Yesterday morning, I attended a brilliant event organised by Editorial Intelligence at the Bishopsgate Institute in the City of London, it was an early start so pleased to be welcomed with a strong coffee and pastries on arrival.
The debate was moderated by Peter York who is a real character, and I have to say one of the best at capturing the moments and keeping it on track. Peter York, is an author and commentator in his own right having created the Sloane Rangers Guide for Harpers & Queens in the early 80’s and a lot more.
So, now for the guests on the panel and first up was Patrick Kingsley, who earlier this year was named by MHP as one of the top five journalists to watch, and in fact won journalist of the year in 2009 for the Guardian Student Media Awards. He is certainly someone to watch and as a freelancer writes for the Guardian, Daily Mail, Wired and other publications. He is presently writing a book on Denmark and yesterday spoke about ‘The Killing’, a great series which I have to agree with. He shared that on a recent trip he had visited the school that featured in the series and even attended a disco. He spoke passionately about this experience and how the Danish people are known as a ‘happy’ nation, which he believes stems from the ‘community’ spirit and that they don’t have the snobbery that we do here in the UK. It was really interesting to hear, and if only some of our politicians could see the difference between ‘Big Society’ and ‘Social/Community Awareness’ maybe we could learn a think or two.
Second up was Emma Craigie, an author and teacher and I was certainly taken with what she discussed about her research for her new book which I definitely want to buy. She shared with us a day in her life, where she had recently visited a school in Lawrence Hill inSt Paul’s,Bristol. Using creative writing with a group of 25 teenagers she shared some of their day to day experiences from gang culture, to living in a deprived society, to having dreams of university and bettering themselves, to their home lives some living with grandparents, some as carers and cultural barriers they encounter. I think sometimes we forget that this happens here in the UK and, we can live in a bubble as she also mentioned a trip to a London Borough School with similar stories. Her message to us was that Education is key to helping everyone and that schools are the core of the education system. Emma was involved with the Steiner Education system, something I can resonate to having taught Montessori.
Lastly, it was Justin Webb, a presenter from BBC Four’s Today Programme and whose voice I could listen to all day. He spoke about his love for the USA and his book that he wrote last year called ‘Them and Us’. He spoke about politicians from the USA and shared a few stories from his last campaign trail with Obama and McCann. He also spoke about the BBC and regulations which will need to evolve over the next 10 years to be more in keeping with FOX however from my little knowledge of the USA, I was under the impression that FOX was rather controversial! The one point I took away from what Justin shared with us, is that politicians when they step up to the mark need to be 100% transparent and this is apparent in the USA and sadly isn’t always the case here.
Then, when it was open floor the point I made and took away was that politicians throughout the world need to have a ‘human touch’, they need to be in touch with themselves and at grass root level and sadly there are a mere handful who have it.
The event called ‘Thought for the Day’ is something that I enjoy as it takes you out of your own comfort zone which in my case, working from home and opens your eyes to other thinks and that’s why I really enjoy the events that Editorial Intelligence put on and meeting different people.
If you want to hear the pod cast from the event then visit the Editorial Intelligence website at www.editorialintelligence.co.uk