start from a position of ignorance and you park your assumptions and your biases and prejudices at the door.”  “The most satisfying projects tend to be those that have the most chance of having impact.” "If you can tell people convincingly in an evidence-based way, the impact that you have had, then you’ll get more money!” “By the time they are five, children have asked something like 40,000 ‘why’ type questions and then progressively school and the world of work, and university, will beat that out of them and will say ‘we need answers, give us answers!’” "There are some organisations — commercial and non-commercial — that are getting better at harnessing and socialising the institutional memory.” “I’m not a failure fetishist.” "Actively rewarding questioning is important. It’s about curiosity for all time, rather than just curiosity for the thing we’re working on today.”  “Be more foxy and less hedgehog-y” “To move from ‘so what’ to ‘now what’ you need to ‘fill the hopper’ — between all of our ears, the world’s most brilliant bottom-up, top-down supercomputer exists, but the engine does need fuel.”   Useful links: Insight Agents — meet the agents page // insightagents.co.uk/meet-the-agents/ Sam Knowles — Narrative By Numbers (Amazon link) // amazon.co.uk/Narrative-Numbers-Sam-Knowles/dp/0815353146/ref=sr_1_1?crid=DRW1OAQWB95C&keywords=Sam+Knowles&qid=1657752300&sprefix=sam+knowles%2Caps%2C63&sr=8-1 Sam Knowles — How To Be Insightful (Amazon link) // amazon.co.uk/How-Insightful-Unlocking-Superpower-Innovation/dp/0367261707/ref=sr_1_4?crid=DRW1OAQWB95C&keywords=Sam+Knowles&qid=1657752402&sprefix=sam+knowles%2Caps%2C63&sr=8-4 Sam Knowles — Asking Smarter Questions (Amazon link) // amazon.co.uk/Asking-Smarter-Questions-Insight-Better/dp/1032111151/ref=sr_1_2?crid=DRW1OAQWB95C&keywords=Sam+Knowles&qid=1657752402&sprefix=sam+knowles%2Caps%2C63&sr=8-2 Socrates — Wikipedia // wikipedia.org/wiki/Socrates Financial Times / McKinsey’s Business Book of the Year Awards // mckinsey.com/about-us/new-at-mckinsey-blog/2021-business-book-of-the-year-award Dan Pink — To Sell Is Human (Amazon link) // amazon.co.uk/Sell-Human-Surprising-Persuading-Influencing/dp/B00BCMHG5W/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=dan+pink+to+sell+is+human&qid=1657752976&sprefix=Dan+Pink+to+sell%2Caps%2C68&sr=8-1 ‘Doughnut’ economic model // wikipedia.org/wiki/Doughnut_(economic_model) Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard // benjerry.com/flavors/flavor-graveyard Isaiah Berlin’s ‘The Hedgehog And The Fox’ essay, written in response to Tolstoy’s View of History (Wikipedia) // wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hedgehog_and_the_Fox and the full Berlin essay free-to-read online — // blogs.hss.ed.ac.uk/crag/files/2016/06/the_hedgehog_and_the_fox-berlin.pdf Simon Baron-Cohen (Wikipedia) // en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Baron-Cohen     This episode was recorded in May 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: ANGELA MCCONVILLE
Jul 8 2022
5 Big Questions: ANGELA MCCONVILLE
Do charities ever truly know what impact they have? How does a human-centred support service adapt to the digital age?  What underpins good leadership, in the charity sector?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to long-standing charity chief, community-builder and moderniser ANGELA MCCONVILLE Twitter: @angelamcconvill | @NCTcharity   Known for: CEO - National Childbirth Trust (NCT) Former Trustee - London Transport Museum Former CEO - Old Naval College, Greenwich Former CEO - Westway Trust Former CEO - Vital Regeneration Former Director - The London Apprenticeship Company   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “I’ve tended to lead organisations that don’t pursue more traditional fundraising routes but actually trade in socially motivated businesses.” “The search for impact is the Holy Grail for charity leaders. It ought to be at our fingertips but it’s an elusive thing.” “The role of digital and digital services for parents is extremely motivating for us. The challenge of digital is both exciting and you have to have a curious skepticism about the limits of it. But parents have engaged with digital services in all sorts of ways throughout the pandemic and I think that’s demonstrated to us what some of the potential is.” “I’m building a community at NCT which is about high levels of trust and autonomy. Lots of forming and re-forming of teams in response to initiatives or challenges, pop-up teams around specific opportunities. And that’s worked really well and the feedback that I get is we’ve moved away from traditional siloes towards point-to-point contact.”     Useful links: Angela McConville via LinkedIn // linkedin.com/in/angelamcconville/?originalSubdomain=uk NCT (National Childbirth Trust) // nct.org.uk/ NCT appoints Angela McConville as Chief Executive // nct.org.uk/about-us/media/news/nct-appoints-angela-mcconville-chief-executive NHS X incubator lab (now integrated into the Transformation Directorate at NHS England) // nhsx.nhs.uk/ NCT Walk & Talk groups // nct.org.uk/about-us/media/news/ncts-new-walk-and-talk-groups-are-boosting-parents-wellbeing ACEVO // www.acevo.org.uk/     This episode was recorded in May 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: MARK CUDDIGAN
Jun 30 2022
5 Big Questions: MARK CUDDIGAN
What makes a good CEO? Can a food company be the voice of its end users?  How do you measure the ripple effect that you effect in your work?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to business leader and social entrepreneur MARK CUDDIGAN Twitter: @CuddiganMark   Known for: CEO - Ella's Kitchen Head of Sustainability & Marketing - Hain Celestial Europe Trustee - B Lab Non-Executive Director - Three Point Zero   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: “There are occasions in your life, if you’re lucky, when you meet someone who changes your viewpoint on life, or business, forever. I met Paul Lindley who set up Ella’s Kitchen sixteen years ago and he was one of those people.” “My phone cover is an Ella’s Kitchen phone cover and I’m on the tube and often people stop me and say, where did you get that phone cover, can I have one of those? And then we’ll get talking about Ella’s Kitchen and they genuinely come alive. We are able to connect with parents on a really deep level. Because of that, I would say we have a responsibility to lead the company in such a way that other companies will follow us.”  “I’ve never met a CEO that hasn’t claimed they’re saving the world, yet the world isn’t being saved. So we all believe we work in these amazing companies. My question to CEOs when I meet them is: prove it.” “I’m gonna use a corny quote from Spiderman: with great power comes great responsibility.” “In two years’ time over half of all of our partners will be B Corporations. It’s a bit like a Ponzi scheme, but the only two things that benefit are the people and the environment.” “A CEO’s role is now not simply to the company that they are running. Their responsibilities go much, much wider. If you take Net Zero. There’s no point us achieving Net Zero, which we’ve committed to do by 2030, if no-one else does. Everyone needs to do it. Those that say they’re doing this already, my challenge to them is, how are you bringing other people along with it?” “In any of the supermarkets now, you could pretty much just shop B Corps now, if you wanted to.” “Leaders need to get onboard. So you don’t want to certify as a B Corp you could support the Better Business Act. That’s free, it’ll take you two seconds to sign up, we’re trying to change a section of the Companies Act.” “We want to be the voice of the under-fives. That is our aim because we feel we have that responsibility.”   Useful links: Profile on Mark at Greenhouse // greenhouse.agency/blog/beyond-net-zero-hero-mark-cuddigan-ceo-of-ellas-kitchen/ Paul Lindley (Wikipedia biography) // wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Lindley Ella’s Kitchen // ellaskitchen.co.uk/ Ella’s Kitchen (Wikipedia) // wikipedia.org/wiki/Ella%27s_Kitchen B Corporation certification (Wikipedia) // wikipedia.org/wiki/B_Corporation_(certification) B-Corp (UK) // bcorporation.uk/?gclid=CjwKCAjwk_WVBhBZEiwAUHQCme7QGKrM5eDDSb7P9iYlIyirRcGz2gIQUcP0snZubCdQoPawermegRoCWpYQAvD_BwE The Better Business Act // betterbusinessact.org/act-now/ Sir Ken Robinson TED talk on creativity in education (via YouTube) // youtu.be/iG9CE55wbtY Mark on Change Makers podcast // changemakers.works/podcasts/we-all-have-an-impact-on-the-planet-our-question-is-what-we-are-going-to-do-about-it-ellas-kitchen-ceo-mark-cuddigan-on-putting-people-the-planet-and-profit-on-an-equal-footing/ Flexible Packaging Consortium (via Circular magazine) // circularonline.co.uk/news/leading-uk-brands-partner-to-tackle-flexible-packaging-recycling/ Flexible Packaging Consortium (via Food And Drink Technology magazine) // foodanddrinktechnology.com/news/37215/leading-household-brands-join-forces-to-tackle-flexible-packaging-recycling-in-the-uk/   This episode was recorded in June 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: CAROLYNN BAIN
Jun 24 2022
5 Big Questions: CAROLYNN BAIN
Why will intentionality change the world? How do we challenge word of mouth book recommendations?  And what is the difference between not-racism and anti-racism?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to book shop owner, festival organiser and professional bubble-burster CAROLYNN BAIN Twitter: @carolynnbain   Known for: Founder - Afrori Books Founder - Brighton Book Festival   The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate?   Key quotes: "I get bored of whinging and not doing anything about it. I usually whinge for a bit and then think stuff it, I’ll do it myself.”  "When people ask me what I do, I say I’m a professional bubble burster. Most people’s book shelf sits in a bubble.” “The publishing industry is so far behind almost every other industry. The publishing industry decides what they think people want to read and then looks for authors who tick their boxes. They very rarely even talk to booksellers.” “When I opened the bookshop I said to my children ‘this isn’t an inheritance, I don’t want you to inherit the bookshop, because I want it to die with me — I don’t want it to need to exist.’ Maybe I’m being over-optimistic.” “When we first started we wrote to the five major publishing houses and asked them to send us a list of their black authors. Just really simply, it’ll help us stock the shop. I wasn’t even think of anything political. Four out of five said ‘no’ and the fifth said ‘er, we wouldn’t know how to,’ and the four that said ‘no’ said: ‘we don’t keep a record of the race, or culture, of our authors.’ Now I’ll be a skeptic here and say that the reason you don’t is cos if you did we’d all see that it’s less than one percent of your roster. And that’s shameful.” “It’d be great if we could address it from the top down and get more people in big positions in publishing. But do I sit around and wait for that to happen? No, I’m an activist so I’ll push it from the ground up, as much as I can. I’ll look for traction wherever I can get it.” “We’ve got a panel looking at masculinity and it’s three black guys. Now there’s not a book festival in the country that has that. We actually got to a couple of weeks ago and realised there were no white men on any of the panels. We had to go — we’re not being diverse, we have to find a white man! Create new norms!”    Useful links: Afrori Books // afroribooks.co.uk/ Afrori Books opening on ITV News // itv.com/news/meridian/2021-09-29/mum-to-open-brightons-first-bookshop-showcasing-black-authors Yellow Pages ‘J.R. Hartley’ advert from the 1980s (via YouTube) // youtube.com/watch?v=Zh8iXc2d71U Backlast after Bernadine Evaristo shares the Booker Prize (via The Guardian) // theguardian.com/books/2019/oct/15/bernardine-evaristo-margaret-atwood-share-booker-prize-award Brighton Book Festival // brightonbookfestival.co.uk/ Brighton Book Festival event on masculinity // eventbrite.com/e/masculinities-tickets-322054382327   This episode was recorded in May 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts
5 Big Questions: PROFESSOR DAVID G BLANCHFLOWER CBE
Jun 17 2022
5 Big Questions: PROFESSOR DAVID G BLANCHFLOWER CBE
Why have economists got things so wrong? What is 'guessonomics'??  And what are the dangers of groupthink?   In this week’s 5 Big Questions interview we talk to Ivy League professor, global economics expert and former Bank of England adviser PROFESSOR DAVID G "DANNY" BLANCHFLOWER CBE Twitter: @D_Blanchflower Known for: Bruce V Rauner Professor of Economics - Dartmouth College, New Hampshire (USA) Research Associate - National Bureau of Economic Research (USA) Contributing Editor - Bloomberg TV Former Member of the Monetary Policy Committee - Bank of England Author - The Wage Curve The Big 5 Questions: How do you measure the impact of what you do?How should people/businesses be preparing for the future?How do we build the workforce we need for that future?How do you use creativity to solve problems?How do you collaborate? Key quotes: “Try and think about the wellbeing of ordinary people. What would benefit ordinary people? And oftentimes that runs in contrast to what central bankers and others are doing. Very often they represent the interest of banks and hedge funds.”  “Great, I thought your job was to not cause recessions!” “Often all they’re doing is just making it up. This is all about ‘guessonomics’. If you’re going to forecast the weather, the reason you can do that is you’ve got past data on weather patterns that tell you what’s coming. We’re in a situation where we’ve got no data points. Basically we’re running blind.”  "When ideas are complicated and the situation is uncertain, you probably should worry if you hear everyone at both the Bank of England and at the Fed in the United States saying the same thing, that sounds awfully like groupthink.” “Write papers that address real world practical problems. If you can’t characterise that it’s better off doing something else. In many cases the economist would’ve been better off delivering pizza than writing these silly papers. I said that once and somebody said to me, no that would be a really bad idea. If we gave economists the pizza delivery job, they’d just deliver it to the wrong house.”   Useful links: David Blanchflower bio (Wikipedia) // wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Blanchflower   website  // davidblanchflower.com/ Professor profile page at Dartmouth // economics.dartmouth.edu/people/david-graham-blanchflower Writing in The Guardian // theguardian.com/profile/davidblanchflower Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) // bankofengland.co.uk/about/people/monetary-policy-committee The National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) // niesr.ac.uk/ David G. Blanchflower — Not Working - Where Have All The Good Jobs Gone? (via Hive) // hive.co.uk/Product/David-G-Blanchflower/Not-Working--Where-Have-All-the-Good-Jobs-Gone/25343911https://www.hive.co.uk/Product/David-G-Blanchflower/Not-Working--Where-Have-All-the-Good-Jobs-Gone/25343911 David G. Blanchflower — Not Working - Where Have All The Good Jobs Gone? (via Amazon) // amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08KKZ4P6J/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_tkin_p1_i0   This episode was recorded in May 2022 Interviewer: Richard Freeman for always possible Editor: CJ Thorpe-Tracey for Lo Fi Arts