DownsideUpDesign

Icon

Drew Smith: ethnographer, strategist and host of Rising Minds

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Rodrigo Bautista & Anna Warrington from Forum for the Future

To speak on the theme of Future, we felt it only appropriate that Forum for the Future be included as part of the global, CreativeMornings mix.

Taking a pragmatic view that a sustainable future for all will be underpinned by sustainable business (both in the financial and environmental senses), they work with corporations, governments and NGOs to co-create new approaches to delivering products and services. Putting systems innovation at the heart of their work, they’re now focussed on transforming the man-made organisms that underpin our society: finance, food and energy.

Speaking will be Rodrigo Bauista, a designer and teacher specialised in sustainable innovation, and Anna Warrington, an advisor within the Sustainable Business Team, who spends her time bringing together different industries to collaboratively develop sustainability solutions.

The usual interview is below, but we hope you can make it to our new venue partner, MRM Meteorite on April 26th to hear Rodrigo and Anna in full flight.

CreativeMornings/London on Friday April 26th is generously sponsored by MRM meteorite and will be held at MRM meteorite, 76-80 Southwark Street, London, SE1 0PN.

 

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?

A: The swimming pool.

R: I normally take the train heading south.

Is it about what you know or who you know?

A: Both.

R: It’s more about what you do. However every little helps, so, be kind to people and share your wisdom.

What’s been the most pivotal point in your life thus far?

A: Getting my first bike. The sense of freedom has never diminished.

R: Professionally, quitting my job for the richest man in the world.

Do you think there’s enough discourse between disciplines?

A: Some connections are stronger than others. I’d like to see more conversations between seemingly unrelated disciplines.

R: No. It depends of the organisation some are very good at it and some need help to have interdisciplinary dialogue.

Can you teach innovation?

A: Honestly, I don’t know. You can teach the theory. You can definitely create the right environment. And you can inspire it without doubt. And you can bring people along with you so that they experience it. Does that add up to people then being able to do it? Who knows. But I hope so.

R: Yes. But you need to live it too.

Dollar or Yuan?

A: Both at the moment. But for how long?

R: Amero

Do you believe in an afterlife?

A: I have a sneaking suspicion that there’s more to this life thing than we know…

R: No

Negative or positive freedom? 

A: Positive. In the main.

R: Positive freedom

Ideal holiday?

A: I love our tiny family campervan!

R: Shared with family, people are the places.

Can you draw?

A: Yes. Badly.

R: Yes

Can you draw us a wave?

A: Yes. Ask me when I see you and I’ll show you

R: A Mexican wave?

Individual or state (or both)?

A: A world where individuals are the state but somehow better than Big Society…

R: Society and community?

Favourite LP?

A: Depends on my mood. Could be Take That one minute, Eagles the next, followed by Ibrahim Ferrer and then Chris Wood after that. A tad eclectic.

R: Tough one…

Hypnotic Brass Ensemble (2009). HBE

The bends. Radiohead

Helville deluxe E. Bunbury

Last book read?

A: Behind the beautiful forevers. Read it, I tell you.

R: Vivir. Julio Scherer.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

A: Pretend you’re a car when you cycle on London roads. Never squeeze yourself into the side.

R: Never give up, just… follow the energy.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are?

A: Get involved!

R: Don’t listen to me, go out and do what you love.

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Adil Abrar

We often hear about reusing goods, but what about reusing people?

Thanks to London startup The Amazings, the concept isn’t as incongruous as it might first sound.

We’re faced with a rapidly aging population that, on the one hand, is hobbled by an employment market that looks unkindly on advancing years.

On the other hand, our amazing elders are finding that they have to work longer to make up for an increasing shortfall in social care.

The Amazings is working to bridge that gap, matching skilled elders to a younger audience that is keen to benefit from an Amazing’s years of experience and willing to pay for it.

It’s gives us huge pleasure to present Adil Abrar, co-founder of The Amazings, at this month’s CreativeMornings/London, where he’ll be speaking to our 3rd global theme for 2013, Reuse.

We’re also overjoyed to announce our partnership with The Goldsmiths Centre in Farringdon, who’ll be hosting this event for us. It’s a stunning venue and they’ll be special offer for CreativeMornings/London fans announced in due course.

In the mean time, be sure to check out our interview with Adil below and set your calendar to catch a ticket to hear the story of The Amazings.

Adil Abrar will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London, hosted and sponsored by The Goldsmiths Centre, on Friday, March 22nd. Doors open at 8:30am. Tickets will become available on the CreativeMornings/London Eventbrite page at 11am on Monday, March 18th.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?
My whole career has been built on not concentrating.

Is it about what you know or who you know?
They’re both important. But ‘why’ is more important. If you have a purpose, everything else will become easier.

What’s been the most pivotal point in your life thus far?
Passing my 11+ and leaving the Estate I grew up in and heading to grammar school to hang out with well-fed kids who go skiing every year.

Do you think there’s enough discourse between disciplines?
Nowadays, definitely. It’s rarer to find a specialist than a generalist. The pendulum has probably gone too far towards broad, rather than, deep knowledge.

Can you teach innovation?
You can affect people with the spirit, confidence and attitude to experiment, take risks and be brave. Innovation is the result of that.

Dollar or Yuan?
Rupees

Do you believe in an afterlife?
Ask me when I’m dead

Negative or positive freedom?
Huh

Ideal holiday?
Climbing a (small) mountain

Can you draw?
Only flowers

Can you draw us a wave?
Not on my phone

Individual or state (or both)?
Community

Favourite LP?
Neil Young – Decade

Last book read?
Dirt – Mötley Crüe

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Marriage is like a shirt. You have to put it on to know whether it fits.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are?
Do something you love, with the people you love.

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Paul Ormorod

The Zürich chapter, situated in one of the more understated money capitals of the world, chose Money as the global theme for CreativeMornings in February.

Given London’s all-together more challenging take on that which makes capitalism go ’round, we knew that – for us – any old money man (or woman) wouldn’t do.

One only has to look at the titles of Paul Ormorod’s books to get a sense that he’s no classical economist. Starting with The Death of Economics, moving through Butterfly Economics and Why Most Things Fail: Evolution, Extinction and Economics and concluding (for now) with Positive Linking: How Networks Can Revolutionise the World, Ormorod has tirelessly challenged the economic orthodoxy. In it’s place, he argues for a model that more closely aligns with our irrational, networked selves and the natural systems we are beholden to.

Whoever said economics, creativity and desire to be more in tune with the world around us were mutually exclusive should get stuck in to Paul’s books.

Or, if you’re a CreativeMornings fan, come along to his talk. Hosted locally by LBi and supported globally by Squarespace, it will a fantastic opportunity to engage with a topic that we creatives rarely enjoy discussing.

Our usual interview is below for some further insight into Paul’s way of thinking. Otherwise, we’ll look forward to seeing you on the 22nd of February.

Paul Ormorod will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London, hosted and sponsored by LBi, on Friday, February 22nd. Doors open at 8:30am. Tickets will become available on the CreativeMornings/London Eventbrite page at 11am on Monday, February 18th.

 

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?
Anywhere where I can’t be interrupted and I have space to pace around when necessary

Is it about what you know or who you know?
This seems a pretty cynical question

What’s been the most pivotal point in your life thus far?
I grew up on a council estate in Rochdale, and getting into Cambridge was pivotal

Do you think there’s enough discourse between disciplines?
No, nowhere near enough. I liaise with a wide range of disciplines, anthropology,
psychology, economics, physics, for example. This is really important if we want to get a
better understanding of social and economic problems.

Can you teach innovation?
No

Dollar or Yuan?
Dollar

Do you believe in an afterlife?
Yes

Negative or positive freedom?
Positive

Ideal holiday?
I am a keen hillwalker, so a cottage in the Scottish Highlands, ideally on the North West
coast. I would also like uninterrupted fine weather, but that is just a fantasy.

Can you draw?
No

Can you draw us a wave?
No

Individual or state (or both)?
Mainly individual

Favourite LP?
The Velvet Underground and Nico

Last book read?
Irvine Welch’s Skag Boys

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
During the 1980s and early 1990s I had become increasingly critical of mainstream, free
market economics. I was approached by Faber and Faber to write what became the Death
of Economics. But I had never written a non-academic book and I was very nervous about
agreeing to do it. But several people really pressed me. Worldwide, it sold over 1 million.
More importantly, it opened up whole new intellectual avenues and contacts which I would
never have come across if I had not written the book.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are?
Start off doing academic work, with a strong quant emphasis, but then get out after a few
years and use your innovative ideas in your own business

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Mark Stevenson

20130116-200433.jpg
It gives me enormous pleasure to introduce our inaugural speaker for 2013, Mark Stevenson.

Playing the part of polymath to a tee, Mark could be considered a comedian, an author, musician and futurologist all rolled in to one. Happily, his wikipedia entry also calls him out as a public speaker.

Which is perfect really, because -in combination with the knowledge he’s gained researching optimism and setting up the League of Pragmatic Optimists- he’s perfectly poised to talk to our first global theme of 2013: Happiness.

Mark will be appearing at CreativeMornings favourite North London venue, Forward Technology, on January 25th. But if you’d like the down-low ahead of time, we have our usual interview below. We’d also recommend that you check out his series of posts for The School of Life and his latest book, An Optimists Tour of the Future.

Mark Stevenson will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London, hosted and sponsored by Forward Technology, on Friday, January 25th. Doors open at 8:30am. Tickets will become available on the CreativeMornings/London Eventbrite pageat 11am on Monday, January 21st.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?
Anywhere quiet.

Is it about what you know or who you know?
It’s about what you ask and who you ask it of.

What’s been the most pivotal point in your life thus far?
Every point in your life can be pivotal.

Do you think there’s enough discourse between disciplines?
No, a thousand times no.

Can you teach innovation?
You can teach people the techniques that might lead to innovation. Better though is not to have an education system that teaches people out of their creativity in the first place.

Dollar or Yuan?
My preferred currency is the currency of ideas.

Do you believe in an afterlife?
I’ll let you know if I get there.

Negative or positive freedom?
The latter.

Ideal holiday?
Wherever my girlfriend is going.

Can you draw?
I have played Pictionary.

Can you draw us a wave?
Will you draw me a beach?

Individual or state (or both)?
It’s a negotiation.

Favourite LP?
I don’t do favourites. To say something is a favourite is to put it above all others, whereas I like lots of things equally but for different reasons. Seriously, you want me to put Stevie Wonder and Black Sabbath in the same race?

Last book read?
I tend to read several books simultaneously – so, Comedy Rules by Jonathan Lynn, Snowcrash by Neal Stephenson, The Leaderless Revolution by Carne Ross and Debt, The First 5,000 years by David Graeber.

The best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
Don’t be tempted into putting your experiences into hierarchies.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to be where you are?
Come on over. We have wine.

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Rory Sutherland

To attempt an introduction to Rory Sutherland is to risk seriously underwhelming his legion of followers, not to mention the man himself.

So in the interests of avoiding disappointment, we’ll keep it brief.

Testament to the fact that being written off as a crap graduate is no barrier to stellar success, Rory’s contribution to the world of advertising and its move into the digital space is the stuff of global renown.

Currently vice-chariman of Ogilvy UK, he’s as fervent an advocate of getting the small stuff right as he is luke-warm on the preponderance of crap strategy. We can’t wait to be held in thrall by whatever he choses to hold forth on or, indeed, whatever he choses to wear.

Making sure you set your alarms for 11am on Monday the 19th of November and head to our Eventbrite page for tickets. You wont want to miss this.

CreativeMornings/London on Friday November 23rd is generously sponsored by Carat and will be held in The Johannes Gutenburg Room, 10 Triton Street NW1 3BF London. The nearest tube stations are Regents Park, Great Portland Street, Euston Square, and Warren Street.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?

A cafe or train – you are undisturbed, but benefit from the stochastic resonance of background noise.

Read the rest of this entry »

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Daniel Lewington & Christian Miccio (updated)

Over the last few weeks, the hot topic of conversation in CreativeMornings circles has been the sometimes awkward relationship between the tech and design communities in London.

This month, we have the pleasure of presenting two chaps that have bridged the design/technology gap in a dizzying display of entrepreneurial endeavour.

Daniel Lewington worked for a who’s who of digital, design, branding, product and service agencies before chucking it all in to join London start-up Apsmart. Here, as Head of Strategy & User Experience, he joined members of the original development team behind music discovery app Shazam.

In June of this year, Thomson Reuters acquired Apsmart , with Daniel becoming their Director of Mobile User Interface. But before the sale, Daniel had a hand in developing a serendipitous internet radio app for iPad called Mpme, which is where Christian comes in.

As an early joiner at Shazam, Christian’s responsibilities included building the technical team, the content management system and what has become one of the largest music databases around.

He then spent almost 5 years at Google as a product developer, rolling out core features in Gmail and Maps while also looking after market research and recruiting activities.

He’s now CEO of MPme, where they’re continuing to refine their iPad app, widely considered the most beautiful radio app going.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to CreativeMornings/London October with Daniel and Christian on the 2nd of November at Forward Technology in Camden.

In the meantime, get yourself acquainted with Daniel via our usual interview and set your alarms for 11am, October 29th when we’ll release tickets to this event.

Daniel Lewington & Christian Miccio will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday November 2nd – sponsored by Forward Technology – at Floor 2, Centro 3, 19 Mandela Street, London, NW1 0DU. The nearest tubes are Camden Town or Mornington Crescent. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?
DL: Home.

CM: Into my own place in my head. Generally in a coffee shop so I have only anonymous chatter around me that I can ignore, while getting enough external input to come up with new ideas.

Read the rest of this entry »

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Tom Foulkes & Michael Johnson

Back in July 2011, when CreativeMornings/London launched, we had the honour of Michael Johnson of Johnson Banks as our first speaker.

September 2012 sees him take the stage again, this time with long-time collaborator and friend Tom Foulkes.

Until recently, Tom was UKMEA Marketing Director at Arup, preceded by senior marketing roles at Buro Happold and Land Securities. He’s also Global Creative Ambassador for the D&AD White Pencil, and the Chair and founding member of the Design Business Association’s Client Membership Panel.

Which makes him ideally placed to talk about his creative partnership with Michael. With a double act looking at who directs the creative process and how they go about it, it will a rollicking exploration of the client/agency relationship, how it can go right and what happens when it goes wrong.

Our usual interview with Tom is below and Michael’s is still available here.

We’re looking forward to welcoming you to the St. Martins Lane hotel on September 28th.

Tom Foulkes & Michael Johnson will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday September 28th – sponsored by the St. Martins Lane hotel – at 45 Saint Martin’s Lane, London WC2N 4HX. The nearest tube is Leicester Square. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Where do you go when you need to concentrate?
Anywhere with my iPod, as long as I can shut out the world with music I can concentrate…

Read the rest of this entry »

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Will Hudson of It’s Nice That

Continuing our interdisciplinary riff, we’re delighted to announce that the speaker for CreativeMornings/London this July is Will Hudson of It’s Nice That.

Since founding It’s Nice That in 2007, Will has worked tirelessly to champion multi and inter-disciplinary art and design through print and online media and a series of events that inspired us to kick off CreativeMornings in London.

It therefore seems appropriate that Will’s talk will also mark our 1 year anniversary in this great city.

As Will’s a specialist in fleshy, human search and curation, we’ve decided to turn up the contrast and host him at the London hub of digital search, Google Campus.

We hope you can join us.

Will Hudson will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday July 27th – sponsored by Google Campus – at 4-5 Bonhill Street, London EC2A 4BX. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Read the rest of this entry »

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Stuart Wood of rAndom International

June 2012 is a big deal for the global CreativeMornings family.

For the first time, 22 CreativeMornings chapters, in collaboration with Rhode Island School of Design, will be speaking with one voice.

The subject is one that’s close to our collective heart: the magic that occurs at the intersection of art and technology.

The CreativeMornings/London team thought long and hard about who we’d like to represent our city on the world stage and after months of frenzied research and conversation, one name kept popping up: rAndom International.

In rAndom, we found the perfect mix of the industrial and ethereal, their installations using technology to give birth to interactive experiences that are magic to behold.

That co-founders Stuart Wood and Florian Ortkrass are so adept at melding art and technology should come as no surprise. Between them, these two have had stints at serial industrial innovators like Audi, Ross Lovegrove, the BBC and Philips. They’ve also served as co-leads on the interaction design course at Ravensbourne.

It was this last point that sealed the deal for us. Part of what drives CreativeMornings is the belief that the fusion of art and technology into design has been one of the greatest drivers of progress. We can’t help but love a couple of guys who’ve helped a whole new generation of creatives get excited by the magic that happens when art and technology collide.

Read our interview with Stuart below and be sure to come along to see him (and Florian) speak at the St. Martins Lane hotel.

Stuart Wood & Florian Ortkrass will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday June 29th - sponsored by The Sanderson Hotel- at 50 Berners Street  London W1T 3NG. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Read the rest of this entry »

CreativeMornings/London Interviews: Peter Gregson



Step 1. Take one musician and have him record a track written by a composer with sensational lineage.

Step 2 Send said track out to the experimental masters of electronica and hip-hop for remixing.

Step 3. Collect results and compile.

If you think this sounds like a recipe for some avant-pop single, we’d forgive you.

In reality, this is a glimpse into the creative process behind the latest work of our next CreativeMornings/London speaker, classical contemporary cellist Peter Gregson.

Apart from his collaboration with Gabriel Prokofiev, titled Cello Multitrack, Gregson has also worked with some of the greats of the classical contemporary music scene, including Max Richter, Howard Goodall and  Steve Reich.

And in the last two years he’s performed at SXSW, XOYO and MIT and TEDx Alcatraz (where he forms part of the house band).

Need we say more.

Performing -and speaking- at CreativeMornings/London in the intimate Sanderson Billiard Room, this ain’t gonna be your average cello recital.

Read our interview below and make sure to set a reminder for 10:55 on Monday, May 21st.

Well, you wouldn’t want to miss out, would you?

Peter Gregson will be appearing at CreativeMornings/London on Friday May 25th -sponsored by The Sanderson- at at the Billiard Room at The Sanderson Hotel at 50 Berners Street, W1T 3NG. For more information and to reserve tickets, please go to the CreativeMornings London Eventbrite page.

Read the rest of this entry »

About DownSideUp Design

I'm Drew Smith and I'm an ethnographer and strategist. By day I shape culture and strategy at Seren. By night I sleep (mostly). And once a month, I host an event called Rising Minds, at Shoreditch House.

DownsideUpDesign is a place for me to collect stuff that I like, often love and sometimes hate for safe keeping. All views represented here are mine and mine alone and do not represent those of anyone else.

Get in touch at drewpasmith (at) gmail (dot) com or tweet me (@drewpasmith) to rant, contribute or collaborate!

Want DownsideUpdates sent to your email address? Click here:

Latest Tweets

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Archives

Legal-schmegal

© Andrew Philip Artois Smith and DownsideUpDesign, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Andrew/Drew Smith and DownsideUpDesign with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.