Category Archives: Charity

#OurEra2018

I’m in Milan at the Nesta ‘Challenge of our Era’ 2018 Global Summit where I was honored to deliver their opening keynote.

My role was to inspire innovative thinking, it was honestly one of the most rewarding speeches I’ve delivered to date, so again thank you!

As part of it, I adapted a poem I wrote a year or so ago for SXSW and I’ve been asked several times to print it and share it, so here it is. For anyone interested search twitter for the hash tag #OurEra2018 to find out more about the summit, it’s got some incredible ambitions and the call for responses is open to anyone in the world.

For now, I leave you with this:

 

The visions for the future excite me more than the past,

Because when it comes to innovation, the past fades fast.

 

I have crazy ideas and I’m proud to be a geek,

Which you’ll know if you go online and maybe read a tweet.

 

And maybe I’ll reply or maybe it’s my bot,

Because maybe I’m real and here, or maybe I’m not.

 

The future isn’t just augmented or virtual you see,

It’s set to be a blend of several realities.

 

And as the future keeps advancing and we become more connected,

We’ll all be liked and rated and ever more self-reflected.

 

Will robots steal our jobs? Will Skynet really happen?

Or is that as likely as a one-handed man clapping?

 

Will tech become so seamless that we won’t be able to tell,

Where I begin, you end, and the tech blends in as well…

 

Today we pay with fingerprints, tomorrow our voice

In the future, our faces, will this remove our choice

 

To have our lives in the cloud, seamlessly connected

Will we be faster, more efficient, or will our memories be neglected?

 

In a future where every heartbeat and every drop of sweat,

Is calculated, decoded and uploaded to the net.

 

When connected collars tell us when our dogs have got a fever,

Or our cats can be interpreted through intelligent receivers.

 

When AI Armani jeans tell guys ‘you’re flying low’,

Your Valentino clothing knows you’re stressed from head to toe.

 

Your Maserati, or Romeo, isn’t just autonomous but flies,

In highways constructed over Milan in the Sky.

 

In the future are we dumb? Just run by automation…

Or are we elite and empowered an unstoppable ‘one nation’?

 

In OUR future we WILL stand beside robots that are intelligent,

But furthermore, we face a future that goes beyond this and is sentient.

 

There will be competition, co-petition, ambition, and decision

But convergence and empowerment will come to fruition.

 

If biology is programmable and we can program 3D printing,

Will we solve poverty and hunger, now that got me thinking…

 

If a world built on noughts and ones merges with atoms,

Does that provide a world that you and I can barely fathom?

 

If we can put interfaces into brains and quadriplegics can move cursors,

Will we enhance that human life, is the advance in science worth it?

 

There are so many things that today we do not know,

But if we supercharge our neurons there’s nowhere a brain can’t go.

 

Whether this presentation makes you doubt, smile or wonder,

There is one thing for sure that we should collectively ponder;

 

How can innovation be a force for positivity and help us prosper?

How can it bring us closer so that great ideas are fostered?

 

To quote Einstein ‘it’s obvious it’s exceeded humanity’

And he’s been dead for decades so it’s pretty clear to see,

 

That the trajectory we’re on isn’t slowing down,

And in fact, with quantum computing, we can go to town.

 

I for one would rather be in the driving seat,

Amongst you crazy bunch of awesome innovators and geeks.

 

For the ONE thing about the future that we should ALL be aware

Is love it question it, WE are ALL going there …

 

And we can choose to lead or we can choose to follow

So I say, let’s grab the future by the balls and go invent tomorrow!!!

 

 

COOE

#OurEra2018 Nesta Global Summit, Milan

 

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The Snaggletooth Splat; a book for brainstrust

This is the most exciting thing I’ve worked on in the last year, not only is it for a great cause but I got to work with some exceptionally talented people and friends. Winner all round.

It’s also my first published piece (eek) so I’m doubly proud to be working with brainstrust on it. brainstrust is a UK-based brain cancer charity, dedicated to improving clinical care for brain tumour sufferers and providing coordinated support in their search for treatment.

I remember the afternoon the idea first came to light, Will (Communications and Development person at brainstrust) and I were having a pint at our local and he was talking about the brainbox that they were launching, a tool-box shaped ‘brain box’ containing a number of essential things to help brain tumour patients and their carers such as: A brain book, A ‘Have You Lost Your Way?’ booklet, A copy of the ‘Living with a Brain Tumour’ book and A pill-box… all amazing stuff but we felt that was something more we could do for children.

It was at this point we thought it a great idea to write this book which would be designed to explain to children who have just been diagnosed with brain cancer, what a brain tumour is and how the doctors and their carers will fight it and provide brain tumour support.

And so the Snaggletooth Splat was born.

I got to collaborate with Jase, an amazing illustrator (check out his blog here), to whom I am so grateful for bringing the words to life, and also with Andy Lodge who helped get the final product through print and thanks also to Chris Leah for the shots (below). You can read more about it and learn more about brainstrust here.

It’s been a real pleasure and I look forward to working with these guys more.

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working with the Brainstrust

I’ve just finished the first draft of a children’s book for the Brainstrust and I’m really excited to be working with these guys as they truly are a brilliant organisation.

Essentially they’re a support service but unlike other charities, they offer pragmatic support and advice at the point of diagnosis and they have a
unique network of advisors in the medical, scientific and nursing community.

Ultimately their work aims to help put those with brain tumours back in control of a very daunting situation. One of the latest things these guys are providing is a Brainbox containing useful tools such as a ‘brain book’  for keeping a record, a pill box, leaflet’s and lots of information about what’s available for you. You can read more about it here.

Essentially this book is aimed to help both children who have been diagnosed with a brain tumour and their carers, in it is featured ‘the monster’ (brain tumour) and the ‘elephant in the corner’ (Brainstrust’s mascot). The story helps identify symptoms of a brain tumour and what help and support you can get.

It’s only a first draft but I’m really happy to have this chance to help make a difference and raise some awareness. I will be posting updates here so check back to read the latest…

If you or someone you know could benefit from the services that the Brainstrust offers or if you would like to get involved in some way please visit www.brainstrust.org.uk and get in touch.

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