Going from the highly successful Brave conference in 2017 to the Braver theme this year was always going to be tough challenge. I am pretty sure most of the guests at the Science Museum yesterday would agree that the conference team knocked it out the park.
The speakers ranged from very personal and human stories to very open and honest insights from a wide range of business and marketing leaders.
I personally took something from every presentation however, if I was forced to select my top 5 favourite moments they would be these.
Dr Caroline Casey MBE
In a very emotionally charged, high energy and often hilarious presentation, it emerged that Caroline has a significant vision disability. Her gift for story telling had the audience fully engaged as she presented her global inclusion revolution – asserting disability is the “new green”.
Her key insight was that sometimes the bravest thing you can do is be yourself.
Also trying to be somebody else is exhausting.
Thomas challenged us to measure how brave we are by taking his online test before telling us one of my favourite stories of the day.
The bus driver in Paris who saw that his passengers were reluctant to make space to allow a wheel- chair user to board ordered them all off to allow this passenger on before taking directly to his destination.
It’s the kind of act of bravery and kindness which should serve as an inspiration to us all.
Detective Superintendent Garnett gave us a very passionate and yet often very funny insight into modern policing. She presented the Police Now initiative which she co-founded - a 2 year entry route and leadership programme to attract exceptional, diverse, emotionally intelligent graduates into policing.
She made an impassioned plea to all the businesses and brands in the room to get involved with her latest project – Take 90 – created to challenge violence norms in London.
Apparently it takes 90 seconds to calm down someone who is angry.
Steve is an ex client (back in his Beck’s days) and an old mate, so I was keen to hear from him now he is bearded and US based. As always and as a Glasgow boy he remains a great story teller and his 3 tales of bravery offered us some great insights to leadership and culture – as well as a few laughs along the way.
Like John Wayne – Steve asserts - sometimes you just need to “saddle up” and get on with things.
Courage is like a muscle you need to exercise it regularly to keep it strong.
Jaz Ampaw – Farr
Finally “Resilience Ninja”, Jaz took us through her very personal journey from her school days and a very difficult domestic environment to life on the streets to blagging her way into university and her career in teaching.
Her humour, honesty, energy and unswerving optimism was a real inspiration.
There was a lot to reflect on and learn from as we enjoyed the after conference drinks in the impressive setting of the Science Museum before heading to a very special dinner at Lord's Cricket Ground.
Could next year’s event be our Bravest?
Written by Graeme Atha – Director - Scotland at The Marketing Society.