Open Innovation + Digital Catapult

I recently met some people form Digital Catapult UK. I was blown away by their core value of ‘open innovation’. The ‘openness’ comes comes with inherent risks and benefits that both sides must understand, but it is designed to encourage ‘serendipitous innovation’. In a world of patents and trademarks, they believe: “You can benefit from ideas that you do not own.”

He had a beautiful quote that I think describes what innovation teams within large organisations should do:

“We are here to start movements that will grow on their own. We are here to create self-sustained ripples.”

ABOUT Digital Catapult: a not-for-profit organization with a trading division. They have been tasked with a target of growing the British Economy. They started from scratch 18 months ago and are primarily funded by Government, but their goal is to have a third of their income come from the industry to balance out their dependency on any one body.

  • Industry needs to “bring challenges to them”
  • Connected to 2,500 innovators (new name for start-ups and entrepreneurs)
  • Digital Catapult run about 1-event per day and their target is innovators
  • They can also doo proof of concept/product prototyping
  • They are located in the R&D quarter (King’s Cross)

Their Innovation Focus is on how companies get value from their data (including secondary/tertiary value from data) in these four areas: 

  1. Personal data (Banking, browsing)
  2. Closed corporate data (banks, new value)
  3. Licensed data (Creative content, IP)
  4. Machine generated data (IOT)

You should check them out and their work in the UK innovation space!

Am I able to give career advice? I’m only 22 after all.

I’ve been helping out at my old university – King’s College London – with their careers and employability office. A couple weeks ago, I went in to speak to current undergraduate and masters students at a career festival for the Film Studies program. After graduating in July, I now have 7 months of experience through my full-time job in a media agency. Walking down the all-too-familiar corridors created an interesting sensation:

Here I was in the exact same location and it’s very clear that it’s me who has changed and not the environment. In fact, the architecture, smell, feel, and people looked exactly the same as last year (when I was attending this career fair as a hopeful final year student). But this time, there was a different confident stride in my steps, not one of getting a first, but one of having job security figured out.

Most of the students were there looking for a way into the film industry. In that respect, I was their counter example of someone who veered away from the ‘artistic’ satisfaction of the creative arts for the more corporate world of marketing and advertising. I think speaking to the students was just as informative for me as it was for them. Nevertheless, I stood tall and explained my role and plans for the future in the business world.

Two weeks after the speaking event, the careers office asked me to write a blog post for them. And it finally came out, so I thought I’d share it (which was the point of my whole rant above). Enjoy:

It offers some insights and advice to university students trying to figure out what they want to do after graduating by drawing on my own experiences of job hunting/soul searching.

I obviously still have so much to learn about the world of work: what skills are most employable, how to change jobs, how to progress, how to balance work/life, etc. However, I still feel that I can offer advice and help to university students, especially because the experience of transitioning lifestyles is still so fresh in my memories. It’s important for people to stay in touch with university students as they progress in their careers because, essentially, those students are the future of the work force. Their desires, mentality, and capabilities are a direct reflection of generational changes, economic situations, and cultural values. And it’s very hard to know what the future holds if you don’t understand the people that will be working it because let’s be honest, most business are people-led first and foremost. So an understanding of the younger work generation is ALWAYS key to any company that wants to grow.

Actors answer: What movie made you cry?

Featured Actors:
Annette Bening
James Franco
Natalie Portman
Michael Douglas
Mila Kunis
Mark Ruffalo
Helena Bonham Carter
Justin Timberlake
Dakota Fanning
Andrew Garfield
Nicole Kidman
Javier Bardem
Melissa Leo
Vincent Cassel
Julianne Moore
Robert Duvall
Jesse Eisenberg
Elle Fanning
Colin Firth

I love the art direction and the editing of this clip for W – made in 2011. I must agree with Justin Timberlake in that the first film to make me cry was Lion King. It got me literally every single time… that is the power of Disney. The most recent film that made me cry was another animated film – the opening sequence of Up. The beautiful montage of Ellie and Carl overlaid with the music of Michael Ginacchino is in my opinion one of the most beautiful and touching moments in cinema. Voila, my love of animation shone through again!

“Les Secrets de la Réussite du luxe à la française”

L’article original: Clique Ici 

Résumé: Cet article écrit par Julie de La Brosse en 2013 se concentre sur les produits de luxe en France qui sont en ligne avec la tradition de glamour et mode. D’une façon générale, l’article parle de la production, la consommation, et la culture autour des produits de luxe – en particulier la mondialisation de marché à l’extérieur. Les points de l’article reposent sur les données et la recherche. Au tout début, La Brosse compare Le Quatar Luxury Group au luxe français. L’auteur mentionne le groupe LVMH qui comporte les grandes marques Louis Vuitton, Moët et Hennessy. Ce groupe représente l’importance des produits de luxe à la française dans les secteurs de la mode, l’alcool, les bijoux, le maquillage et le parfum. Et LVMH est la marque la plus rentable – citée comme « la cash machine du luxe à la française ». Elle est suivie par Chanel, Cartier, Yves Saint Laurent, Gucci et Christian Dior Couture, elles sont toutes françaises à l’exception de Gucci qui est une marque Italienne.

Dans l’économie française, la production et exportation des produits de luxe ont toujours eu une importance. De plus, le prix des produits de luxe a augmenté entre 1976 et 2012 plus que le prix des autres biens de consommation. Donc, la culture autour du luxe est vraiment importante pour l’économie français et la production des produits à l’interne et à l’externe. L’article dit que « le solde commercial du luxe serait de 20 à 30 milliards d’euros chaque années. Plus que l’aéronautique ! »

Le Bosse parle également des développements dans les autres pays et leur impact sur les produits de luxe français. L’article parle de l’importance de la classe aisée chinoise qui a gagné plus d’importance économiquement dans les achats de produits de luxe. Au niveau de consommateurs, les Etats-Unis, le Japon, la Chine et la Grande-Bretagne ont plus de millionnaires dans la population. Mais au niveau de production des produits haut-de-gamme pour le marché mondial,  la France a une grande part de marché. Alors, le luxe est un des plus importants exportateurs de la France. Et avec la crise, l’industrie du luxe a aussi connu quelques turbulences – comme une baisse de la consommation et culturellement, la lutte contre la corruption. Et encore, c’est important de noter l’impact de la montée en puissance de la population aisée chinoise.  Même si les Etats-Unis reste le plus grand consommateur, la demande des autres nouveaux marchés modifie l’évolution des facettes de la planète luxe (comme e-commerce). À la fin de l’article, La Brosse dit que le secteur florissant est important pour le reste de l’industrie française.

Ginger ‘Snap’ Rogers – the feisty blonde of Classical Hollywood.

This is a short extract from Stage Door (Gregory La Cava, 1937) featuring Ginger Rogers and Katharine Hepburn. I’ve developed an obsession with Rogers: she dances with Fred Astaire, she banters with Hepburn, and she exudes a beauty beyond her platinum blonde hair. I’m a fan of fast, witty dialogue – especially when delivered by great actresses.

If you’ve never seen her films, here are some personal recommendations, from me to you:

42nd Street (1933)
Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)
Top Hat (1935)
Shall We Dance (1936)
Kitty Foyle (1940)
The Major and the Minor (1942)
Monkey Business (1952)

“Sure [Fred Astaire] was great, but don’t forget Ginger Rogers did everything he did backwards…and in high heels!” — Bob Thaves 1982 © NEA Inc.

PLUS, She also has her own website:

Just think MURDER and you can become an actress or a queen. Your choice.

When Charlize Theron was asked ‘how to walk like a queen’ on The Ellen Show: 

1  23  4

Stardom and Performance Quotes: 

“Movie actors therefore learn to control and modulate behaviour to fit a variety of situations, suiting their actions to a medium that might view them at any distance, height, or angle and that sometimes changes the vantage point within a single shot.”

– James Naremore, Acting in the Cinema (Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1988), 21.

“Performance is what the performer does in addition to the actions/functions s/he performs in the plot and the lines s/he is given to say. Performance is how the action/function is done, how the lines are said.”

– Richard Dyer, Stars (London: BFI Publishing, 1979), 134.