I qualified!

After a year of study, milestone assignments, case studies and over 100 hours of practice - I qualified in massage! I now have the best qualification in the UK - Level 4 Diploma in Holistic Massage, Physiology and Pathology from the prestigious Bristol College of Massage and Bodywork.

Monday night massage here in Bristol for £45.00 an hour. I’ll carry on working full time at Common Seas, and hope to create a 1:1 model with the massage business so that when you book one you pay it forward to someone less fortunate - undecided whether this group will be refugees, vulnerable women, homeless or another local organisation.

My new website is massagewithalice.com for those wanting more information.

so you can chill like this panda

so you can chill like this panda

The Do Lectures 2018

My oldest Do Lectures T shirt has 2008 on it. And I'm excited to have gotten to be invited to the tenth Do Lectures. I've volunteered at over 6 of the events, produced two of them in 2014 and 2015 at Campovida, USA and actually spoke in 2013 too about our 2,500 mile bike ride down the west coast of the states. 

Anyway... was great to be back and see many old faces who I love dearly. 

And in return for getting to be at the tenth anniversary? I massaged everyone - well it certainly felt like it had been everyone when Sunday night rolled around! 23 massages in a few days - I was so wiped out! But what a cool way to give back to the event that has been such a huge part of my life and created so many life changing moments. It makes me so full up and happy inside to be a part of The Do. 

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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

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.

 

 

now working with Civic

They write about themselves:

Civic is a change accelerator. We bring together unlikely allies, people-powered ideas and shared assets to help make social change happen faster, cheaper, better in places around the world.. We're a fledgling, ambitious, start-up - more a movement than an organization. We are currently operating projects in Nepal, Afghanistan, Jordan, Turkey and the UK. And we actively partner with local and global operators to deliver our work.

They have a simple website civic.co to describe their work - check it out, it'll take you just 5 minutes to read. =  ) 

My role is the Digital Community Manager and I am working remotely from Bristol with the occasional trip to London doing 2.5 days a week. My role, as laid out by them is to: 

• Manage a growing and dynamic group of users on the Civic platform • Split focus on communities associated with partners/sponsors and organic users • Input into platform strategy with a focus on community growth and platform development

And it's going well. I'm now about one month into the new job and am learning lots. Apart from my digital work with Good For nothing, The Wild Network and TYF, plus building my site here, I'm fairly new to the digital space. That said my community management and development experience has spanned lots of different industry's - from retail at finisterre, hospitality at surf simply, community engagement and support through good for nothing, events at unreasonable and do lectures - so I'm excited to see how this physical community building will translate across to the digital space - likely to include many of the same values of building trust, being authentic, listening and communicating effectively and often, allowing a space that people can open up in an honest and helpful way... being kind, being generous, experimenting, rapid prototyping solutions, and embarking on a learning journey. 

Our users aren't on boarded yet but will be in the next few weeks, so I'm looking forward to working with that community to get them using the platform and helping us to make it better.

And as always, like most millennials, it's important to me to do work that matters. I am incredibly passionate about the work Civic are doing - essentially aligning with their belief that we can make positive change much faster if we work together, and in doing so share what we are learning along the way so others can benefit from what's been done before. They do that through their place-based work, their digital platforms including impact measurement, ecosystem mapping and this collaboration for innovation tool and capital. 

Providing I pass my 3 mont probation I'll still be there this time next year, so expect to hear more on the Civic stuff soon!