What led you into your chosen career?
Back in 2006 I had a chance opportunity to attend the TED Conference in California. It catalysed me to want to produce high quality conferences that could help people make positive changes in their businesses, careers and lives.
Who or what has made the greatest impression on your career?
Believe it or not I’ve come to realise that it’s been responding to professional crises in my life that has inspired the greatest positive changes in my career. I spent most of my life seeking to avoid challenges where possible. I’ve come to appreciate that seeking out and embracing challenges is the only way forward for me. If I end up failing completely though I reserve the right to change my answer.
What does your company/organisation do and how is it making an impact?
We produce conferences that put a spotlight on entrepreneurs, innovators and big thinkers trying to tackle relevant & fascinating challenges in the worlds of business, technology, media, science and beyond and put them in environment where they can share their insight and experience in a way that is compelling and inspiring.
Our conferences have been part of a wider movement to highlight and support the growth of the digital & creative industries across the North of England but particularly focused around Newcastle Gateshead. The North has come a long way over the past 15 years and we’re really proud that we’ve played a small part in this evolving story.
Briefly, what does a typical working day comprise for you?
The core of my best days are spent encouraging the folks in my community. That could be coaching speakers on their future talks. Introducing people in my network to each other. Briefing our conference partners about future plans. Working with my team to lay out short and long term plans. Helping the startups I’ve invested with strategy development.
What are your company short and long-term aims?
Our short term aims are to make each of our conferences the very best events they can be. Our long term aim is to have seen something truly amazing come as a result of one of our conferences. Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak met at a conference and started Apple. If the world’s next Apple started as a result of one of conferences we’d be pretty pleased to learn this.