The Do Lectures, Wales, 2016.
In July I was fortunate enough to be one of the attendees at the Do Lectures in Wales. It’s a cross between a small festival, a networking event, a series of lectures, workshops and a professional and personal development course.
We camped in bell tents, ate glorious local food, enjoyed inspiring talks, great live music and discussed everything under the sun with new friends by the camp fire long into the nights.
I won’t go through every wonderful talk, you’ll be able to see them all online in the near future, but here are some of my speaker highlights:
- Kicking things off on Thursday was Mr Bingo with his eclectic, impassioned talk, ‘29 Things I’ve Learnt’ covering how he makes a living out of vulgar drawings, rap videos and charging people for insults.
- Later on, Daniela Papi-Thornton spoke about ‘Tackling Heropreneurship’. A tantalising insight into social businesses and entrepreneurs working towards social change, the pitfalls and psychology of impact and effective change. I wrote pages and pages of notes on that one so I’m still processing it!
Friday went by in a blur of phenomenal speakers, which included:
- Michael Burne of Carbon Law Partners talking about how the legal system is broken and how his company is going about changing it.
- Severine Von Tsarner-Fleming of Agrarian Trust, a fascinating woman with a passion for communal farming and bringing commoning and community back to the next generation of farmers in the States.
- Will and Guy from the British Pilgrimage Trust. Two blokes who are single-handedly trying to resurrect the art of pilgrimage in the UK (Will having unsuccessfully tried to make a living previously as a travelling minstrel) and brought their unique ‘double-act’ to Do. Speaking about their four-day pilgrimage to the sea from the source of the River Teifi, via the Do Lectures for the weekend, the people they met, things they learnt and history they discovered along the way.
- Stephen Russell, the Barefoot Doctor, blew everyone away with his positivity, Taoist approach and loving confidence. Ending with ‘Essentially, everyone just wants to be loved. Even bigots.’
Saturday continued with excellent speakers, starting with:
- Chris Sheldrick of What3Words, the universal addressing system giving a viable address to every three square metres on the planet using just three words. A phenomenal mapping system changing the way businesses work, improving the lives of nomads, how emergency services access people in crowds, helping people find their friends and driving social and economic development in countries all around the world.
- Heather Le Fevre, author of Brain Surfing, whose talk and separate workshop on reciprocal generosity I attended, is a global-based American strategist. The take-away lesson learnt from her talk was that ‘Everything we need to know is in other people. You just need to ask.’ And to always bear in mind the Ratio of Help; Offer 2: Ask 1.
- Holley Murchison of Oratory Glory followed. An astounding person and inspiring soul who spoke about owning your voice, leading with love and leaving your mark.
I attended her workshop before the talk which was ‘The Art of Making a Great Introduction’. So now, rather than asking what people do when I meet them, I’ll ask what they’re passionate about. It’s a much more interesting conversation to have with someone new!
new opportunities and adventures
One of the best parts of Do was having the opportunity to meet and discuss with the speakers and other attendees over dinner and evening drinks. I used this opportunity to have a more in depth chat with Will of British Pilgrimage Trust as well as Michael of Carbon Law Partners and others. There are certainly lots of people whom I plan to stay in touch with and may hopefully work with in the future.
On the final morning at 7am, I was fortunate to join Will and Guy and a small group of Doers for the last leg of their pilgrimage to the coast. It was an enjoyable couple of hours; singing an old folk song to a yew tree, pausing for thought at a ruined abbey, discovering hidden wells and the meaning of Mount Joy. We questioned a blessing stone, sampled samphire on the beach and paddled in the waves at the end of our journey. There is so much hidden heritage on Britain’s public footpaths and byways and I’d love to do it again sometime, some place new.
I met many amazing people at Do Lectures and have since been in touch with a handful of them, particularly the Bristol cohort of which there were quite a few! I left feeling inspired, enriched and with a very, very long To Do List. One of which was to write this blog post. So at least that’s one thing finally done!