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April 2013

Positive Disruption - TEDxLaceMarketChange

TEDxChange 2013 Positive Disruption
Change is talked about alot in organisations. It is positive force. It fills some with fear and others with exhileration.

TEDxChange 2013 will take place on Wednesday, April 3, 2013 starting at 9:00am PDT in Seattle, Washington (5pm UK time after the clocks have gone back on Easter Sunday). Themed Positive Disruption, TEDxChange 2013 speakers will challenge preconceived ideas, spark discussion, engage leaders and shed light on new perspectives. will provide a free live stream of TEDxChange and it is this that forms the central content of TEDxLaceMarketChange.

After the success of TEDxLaceMarket in Nov 2012 the team were keen to host another TEDx event. A full scale event owuld have been costly and time consuming so we opted to utilise the facilities we have to had at no extra cost. I wonder if we will be the smallest official TEDx event to date.

Cellar54 and PCM projects (TEDxLaceMarketChange partners) are based in Nottingham's LaceMarket. With in LaceMarket House we have high speed internet which we have taken a little for granted as recent local news is reporting an initiative to bring faster broadband to the area. At Cellar54 as an HD studio we could not have developed the business had we not had reliable fast internet. If face it's why we moved there in 2011. We are using the Board Room which comfortably seats 10. With Me (PCM projects), Phil (Cellar54) and our key speaker Marsha Smith (Secret Kitchen Cafe & TEDxLaceMarket top speaker as voted by the audience) we have 7 seats for a physical audience.

A bit more about TEDxChange.

The venue: LaceMarketHouse's Board Room has been used to bring livestreamed events to a local audience namely from Amb:IT:ion Scotland and we will be using the installed ethernet connected smart board and projector with wifi connectivity for the audience.

Theme: Positive Disruption (extracted from the official TEDxChange information)

Convened by Melinda French Gates.

Disruption is usually unwelcome. It represents conflict, chaos, and potential danger. We discourage disruptive behavior in our homes and our societies, often favoring passivity and compliance.

But disruption can be a positive – sometimes vital – catalyst for change. It can challenge old assumptions, ignite conversations, activate authorities and expose new possibilities. Disruption can shed a unique light on difficult issues, giving a fresh urgency and perspective to the challenges of our global community.

To solve the most intractable challenges in health and development, we need positive disruption. It is the path to true progress.

Livestream Speakers

Melinda Gates: Host
Melinda Gates is co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Along with Bill Gates, she shapes and approves the foundation’s strategies, reviews results, and sets the overall direction of the organization. Melinda will host TEDxChange from the Gates Foundation campus in Seattle, Washington.

Cathleen Kaveny: Religion, tradition, and modernity
Cathleen Kaveny is an American legal scholar and theologian. She is a John P. Murphy Foundation Professor of Law and Theology at Notre Dame Law School, and is currently a visiting professor at Princeton University.

Halimatou Hima: Investing in girls
Halimatou Hima is a Masters in Public Policy candidate at the Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University. Following an internship in the Women & Population Division at the United Nations Foundation, she worked in the Child Protection Division at the United Nations in her home country of Niger (UNICEF).

Roger Thurow: Shifts in agriculture
Roger Thurow joined the Chicago Council in January 2010 after three decades at the Wall Street Journal. For 20 years, he was a foreign correspondent based in Europe and Africa.

Julie Dixon: Social change
Julie Dixon is the Deputy Director of Georgetown University's Center for Social Impact Communication (CSIC), an academic initiative that examines the critical role of communication in fostering engagement in social change.

David Fasanya: Youth poet
David Fasanya is a Nigerian-American performance artist and award-winning youth poet residing in Brooklyn, NY.

Salim Shekh and Sikha Patra: Vaccine advocates

We will show a trailer from the feature film Revolutionary Optimists, about how children are saving lives in the slums of Calcutta. We will then invite Salim and Sikha, two of the children featured prominently in the film, to join onstage for Q&A.

TEDxLaceMarketChange and Guest Speakers

TEDxChange is the live stream offering. Mean while accompanying the livestream at TEDxLaceMarketChange we are hearing progress reports from 2 previous TEDx speakers Phil Campbell from TEDxNottingham's Local Hero's event and Marsha Smith from TEDxLaceMarket's Family & Community event. We will record 2 podcasts up dating the local TEDx audience on how TEDx events progressed thier initiatives and thier take on Positive Disruption.

Join is from 5pm at Lace Market House. To confirm a seat please us the ATTEND button on the TEDxLaceMarketChange event webpage.

How it went down #SMAconf 2013

I always attack an event with high expectations of getting the best content I can for the intended audience. When livestreaming is involved that tends to be an online audience who for what ever reason is unable to attend. The real-time media, that is capture and post content with no or minimal post production is my objective favouring instagram and audioboo today Vine has found a place in my toolset.Not forgetting of course Bambuser for live streaming and why I'll explain.

SMA helpers in yellow T shirts
SMA Daffodils

Today was an expenses only gig which I agree to only for specific clients. As an ex board member of the SMA and a desire to engage with the services providing sponsorship to the conference I wasn't taking a fee. A genuine networking opportunity in my eyes. Anyone interested, it would have been £380 plus travel, accommodation and expenses. This is 'On the Ground' at its most risky. With no preparation on a basic day rate, I had been following the #SMAconf tag and @SMAssoc account on Twitter so wasn't totally in the dark, and only an email exchange with the organisers for internet provision enquiries I had determined that internet was unlikely. But I had no idea where in the building this would apply. As it turned out the main conference address was taking place in an underground cinema space constructed from concrete. Oh Joy! and sure enough no wifi and no internet ports. Fortunately the zero expectation of a mobile signal proved the salvation of the livestream as in certain locations I did indeed catch a strong 3G signal. Enter the magnificence of Bambuser.

Bambuser is a mobile app which enable live streaming of events directly to the web. It's web interface enables an external camera and independent audio source to be used as well as providing a time stamped chat time line using the in app IM (Instant Messaging) facility. This is achieved using a laptop and for best results a hard wired ethernet connection negotiated with the venues IT team. In a worse case scenario (this was a worse case scenario) with a strong 3G signal a mobile phone can be used relying on the video and audio from the phone itself. This meant I had no audioboo, instagram or vine capabilities. I have yet to review the stream but I think the online audience (there seemed to be 4 at anyone time) got the buzz. As one tweet put it

"Amazing #SMAConf session on work/life balance being streamed at Great to hear so many SMs experiences." via @NickHaymanSM

Some people do live blog. A skill I wish I possessed. My skill is to relay media and with a little more forward planning engage an audience who are unable to be there in the flesh but have time to set aside to spend a little time as part of the online audience.

Collecting the tweets from @SMAssoc and the #SMAconf tag was RebelMouse.

For a overview of the day and interviews captured off line take a look at the event's Storify.

OK now I do have to off set this with a paying gig! Any takers?


SMA 2013 Conference



2012's conference was hosted by The Arts Theatre near Leicester Square tube. Space was limited and the breakout sessions, which I think are a great feature of the SMA event were held in make shift spaces. This year The National Stage Management Conference moves to the Tricycle Theatre in north London building on the success of last year's event with a bigger venue and what the SMA promises will be a bigger and better conference.

SMAconf 2013
Click to download SMAconf programme

Brave words but with stage-managers behind it what can go wrong? Joyously I have no reservations. You will have heard that web designers never complete their own sites, Decorators never paint their own homes, doctors make the worse patience and I mean this with the greatest of respect audience developers don't make good audiences. But Stage-managers at the top of their game could run the world.

The day is split in to two. A formal keynote and an industry influencer lead panel discussion/debate on the ‘Future of stage management’ followed by breakout sessions on: ‘Stress and mental health for SM's’,’ Equity contracts’, ’The site-specific book’, ‘Work/life balance and job sharing’, plus additional mini-surgeries from RC-Annie, Stage Electrics, Bambridge Accountants and TAP - the 2013 Conference has lots on offer for all stage management and backstage crew.

Continued Professional Development (CPD) is shockingly absent from the profession as was revealed in the recent stage-managers census. This is definitely going to get the info-graphic treatment and I'll be attending that session for sure. This being only the second national stage-managers conference it's an excited prospect for SM's to meet and share experiences. Regular conference and event attendees becomejaded and disillusioned with the experiences they take away from being in an audience. Stage-managers... always the brides-maids never the bride! I think that analogy resonates... ish!

Why am I going? I haven't properly stage managed for 10 yrs. I was on the SMA board for several years after I moved away from traditional SM roles as my main source of income. After a 10 year walk in the wilderness, riding the wave of emerging social technologiesI may be seen as a blogger, audience engagement advocate but my core skill is organisation, team diplomacy and resource provision. Doing digital is what I love. Doing it to inform and empower creative practitioners in the arts and culture sector the added buzz. Yes I am looking for work! email me! tweet me!

Order of the day and my media output objectives.

10.30-11.00 ​Registration: Breakout session selection and refreshments

I will be arriving at 9.30 to scope out the venue, find the power and log in to the wifi. I have worked at the Tricycle Theatre many moons ago so I know the architecture. Its a concrete box so I know the wifi is not garenteed. The setting of expectation when 'on the ground' is vital. I asked for IT contact, wifi channel and/or an ethernet port. With the event not relying on the internet its was not a priority for the event team therefore I established the "I'll get want I can" expectation. Soooo there might be nothing, anything is a bonus. I have secured a quiet corner to do some interviews so I'll have content to release post production. I'm travelling light and will have to position the interview set up to optimise the light in the space.

I'll instagram, vine, audioboo and tweet as folk arrive and take their seats, picking up on the buzz for those not attending but participating via social networks. I like to identify who they are so the event hashtag #SMAconf will be closely monitored. The SMA do have a twitter manager, Ali so do follow @SMassoc where she will be reflecting and relaying the poinient 140 character snippets through out the day.

11.00-11.30​ Welcome and Keynote Address

Fingers crossed I'm going to livestream this to Bambuser. The player is embedded on the SMAconf page on the SMA website The keynote address is from Jodi Myers. There is a RebelMouse social front page pulling together all the tagged media in real-time. In the past I've used WidgetBox.New apps come and go. Embracced and rejected. I wouldn't want to be anself conscious app right now! If all else fails I'll be taking notes with my LiveScribe pen. That will generate a usable audio podcast. I'll cover this and the panel debate. The topics are quite extensitive. Do tweet @SMassoc or @pcmcreative with any questions. There will be a chat forum on the livestream too.

11.30-12.30​ Panel Debate: Stage Management in 2023?

Speakers: Equity assistant General Secretary, Stephen Spence, Theatre Director Mark Babych, Welsh National Theatre PM David Evans and Stage Manager Kevin Mullery

​The future of the work we do and some hot questions that we will all be addressing in the next ten years:

  • Will technology take over, with shows run on automated timelines?
  • Will we all become technical stage managers, operating sound and lights remotely from our desks?
  • Will we still be the team at the creative centre of shows - running communications and facilitating the creative process, or will we be making tea and filling out endless timesheets and health and safety forms!?
  • What can we do to secure our place at the creative centre of rehearsals and show and live event running in the UK, and how much do we need to evolve to keep our ‘seat at the table’?
  • How can we ensure that live theatre is alive and well and supported all over the country?​

An experienced industry panel will lead the debate on what the future holds for stage management, as technology, funding challenges, new theatre styles and the creative landscape all continue to shape and change the jobs we all do. Last year the audience were very vocal.

12.30-13.45​ Breakout Sessions no1

Are life and stage management compatible?

Can you work as an SM and look after children? Can, and should, we share our jobs? Is it crazy to expect to have a full time family and personal life and an SM job? We know that SM'ing involves 'anti-social' hours, but are our employers doing enough to help: how much is it reasonable to expect any employee in 2013 to give up for their job?

A parent working in stage management Ruth Morgan, CSM, Birmingham Rep and Emma Rees, Executive Director, Unlimited Theatre - a theatre employer and parent - will lead the discussion about whether a better work/life balance is possible whilst working in stage management. A lively debate is sure to follow, so don't miss your chance to get involved.

13.45-14.45 ​Lunch and networking

I'm sure there will be food picks!I'm going to network too over lunch. As I don't have any cards I'll be collecting email addresses to contact when I get home.

14.45-16.00 ​Breakout Sessions no2

One thing I have learnt when being 'on the ground' is that you can't capture everything. 'On the ground' your role is not to be a service technician behind the social media but provide the human interface of the social technologies. If you have a question during the livestream I will be your intermediary. During breakout session 2 I'll be spending my time in the chat corner being set up when I arrive. Depending on the connectivity I may take this opportunity to fire up a GoogleHangout.

Mini Foyer Surgeries

​Running throughout the day alongside the breakout sessions I'll be hoping to get to interview these guys.

  • Accounts for the Freelance: Alistair Bambridge Accountants
  • Mentoring Forum: an opportunity to reflect and review the activity and achievements of the scheme in the past year and agree new gaols for 2013/14.
  • Insurance: Do you need Public Liability Insurance? Is your kit covered? What difference does touring make? Insurance experts will give you informed advice.
  • CV Surgery: Experienced Stage and Company Managers offer CV advice.
  • TAP: Experts from ABTT and TAP are on hand to get SMA Members up and running and online with the new TAP card.
  • SMA: Meet board and staff and learn more about the member benefits, get advice, join or upgrade your membership.

Plus: support, training and service companies from the industry will also be represented in the foyer, offering information and equipment useful for stage managers.

16.00-16.15 ​Refreshment break

During this break I'll be shifting locations. All being well from the day the mobile signal will provide a connection to post media. Strength permitting I can event livestream to bambuser over this. I can also be cleared away so that when the drinks reception comes around I would be faffing with kit.

16.15-17.30 ​Breakout Sessions no3

Debate the results of the 2013 National Stage Management Census:

60% of responding stage management say that they are fulfilling more than one role in their jobs (worryingly 50% of those said they had received no extra pay for the added responsibilities). Have your say about the results and what we should do to get your message across. The SMA will make sure that all of the results and feedback become well known and widely distributed in the industry.

17.30-18.15​ Drinks Reception

I have a train home at 8pm and I'll be out of connectivity but reviewing the tag and the collected content on RebelMouse I'll create a Storify and generate a TweetReach report.

In Summary #SMAconf remote enagement


Collaborating and like minds... March Masterclasses


PCM podcasting

Knowledge Masterclasses vs Skills Workshops.

I spoke to Tom about why he wanted to run a series of Masterclasses. Who they were for and what value this tartget audience would get. You can listen to the audio snippets on AudioBoo.

I ran a series of social technology masterclasses with a rotating sylbus which worked really well enabling participants to attend on a regular day and fixed time slot or to attand a single day covering all the classes in one session. This was widely supported. I ran QRcodes, Crowsourcing, Geo/Gamification and Online ID. For these classes we desided to run them our side of business hours on the same night for 4 weeks.

The development of the workshops for a practitioner is a valuable activity. Partly to rationalise your own thinking and additionally to explore new business leads. The knowledge rationalisation is key for me which enables me to offer my existing clients greater support. 

So the next set is with Tom Geraghty. Tom is now the IT Manager at Capital FM Arena but we have been planning these masterclasses as he was moving to the new job. Its a great opportunity to meet a genuine on the job IT expert and rationalise your own. 

PhotoThis is a comprehensive set of classes where Tom will draw on his years of experience with tools, platforms and services to share his connective knowledge across the masterclass series.

Its been a delight to develop and the notion of gaining a rounded understanding to the Internet appeals to me greatly. 

I need to get over "what's in it for you". After all you are readng this. And you have got this far.

  • Sole Traders
  • Trades People
  • Small Businesses
  • Not for Profits
  • Community Interests Companies
  • IT workers
  • Web Designers
  • Social Media Consultants

For Example, I started working with a client 6 month ago who wanted to "do" social media. Social media is often expressed in terms of channels. The ground level infrastucture has to work effectively to enable a social layer to flow seamlessly with any existing IT within the business.

The primary issue here was with email and domain name ownership.The goal was to enable social media output to display on the businesses web page. The media being made. They also needed to receive comments and activity notifications which would be delivered to then via email. The email inbox held with the domain provider was very small and contantly reached apacity, most frquently over the weeked. They were using Outlook and collected emails manually by clicking send and recieve. The messages were then deleted from the server (mailbox). As a result the email was annexed in one desktop PC and unreachable remotely. The solution was to configure Google's Gmail to fetch all the email which could then be accessed on any machine or devise with an internet connection. The director can now access the email no matter where he is geographically. There are many other benifits to establishing channels and setting up appropriate cosistancy with all the Tools, Platform and Services with online identity and branding. 

Afterall, If you ever sell your business or intend to expand your web and IT Infrastructure will be considered an asset. Your online audience and their attention will increase the social capital value in the eyes of the purchaser or investor.

Come along to the Masterclasses. Give me a call to settle on the best one for you if your are unable to attend all four.