After BBC Connected Studio – gazing through a moving window

Regular readers will know that I have a slow hunch about the value of stories in the place where they happened. So when I saw the brief for the latest BBC Connected Studio, focused on Knowledge and Learning, I packed my personal hobbyhorse and jumped on the train to Salford. It was an ace day. … Continue reading After BBC Connected Studio – gazing through a moving window

Down with Façadism: a provocation for Culture Hack North

I was honoured to be asked to do a short talk on the opening afternoon of the brilliant Culture Hack North event in Leeds this weekend. For one thing, it was a chance to appear alongside Rachel Coldicutt's dream team of Rohan Gunatillake, Natasha Carolan, Lucy Bannister, Helen Harrop, Frankie Roberto and Greg Povey. Also, … Continue reading Down with Façadism: a provocation for Culture Hack North

The past is a platform from which we launch into the future*

In my dayjob, mobile media, we spend a lot of time talking about platforms. Curiously we like to think of these platforms as eternally new and shiny. “Legacy” is is not a windfall from the preceding generation. It's a perjorative term. Sometimes we even set our old platforms on fire, which is strange, because, as … Continue reading The past is a platform from which we launch into the future*

“The bit where the screen went black and you said ‘look up'”: on the irresistible pull of a story in the place where it happened

This is my youngest son, Pascal, when he was two years old. He's looking sheepish because he's just picked an apple. It's an apple from the orchard at Woolsthorpe Manor, Lincolnshire, the orchard where Isaac Newton first conceived of gravity. We were drawn to this beautiful, remote farmhouse for a tea break on a long … Continue reading “The bit where the screen went black and you said ‘look up'”: on the irresistible pull of a story in the place where it happened

The Makers of Leeds

Notes for my TEDxLeeds presentation, "The Makers of Leeds". The Prezi version is here. It starts with the amazing view from the top of the TEDxLeeds venue, the Mint, which looks out over Leeds on all sides. The American architect Hugh Newell Jacobsen said: "When you look at a city, it's like reading the hopes, aspirations … Continue reading The Makers of Leeds

If the dust doesn’t settle: Gin, Jetplanes and Transitive Surplus

More than 150 years ago John Ruskin imagined the experience of flight. Now, thanks to Iceland's Eyjafjallajökull volcano, we can begin to imagine the possibilities without it. Robert Paterson provocatively suggests in Volcano & Air Travel - A Black Swan? What might happen: At the moment we are all treating this event as a temporary inconvenience. But … Continue reading If the dust doesn’t settle: Gin, Jetplanes and Transitive Surplus