2017 – Top 5 “Firsts” of 2017

Attending last week’s RSA Panel “That Was the Year that Was” was aptly timed having been reflecting the previous afternoon on my year and some of the great experiences and opportunities I’ve had.  I started noting down a few to share over this and the next couple of days.  I’d really love to hear about others’ too and to thank all of those who were part of my highlights for making them what them the positive experiences they were.

To start, for me 2017 has been a year of firsts.  Here are just a few of them:

1) Starting a meetup

Having spent ages deliberating over this, I came to the conclusion that the time had come to act so in January 2017, I hosted the first meetup of “Together Tools” .  The aim is to provide a safe space to learn, test out and develop skills and tools for working with groups.  Among other things we’ve practised listening, doodle, constellated and described ourselves in Clean Language and alongside it, had some great conversations.

It’s been fun and I’ve had some great support and encouragement so while building momentum and finding a space has been tougher than I thought I’ve definitely resolved to keep going in 2018 .

2) Pitching

No, not that kind…

Having watched and at times even critiqued a host of pitches in recent years, I confess I hadn’t really ever done one myself until a couple of months ago.  I’ve been really pleased to discover Breadfunds UK this year and have an opportunity to join the team in trying to get some pilots up and running so this, combined with the first ever RSA Ideas in Essex was an opportunity not to be missed.

Once I’d said yes, I’ll admit I started to feel a little less sure of the idea but when the time came, it was over in a flash and was really quite enjoyable.  So, my advice is, if you have an idea you’re enthusiastic about, bite the bullet and have a go, ideally starting with a friendly crowd as I did rather than going straight for Dragon’s Den.

Oh and I’m looking forward to sharing more about the RSA in Essex next year…




3) Participating in a live Google Hangout

My connection to Breadfunds UK also afforded me the opportunity to take part in a live Google hangout as part of the Disruptive Innovation Festival.  Strangely, while I couldn’t see any of the viewers and had no real idea whether anyone at all was watching apart from a few questions, I found this an altogether much more intimidating experience than the live pitch.  I was certainly grateful that the experienced DIF team were there to guide the set up as leaving 45 minutes to sort out the technology in advance was definitely a good idea!

4) Attending a TED x event

I’m by no means a regular TED watcher but of the talks I’ve seen online, I’ve rarely been disappointed but have felt the experience could be enhanced by being there in person.  So again, when an opportunity arose to attend TEDx in my local town of Chelmsford, I jumped at it. 

The event was great on many levels and I enjoyed the opportunity to reflect on the talks with others, almost as much as listening to them (which is a complement to the speakers and the organisers combined).  I liked it so much that I’ve already bought my ticket for June 2018’s event.

5) Visiting Berlin

Unlike the general theme of connections and collaboration in my highlights, this was a trip that I took completely alone as I like to do at least once a year.  I’d wanted to go to Berlin for a long time and some time off in August, combined with a good offer on flights (luckily only weeks before Ryanair had a meltdown), presented the perfect chance to do so.

I set out with a clear objective that this wouldn’t be a trip purely focused on the holocaust and a divided Berlin.  While those aspects featured, I also took a trip out west to leafy suburbia and in complete contrast, joined an Alternative Berlin Tour (which I couldn’t recommend highly enough) including intriguing, eccentric Yaam .  Definitely a city that made me smile, cry and most of all reflect deeply on how easy it is to forget things in our recent past.  Many of the horrors of division are well within my lifetime but it took this trip to really bring it to my attention.

I’m looking forward to bringing together a couple more Top 5s for the year but now, over to you.  What firsts have you achieved in 2017?



Meetup logo: Wikimedia commons  https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Meetup_Logo.png

Pitcher: Pixabay https://pixabay.com/en/baseball-pitcher-ball-throw-629267/

Speaker: Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/53801255@N07/8736820287

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