New beginnings

Started my new job last week with Common Seas full time in Bristol working with an amazing lady called Jo Royle. 

Jo Royle has over 15 years experience spearheading global marine programs and sailing ventures through identifying critical marine issues, aligning senior experts and engineering solutions to reduce human impact on the sea. She founded Common Seas to design out marine plastic pollution and to enable fully documented fisheries.

Jo led The Pew Charitable Trusts, Global Ocean Legacy campaign; securing the world’s largest fully protected marine reserve. A recognised ocean sailing skipper, she worked with a team to design and build the Plastiki - a 60-foot catamaran made out of 12,500 reclaimed plastic bottles, which she skippered across the Pacific, drawing global media attention to plastic pollution in the ocean. As well as working Nike, Hewlett-Packard, L'Oreal and Inmarsat, her work has been featured in the BBC, National Geographic, Vogue, Time and TEDx. Jo was awarded the Geddes Environmental Medal and holds a Master's degree in Environmental Science and Society from University College London. 

Common Seas gets out there to discover and explore challenges facing people and the sea. We spot the issues and align experts to engineer systems, products and policies that improve social and economic value, whilst creating a resilient ocean.

 Photo by  Das Sasha  on  Unsplash

Photo by Das Sasha on Unsplash

Came across this amazing article on Wait But Why today, it's called 

How to Pick a Career (That Actually Fits You)

It's "a framework that I think can help a career-path reflector better see their own situation, and what really matters to them, clearly and honestly. This framework has worked really well for me, so I think it can probably be helpful for other people too." By Tim Urban 

Which map are you holding? 

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The Big Question

"These are people who feel indecisive about their career path. They’ve been told to follow their passion, but they don’t feel especially passionate about anything. They’ve been told to let their strengths guide them, but they’re not sure what they’re best at. They may have felt they had answers in the past, but they’ve changed and they’re no longer sure who they are or where they’re going." 

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The Wrong Arrow

"A nice clear arrow representing a direction they feel confident is right—but find their legs walking in a different direction. They’re living with one of the most common sources of human misery, a career path they know in their heart is wrong."

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The Up Arrow

"The lucky ones feel they know where they want to go and believe they’re marching in that direction. But even these people should pause and ask themselves, “Who actually drew this arrow? Was it really me?” The answer can get confusing." 

 

Read the full article here - it's long but so very worth it for that moment of reflection... 

What are you doing with Your Dash

I know on my gravestone it will read, my date of birth is September 2nd, 1988. And the day I died - morbid I know. And a date none of us know yet. Between these two significant dates is a Dash. 

Born xxx - Died xxx  

There is is The Dash. 

Here's a poem that's great for funerals, and just general contemplation about what you do with your dash. Your life. 

 

For it matters not, how much we own, the cars, the house, the cash,

What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.

So think about this long and hard; Are there things you would like to change?

For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what is true and real

and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger and show appreciation more

and love the people in our lives like we have never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect and more often wear a smile,

Remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So when your eulogy is being read with your life’s actions to rehash…

Would you be proud of the things they say about how you spent your dash? 

It has been an absolute pleasure to work alongside Alice on the Balsall Heath Cooks project as part of the We Are Balsall Heath Street Festival on 22 April 2018. Alice has this incredible ability to turn the most challenging of situations into fun, calm and ease. Her joyful personality and excellent communication skills helped her offer compassion and creativity during the ups and downs of working with the culturally diverse women and their understandable trepidation of launching their catering businesses publicly. Throughout, Alice worked very hard - sometimes late at night - to make sure everyone had what they needed when they needed it. I loved working with Alice especially her ‘can do’ attitude and creativity and look forward to working with her again.
— Dr Noha Nasser, Founding Director, MELA Social Enterprise and Organiser of the We Are Balsall Heath Street Festival.
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Take 5 - 10 minutes to share your thoughts around Ocean Literacy...

I'm also working with Wild Labs at the moment. In advance of two 2 day design sprints in London and Bristol to prototype some solutions to 'save our seas' we are gathering perspectives from people across the UK to discover what does Ocean Literacy mean to you... Please take a moment to complete the survey, it shouldn't take 5-10 minutes of your time and would be really important to us. Click the image below. 

Thanks!! 

Civic partners and all the acronyms

So you may have read in my CV and Work about my work with Civic. I've been there for two months now and am loving it and have learned so much. It's challenging, interesting work and I feel very humbled to be working with the international team all trying to make change 'cheaper, better and faster' - that's their mantra. 

We (Civic) built a digital platform to help people from around the world share their learnings and collaborate on models of social change.

We're testing it at the moment with a network of communities who are all working in disaster-affected areas - from the Syrian refugee situation in Jordan, the droughts of Northern Kenya, the slums of the Philippines to Bangladesh. In each of these countries is a wild and wilful team of folks who have set up innovation labs to help the local community develop their ideas, prototype solutions to whatever challenges they face and scale them up. We would like to see the labs uploading their process and methodology and the communities sharing what they have done and how they have done it all with the hope of replicating these models in other countries worldwide. 

They are called DEPP Innovation Labs (Acronym 1 - Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Program) which is a 3-year project with Start Network and CDAC Network (Acronym 2 - Communicating with Disaster Affected Communities) who are at the help. ThoughtWorks is the innovation partner and RIL (Acronym 3 - Response Innovation Lab) are also part of the process. Each lab has it's own partners too - from the IRC (Acronym 4- International Rescue Committee) to Adeso to Plan International. So there are many many partners and stakeholders to consider, plus the vast and diverse community themselves! It's quite mind boggling really!

My job has been to onboard the community, develop a content strategy, curate content that the labs will find helpful, and basically do whatever I can to help the platform to become a diverse place to source solutions from. 

Yesterday I was in London meeting with the team who are working on this project, and Start Network has their office at Save The Children -it was quite fascinating being in a space like that and getting to glimpse into that organisation as well. 

 

A timeline of the last year

This one most definitely goes down as the biggest year for me yet in terms of learnings, travel, relationships and work. I've been to Portugal, Cornwall and Devon, cycled to Edinburgh, cycled to Copenhagen (solo in Feb), completed Ironman Wales and the 90 mile Velothon in Cardiff, ran a 36 mile ultramarathon with my friend Zennor in Austria, moved house three times, worked with 5 different jobs, went back and forth to Pembrokeshire like a yo-yo and went to three beautiful weddings. My grandpa passed away last month, my friends have had babies and gotten pregnant and my sister got engaged. I've also been to gigs and concerts including Matthew and The Atlas, Michael McIntyre, Van Morrison and The White Buffalo, done courses in Photoshop, pottery, joined a choir, kickboxing and been to two different dance clubs - Afrodance fusion and a swing dance intensive course.

I've made a bit of a habit of reflecting on the year that's been on New Year's Eve. And this year was no different. 31.12.17. Fresh start tomorrow and 2018 brings plans for many more exciting adventures, more weddings, more triathlons, new work, exploring a side project, spending more weekends with friends and family plus I've signed up for a level 4 diploma in holistic massage too. 

I put my photoshop skills and memory to the test and took a trip down memory lane, this is the result! 


Moments that made my 2017, made by me on NYE 31.12.17 

that time I went to Bangalore for work

Two weeks into my new job working with Civic I found myself waking up in Indiranaga in the heart of the urban Indian sprawl Bangalore or Bengaluru. I was there for just 4 nights, there to listen to some amazing stories of work in the humanitarian sector - specifically around disaster and emergency provisions in The Phillipines, Kenya, Bangladesh and Jordan, but also to deliver a one hour session on who Civic are, what they do and how the digital platform our team has created will help them to better collaborate and share their models of positive social change so they can be replicated across the sector and beyond.