Episode 13 – Gaylene Gould

What is the new set of values, principles, behaviours that’s going to cut through all of the stuff we’ve been doing for generations?…….really at the heart of that is compassion….kindness in response to suffering.’

Gaylene Gould (@gaylenegould on Instagram @gaylene_g on Twitter) is a Creative Director, broadcaster and writer who designs interactive art projects and spaces that generously connect us with ourselves, each other and the world. She explores the healing and growth potential of sharing space, stories, ideas and knowledge through her artistic, writing and consultancy practice. She believes the transcendent moments that art and culture creates can change how we are in the world. Her projects have been commissioned by and performed at the Tate, V&A, Arts Catalyst, Vivid Projects, Selfridges, h club, Moderna Museet Sweden and BAM, New York. Her projects are produced by her creative company The Space to Come.  

She is also an arts broadcaster for the BBC, a published fiction writer, a facilitator, cultural reviewer and a Cultural Ambassador for London appointed by Mayor Sadiq Khan. She has been a cultural leader for 25 years heading up major cultural institutions and projects including Head of Cinemas at BFI Southbank and producing, programming and consulting for the Arts Council, Toronto International Film Festival, National Theatre, Young Vic and Bernie Grant Art Centre amongst others. She is on the Artistic Advisory Board for Brixton House, the Advisory Board for the Decolonising Arts Institute, University Arts London and a Trustee for ANU Productions.

In our wide ranging conversation we discuss:

  • Our first meeting in 2013 and how it changed the course of my life
  • What coaching is and how it can help you get unstuck
  • The value of an upbringing without the burden of expectation and which placed importance on play, forming relationships and exploration
  • Art as a lifeline and a process of emotional development
  • Angels on the path, reaching out to people in a way that stands out and the importance of mentors
  • The intrinsic value of getting good at something
  • Changing direction in your journey and finding your next North Star
  • Gaylene’s writing practice, exploring what gets in the way and the different experiences and feelings when writing fiction in comparison to non-fiction
  • Gaylene’s approach to interviewing
  • Insight into Gaylene’s coaching practice
  • The background to Gaylene’s company ‘The Space to Come’ and what the company was created to do and insight into Gaylene’s creative practice as an artist and a maker
  • The value of talking to yourself
  • Morning rituals
  • Whether ‘the master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house’?
  • The beauty and depth of the Toy Story films 


Episode 12 – Evgeny Shadchnev

This moment is enough. If I don’t see it, no other future moment will be enough either.

Evgeny Shadchnev (@shadchnev) is the founder and Ex-CEO of Europe’s first coding bootcamp, Makers Academy (@makersacademy). Evgeny now works as an Executive Coach with entrepreneurs and CEOs, particularly in the tech industry. He has learned leadership lessons and how to scale the hard way and shares that journey and insight in this conversation.

In our wide ranging discussion on the podcast we cover:

  • Evgeny’s decision to Leave Russia
  • The value of starting Makers on top of a powerful multi decade trend
  • Designing a curriculum iteratively and optimising for employability
  • Building mental models on intuition and refining through experience
  • Fostering a company culture of trust in service of a shared purpose
  • The benefits and drawbacks of letting employees set their own salaries and have unlimited holidays
  • The background and process of Evgeny’s decision to step down as CEO
  • Why becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself
  • The state of the coaching industry, the potential for a step change and my loose and underdeveloped theory on how blockchain technology might feature in the future of coaching
  • The impact of meditation and considering Zen koans
  • Why this very moment is enough


Episode 11 – Jude Kelly CBE

I love the arts and I love making work but the bigger thing for me is definitely change making in society.

Jude Kelly (@JudeKelly_) is founder and director of The WOW Foundation (@WOWisGlobal), an accomplished leader in the arts and an award winning theatre and opera director.

Jude began her career as a theatre director, going on to direct over 100 theatre and opera productions, win a Southbank Award, two Olivier awards and work with an incredible range of artists and organisations. Alongside her accomplishments in making work Jude founded Solent People’s Theatre, was the first artistic director of Battersea Arts Centre in London, the founding director of West Yorkshire Playhouse and founded Metal Culture, an artistic laboratory championing the need for investment in artistic innovation in the UK.

In 2006 Jude was appointed artistic director at Southbank Centre in London, Europe’s largest centre for the arts, a position she held for 12 years. Under Jude’s leadership the organisation focussed on opening up both the venue and the artistic programme to as wide an audience as possible. Festivals proved to be an effective method of broadening access points into the programme and increasingly formed a substantial part of the offer. One of the most successful festivals was WOW – Women of the World (WOW).

Founded in 2010 WOW Festivals celebrate the achievements of women and girls and take a frank look at the obstacles they face. The festival has been held in London each year since, as well as rapidly finding homes and a following around the world. At the time of recording WOW has staged over 65 festivals and events across six continents reaching more than two million people. Online, Jude’s 2016 Ted Talk ‘Why women should tell the stories of humanity’ has been viewed more than 1.2 million times and counting.

In 2018 Jude left her role as Artistic Director of Southbank Centre to focus solely on the development of WOW as an independent charity and formed The WOW Foundation.

Over the course of our wide ranging conversation we talk about:

  • Windsurfing, competing with yourself and being creative without being controlling
  • The value of like minded peers and being grown up in your ambition
  • People’s human right to realise their dreams
  • Encountering sexism and other obstacles
  • Wrestling with self doubt her approach to overcoming it
  • Working to make the arts for everyone and other sources of inspiration
  • The vision and mission behind the festival model at Southbank Centre
  • The inception of WOW Festival, it’s growth into a global movement and the creation of the WOW Foundation
  • Cultural activism and the role of art in unlocking thinking and facilitating change
  • Jude’s approach to interviewing some of the world’s leading thinkers
  • Writing a book about being a woman in the arts
  • Doing scary things and stepping into spaces of uncertainty and doubt


Episode 10 – Ingrid Mackinnon

The things that you think about yourself is what you’ll ultimately become. So pay most attention to your thoughts…pay real attention to your inner dialogue.’

Ingrid Mackinnon (@ingridmackinnon on Twitter and @ingridmackinnon on Instagram) is a movement director, choreographer, teacher and dancer. To give a senes of the breadth of her professional experience in these fields here’s an outline of some of the things she’s been involved in.

Movement direction credits include Bonnie & Clyde (UWL: London College of Music), Hamlet (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), First Encounters: The Merchant of Venice (Royal Shakespeare Company), Typical (Nouveau Riche), The Border (Theatre Centre), Breathing Space (Royal Court), Liar.Heretic.Thief (Lyric), ReImagining: Cacophony (Almeida), #WeAreArrested (Royal Shakespeare Company), Kingdom Come (Royal Shakespeare Company), #DR@CULA! (Royal Central School of Speech and Drama), Fantastic Mr. Fox (associate movement director- Nuffield and Lyric Hammersmith), Hansel & Gretel (assistant choreographer – Uchenna Dance), The Headwrap Diaries (assistant choreographer – Uchenna Dance), Our Mighty Groove (rehearsal director – Uchenna Dance).

Performance credits include Dallas Black Dance Theatre, Tavaziva Dance, Disney’s The Lion King (West End), Royal Opera House, English National Opera, Green Candle Dance Company and Uchenna Dance.

Ingrid is a certified STOTT Pilates instructor in matwork and reformer. She holds a BA in Kinesiology from Western University in Canada and an MA in Movement: Directing & Teaching from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. Ingrid is also co-founder of MoveSpace.

At the time of writing, Ingrid teaches at her alma mater Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and at Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has previously taught at WAC Arts, Mountview, London Studio Centre and London Contemporary Dance School.

In our wide ranging conversation we cover:

  • The importance of being present and maintaining your spark
  • The value of moving from being a minority to a majority or personal growth and increased self awareness
  • Travelling widely to better understand your place in the world
  • Finding your voice to fight for what you need
  • Differences between working as an artist in an international touring company, on cruise ships and on the West End
  • Being shaped more by the rejections that the achievements
  • Her process as a movement director and storytelling through the body
  • The journey to become a whole person


Episode 9 – Naveen Arles BCA

Naveen Arles BCA is an energetic, inspirational vocal leader and animateur who’s outstanding ability to motivate and train groups of people has meant, in addition to leading choirs, he delivers workshops for senior management training courses, wellbeing support groups and in prisons. 

His choirs have toured with Hugh Jackman, Take That, Lulu; performed with George Ezra, Alexandra Burke and Freya Ridings, appeared on most UK terrestrial TV channels and were chosen to welcome the guests for Michelle Obama’s exclusive UK book launch.  Nav’s experience and social justice work has led him to an invitation onto the council of the Association of British Choral Directors (ABCD) and to join the consultancy panel advising Hal Leonard Europe on their Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policies.

He is a specialist in community building, leading groups and supporting them to create meaningful experiences for both the participants and, whenever possible, the audience.

During our conversation we talk about:

  • Building resilience
  • The importance of belonging
  • The many non-musical elements of being a musician
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion in Classical Music and beyond
  • Achieving more healing through music than medicine
  • The importance of context and true engagement in live music
  • Choir singing as the UK’s national pass time
  • Supporting the nations choir directors through MD Brunch


Episode 8 – Andrew Missingham

If you can’t bank the money bank the learning

Andrew Missingham is a drummer, musician, producer and the co-founder of B+A, the fastest most creative management consultancy in the world. B+A work with organisations in the cultural, for profit and social sectors helping them change for the better. They have worked with an extraordinary range of organisations, many of which you may well have heard of. These include Punchdrunk, Microsoft, Nike, the Barbican, Converse, Aveda, The Financial Times, Google, intel, Clinique, the LA Philharmonic and Patreon. Andrew is a problem solver, a voracious reader and a creative thinker on the arts, media, business and many other things besides.

During our wide ranging conversation we get into:

  • How to build credibility in new industries
  • Music as a route for learning and a vehicle for natural curiosity
  • The liberation of understanding your own limitations
  • How to be the fastest most creative management consultancy in the world
  • Sharing your process and the importance of nuance
  • A creative approach to protecting IP
  • The difference between privacy and anonymity
  • Coaching as a style of leadership vs mentorship
  • Systematising thinking
  • Listening with all available senses
  • Tolerance as the route to understanding progress and unity


Episode 7 – Robbie Swale

Shouldn’t work be something I enjoy?……it just should be like that.

Robbie Swale is a coach. In the earlier stages of his career Robbie spent periods as a director, a trustee and as a manager in various arts organisations, all of which contribute to a creative approach to his coaching work and life in general. Since moving into coaching he has built a thriving business offering both one to one coaching and group coaching programmes.

My first experience of Robbie was through reading several of the articles on his website. In these articles I was particularly struck by the clarity and usefulness of his reflections on mental models, art and personal development. Over the course of our first few conversations I’ve grown to further appreciate his commitment to exploring ideas and fresh thinking through reading and listening widely, and his ability to coalesce those inputs into a positive, constructive and consistently useful approach to living and working in a complex world. 

In this wide ranging conversation we cover:

  • Giving things away for free
  • Sliding Doors Moments
  • Life changes and the things that can lead us towards them
  • The power of sharing the process
  • Influences
  • The War of Art and the fight against resistance
  • The story of money
  • Creating and authentic online presence
  • The Power to Choose
  • The antidote to feeling powerless
  • The Zone of Genius vs The Zone of Excellence


Episode 6 – Christopher Daniel

Designing for possibilities rather than expectations.”

Christopher Daniel (@polysemic42 and @longnowldn on Twitter and @polysemic on Instagram), is an architect, educator, designer and inveterate enthusiast. When I was pulling together the various initial threads of what this podcast could be he was one of the first people I contacted to sense check what I was doing and how. His breadth of listening and reading across the creative industries, combined with consistently taking that material and actually doing something with it in the real world, made him an excellent sounding board for ideas and the plans for their practical application. A great example of that, and just one among many, was doing a conversation where I shared frustrations around trying to convert ideas ofr a visual icon for the podcast into something I could use, without investing hundreds of pounds in unknown providers. Chris listened intently, asked a few seemingly basic questions and responded with visual mock-ups that were exactly what I’d been trying to articulate. True to his talent for converting ideas into useful things he then refine one for me just because he enjoyed the challenge of figuring it out and making something interesting. And that’s been the icon I’ve used since day one.

In this broad ranging conversation we get into:

  • The value of enthusiasm and curiosity
  • Theatre design and design for performance
  • Burning Man, opportunity and the power of possibility
  • Extrinsic vs intrinsic motivation and finding meaningful work
  • A building as an iterative process
  • Conventional architectural training and designers relationship with their work
  • Hierarchy in design studios
  • How buildings learn
  • Long-term thinking and the work of the Long Now Foundation
  • Teaching as part of developing creative practice


Episode 5 – Jessica Bowles

If you don’t make mistakes you won’t make anything.”

Jessica Bowles ( @JesBowles ) is the Principal Lecturer and Course Leader of the MA/MFA Creative Producing at Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Jessica trained as a Designer for Film and TV, and spent the early part of her career working across Europe in theatre design with organisations including Dukes Playhouse Lancaster, Young Vic and the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her subsequent career in education has spanned writing the BA (Cons) Theatre Practice Course at Central School of Speech and Drama and introducing undergraduate Circus and Puppetry degrees to UK Higher Education. Jessica also founded the Masters course in Creative Producing which she now leads.  Through her work in education Jessica has supported the learning of an extraordinary range of people now working across the theatre and wider performing arts industries.

During the course of our conversation we cover:

  • Learning through asking questions and finding your community
  • Massive jam tarts
  • Producing as project management, people management and storytelling
  • The journey of self belief
  • Standing on the shoulders of giants
  • Factors that influence excellence in theatre training
  • Theatre as a prototyping process
  • Starting with your means to avoid barriers
  • Elements of being a successful producer
  • The importance of connecting to your own values
  • Designing learning experiences that students own
  • Models for evaluating projects and extracting learning.


Episode 4 – John Howkins

“It’s a statement of fact, every child is born creative.”

John Howkins is a leading writer and strategist on the Creative Economy. His first book The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas has become the seminal account of how creative people think and develop new ideas. His follow-up book Creative EcologiesWhere Thinking is a Proper Job applies new ideas on ecology to how people work together and co-creativity. It asks, Where do we think best?

Over the last fifteen years John has worked with a wide range of people and organisations in over thirty countries to increase understanding of creativity and innovation in a business environment. He continues to write, lecture and debate on the creative economy and what it means for us.

Before publishing The Creative Economy, John worked for a number of successful companies in publishing, TV, film, digital media and streaming.  From 1982-1996 he was associated with HBO and Time Warner with responsibilities for TV and broadcast strategy in Europe. This experience convinced him that successful creative people share the same mindset and work in the same way.

John is a Member of the United Nations Advisory Committee on the Creative Economy. He has been Chairman of the London Film School, Deputy Chairman of the British Screen Advisory Council (BSAC) and Council Member of the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). He was Executive Director of the International Institute of Communications (IIC).

He is Executive in Residence at the Drucker School of Management, Claremont, Los Angeles; Visiting Professor, City University, London; and Vice Dean and Visiting Professor, Shanghai School of Creativity, Shanghai Theatre Academy, China.

He is a former Chairman of CREATEC, Tornado Productions and BOP Consulting, and a board member of Equator Films, HandMade plc, HotBed Media, Screen East and other companies.

John founded and directed the RSA Adelphi Charter on Creativity, Innovation and Intellectual Property.

He also worked as a journalist for many years on FrendzTime Out, The Sunday Times, Harpers & Queen and The Economist. He was editor of InterMedia, Vision (the BAFTA journal) and The National Electronics Review. He has a BA in International Relations (Keele University) and a AA (Dip) and MA in Urban Design (Architectural Association).

In our wide ranging conversation we talk about;

  • How to self define you job when you don’t have a title
  • John’s research and writing practice
  • Working at the Whole Earth Catalogue
  • Writing a TV and books column for Time Out
  • Setting up Channel 4 and the Birth of Britain’s independent TV production industry
  • Where the term creative industries came from
  • The sandwich analogy as relates to policy making
  • Everybody is creative as a statement of fact
  • The power of making the ask
  • The value of being concise
  • The importance of creativity for a healthy society
  • The difference between learning and education
  • The importance of learning as part of a creative practice

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