Kelly Sue DeConnick: Make Them Uncomfortable

Kelly Sue DeConnick: Make Them Uncomfortable from 99U on Vimeo.

This talk is amazing not just because of Kelly’s words of wisdom but because it’s the first time I’ve seen someone apologise for not taking the opportunity to write a more diverse story. Really touched me!

Here are her insights into how to make people uncomfortable
  1. Lead with your heart– follow your truth
  2. Find your group– people are willing to be uncomfortable together, be vulnerable, your uncomfortable audience
  3. Foster community
  4. Listen– you must listen, it’s a gift of intimacy we make the maps that illustrate our connections, listen with our whole hearts and imagine what the world must look like from another perspective
  5. Seek to be uncomfortable yourself– “You don’t get to be a good guy just because you figure you’re not a bad guy”

Dream Catcher

Kim Longinotto’s beautiful and emotional documentary about the tireless sex worker advocate Brenda Myers-Powell. Really brought home to me how so many people are reacting to things that happened to them as children. Things they had no control over.

Brenda Myers- Powell is just incredible. Her strength, openness, lack of judgement and tireless work is changing the lives of so many girls, women and their families.

“It’s not your fault,” “you deserve happiness” such powerful words.


Diana Vreeland: The Eyes have to Travel

I watched Diana Vreeland: the Eyes have to travel again. It’s a documentary about Diana Vreeland former editor of  Vogue and Harpers Bazaar, a visionary. The spreads she produced were a joy and inspiration to see.
Diana encouraged people to dream, to exaggerate their ‘flaws’ and to ‘invent’ themselves. So different from the homogeneous models we have today, we need that kind of vision again in the fashion industry!
“Style—all who have it share one thing: originality.”
“Fashion is part of the daily air and it changes all the time, with all the events. You can even see the approaching of a revolution in clothes. You can see and feel everything in clothes.”

Ira Glass on Storytelling

I stumbled on this Ira Glass, radio personality, chat on storytelling via Design Affects blog.  He has so much wisdom on creativity, storytelling and making good stuff.

He breaks down storytelling into anecdote, (sequence of actions) constantly raising and answering questions (a moment of reflection) and characters with personality.

Love when he shows how bad he was after 8 years working on the radio. It takes time. We have to learn to be forgiving of ourselves but keep going. 

And the beautiful animation by David Shiyang Lui


Dave Eggers: Once upon a school

Truly inspiring TED talk by Dave Eggers on the Pirate Supply Store. Purveyor of great looking supplies for the working buccaneer and provider of extra curricular help for English.
“Some of these kids just don’t know how good they are, how smart and how much they have to say, you can tell them, you can shine that light on them one human interaction at a time…”

Breaking the Charisma Myth

Insights into Charisma by Olivia Fox Cabane at Stanford University.

A brilliant talk that changed my perception of Charisma as something some people have naturally to something that can be learned and built upon.

Her techniques such as focusing

  • Presence
    • The core of charisma
    • Charismatic people give you the feeling they are completely there with you in the moment
    • Techniques, focus on the sensation on your toes then at the person, focus on the colours in the persons eye
    • Charisma is not just how you make people feel about you but also about themselves
  • Power
    • Our perception of your ability to influence the world around you
    • Mostly look at peoples body language
    • Technique, standing with confidence to get the cycle going
  • Warmth
    • How much someone gives us the impression that they like us
    • We perceive warmth almost entirely by body language and behaviour
    • You cannot fake it
    • Technique, pick three things about the person that you can approve of
    • Technique, think about their past
    • Technique, imagine their present, what happened to them today

For more check out:

Videos on Olivia’s blog 


The Future of Innovation- Tim Brown

I can’t remember how I came across Tim Brown from IDEO, probably from one of his great talks.
Here’s one on the future of innovation at Acumen. It was really helpful when I started looking at how design and enterprise could help people.
Some nuggets
  • Use information to connect
  • Solve for the system- look at the context, design not just the product also business models
  • Trust builds market- Holistic design is not just about design but also about accountability
  • Brands bring trust
  • Set up kiosks and do experiments for a day- test viability
  • No idea will scale unless it solves real needs for real people