Richard Lucas –  21st March 2015


TEDxWarsaw 2015 on 18th May –  was a memorable experience. As always TEDx-es live by the quality of their speakers. The wonderful venue of Teatr Polski only added to the sense of quality.

Andrzej Lubowski gave a great talk last week which I want to share, am summarizing, and adding my own notes to.


His bio from TEDxWarsaw is as follows “Our next speaker, Andrzej Lubowski, moderated first ever TV debates between Solidarity and the communist government of Poland in 1981. He’s the author of i.a. “Zbig. The Man Who Cracked the Kremlin” currently on the path of writing a new book. A Varsovian by birth and upbringing, Andrzej has lived in the USA since 1982 where he worked in senior executive positions for major international companies. He has served as an adviser and a board member in American and European companies as well as non-profit organizations. “

This is what he said.


1 Don’t take “No” for an answer (giving the example of Decca turning down The Beatles in 1962)  If you really believe in your idea – persist, don’t give up, keep going.

2 Challenge the status quo wisely –  (Driving on the wrong side of the road is an example of a stupid way to challenge the status quo).  But don’t just accept things the way they are. He quoted the extraordinary Elon Musk who not only realised that if humankind is to move to other planets we have to learn how to to make rockets reusable, but set to work to make it happen with Space X. Read (listen to or watch) Elon Musk being interviewed by Chris Anderson at TED here

3. Learn from the best.  Andrzej had a fascinating job of being “global head of benchmarking” – There is nothing wrong with copying good or best practice. Make sure you know what you are trying to optimize and bench mark.

4. Communication is vital – and the messenger has to fit the message. We have two ears and one mouth for a reason. listening is a vital communication skill (note to self – try not to talk so much). When Wayne Calloway asked Andrzej to introduce changes at Pepsico having done a global benchmarking study – (I think – need to check this once the talk goes on line) Andrzej disagreed with the the process and told Wayne that the person who led the change process had to be someone who would have authority with the Vice Presidents who needed to make the changes. He found the CEO of TI (I think) to do this and it made all the difference. This is an incredibly valuable insight that I have known intuitively but never seen articulated

5. Change is painful –  and people will find ways to avoid it if they can. This is so true

6. Develop the image of a burning platform  Create a sense that the platform or bridge you are on is on fire, is burning. Once people understand that they are or might be on a burning bridge they will (should)  be more ready to change.  This is a very valuable idea. whether we are looking at environmental challenges like reducing our dependence on fuels that put carbon into the atmosphere. Understanding how free countries need to adapt to deal with threat of unconventional and information warfare from Russia. Being in any business which has to adapt to the impact of the internet  – think bookshops, taxi companies, hotels, most of my businesses… The image that the status quo is dangerous – – your bridge is on fire – is a powerful metaphor for the imperative to change.

7 Find and surround yourself with people with positive energy. Essential. So true. When I have invested in businesses it is one of my criteria. A working success and productive life is  bound to be full of challenges.  it is so easy to lose faith.  Positivity, optimism, generosity in the people around you will make a huge difference and keep you going.  Positive energy is necessary but not sufficient in my view.   I want reference the extraordinary talk by Ashton Kutcher at Teen Choice Awards (the start of this talk is anything but promising, but watching the whole talk is 5 minutes well spent – I promise you). Ashton says that the three most important lessons he had to share were that “opportunities looks a lot like work, 2 that being smart, thoughtful and generous is what makes someone ‘sexy’ (see the video to understand the context), and 3.  that ordinary people can shape the world we live in.

Final comments

I was making notes about this talk from about half way through and started thinking as Andrzej was concluding… meaning that I missed his summary where he said something about the need to be emotionally prepared if you want to change the world.

My TEDxWarsaw notes about the talk

My TEDxWarsaw notes about the talk

I am guessing that this was to do with the fact that it you need to be tough..  I am going to find out how he concluded but for now this is as far as I have got. Thanks Andrzej and the TEDxWarsaw team for sharing these ideas. Yet another positive impact on my life


Once the talk goes on line –  (as all TEDx talks must by their Creative Commons licence) – I will post a link. The first TED talk I remember ever watching – by Richard Baraniuk – was about the Creative Commons)  The wonderful TED Open Translation Project will make this available in Polish for sure. and I’ll do the English transcription. I’ve only transcribed one talk so far – It is many hours work which makes me appreciate the OTP all the more.



March 18th


Ralph Talmont asked me if I wanted a couple of minutes on the stage at TEDxWarsaw 2015 In a two minute annoucement a lot gets left out.  Lots of updates about the event itself and who spoke are here  Thanks to Ewelina and Suzane from TEDxKazimierz team for their input into my talk, and who heard my nervous preparation the day before..

The main objectives of the announcement were:

– encourage attendees to spread the word about TED and TEDx, to support their local TEDx-es and the Open Translation Project, and

– to encourage and build community among TEDx attendees and fans  –  not just TEDx organisers and team members,

(and to be memorable, entertaining, inspiring  and motivational).

So – more or less – this is what I said or wanted to say, with links and details,   Thanks Ralph for giving me the stage.

“My purpose is to encourage you to evangelise for TED and TEDx, and build community among attendees of TEDx events.   Can the foreigners here raise their hands ? can the TEDx organisers and team members raise their hands, and the first timers raise there hands..?  TED is an international movement and everyone is welcome here. I am not sure who should be applauding who –  because TEDx is a journey . Please appreciate  each other with a round of applause….(applause)

My TEDx story started in 2008/9 and the first TEDx I was involved in was 2010.  It’s been a wonderful experience and journey for me with great relationships and experiences.. .but this is not about me –  it’s about you and what I want you do. It’s not just about what you can get from TED and TEDx it’s about what you can give and contribute. The more you do for TED the better your experience will be.

What about the people who are not here with us today ?

how can you spread the wonderful idea of “ideas worth spreading” to people who are not in the room and don’t know about  us.  Being here is a privilege –  there are people who wanted to come who did not get tickets – and with privilege comes responsibility.  What can you do to spread the word and share with this wonderful world ?

Let me tell you how and what to do.

At TEDxKazimierz one of our goals has been to spread the word about TED and TEDx, not just about our event. You can take small, medium or big steps

A small step can be showing a friend your favourite TED or TEDx talk on line, posting it on your Facebook page, joining the TED and TEDx Fans in Poland Facebook group, making thoughtful relevant posts about how TED and TEDx inspires you.  If you are into Couchsurfing  – join the TEDsurfing group bring Couchsurfing values to the world of TEDx.

A medium step can be to to take inspiration from Derek Sivers inspirational TED talk and be a “first follower”, which he calls a under appreciated form of leadership.


A leader needs the guts...

Derek Siver’s “how to start a movement” TED talk


You can track down and offer to help in your local TEDx movement (if one exists). it’s easy enough to find either on here  or if even like this  – if you excuse my passive aggressive sense of humour, or you can get involved in the wonderful TED Open Translation Project  Even if (like me) you are not a translator, you can do same language transcription. The first step to get your favorite Polish language talk into English ->  is to transcribe and subtitle the Polish to make it ready to translate.

For those who want to do more –  a big step can be:   to emulate what we have  have been doing in TEDxKazimierz.  That includes (I’m putting a few more links in here than I could do from the stage)

– Presentations about TED and TEDx at other people’s events. For example at 10 slides x 10 seconds each presentation about TED, TEDx and TEDxKazimierz at a Pecha Kucha night here  ( slides used are here   Years ago Krystian Aparta of the OTP and I did a session at the Krakow SLOT festival, (though I can no longer find a link).

– going into schools and other institutions to give talks about TED, TEDx and your local  TEDx.  Irka,  Ewelina and łukasz were doing this in a Kraków No V Liceum earlier this week – Anyone can do something in their school, university or company. Just make clear it is a meeting about TED and TEDx,  not a TEDx itself.

– organising open information meeting about TED and TEDx, so “meetings about TED and TEDx”, as opposed to TEDx meetings. In the past I have done with with local Couchsurfers as per here  We are trying different formats for TEDxKazimierz open information meetings. This is coming. 20th March. In December 2014, with a guest from TEDxKyiv we did events like this   It is important in communications to make clear that these are not TEDx events.   (For more ideas about how to make your events inclusive and welcoming read this article)

With responsibility comes accountability – .so I want to you choose whether you are going to take a small medium or big step; – Stand up and face your neighbour  – noting their eye colour – (this guarantees eye contact). Please tell you neighbour in 10 seconds whether you are going to take a small medium or large step to spread the word about TED, TEDx and build community

(A roar of noise, which I stopped with my red football whistle )

now I want to you seal your Commitment to your neighbour with one of three actions, A hand shake, a hug or a kiss)

(laughter, chaos and lots of hugging)

Good, thank you: Go out and Evangelise for TED

thank you very much








I will never ever ever post to  (unless I change my mind), but before clicking submit for the final time, here are a few statistics, action items and reflections.

At  the beginning of 2015 I decided to migrate my blog to to which the help of Rafał – a recommended WordPress consultant.

I wondered about whether it might be disrespectful to use “The Last Post” as a title.  The Last Post is played at military funerals in many countries and cultures the world over, including my grandfather who died more than 30 years ago, and fought in both World Wars. It is important to know and acknowledge those who fought and died for freedom and democracy, especially now in 2015.  You can hear Reginald Portal describing his experiences in First World War at Gallipoli here  and also insights into his views on  Royal Navy education and social relations of 100 years ago.  If just one person reflects on the sacrifices and horrors of war as a result of this aside, it is worth it.

Back to the blog. …… Continue reading

Richard Lucas February 2015

Gary Vaynerchuk said the other day that Linkedin is getting really big. I read elsewhere that top 10 lists work really well.   So I thought I’d try writing a “top 20 sales questions” list and see how it worked.  As my experience is selling to business –  not consumers  – it turned into a B2B list, and 20 questions was not enough. So you get 40 for the price of 20 (free). I wonder how  the traffic will develop. It’s on Slideshare here

feedback as always welcome

Richard Lucas February 2015

update – May 19th 2015

Podcasts are live. both off the website and in iTunes.

Project Kazimierz in iTunes

Project Kazimierz podcasts in iTunes

I’ve been telling friends about the power of podcasting for many months.  I grew up in a household in Oxford England with no TV, but where the BBC radio  was always on. The money I earned as a 9-10 year old went on a radio which cost GBP20 in 1976, about GBP100 in today’s devalued pounds.The great thing about radio compared to TV/film is that the pictures are so much better. I completely understand and get the idea that video is very powerful, and that Youtube, film and live performance can offer an different, more immersive  experience. one of TED Curator Chris Anderson’s brilliant TED talks compares the revolutionary power of on line video to that of the printing press.  Still  – reading a book or listening to a talk has its advantages, both in the way you and the ideas interact, and of course the functional aspect. You can listen with your eyes shut, while you are driving, cooking, or even trying to get to sleep.
Often people come to podcasts because they  offer a time shift..  Offering “the radio” when convenient,. Later you discover podcasts are  better because you get to choose to listen to the content that suits your interests. If you like to listen to entrepreneurs, there are almost unlimited choices.

Continue reading

Richard Lucas
February 10th 2015
Thanks to Kamil from Colab for giving me this idea  My blog is not yet the Ask Gary Vee show — but who knows what the future holds. “You ask questions, I answer them- it’s the ask “Richard Lucas” show. If you haven’t watched an episode of Gary Vee then this may not make sense. GaryV has built two $50 mln revenue plus business through sheer hard work and energy… take him seriously.
Kamil Łopata leader of the awesome  full and expanding Kraków  Co-Working space Colab (in which I am an investor)  asked – 0n 10 February 2015 at 15:08, kamil@ wrote:

do you have list of people and organizations which are investing/helping startups in Kraków?
Sometimes I need a mentor for an event and it would help me a lot.
Could you share it with me?

Kamil  – There is no full list  to my knowledge but I created this “Krakow-Social-and-Business-Startup-Community-Entrepreneurship-Communication-resource” and Ramon with help from Kamil and myself did this…  Krakow IT Companies   (The Hackpad  is password protected. If you want access, drop me a note with your e-mail and the organisation you represent and I will add you).

Two more ideas  –  the City Government wants to help so check here and send in your questions  here via their contact form. I’ve given the government feedback about how to improve this site.

Also  Bartosz Józefowski  of Krakow Technology Park has been nominated by the leading lights of Krakow Startup community as our nominated representative, so ask him. I’ve never seen such strong support from so many people so fast.



February 2nd 2015


If you don’t know who Paweł Tkaczyk is, then read this The depth of thought and knowledge is remarkable. For anyone who wonders what it takes to do well in life, it is impressive that it took Paweł less than 5 hours to send me his answers. I’m really impressed. read on….

You are well known in the world of social media and marketing in Poland. How would you introduce yourself to foreign readers who don’t know anything about  you?  

I’d say that my name is Paweł and I make my living by telling stories. Sometimes I tell them in front of a crowd, last year it was as large as 3,000 people during the Infoshare conference in Gdańsk. I do a lot of public speaking. Sometimes I write my stories — I wrote two books, third one is on its way. The first book, „Zakamarki marki” won the Marketing Book of the Year award, the second one, „Grywalizacja” was one of the first books on gamification (first one in Poland), and it became an instant bestseller, too. But most of the time I help my customers tell their stories. I own a branding company and I believe that a strong brand is a story well told. The market is full of people who have great ideas, but have trouble conveying their stories to the greater public. This is where I come in.
When did you first get interested in branding, markering social media  and why –  what was that attracted you, and how did you set about becoming an expert ?
I started my company in 2000 with the idea of creating systems of visual identity for brands. Back then it was an innovative idea, there were like five companies doing something similar in Poland. Then, after a couple of years all the advertising agencies started offering corporate identity designs, we had to move forward. I asked myself: what is the thing that is needed before you even think of corporate identity? Communication strategy for brands was the natural direction, I also had a knack for it, my MBA was in marketing strategy. Social media came along as I decided — boldly, looking from today’s perspective — to not advertise in a traditional manner, but instead to brand myself as expert using only online channels, blog and emerging social media platforms. It worked…
When did you decide to get into Podcasting and why? Mala Wielka Firma   is one of rather few high quality Polish language business podcasts. When will Polish language podcasting  become more significant?
I always liked uncommon promotion ideas. My parents owned a publishing house so I grew up among books, authors and book promotions. When my friend, Marek Jankowski, wrote his first book (entitled „Mała Wielka Firma” – Little Big Company) he came to me for promotion ideas. We always liked discussing ideas and podcasting was becoming a thing in the US, so we said what the heck, let’s try this. It was a great promotion tool for the book and we got a small number of fans who convinced us to continue with this project even after the book was gone. Then came a radio station – Mała Wielka Firma became a weekly economic radio program and our audience grew. Right now, according to iTunes, it’s the most popular Polish in the economy category.
We observe the comeback of podcasting after a year or so of decline. People moved to YouTube but there are formats that are better consumed as audio-only. 30 minutes of talking head (that’s how we call our format) does not require video and it’s more convenient to listen on your daily commute or during workout. Polish language podcasting will never have the numbers that English language podcast get but it’s becoming a widely used tools for corporations to spread their message within. So, if you want to make money from sheer numbers, you should go for English. But if you want to position yourself as an expert and make money from your expertise, those thousands of core listeners in Polish are more than enough.
Who is who this section is about who you regard as really talented in the industry in Poland and abroad,
 Which internationally known experts do you regard as authorities?  Who you follow, subscribe to watch or listen to?  Which are your favourite  bloggers, podcasters, vloggers (Youtubers)? Which websites you go to for information and who do you regard as authorities in this area in Poland? 
I follow prof. Lessig, Brian Sollis, Guy Kawasaki, Mitch Joel, Gary Vaynerchuk — the regular social media gurus crowd. But my interests lie often outside just new media. I like reading Jane McGonigal and Gabe Zichermann for gamification, I listen to Marketing Over Coffee (with John Wall and Christopher Penn) and I Love Marketing (with Dean Jackson and Joe Polish) podcasts — for obvious reasons — but also The Lede (from Copyblogger). My work takes me sometimes deep into the human mind, so I like reading psychology and technology: Daniel Kahnemann, David Pogue, Dan Ariely… Prof. Alexander Bard writes about the information society, as well as Andrew Keen or Chris Anderson. I believe there is power in diversity so I try not to limit myself.
In Poland there is Natalia Hatalska who writes about the relationship of technology, society and the future. She started as an ambient media specialist but evolved into this imagination, inspiration expert. You should check her out. Artur Kurasiński is an enterpreneur who does interviews with all the shakers and movers of the tech world. He’s better than your regular journalist, because he knows the right questions to ask. Roman Łoziński and Krzysztof Sobieszek are both strategists and we meet during conferences, I love to hear what they have to say.
Are there any well known personalities who are better at selling themselves and promoting their reputation than are actually knowledgeable in their own right. In other words people who are famous and well known but not as talented as they are perceived to be (I will understand if you choose not to answer this question) 
I will answer your question but my answer may surprise you. If your goal is to sell yourself and you are good at it, I believe you are successful. Take Kim Kardashian — you can say she knows nothing and is just famous. But if this „knows nothing” earns her a handful millions of dollars a year, she knows the system, knows how to take advantage of it, who am I to say she knows nothing? I earn less within the same system… We may not value that knowledge or say it’s sheer luck, but still: we are no better. Jimmy Kimmel recently did a great prank during one of the organic food fairs in LA. He basically blended Skittles with water and sold it as an organic juice. And people bought in! Not only that, they praised the taste, the „organicness” of the juice and were willing to pay big bucks for it. So it’s not only the experts’ knowledge that is sometimes overrated. Our ability to rate this knowledge is much flawed as well.
 Equally are there experts who you regard as extremely talented who do not yet have the reputation they deserve super heroes? Who are the “Experts’ experts” and who are the experts for the general public?
I believe the key lies in the ability to… tell stories. If you are a physics genius but are understood only by a handful of physics nerds, you will not become famous. But if you take the same knowledge and package it in a great story, your chances of being successful are much bigger. This is exactly what authors like Malcolm Gladwell do — they find great stories in science and bring it to light. There’s this great guy, Sławek Łuczywek, he works as a global coordinator in Migam. This is a company that works on automatic translation of sign language into speech. They got a grant from sir Richard Branson (among others) to develop their technology. And Sławek is so good at what he’s doing because he’s deaf himself. Yet he lives in the „hearing world” or — should I say — between two worlds. He knows the matters of the deaf and can tell their stories to hearing folk. Talking to him is a great eye-opener. These are the hidden heroes I admire.
There are so many interactive agencies which have some level of skill, experience  and competence –  or at least more than their clients. If you want to make a quick assessment of whether an agency is any good, what do you look for, and what can a non specialist  do to qualify an interactive agency or consultant as being any good?
I look at the agency through the people they hire. Because it’s the people who come up with ideas, write strategies and so on. So, look at their top employees’ social media profiles. Are they interesting people? Do they have followers? Do they live their work? Agency can buy fans, people seldom do that. Also, see if you can come across some thought leadership — did they write some thought-provoking articles, spoke at conferences that were not just advertising gigs? If not, chances are you’ll hire craftsmen, mechanics not artists. And there’s nothing wrong with that if this is what you are looking for. But you should know in advance whether you want to hire an artist or a laborer.
If someone wants to get good at online marketing and acquire the skills that you have, what can do, apart from reading your blog and listening to your podcasts. 
Thanks for the plug, but there are many better than me 😉 There are — in my opinion — two ways you can acquire the skills. First, you have to learn the basics and be able to imitate the great ones. So, when you want to learn marketing, you read marketing books: Kotler, Godin, Aaker. You learn the rules. If you want to sell hammers, you put an ad here and there, the sales start. But then you need to learn to break the rules, bend them to your will. And this you find outside your core field. When we first started writing communication strategies, we took the core from marketing books, but then we added psychology, theatrology (yes, there is such science), improv techniques, game design, social sciences…
My company helps create strong brands. To do that, we had to realize that all the branding happens within customers’ heads. Brand is a mental construct. In order to influence that construct, we had to learn psychology. This led us to motivation, game design and many other fields. So my advice would be: never stop learning. The patterns will emerge eventually.
The different status of English compared to Polish on the internet leads to some interesting challenges for marketeers who want to be successful on line both in English and Polish. What advice do you have for on line Social Marketers who care about a) the Polish market alone, and b) those who want to do well internationally.  
It’s a great question, my goal for 2015 is to take my personal brand internationally, so I’m pretty well acquainted with the challenges you mention. On the internet, you can be important on the local market but at the same time be very insignificant as a global brand. It’s easier to go from global brand to local market, you just need to find local opinion leaders. For example if you wanted to talk technology in Poland, the best places are Antyweb and Spider’s Web portals. They are often ignition points of the technology discussions. When it comes to taking your local brand globally, the strategy is basically the same — you have to find the shakers and movers of the industry. The trick is, they often have the status of global celebrities and having them notice you may prove quite difficult.
As for differences between Poles and English-speaking nations, Poles are less open, they keep to their social circles more and tend to avoid formal organizations. We don’t have neighborhood book clubs, garage sales and tight local communities. Overcoming this may pose a problem when you want to use social circles to promote your product.
When you consider all the different skills and platform competencies that on line marketers need those days:  optimization, conversion,  landing pages, on line chat, SEO, Content, UX, analytics, design, Coding, Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Google Plus, Whatsapp, Snapchat,, Amazon, Ebay. Allegro….. the list is endless…    which are essential and which are ones that you can outsource  Which platforms are most important to be familiar with,
I’d say you can outsource any platform, because marketing is not about platforms. It’s about the user experience and knowing your customers. If you know your customers intimately, if you know what they’re passionate about and where they like to hang out, you can design an unforgettable experience using any tool. I’ll give you an example. There’s this e-shop that sells t-shirts in Poland, it’s called Koszulkowo. It’s a very specialized shop, they address older geeks, the generation before Millenials, the people who used to play games on their Commodore 64 and watch Star Wars. Last year they had a customer glorifying their service in a Facebook post because he was able to… guess the promo code for 100% discount. He just used the most common cheat code from old games (IDDQD – if you don’t know what it is, google it). This kind of intimate knowledge of your customers is not platform-dependent but it’s an unforgettable experience. And this is the skill I suggest people learn if they want to do great marketing.
What are your main observations about trends in old school marketing – trade fairs, events,print media , TV Ads, bill boards,  Does it have a future at all,? what opportunities and challenges do you expect to see as traditional old school  ways of reaching clients die out.
There’s longer story here to be told. Markets are changing but at the same time they’re going full circle. To understand the changes we need to divide the marketing into three parts. The first one is called the age of the marketplace. Products were made and sold by craftsmen, markets were local and we fulfilled our needs if we could afford it. Then came the factories — the price of everything went down radically, we could afford things our ancestors could not. So we started buying just because we could. „Build it and they will come” we call it. It’s also the dawn of mass media and the great divide between the publishers and consumers of stories. Most of the marketing knowledge we use today was conceived during that period. 4P of marketing, Unique Selling Proposition and so on. But then two things happened at once. We had so many things we stopped buying just because we could. We started paying attention to quality again. In 2015 we value products that are the opposite of factory-made: hand crafted, limited editions, organic, not industrial. The other thing that happened is the dawn of the internet: the tool that allowed us to go back to two-way communication but on a global scale. The media is no longer served to the weak audience, the amount of information flowing around is overwhelming and we started to value our attention more than anything else.
We are observing the transition between the Millenials (who are tech-savvy, multicultural, share-all) and Gen Z (who are judicious about what they share, they communicate more with images than words, value offline more). Their attention is even more precious than that of the previous generations. If you try to buy it cheap, you will fail. Ironically, traditional paper is more attention-grabbing for them than a shiny Facebook campaign. The sooner we realize that, the better marketers we’ll become.
The trend to mobile appears unstoppable and presents many challenges to those who want to reach their target audiences via smart phones and tablets.  Who are the winners and losers in this and why?   
I’m giving a talk at a mobile conference next week and I have a full presentation devoted to answering this very question. Long story short: for the Millenials the mobile screen is a browsing medium, they still prefer to finish their shopping on their computers. So you should allow them to do just that. Amazon has a brilliant idea: whenever you see something interesting on your mobile device, just add hashtag #AmazonBasket to it and – with proper configuration – the product will land in your basket, waiting for you to sit in front of your computer to finish shopping. Optimizing your e-commerce for mobile transactions is — for now — a less effective strategy than providing a seamless transition between mobile and computer.
Then there are Gen Z-ers who are often „mobile only”. The losers in the battle for this generation may be… the banks. If any of the efforts to develop a money-transferng service without the need of a bank succeeds, they will adopt it quickly. Many are trying, with Snapchat’s Snapcash as a poster project. Also, there are over 160 cryptocurrencies in circulation at the time I write this. None of them backed by a bank. They will have their impact as well.
What on line marketing trends are going to have the biggest impact in B2B marketing in the next 12-18 months. 
If I was to point out one trend that interests me, it would be crowdfunding. It’s a major disruptor in many areas, but I see it as a way for the companies to market-test their ideas without the need to build a prototype of any kind. Crowdfunding gives you near-instant access to significant resources without the hassle of the banks but with responsibility directly towards your customers. Many companies are building great stuff that they would have great difficulty building any other way.
If an entrepreneur  has 50-100K to spend on on line marketing is it better to hire a young person with passion and let them get on with it, as best they can,  or give the budget to an agency, or for the entrepreneur to learn the skills themselves and deploy the money him or her self?
Paid amplification – have you heard of this term? It’s going to be a trend in 2015 online marketing and it’s partly an answer to your question. Paid amplification means going viral by having it both ways: doing something crazy, extraordinary that people just want to share, but at the same time just buy the traffic in an old-fashioned way to make sure your viral doesn’t go unnoticed. Volvo Trucks did that with their Van Damme movie. So if I had 50-100K to spend on online marketing, I would hire a young person to go with his or her guts and make epic stuff, but at the same time I’d hire an agency to make sure this epic stuff does not go unnoticed.
If a non specialist reader or listener realises that on line marketing is important but doesn’t know where to start what are the best first things that he or she can do to make sure that the current efforts they are making are OK
I would recommend changing the way of thinking. First, establish a good measurement unit for your efforts. In case of online marketing I use the unit I call „eyeball-hours”. Think of it this way: if I am to spend an hour creating a content, where I should put it next for it to get as many eyeballs as possible? When you start thinking this way, marketing becomes easy. You decide that this article you just wrote should not go on your blog (because it gets like 1000 hits a month), but you should spend extra time trying to sell it to other blog that gets 1,000,000 hits a month. So, if your eyeballs-hours are going up, you’re doing a good job.
What is the best way to get a really objective SEO on line marketing  audit –  that is not designed to turn into a contract for the agency taking on the audit task. Who do you recommend for audits when the client doesn’t have much money, or should they do the audit themselves ?
SEO is not really my thing so let’s skip this question 🙂
Would you rather have a creative smart marketing person with a small budget, or a big budget and give it to a recommended  agency.  
This is a wrong comparison. If I have a small budget, I can only hire a smart person. But if I have a big budget, the choice is different: I can either hire a big agency or I can hire a hundred smart people with smaller budgets. And this is the option I would choose.
Do you believe that new technologies, iBeacons, NFC and other location technologies. Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Wearables  are going to become significant in Poland any time soon.  
No, Poland is a difficult market in this regard. Here’s why: this is a country of 40 million people. Too big to rapidly deploy some new technology, yet too small for large-scale experimenting. If you want high-speed internet nationwide, you install it in Iceland with its half-a-million population, if you want to scale your SaaS, you go to USA or China. When new iPhones are deployed worldwide, we are in the second or third wave of countries. And this is how it’s going to stay.
If a company has a web site  and is spending nothing on marketing it. and they want to  a) increase traffic, and b) increase conversion or capture of the contact details of visitors, what are the most important things they should devote resources to:
– website design to make it easy to navigate, understand
– Content creation, written, video, audio, 
– conversion optimization
– pay per click traffic, from adwords, Facebook, youtube, Twitter, 
– viral marketing (posting link bate on Social media groups
– on line activities like Webinars
and where are the best places to find people who can do  the above  tasks well.
Man, you sure know how to ask complex questions 😉 My answer is of course „it depends”. But the way of my thinking would revolve around the concept of 4C – it’s something that replaced 4Ps of marketing around 1990. Instead of Product we think in terms of Customer Value, Place is replaced by Convenience, Price should be considered as Cost and one-way Promotion is now two-way Conversation. I would first go with customer value: what is the reason anyone would visit their website. If such reason exists, how can we make this visit as convenient as possible (so: website design, among others). Convenience also means thinking about costs for the customers. Not only in terms of money. Cost can be viewed as comprising of three currencies: money, time and nerves. And all of them are interchangeable: the consumer is willing to put time and/or money to save nerves, some of us have more time and use it to save money and so on. But the perfect recipe is different for different industries so I won’t tell you.
There is a lot of talk of real and on line marketing integration.  What are the best  examples you have come across in Poland?
JWT Lemon Sky did a great stunt for Tymbark, producer of juice drinks. Tymbark has always been a choice for a younger generation. And they were thinking, how they could engage young people who are „digital natives” with a traditional product. They came up with an idea called „gramofun”. There’s an app that runs on your telephone. If you put a Tymbark bottle on top of it, it produces a stunning light effects that are in sync with the music that is playing on your device. And you can sync the effect with your friends’ devices to create huge disco-like performances using Tymbark bottles and your phones. I love the idea. And outside Poland there’s „Pay Per Laugh” project done by McCann for one of the Barcelona’s comedy theaters. It’s a facial recognition app that is installed on a tablet strapped in front of you when you watch a comedy show. The app recognizes when you’re laughing and… calculates the ticket price based on the amount of laughs you had. This is the technology blend I would like to see more.
What do you think of the trends in Marketing Automation. The fact that Rafał Brzoska –  one of Poland’s most successful businessman invested in  Sales Manago suggest it has a bright future.
I believe in the consumer’s inbox as the next social media platform. Because social media is no longer just about public sharing, it’s about communication. In Q4 2014 four of the largest social media networks across the world had around 2 billion users. In the same quarter four of the largest instant messaging platforms were reaching the same number – and their growth rate was much more rapid. Snapchat is the fastest growing social app in the US. But many of us feel we don’t need another app for one-on-one communication. We still have e-mail that is evolving but is one of the most intimate places on our screens. Marketers who know how to use it will gain in 2015. And marketing automation, big data help in personalizing the message. Which is very important in one-on-one communication.
If you career and life works out exactly as you want, what will you be doing in 5-10 years from now?
I will have finished my fifth or seventh book (I plan to write one every two or three years), all of my previous books will have become international bestsellers, I’ll be on my way to the next big conference where I will be speaking about… Well, this is the hard part. I love what I do — sharing knowledge, speaking publicly, building things… But I don’t limit myself to just single one field of study. Marketing led me to branding, then to gamification. My third book is on storytelling and it’s already full of cognitive psychology. I know roughly what my fourth book will be about, but fifth? No idea. I’m sure the discovery process will be a great journey.
If is there anything I  haven’t asked  that you would like to tell us that you think is important, please let readers know. Nope, this was a pretty extensive interview. It also helped me shape a few thoughts for the mobile conference, thank you
for that. And I’ll be seeing you around.








How startups got started

2017  update 

Ralph Talmont of TEDxWarsaw asked me for suggestions in preparing a speech-  in answering his e-mail I ended up creating this blog post. This is  both an aggregation of other lists –  (disclaimer – where I have done this  I am neither taking the credit for the work done, nor claiming that the startups listed are good companies –  in the sense of providing clients with something fun or  useful, creating good jobs, paying taxes and proving a return to investors).

The photo of Open Coffee Kraków’s event at Google for Entrepreneurs is a partly an advert, and partly a public thanks to Google for Entrepreneurs Kraków who did a great deal to accelerate the Krakow Startup community. I’ve written about this elsewhere and also  here 

If you want to keep up to date with the startup community  there are a few places to check regularly. My passive aggressive streak will take you here   though this approach can lead you to strange EU funded lists like this  The best list of startups is here on Quora – copy pasted below  (note the total lack of government money). Hat tip to Borys at Reaktor Warsaw for this, it’s copy pasted below..  Ramon’s Tancinco gave this memorable TEDxKraków talk and build this free site   which has a very good list including many startups

There is an effort to bring the Polish Startup Community together here 

There are places where local communities find out what is going on, For example OMGKRK’s Facebook page

Proseed magazine in Polish  and Bitspiration and Mam Startup Goal Europe has regional news. Probably Techcrunch is a great place to look. Mike Butcher and John Biggs know more about our eco system than most, and regularly visit.

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No longer at Google for Entrepreneurs – we are on Kraków beautiful diplomatic street – Stolarska
Early morning on Stolarska
A busy  Open Coffee Kraków this morning in Ambasada Krakowian.  If I made mistakes or left you out apologies.. a blogger volunteer would be welcome. I explained the rules and idea (more detail here) everyone gets 1-2 minutes: where you present in English or Polish who you are,  where you are from, what you are doing, what you want, how we can help you and what you can offer. English preferred, Polish OK. We welcome foreigners in Kraków,  have a historical role as a trading centre, and are against nationalist, xenophobic trends West and especially East of Poland). We were honoured to have a French citizen with us today, and feel solidarity with all  lovers of freedom today.
Solidarity with France

Sympathy for France

Continue reading

I was looking for an presentation on an old hard drive and found this –  I wrote it in 2008, edited in 2010. There has been a lot of  progress in the last 5 years,  but much of this is still relevant, and this is a project that will never, ever be over and done with. It’s curious how some of the topics and websites that were relevant back then are just gone now.

Richard Lucas November 4th 2014


Goal 1. Improve school business links in Poland, learning from the experience of Oaklands Secondary School and others. (See Appendix  How to run a school-business partnership). Use free of charge open networks like  and  in Poland and Facebook internationally to encourage alumni of schools and universities to interact with current staff and students

Nasza-Klasa has come from nowhere to being almost the most popular web site in Poland and is obviously an ideal platform on which to launch interaction between schools and their alumni.

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Richard Lucas 3rd November 2014

“Okrągły stół nauki i Start-Up’ów z NZSem” Niezależne Zrzeszenie Studentów AGH

It has long been a matter of regret that the fabulous engineers of AGH so seldom show up in the pro entrepreneurship and start up community, so hats off to Maciej Tyrała and Monika Wawryniak of the AGH Students’ Association for organising a round table to bring business and technology students together.

I’m doing this summary so the ideas and initiatives are available to a wider world. Here are links to the ideas and projects presented. Apologies for any errors

Continue reading

26 announcements and projects  

by Richard Lucas


A busy  Open Coffee Kraków this foggy morning. Paweł Majka from the Krakow City Government’s enterprise support department came. This is very good news.  We hope it is the start of a trend.    Only about 15 people at 08:00 but 43 by the time the meeting closed.   If I made mistakes or left you out apologies.. a blogger volunteer would be welcome. I explained the rules and idea. (more detail here  ) everyone can have 1-2 minutes: Telling others present   who you are,  where you are from, what you are doing, what you want, how we can help you and what you can offer. The introductions to everyone stops and networking happens at 09:00. English preferred, Polish OK. We welcome foreigners in Kraków,  have a historical role as a trading centre, and are against nationalist, xenophobic trends West and especially East of Poland).  It’s no problem if you are not an Entrepreneur, or a Geek. Geeks and Entrepreneurs are welcome. Anyone positive minded is welcome, whether investor, employer/employee, future business partner, clients, suppliers or someone who just wants to promote their project. People who make it by 08:00 in the morning to our events  – which start on time –  are a step or two ahead. Here is what was shared this morning and we had the pleasure to host:

Rafał Samborski CEO at Elner, Project Manager at Unico Software have 7 restaurants in Krakow and one in Warsaw using their Android App. “I’m CEO of Elmer. We’re Krakow startup that’s going to change the way we communicate with restaurants.looking for seed funding”

Joanna Formella OpenCoffeeKRK Volunteer, native German speaker. She is looking for speakers and workshop organisers for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

Pawel Kołodziej IT Project Manager at Serwisy branżowe Sp. z o.o. wrote “I’m a member of board at, i’m looking for marketing advisor, a person who will share knoledge with

4 and also looking for exciting projects for our IT team see it.xtech.pl

William Shaw told us about his English language psychotherapy and relatoinship councilling practice and his free workshop  here

Richard Lucas told about as a great place for NGOs and volunteers to host events and..

7 described the Wintrepreneurs meeting he hosted in London last week in Google Campus using Open Coffee Krakow format. Wintrepreneurs page here

Paweł Majka  from the President of Krakow’s office attended. Have local government officials responsible for  supporting enterprise attending our meetings is something that is very welcome.

Sue Młeczko told us about her involvement in international education and how she is looking for a new project here in Kraków

10 Bogusia Luka works for Uniwersytet Dzieci (the Children’s University) and is looking for schools to use their new products

11 Marzena Wieczorek writes “I’m a director of ProActivate Ireland, an NGO from the West coast of Ireland

Marzena is looking for experienced project managers to partner with/ she runs projects for

12 Marta Ryłko Open Coffee Krakow founder – talked about the career testing platform, and  13 Brainly closed a US$9 mln investment round  and is hiring.

13 Tomasz Ozon Embedded SW Developer Hardware and software engineer looking for projects to join to. involved in this Tram Simulator

14 Łukasz Siatka volunteer at  Open Coffee Girl Geek Carrots many events told us about  15 zloty  8th November – He’s a sound designer, sound engineer, OSX86 scene developer, workstations (mobile and desktop) builder Music producer and sound effects designer for products (videos, games, etc.), events co-organizer & helper GDG Dev Fest 2014 Krakow Co-Organizer

15 Richard Lucas talked about the TEDxKazimierz team and informatino meeting he is hosting this evening at JCC in Kazimierz at 18:00. Find out and be invited to the meeting here   He is organising TEDxKazimierz and looking for TED and TEDx fans who want to help make it happen. launch meeting goals, team building explain vision roles, tasks, to dos. If you cannot make and you are interested in in helping, let him  know. Hope to facilitate joining by Skype and Hangout

TEDxKazimierz will serve the Kazimierz community, giving great people, ideas and projects in Kazimierz a global stage, while bringing inspiring, relevant or/and wonderful people, ideas and projects to Kazimierz. TEDxKazimierz will aim to serve and build community among TED and TEDx fans in the area, and be an event that enables people who want to share, learn and contribute to Kazimierz to strengthen their existing connections and forge new ones. The event will be run in the spirit of TED, of the free voluntary sharing of ideas worth spreading and all team members should enter into the spirit of co-operation with other team members, other TEDx-s in Krakow, Poland, and around the world.

16 Daniel di Gusto  North Star  Consulting  keen to get involved startup community.  Running Start-up, Pitch2 Program – B2B sales training on 14th-15th November Krakow Tech Park

17 Antonina Sudnik 🙁 brought two Ukrainian software guys Titania and Alexander from Ukraine  who have a CRM software for pharmacies business.

18 Richard Lucas said that we are committed to supporting Ukrainians as best we can.

19 Kamil Łopata talk about new special offers from co working space includign low cost high speed translation from and the

20 Monday evening viewing events they are hosting, and

21 Colab Open Coffee meetings

22 Piotr Szczesny SME advisor at Poznanski Park Naukowo-Technologiczny is in Krakow for few days and would like to meet creative people. He works in in Poznań.

23 Konrad Głowacki is building a low cost  SLS 3d printer.

24 Richard mentioned the cool new Zortrax 3D store opening last week

25 Darek talked about the Smart Med community of people who are into medical technology he is building

26 Anna Godek-Biniasz New Media Manager at Zetha Media has new mobile projects and wants to help Polish startups enter the UK market via  their website

by Richard Lucas



This was the 3rd Wintrepreneurs meeting we’ve held, and the first on the 3rd floor, the first documented meeting, and the first with a guest speaker –  Angel Investor of the Year – Peter Cowley. Many thanks to Laura Jenkins and the Google team for providing the venue. The format of our meetings continues to be work in progress.

We will keep the meeting open to all positive minded comers, and to have the main value based on input from participants, as per Open Coffee Krakow values.

We certainly want to encourage the support of (legal) entrepreneurial activity at the school.

If someone wants to take a lead on helping organise the next meeting probably mid December – Christmas meetup – get in touch with me and/or Ed.  There are always things to do:

Volunteers for posters, welcoming, tidying up, writing blog posts, photos, managing events. If someone wants to help with our webpage  we will be grateful. We want to keep the events low cost  “near free” so we are not in hock to boring sponsors who drone on and on….    With an all volunteer team –  and no one charging expenses, the cost of drinks etc was about GBP80 and we got GBP47 from the collection. Sponsors are welcome of course and will be thanked.

You can join our Facebook group here  our Linkedin Group here and sign up on our web page too.

Here is the summary of who said what –  (errors and omissions expected)

Ed Neale sold his delicious and great value  Barigaldi pasta and asked for input into his Brazilian garment venture – and co hosted the event, managed the clean up afterwards.

Adam Martin talked about his revolutionary 3 D printed tubes and marbles “Everyone can code” initiative for teaching programming in UK Schools which have a requirement but not the means do do so. There is a legal requirement in all UK schools to teach coding and his 3D printed kits are a new approach to making it happen

Adam Martin -  of Everyone can Code.

Adam Martin – of Everyone can Code.

Don Allen talked about his TV production business idea Which I like TV only better QuakQuak – it’s just like TV. But better.

Andrew Atter  Managing Partner, Executive Dialogue Ltd Founder of Pivomo, a provider online mentoring tools for entrepreneurs.

Patrick Schneider Sikorsky is doing corporate due dilllgience services and looking for opportunities

Chris Wacławec talked about Estimote –a world leading iBeacon company that has investment from Eric Schmidt (as well as me:-) Maybe we can do an event with Estimote?

Alex Powell talks about  the Sportshero App a fantasy sports betting platform without involving money.

Tom Davenport talked about his recruitment platform

Pawel Jaworski   is looking to develop an App for scientific conferences

Bill Orme  co-founder & principal of V1rtue, helping stop #fails since 2014. We Keep Social Media #Social. Virtue mitigates the risks of accidental or inappropriate uses of social media for Corporates, parents and college graduates looking for am advantage in the labour market

Chris Wheatcroft Tech Club Manager at Angels Den  is putting on an OW Entrepreneurs Guild pitching event at The Oak on Monday 26th January at 6:30pm  in a similar format to the event at Fruit Towers (Innocent HQ) last year.  There will be four companies pitching for investment or contacts and an opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs and investors. If you know OW entrepreneurs who would like to pitch please let him  know.

Carl Heimdal   – – baby e-commerce

Richard Valtr – Mews Systems – Hotel Software and Hotel guide app

Richard Lucas talked about the TEDxKazimierz event he will be organising next year. on the look out for inspiring  people projects or ideas of relevance to this historic area of Kraków

Peter Cowley angel investor of the year gave a keynote talk.

Richard Lucas October 2014


I met  Łukasz Krasoń  at the TEDxWarsawSalon on the 15th September organised by Agata Dziekań and the TEDxWarsawSalon team.


Łukasz on stage with his wife Gosia, (hosts Agata Dziekań and Mateusz Nowak to the right)

He got a standing ovation for his quiet and compelling talk (in Polish) with the title “stop complaining” Apart from wanting to learn more about his story, I also heard about his dream to travel the USA next year. I felt sure  that by putting this interview up in English, and spreading news of it in the TEDx community,  I might help  find potential hosts and speaking opportunities for him in America. It does no harm to try (if you are interested, leave a comment below or get in touch with my via the TEDx network).

Screen Shot 2014-10-20 at 21.31.19

Łukasz on the TEDxWarsawSalon event page.

RL Please introduce yourself, who are you, what do you do and where are you from?

ŁK: My name is Łukasz Krasoń and I am motivational coach and speaker. I am a citizen of the world, who came into the world in Poland in 1988. My mission is to inspire people to act.

RL: When did you decide to become a public speaker and work to motivate others ?

ŁK: I decided to become a motivational speaker in 2012. When I was still living in Barcelona I got a ticket to a weekend Conference that took place in Madrid. It was there, after listening to a 30-minute speech delivered by the main speaker, that I felt my mission began to become crystallise. I have always felt that I would do something good for others, for the world and for myself, but only then did I understand that this something was to inspire people to act.
RL:How did the thought first come into your mind ?  Did you have an inner voice telling you that “this is crazy!”? And if you did hear that voice how did you overcome it, and if you didn’t why not?

ŁK: Here it may come as a surprise, but I never doubted when my heart and was were first gripped by that vision to inspire people throughout the world. Just as when I decided to set off for Barcelona, the faith and desire to achieve my goal were so great that that „little voice” had no time to even make itself heard 🙂
RL:  When did you first hear about and TEDx. What was your first reaction?

ŁK:I first heard about the TED initiative before I had even discovered my mission, i.e. at a time when my personal development did not have the same priority in my life it has now. I lost my TED “virginity” when I heard Anthony Robbins’ speech, heh heh. I remember there was a time when we watched several speeches every day.
RL Why did you decide to give a speech at TEDxWarsaw Salon?
ŁK: The aim of the TED initiative is to spread ideas and thoughts worthy of people’s attention. I believe that our story and its content bring many positive things. At the basis of all happiness lies an acceptance of ourselves and a faith in the value which we bring to the lives of others. It was precisely this that I wanted to talk about at the TEDxWarsaw Salon and that is what I did 🙂

RL What are you most proud of in your life.
ŁK: If I were to choose one moment it would be the time I said “yes” to a certain text message, a message that led me and Gosia to move to Barcelona, which in turn was a key moment in my life.
RL: What did you find most challenging in given talks
ŁK: Hmmm, there are probably a number of things. Certainly, each speech has a different audience and I always try to adjust the way I convey my message so that it achieves the maximum effect. Answering spontaneous questions during the course of a speech is something I find very exciting. You very often face unexpected questions :),
However, the biggest challenge, not only when you are on stage, but also in life as a whole, is self-development. Every lecture and every speech teaches us something. It gives you the space in which to improve yourself as a person and your skills in knowing others.
RL: How did you get started with public and motivational speaking ? What was your first talk?
ŁK: That’s probably the first time anyone has asked me that question. I gave my first speech in August 2012 at a rehabilitation camp. I was there to improve my physical fitness with a group of boys I had been going with for many years. After Gosia had talked me into it I decided it was worth instilling a little joy and belief in their hearts. I talked about dreams and about the fact that regardless of our own circumstances it is we who shape our own lives.
RL: What tips would you give to other people who want to make speeches.
ŁK: There are many techniques and methods for giving speeches. You can learn how to begin in an interesting way and provide an unexpected conclusion. But what I believe is most important in a speech is honesty and authenticity. You can make things more colourful, but if you truly believe in what you say, such that even if woken up in the middle of the night you were still ready to subscribe to it with all your heart…. then you can reach out to human hearts and you really can change their lives.
RL: Do you write your own speeches down and learn them, or do you just know approximately what you are going to talk about?
ŁK: I prepare a template for a speech, thanks to which I know more or less which direction I will take, although it is very often the case that you end up having to change everything as you go along. I try to feel intuitively what the group needs, what values it expects and then I focus on those areas.
RL Tell us more about your American tour dream. Do you know why it is your dream ?
ŁK: We are flying to the States to Polish community there with the spark of inspiration. to talk about us and what happens when we stop complaining. When I was in the States for the first time in July this year I celebrated my birthday there, and I wished that day that I would have the chance to return to America as a speaker. And that dream has come true.
Why is this so important for me? I have adored American films since I was a child. I am fascinated by their variety and by the conviction that there is great potential lying in all of us. This “miraculous” world was, however, too far away then, impossibly distant. Today, however, I am ready to cross boundaries and turn the impossible into the achievable.
RL: What do you say when you meet someone who hasn’t heard of or TEDx
ŁK: I tell them that instead of going to school they should watch dozens of short films from the website, he he he. Obviously, that’s a joke, but the fact is that the speeches you find on are hugely inspiring. I will always encourage others to seek their own teachers.
RL: How do you decide who to give speeches to? Is it to everyone or do you have some criteria

ŁK: I only have one criterion: Coherency. My message is always very personal and positive. Hence wherever I speak I always take the same approach.

RL: Have you set up a foundation? What are its objectives, where does it get funding from and on what causes do you support?

ŁK:I have always liked to help people. When we first came up with the “Arise and Ride” Convoy project the idea of establishing a Foundation emerged along with it. First, because by creating your own logo, and second by possessing your own foundation, it becomes just a little bit easier to obtain funds. As regards funding, from the very beginning we put great stress on crowdfunding and it is largely through this source that the first “Arise and Ride” Convoy was able to take place. As regards the aims of the Foundation, they are an extension of the aims of my speech, i.e., to inspire people to act. I am a great advocate of the idea of the rod instead of the fish and that is what we do. Our projects broaden people’s awareness and we guide them towards developing themselves, encourage them to discover their own potential. This is quite clearly obvious from our name: “Arise” – be inspired, discover a new perspective on life, look positively at the world around you. And “Ride” – i.e. take the first step, overcome your fear of something new and make changes for the better.

RL How does Poland’s Catholic tradition impact on the way people engage with you ?
ŁK: I can only speak from my own experience. The message from the Bible is very simple in my opinion: enjoy life and allow others the same enjoyment. This is not always..

Thank you very much

(for non Polish speakers  Łukasz is pronounced ‘Woocash’ although saying Lucas or Luke is also usually OK)

Łukasz’s answers in Polish follow below

0 Please introduce yourself, who are you, what do you do and where are you from ?

Nazywam się Łukasz Krasoń i jestem coachem i mówcą motywacyjnym. Jestem obywatelem świata, który przyszedł na świat w Polsce w 1988 roku. Moją misją jest inspirowanie ludzi do działania.

1  When did you decide to become a public speaker and work to motivate others  ?

Decyzja o zostaniu mówcą motywacyjnym zrodziła się w 2012 roku. Jeszcze mieszkając w Barcelonie dostałem bilet na konferencję weekendową, która odbywała się w Madrycie. Tam po 30 min przemówienia głównego mówcy, poczułem że mój obrazek zaczyna być wyraźny. Od zawsze czułem, że zrobię coś dobrego dla innych, dla świata i dla siebie, ale dopiero wtedy zrozumiałem że tym czymś jest inspirowanie ludzi do działania.

2, How did the thought first come into your mind ?

3 Did you have an internal voice saying “this is crazy”  and if you did how did you overcome it, and if you didn’t why not?

Tutaj być może zaskocze, ale wątpliwości nie miałem kiedy moje serce i umysł ogarnęła wizja inspirowania ludzi na całym świecie. Podobnie jak podczas podejmowania decyzji wylotu do Barcelony, wiara i pragnienie realizacji celu były tak wielkie, że “little voice” nie miał czasu by się nawet zająknąć 🙂

4 When did you first hear about and TEDx. What was your first reaction?

Po raz pierwszy usłyszałem o inicjatywie TED jeszcze przed odkryciem swojej misji, czyli w momencie kiedy rozwój osobisty nie miał takiego priorytetu w moim życiu. Straciłem TEDowe dziewictwo podczas przemówienia Anthony’ego Robbinsa hehe. Pamiętam że przez pewien czas codziennie oglądaliśmy kilka przemówień.

5. Why did you decide to give a speech at TEDxWarsaw Salon?

Celem inicjatywy TED jest szerzenie idei, myśli wartych uwagi. Wierzę że nasza historia oraz treści w niej zawarte niosą wiele pozytywnych elementów. U fundamentów szczęścia leżą akceptacja samego siebie oraz wiara w wartość jaką wnosimy w życia innych ludzi. Właśnie o tym chciałem opowiedzieć na TEDxWarsaw Salon i to zrobiłem 🙂

6 You used your personal love story as part of your  “anything is possible” argument. Given that finding happy relationships and love is so hard even for the most motivated and kind people, is this not the one area of life where people don’t have control because it so much depends on  other people?

4. What are you most proud of in your life.

Jeśli miałbym wybrać, to byłoby to odpisanie “tak” na pewnego jednego szczególnego smsa, smsa który sprawił że wyprowadziliśmy się z Gosią do Barcelony, co z kolei było momentem kluczowym w moim życiu.

5. What did you find most challenging in given talks

Hmmm chyba jest to kilka rzeczy. Na pewno każde przemówienie ma inną publikę i staram się zawsze dostosowywać sposób przekazu tak aby dać maksymalnie dużo. Odpowiadanie na spontaniczne pytania, w trakcie przemówienia to również bardzo ekscytujący moment. Zdarzają się bardzo nie oczekiwane pytania 🙂

Największym jednak wyzwaniem na scenie, ale myślę że i w życiu jest rozwój siebie. Każde przemówienie czegoś uczy, daje przestrzeń do doskonalenia swojej osoby i umiejętności poznawania innych.

6. How did you get started with public and motivational speaking ? What was your first talk?

Chyba po raz pierwszy ktoś zadał mi takie pytanie. Moje pierwsze przemówienie odbyło się w sierpniu 2012 roku na turnusie rehabilitacyjnym. Byłem tam z grupą chłopaków, z którymi jeździłem od wieku lat podnosić swoją sprawność fizyczną. Po namowie Gosi uznałem że warto wlać trochę radości i wiary w ich serca. Opowiedziałem o marzeniach i o tym, że bez względu na okoliczności to my kształtujemy nasze życie.

7 What tips would you give to other people who want to make speeches.

Technik i sposobów przemawiania jest bardzo wiele. Można się nauczyć interesującego rozpoczęcia, niespodziewanego zakończenia, ale to co moim zdaniem najważniejsze w przemówieniu to autentyczność i szczerość. Pewne rzeczy można przekoloryzować, ale jeśli wierzysz w to co mówisz i nawet wybudzony w środku nocy jesteś gotów się pod tym podpisać… wtedy trafiasz do ludzkich serce i możesz realnie zmienić ich życie.

8  Do you write your speech down and learn it, or do you just know approximately what you are going to talk about?

Przygotowuje szablon przemówienia, dzięki któremu wiem mniej więcej jaką drogą będę podążał, jednak bardzo często już w trakcie procesu wszystko się zmienia. Staram sie ituicyjnie wyczuwać czego grupa potrzebuje, na jakie wartości czeka i potem kładę akcenty na te obszary.

9 Tell us more about your American tour dream. Do yo know why it is your dream ?

Lecimy do Stanów aby przekazać iskrę inspiracji Polonii tam mieszkającej. Opowiedzieć o nas i o tym co się dzieje kiedy przestajemy narzekać. Będąc po raz pierwszy w Stanach w lipcu tego roku, w dzień moich urodzin zamarzyłem by wrócić Ameryki jako mówca, właśnie się to marzenie realizuje.

Dlaczego jest to dla mnie takie ważne? Od dziecka uwielbiałem amerykańskie filmy, byłem zafascynowany tą różnorodnością i tym przekonaniem o wielkim potencjale czekającym, w każdym z nas. Ten “cudowny” świat był jednak tak daleko, wręcz niemożliwe daleko. Dzisiaj jestem gotów aby przekraczać granice, a niemożliwe zmieniać w osiągalne.

10 What do you say  when you meet someone who hasn’t heard of  or TEDx

Powiem by zamiast iść do szkoły odpalił kilkadziesiąt filmików ze strony hehehe. Oczywiście to żart ale fakt że ilość inspiracji płynąca z przemówień na jest ogromna. Zachęcać będę zawsze do szukania swoich nauczycieli.

11, How do you decide who to give speeches to? is it to everyone or do you have some criteria

Mam jedno kryterium: spójność. Mój przekaz jest zawsze bardzo osobisty i pozytywny, dlatego tam gdzie występuje przekaz również taki musi być.

12. you set up a foundation?  Why what are it’s objectives, where does it get funding from and on what causes do you support

Od zawsze lubiłem pomagać. W momencie kiedy zrodził się pomysł Konwoju “Wstań i Jedź”, równolegle powstała Fundacja, po pierwsze gdyż chciałem aby projekt był traktowany jako daleko idąca idea mająca swoje logo, a po drugie posiadając Fundacje odrobinę łatwiej organizować fundusze. Co do funduszy to od samego początku mocno stawialiśmy na croundfunding i poprzez to źródło w głównej mierze pierwsza edycja Konwoju “Wstań i Jedź” się odbyła.

Jeśli chodzi o cele Fundacji to są one swoistym przedłużeniem celów mojego przemawiania, czyli inspirowania ludzi do działania. Jestem wielkim zwolennikiem ideai wędki zamiast ryby i to robimy. Nasze projekty poszerzają świadomość ludzi i nakierunkowują na rozwój, na odkrywanie własnego potencjału. Nasza nazwa mówi o tym dość wyraźnie: “Wstań” – zainspiruj sie, poznaj nową perspektywę na życie, pozytywnie spójrz na otaczający Cię świat. I “Jedź” – czyli zrób pierwszy krok, przełam strach przed nowym i dokonaj zmian na lepsze.

13, How does Poland’s Catholic tradition impact on the way people engage with you ?

Pozwolisz że wypowiem się za siebie. Przekaz jaki idzie z Biblii jest bardzo prosty moim zdaniem, ciesz się życiem i pozwól cieszyć się innym. Nie zawsze jest to tak proste, ale zawsze jest to osiągalne. Postać polskiego papieża Jana Pawła II wywarła na mnie wielki wpływ. Dużo wrażliwości i empatii nauczyłem się właśnie od niego.

14  Which are your favourite TED talks and why ?

Anthony Robbins – Why we do what we do. Lubię Tonego i to w jak prosty sposób potrafi przedstawiać ludzkie zachowania. To konkretne przemówienie zawiera wszystko to czego poszukuję: zaczepny temat, uniwersalny przekaz oraz interesujące i zabawne wykonanie.

15 You met your wife on line on a help forum how long have your been helping in on line fora and why did you start doing it?

Tak jak już wspominałem odkąd pamiętam lubiłem pomagać, zarówno wcześniej kiedy byłem grafikiem komputerowym, tak samo teraz już jako coach i mówca motywacyjny. Wierzę że dobro wraca i dlatego pomagam na tyle ile mam możliwości i czasu.

16  What funny interesting and/or strange facts can you tell us about yourself than most people don’t know about ?

Hmmm może to. Ci co mnie znają wiedzą, że prawie w ogóle nie przeklinam, a wręcz namawiam do tego samego innych, ale nie zawsze tak było. W okresie największego buntu w liceum przeklinałem w co drugim zdaniu. Pamiętam że po śmierci Jana Pawła II w Polsce zorganizowano akcję w której młodzież do szkoły miała pójść w czarnych opaskach jako forma uczczenia jego wkładu w rozwój świata. Założyłem taką opaskę, ale też dodałem do tego postanowienie, koniec z przeklinaniem. Trzymam się tego do dzisiaj

17. If you were going to look back at your life and be proud of one thing you had done or achieved what would it be ? Some crowning achievement that might be written on your grave stone?

Od dawna towarzyszą mi slowa z Horacego – “zbudować pomnik trwalszy niż ze spiżu”, myślę że tym pomnikiem jest Konwój “Wstań i Jedź”. Wierzę że nasza idea dotrze do serc wielu ludzi na całym świecie i będzie jednym z elementów zmieniających świat na lepszy.

by Richard Lucas

16th October 2014 at Google for Entrepreneurs Kraków

A bustling and very international Open Coffee this morning, only about 15 people at 08:00 but at least 40 by the time the meeting closed.   If I made mistakes or left you out apologies.. a blogger volunteer would be welcome.

I explained the rules and idea. (more detail here  )

everyone can have 1-2 minutes: telling others present   who you are,  where you are from, what you are doing, what you want, how we can help you and what you can offer.

The introductions to everyone stops and networking happens at 09:00. English preferred, Polish OK. We welcome foreingers in Kraków – (we have a historical role as a trading centre). It’s no problem if you are not an entrepreneur, or a geek. Geeks and Entrepreneurs are welcome, but anyone positive minded is welcome, whether investor, employer/employee, future business partner, clients, suppliers or someone who just wants to promote their project. People who make it by 08:00 in the morning to our events  – which start on time –  are a step or two ahead. Here is who took the time to make announcements today and we had the pleasure to host:

1 Maya Joachim  one of the co-founders of  -all the way from Australia –  looking for developers moved with her team to Cracow. (Smart move 🙂

Joanna Sawicka   – the writer and social media caretaker 🙂 If You wish the words to change the world (on Your website or company blog) I can help with that (copywriting, posts, articles – both PL and ENG).

3 Łukasz Siatka one of our hero host volunteers told us about and 4

Samuel Cook told us about his  Digital Publishing Company and other company can help with podcasts

6  Mike Pilecki CEO & Sound Designer at Mono StudioSound Design /startups / entrepreneurship told us about his sound company also looking for other opportunities

Madeline Betlehem is in til Tuesday with her healthy living food project

8  Konrad Pabianczyk Owner at K. WASP Consulting BlueSky Theorist, Innovator, Problem Solver, Entrepreneur, Consultant, Researcher, StartUps  Konrad is a American Pole  coming home  has ideas for a startup..

Fred Cox, CFA Brazilian, complicated background..  is with spends half his time in Krakow, told him about the iBeacon possibilities

10  Bart Czarnecki CEO at StagingMate Ltd. Winter is just around the corner… cannot focus on work… is looking for foreigners with garden centres to give input into

11 Michal Smiałko told us about ex BASE CRM (one of Krakow’s best and most successful startups) does iOS apps, ready to talk to anyone interested in doing Apps one of the most engaged people in IOS community.  does cocohead(?)   and  AGHacks – the biggest students hackathon. And it’s coming next week 🙂

12 Peter Braga  from Hong Kong/Canada represent investors from Hong Kong. ready to put in $20-250K to decent projects wondering about exporting Solar Panel Tech to Poland  has money 🙂

13 Tomasz Ozon Embedded SW Developer  Looking for hardware & software projects to join to. Didn’t talk about his tram simulator.  Ready to help with hardware software projects

13 Alex Jaholkowski Graduate Student at Jagiellonian University From the US, studying in Krakow, coming up with a business plan to stay here  looking for help with

15 Przemyslaw Stanisz Co-founder and managing director at, Co-founder at NorthStarConsulting Pitch! 2 – effective sales training session

16 Ania Bywanis-Kwiecień UI/UX Designer at IBM, currently working on getting the HolePatchers project off the ground 🙂 She told us about  –  it  did well at Hack4Good

17 Fred Murumaa CEO at Snowangel Specializing in passive income systems Looking for funding for a Taxi Hailing  App

18 Kamil Łopata running COLAB & KrakSpot told us about forthcoming event 22nd October with  Piotr Wilam and Kamil Stanuch

19 Bartosz Rybski new business manager at j-labs looking for business opportunities…what’s up in startup community

20 Joanna Formella  looking to promote and help with Women’s entrepreneurship event 19th November

21 Richard (your host) talked about NONFERENCE in two days with Rafał Styczeń, John Biggs from Techcrunch and an awesome speaker line up

22 and the fact that he has a licence for TEDxKazimierz and that anyone who wants to help make it happen should get in touch

by Richard Lucas

October 2014


MOOCs (Massive Online Open Courses) from organisations like Coursera are making available the finest University courses in the world for free to anyone who signs up. Part of the TEDx/ phenomenon involves people getting together to watch and discuss TED talks both as part of TEDx conferences and TEDxCinema or Salon events. In September 2014 Y Combinator – one of the best known accelerator programmes for startups in the world –  launched  a  How to start a startup course  which encouraged viewing parties to assemble all over the world via a Global Facebook page with written Transcripts of talks  a Youtube Channel Recommended Readings for each talk,and a Startup Ideas/Projects database  on Reddit   Hundreds of viewing parties are taking place globally.

Getting together to watch and discuss  educational on line video is highly disruptive. It addresses one of the most basic criticisms of  MOOCs –  that participants miss out on the social experience and interaction of ‘normal’ education. Although Salman Khan memorably recounted  in his famous TED talk about Khan Academy how his cousins told him they preferred his Youtube  educational videos to him in person…  clearly critics have a point.   It is good to get feedback from other students and instructors (and have a social life 🙂 )

Y Combinator’s initiative is potentially disruptive and is an early large scale iteration among early adopters of a practice that will increasingly undermine universities as we know them. Why have hundreds of average lecturers delivering their content expensively  when the best in the world is available for free?  The current system is costly, inefficient  less good than well organised education based around online content.

However, it is not a foregone conclusion that self organising get togethers are good enough to compete.  Colab, a prominent co-working space in Kraków, Poland  got a group together – (see the Facebook event page here )  After the first session, a local blogger Paul Chen wrote somewhat critical comments here.  He argued later in an interview that that while Y Combinator may be a great Accelerator it is not experienced in education, that viewing parties can be improved through pro-active hosts, TEDxCinema type discussions in English, presence of startup community leaders and commentary by experts and many commenters said that Sam Altmann’s opening talk was not well delivered

As someone who has been deeply involved in trying to build community around TEDx,  startup community and other events for many years, I agree very much that good event design makes a huge difference to the success of online viewing parties. This article provides guidelines to improve the experience and  educational outcomes of on line viewing groups with a focus on Y Combinator, and is of relevance to all kinds of viewing events, such as TEDx Cinemas and Salons.

Overall  if the on line content is weak, you will struggle to make a great event. TED has raised the bar of what we expect from a talk. Chris Anderson gives a compelling talk about on line video here and there is no question that our expections are rising. Sam Altmann’s opening talk had good content, but was not delivered to  TED like standards.  Paul Graham’s was much better. So if you are organising  an viewing party event, choose your talks carefully.   So having ensured that the on line talks you are discussing are worth watching here is a 10 point plan

Be clear about what you are trying to achieve. The goals of the on line content creator must match yours up to a point but the reasons why you want to get people together to watch should be clear. Is it community building, networking, socialising, education, … that’s for you to decide.

  1. plan and implement pre-viewing party PR. How are you going to get the word out, encourage people to come.
  2. Build community and an event around the talk – otherwise you might as well just watch at home.   Follow the guidelines I wrote here   Organise ice breakers, make sure people talk to strangers, and interact with each other. It’s easy, and transformational.   Design thinking is important, from the moment potential attendees are made aware of your event through to their experience as they arrive at the venue. At TEDxWarsawPresidentialPalace Mateusz Nowak aimed to make sure that there was not an atmosphere of “the party is elsewhere” for those at the “viewing party”. It’s inevitable that this feeling may exist. The challenge needs to be accepted and addressed.
  3. Welcoming, registration and badging are important and should be done well. 
  4. Have a host – with relevant experience and skillswho introduces the talks, like is done at some TEDx-s, gives feedback about the talk and input into the  discussion, and facilities the user experience. TEDxKrakowCinemahas guest hosts for each topic. which provides for variety. If you are doing this, make sure the responsibilities of the host and you the organiser are clearly defined
  5. Educational aids for small and large group discussions. It’s hard to predict how this will go, but the more you are focussed on education the more tools like flip charts  marker pens etc are needed. 
  6. home work/action items. Encourage your host to suggest reading lists, home work, and action items (such as giving feedback, nominating hosts, helping out at future events.
  7. Social media during and post event  ask someone  take photographs to post on social media,  invite a  blogger to write an article, and people to tweet.
  8. Feedback of course ask attendees for feedback and what can be done better, and take note of it. 
  9.  Knowledge skills acquisition testing and attendance certification. Decide what if anything you are going to do, and then do it. This is an area where MOOCs have a lot of know how to share. and you have to decide if it is worth it.

In conclusion

If you do it at all,do it as well as possible. Feedback about this article welcome. Here is the powerpoint from my hosting of Monday 6th October event

by Richard Lucas 2nd October 2014
I don’t normally post meeting summaries of  Open Coffee Krakow meetings but today I am to show what a dynamic atmosphere we have here in Kraków, I noted 23 useful announcements.
meeting starting

meeting starting

Below is a summary of who presented what – apologies if I made any mistakes. I’ll correct them on request.
We’ve been hosting Open Coffee meeting with Marta, and Aliaksei for more than a year. We are happy and proud of our high value, low cost early morning events. Read about the events here
today there was a big turnout -over 50 people- with many late comers and lots of people who didn’t register. It’s not too late do it here   We start at 08:00 sharp, and it’s best to be there 07:45.
The one minute announcements 
1 Don form London is looking around into school entrepreneurship projects
2 someone not wearing a badge told us about his freelance video making platform
3 Marta told us about her startup Dropsport  and her regular work at world class compnay Brainly  looking for web analytics
4 Michal Driebergen radio journalist from the Netherlands is making a report about Startups  for and was interviewing people
5 Łukasz Siatka  – one of our volunteers told us about the
6 Adam told us about a simple App  for restaurants including a calendar and guest book. he used to be a restaurant manager:  He will show us later.
8 Joanna told us about the Volunteer Appreciation event 3rd October in Pauza in Garden at 19 the Krakow Volunteer Appreciation Event and Afterparty If you know a volunteer invite them and come along to appreciate volunteers in Krakow
9 and she talked about Global Entrepreneurshiup Week  and
and  10 her event on 19th November for Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and
and  11 I mentioned the Business Speed Dating that will be part of the week.
12 Noam Lavi talked about Lavi Audio Designs
13 Dimas from Indonesia  – Brainly. Told us abut the amazing internet scene in Indonesia  and his award  winning anti plagiarism site  with a cool domain
14 Tomek told us about his tram simulator which has a market in  museum  and mass transport companies
15 he is looking for new clients from German for freelance IT programming
16 Michal is recruiting and told us abut Solar Winds and its cool culture
17 Paul looking for a girl friend <3 His Facebook profile is here 
18 I talked  KTP’s B2B Gielda from yesterday
19 We heard about language learning system Core and Quirks
20 Andrzej is our  photographer willing to do small projects for free but wants to make money
21 I told him about
22 Joanna talked about and how it is moving into events. she wants a partner , and usability help
23 Gosia Holden-Dzik talked about her event
24.Join COLAB Open Coffee next Thursday… and
we are at Zabłocie on 4 Romanowicza St. and 25    Y Combinator class “How to start a startup” on Mondays 6pm 
25  Paweł Brewczyński told Google the room was empty so they could lock  up and turned out  the lights

or “rejects are valuable”

rejected images

Richard Lucas September 2014


I’ve been rejected many times in my life and I still feel I am a valuable person.  I know many other people  who have been said “no” to by serious and important institutions and companies at different stages in their life. Many of them have done great things and are wonderful people.

This post aims to focus on the issue of why TEDx rejects (people who have applied to attend a TEDx and didn’t get in) are important, and makes suggestions about what can be done to  improve the current situation.


I remember how bad I felt about all the people we had to turn down when I was on the committee taking decisions about who got in to TEDxKrakow 2010.  This issue has not gone away, in fact it is possibly getting worse, as the popularity of TED and TEDx-s grows and grows, and the limits on numbers allowed to attend TEDx-es does not.  Just last week (September 2014) at a great TEDxWarsawSalon

Łukasz Krasoń at TEDxWarsaw Salon

300 out of every 400 applications was rejected – the TEDx licence was for 100 maximum.  TEDxWarsawSalon sent a polite message of regret to those who didn’t get in.   I don’t know if four applications for every place is normal, but even if one person is rejected, TED has an issue.   I discussed with the organisers my idea that more could be done, and here are my reflections.

The question is, whether it matters and whose job it is.  Within TEDx-es there is an issue of  priorities.   It is quite understandable that someone who has taken on the challenge of organising an event decides to put all their efforts into making the event good for the people who are going to be there.

I am arguing that the  issue  of “TEDx rejects” matters.   I was one of the lucky 100 who got in to  TEDxWarsaw Salon, but there were another 300 who tried and were rejected.  When I went to another excellent  TEDxWarsawSalon  in 2013 I remember meeting someone who told me  – “I’ve tried to get in twice before – at last I’ve been accepted. ” I’ve met people who have a negative feeling about  TED and TEDx as being elitist and exclusive because their only interaction with TEDx is failing to get a ticket to an event. Because I’ve been to so many events (four TEDxKrakow, +/-ten  TEDx Cinemas (about), Three TEDxWarsaws, Two TEDxWarsaw Salons, one TEDxWrocław Salon, Two TEDGlobals, Two TEDxKrakowLives. one TEDxKrakowCity.2.0) I know that TEDx-ers are not exclusive or elitist., but if you don’t get in you don’t know.

When Unilever, McKinsey and many other employers said no to me when I was job hunting back in the 1980s they always sent a nice letter saying “you  made a great impression, while we were impressed you didn’t quite meet our requriements good luck with your  job search”. If a company doesn’t want to employ someone, or an event is full, such rejection is inevitable.  In the case of TEDx-es –  there is something going wrong if anyone feels completely rejected. The main idea of TED and TEDx – is that there are “ideas worth spreading” for free –  Ideas cannot and should not reject people and therefore TED and TEDx-ers should not let people feel rejected either.

So how can  TED and TEDxs  address this?  TEDx s and TED conferences are limited either by space or licence – (TEDx- licences have limits on the numbers who can attend).  On line sharing of ideas  – which is how the majority of people interact and hear about TED is obviously not limited by space.  Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are never “full”. As TEDster Clay Shirky argues in his book “Here Comes Everybody”  thanks to the internet people can create, engage and be part of  communities without being part of a  local structure  – meaning that it is not just possible but in the case of TED quite likely that people who have a close emotional connection with TED feel positively hurt and upset when they are not welcomed with open arms even if the reasons are good.

It is understandable that the organisers of TEDx-s don’t feel this problem in the same way the rejects do. As Nobel Prize winner  Daniel Kahneman wrote in ‘Thinking, Fast and Slow’    our rationality is limited by ‘availability”. If you don’t have the rejected person in front of you, you won’t think about him or her very much. Having been rejected in various contexts I am acutely aware of how it feels. TEDx-ers with licences, know how it feels to have a licence, and meet and interact  with people who they have accepted. Thinking about the rejects is possibly unpleasant.

At one level it is possible that it feels  “high status”and cool to curate an event that is so popular that people cannot get in. However, the reasons that events are so over-subscribed is partially because of the power of the TED brand. Handling the over-subscription/reject issue well should be regarded as a challenge and responsibility.

There must be millions of people who would love to come to TEDxes but who cannot due to their location,   job , financial situation,  relationships,  domestic responsibilities or even disability. It’s  natural to focus on the people who come. but the online invisible community is also out there.  For every Daria Musk who escaped from her remote location, and became a star  thanks to Google Hangouts, there are for sure many other valuable people who may never be able to engage with TED or TEDx face to face at an event .

So what can be done ?
My proposal is for TED to insist on having a high quality rejection process.  It doesn’t cost time –  just an improved rejection letter, and I’ve drafted it already to make it even easier.   Below is my draft to deal with people who are not accepted for a TEDx.  The process of being rejected for a TEDx Licence,  a TED Summit,  as a potential volunteer or Team member  would be a bit different. The numbers are much lower, and the  reasons may be good. I am sure the letter can be improved, and modified to local circumstances.  – for example the links could be to local webpages. The one below is by way of an example.

Draft Proposed TEDx  Rejection Letter


We regret to inform you that we are not giving you a ticket to our TEDx event.  We are really sorry. We hate the thought of saying “no” to someone who could contribute to and benefit from our event. We hope you understand and do not take it personally or as a rejection.  The reason is that our licence is only for x number of places, and we have received y number of applications (best not use this argument if there are 101 applications for 100 places) or ” Our venue only has space for X places and we received Y applications

There are a number of ways you can engage with the TED and TEDx community even if you cannot come to TEDx events. We encourage you to consider them all.  If you are active in the ways we suggest below for sure it may help with your applications to attend future TEDx events.  Here are some suggestions:

Here in our local area, apart from the  TEDx event you applied to, we are organising a … (TEDxOurplaceCinema, TEDxOurplaceSalon, TEDxOurplaceLive, Hackathon, Translatathon, OTP group,  Community meet ups, TEDxAdventure)

You can sign up on  web site and take part in on line discussions  in the comment thread below each talk.

Go here  and search in your local area to see if there are TED fans in your town or village you know or can make contact with.

You can visit the TEDx subpage on  to find other TEDx s in your area. Maybe you can volunteer to get involved in their existing activities.  Search on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Couchsurfing, Google groups, and your local national social media portals to see if there are TEDx groups there. Maybe you can get involved in local events, on and off line discussions and/or meet ups. In Poland there is a TED and TEDx Fans in Poland group   Maybe you can set one up, or offer to run such a group for your local TEDx.

You can appoint yourself a TED Social Media Ninja and post links TED talks you love that are relevant in on line forums you belong to.

You can get involved in the TED Open Translation Project  If you don’t know about it, watch Why I translate TED talks  Even if you cannot translate, you can do “same language subtitling” which is the first step to getting talks into the repository of talks that can be translated

Could you apply to be a TED Fellow? Check this out    Anyone can apply.

If you are a teacher or trainer, you can sign up for TED-ED  and learn how to turn videos into educational content.

You can organise unlicensed discussion meetups with TED talks  –  it’s worth checking with TED first – . Provided they are  free, in line with TED values and you make clear that you event is not a TED or TEDx, it’s allowed. Here are some  examples of such events

TED talk, Pizza and discussion at Penn State University

TED talk, Pizza and discussion at Penn State University

In Kraków Poland TED talks were part of this event.  In Warsaw I organised an “Pre TEDx Warsaw meetup” as part of TEDsurfing  – the  TED and TEDx Travel and meetup club   At Penn State there were TED talk and a pizza discussion meetings.   The people who come might be potential team members to do your own TEDx.

Before TED Global in Edinburgh in 2012 I organised a small gathering of TEDx Fans and Couchsurfers here  (this may not be visible unless you are logged in to Couchsurfing)

You can organise an information meeting about TED and TEDx in your place of work or study showing talks about TED like  June Cohen’s here     The statistics are a bit out of date but the TED is even more popular now than it was back then. Showing such talks is a great idea if you are considering applying for a licence. If you show this talk that must be played at every TEDx then you just might end up forming a group to apply to do your own TEDx!!

We appreciate that watching a video telling you how great it is being at a TEDx is  may be a bit frustrating, given you haven’t got a place to ours.

We hope this message makes clear we are genuinely sorry we don’t have room for you this time,  we want you as part of the our TEDx community and encourage you to engage in as many ways as you can

In the startup community there is a commonplace idea that failure is good, or at least useful. “fail fast ‘ ‘failure is a valuable learning experience’  ‘The problem with Europe is that we don’t accept failure’. JK Rowling in her brilliant and moving Harvard commencement address even goes so far as to say ” It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all”.  Even if you are very disappointed we hope you won’t give up.

We are not happy that we don’t have a place for you. Please don’t think of yourself as rejected. We hope to meet you another time and to find a way in which we can work together for the ideals of TED and TEDx. a global voluntary conversation about ideas worth spreading.

on behalf of your local TEDx team

curator or a named team member.

first name. second name

As an experiment I’ve set up a Facebook Group called the TED and TEDx fans, TEDx attendees and TEDx would be attendees group Please feel free to join.

Richard Lucas

I came across LEMARQUE CAMPBELL when I saw his TEDxtalk at TEDxGrandBahama. As someone who is interested both in the TED Prize Global Witness campaign and transparency in different contexts, I thought it would be interesting to find out more about him, and requested an interview.

You can see his TEDx talk here  and his biographical details are available here on the TEDxGrandbahama web site  and are as follows: Lemarque Campbell is a Bahamian international human rights lawyer. He is currently based in the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, where he works for Transparency International (TI). Lemarque joined TI Georgia in January 2013, where he provides legal opinions on public policy issues and specializes in international and comparative law, human rights law and property rights violations. Originally from Freeport, Grand Bahama, Lemarque holds a BA in Sociology, a Postgraduate Diploma in Diplomacy, as well as an MA in Law. Lemarque was admitted to the Bar of England and Wales, Lincoln’s Inn. Additionally, he has lived, studied and worked in the US, Canada, Saint Lucia, Thailand, Malta, and England.

1 Please introduce yourself. You have lived and worked in so many places. Why? What led you to move around, and what bought you back to the Bahamas for a TEDx? How did they get to invite you and why did you agree to speak.

I’m originally from an island in the Bahamas called Grand Bahama, with a population of less than 75,000 individuals. I left the Bahamas at the age of 15, in order to complete my secondary education in the United States, an idea that I had suggested to my parents. I wasn’t obliged to leave, but from that age I had developed the passion to experience and explore the world – maybe this came about from growing up on such a small island, where I felt that options were limited. I always feel most alive being immersed in diverse societies. Even though I’ve been living abroad for 14 years now, I still stay connected with current events at home. In April of this year, I wrote an op-ed titled, The lack of transparency in the Bahamas: An affront to democracy. I found it very fitting to write on such a topic because of the number of high political corruption allegations that were and continue to flood the front pages of Bahamian newspapers; also, I currently work for Transparency International Georgia, which has provided me with an invaluable experience in anti corruption reforms.  This op-ed was subsequently published by one of the leading Bahamian online news sources and caught the eye of many Bahamians, including local civil activists. I was then invited by the curators for TEDxGrandBahama to give a talk on the topic of anti corruption. I was very excited to return to the island I had left so many years ago and give a talk about something I’m very passionate about.

Screen Shot 2014-09-15 at 08.53.55

2 How was your speech received? What feedback did you get about its impact? 

The speech was well received. Later, many individuals in the local community approached me with questions about the various anticorruption reforms, and questions on how we could effectively pressure our government to make the necessary changes. This experience has solidified an idea that I had contemplated for quite some time – there’s a great need for a Transparency International chapter to be established in the Bahamas.

3 What is your connection with and view of and TEDx? Do you remember the first TED talk you saw. What ones are your favourite?

I must say, that prior to giving my TEDx talk, I didn’t watch many TEDx talks. But now, after being a part of the event, I watch TED talks on a weekly basis.  I find it to be such a great forum to get ideas across, especially ideas that have the potential of challenging individuals to think outside of the box. My favourite talk has to be the short and practical talk by Joe Smith on How to use a paper towel:

4 How did you get involved in TI? What are your responsibilities? Why Georgia?

About two years ago I had completed my qualifications as a Barrister in England. I wanted to gain international work experience in the area of Public Law, but hadn’t yet developed a focus on corruption. After sending out applications to all corners of the world, I finally narrowed it downed to the TI position in Georgia. I was quite fascinated with the thought of living in a region of the world that most people don’t know much about. Moreover, Georgia is a country that has gone through so many political changes in the past 11 years. Through the political will and an active civil society, Georgia has become one of the world’s leading countries in implementing anticorruption reforms. In 2003, Georgia was ranked 124 out of 133 countries and territories on Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index (CPI). As a result of an active civil society, along with the political changes in the country after the 2003 Rose Revolution, the country currently holds spot 55 out of 177 in the most recent CPI. It is even perceived as less corrupt than some major developed western countries. Currently, I provide legal opinions on public policy issues – more specifically, on recommendations for various anticorruption reforms that TI makes to the Georgian government. I base my opinions on international law and best practices.

5 Who are your heroes, role models people who inspire you?

Gandhi would definitely top the list, for his principles and practices in nonviolent civil disobedience.

6 What particular issues topics do you want to draw attention to in your work for TI?

Currently, I’m involved in the court monitoring project, where we monitor and provide an analysis on administrative court cases across Georgia. TI Georgia has been producing analytical reports on administrative courts since 2012, and has observed an improved trend in the administration of justice and judicial independence in Georgia. Our first monitoring period came at a time when no organization monitored and reported on the administrative courts’ activities. There was a complete lack of judicial independence, which resulted in governmental parties being entirely successful in over 85% of administrative cases monitored by our team across the country. Today, this percentage has significantly decreased, with the governmental parties being entirely successful in only 53% of cases. Through our efforts in monitoring the courts, we’ve also witnessed improvements in other areas, such as the ways in which the judges handle cases and use their powers.

7 TI is perceived as focusing on governments. Sometimes international and aid organisations, NGOs, foundations and companies are less than transparent in providing information about their funding and expenditure. What can TI do to help improve standards of transparency in these areas?

As TI Georgia uses in-depth analysis and targeted advocacy to promote accountability and transparency in Georgia, it’s only fitting that the organization leads by setting an example through ensuring financial transparency in order to maintain its high credibility.   Through internal regulations, such as a procurement policy and annual independent financial audits, we ensure that integrity is at the heart of all financial decisions. Additionally, we disclose all the information about our financing through the ‘Our Funding’ section of our website which provides the full list of our donors and the exact amounts that we have received from them, as well as all private donations above EUR 1,000. We have also made it our policy not to accept donations above EUR 50 if they come from anonymous sources.

8 Some argue that there is some tension between ideas of privacy and ending government surveillance and transparency?  Do you agree? Should people companies and governments have the right to privacy and if so under what circumstances?

Definitely, people should have their right to privacy upheld. This is an area in which I am currently working on, which is a pressing issue in Georgia at the moment, where the government has complete control over black boxes installed at telecommunication companies.TI Georgia, along with other local NGOs have a campaign, that seeks to push for regulation in government surveillance activities, entitled, “This affects you too”. Senior members from our staff are on a committee, comprised of politicians and other civil society organizations, which provides the Georgian government with recommendations for reforms in this area.There needs to be a transparent process in which governments are only allowed to monitor communications between citizens on a legal basis of proportionality and necessity. This should not be carried out arbitrarily.

9 Who are your and TI’s most powerful allies in the campaign to improve accountability and transparency.   

TI Georgia not only collaborates with other civil society and international organizations, but also various governmental agencies. It’s not always about criticizing the government, but also working along with the various government agencies in supporting their efforts for accountability and transparency.

10 Where is your career taking you? What would you like to be doing in 5 or 10 years from now?

With the experiences I have obtained from living abroad for the past 14 years, I would like to return to the Bahamas soon and aid in the country’s development. Initially, I would like to establish a TI Bahamas chapter, pushing for the necessary anticorruption reforms. Most people think of the Bahamas as a paradise; however, being such a small country, where everyone is connected, generates a high level of corruption, which is currently stagnating our national development.

11 When you get old looking back, what would you regard as a successful outcome from your life’s work?

A successful outcome for me would be to have a positive impact on the overall development of the Bahamas. Where I can say that I’ve actually made a difference in my own community.

Richard Lucas  comments

It’s interesting how well Georgia has done in its fight against corruption. It shows what  can be done. Hong Kong had a similar campaign 30-40 years ago.  It’s exemplary that TI is so open about its funding – a lesson for NGOs, Foundations,  Think Tanks, non-profits and research bodies the world over.

by Richard Lucas

September 2014



Esmeralda Gonzalez wrote an article in the Krakow Post about how volunteering in Krakow changed her life for the better. Many years ago I went on a SCI/IVS workcamp in communist Czechoslovakia. I have always thought that being active, contributing, working, doing something useful is often more fun and rewarding than relaxing, chilling out and doing nothing which is so often promoted as a route to happiness. So her headline really appealed to me.   I approached her asking for an interview because I wanted to draw attention to the benefits of volunteering in general also find out more about her story and situation here in Krakow.


Please introduce yourself.  What stage in your life are you at,  what are you doing here in Krakow?

I am a journalist and  I currently work as an intern in Krakow Post. I started on June and my Leonardo internship will finish in December. I also work for a company in Krakow, I am an agent of Customer Service in Spanish for an airline since December 2013.

When did you first think of working abroad as a volunteer ?

In September 2011, when a friend from college told me that she was going to do an EVS in Amsterdam. She explained me the project and it sounds so amazing that I started to research information and thinking about doing it. In January 2012 I started to search projects seriously and I was sure I wanted to go.


How was your idea of coming here  received by your family, and friends?

My family and friends always supported me. I was very happy and excited with the experience, so they were glad for me too.

you say EVS is not so well known. I agree, I heard about it for the first time from your article. For the benefit of those who didn’t read the original article please describe what EVS is and how to get involved . and give links so that readers can check out whole programme and also find the partners through whom they must  apply.

European Voluntary Service is a programme supported by the European Union Commission, framed in Erasmus+, for people aged between 17 and 30 who want to be a volunteer in a foreign country in the UE.  There is short and long term projects, mine was 9 months.

It covers all your costs (food, accomodation, insurance, 90% travel costs, pocket money)

To volunteer, you need to find a sending organisation in the country where you live (in my case, Spain) and a hosting organisation where the project will take place.  Volunteers work for a maximum of six hours per day, five days per week. It was my hosting organization, but it is also a sending organization for Polish people who want to go abroad as EVS. In the European Youth Portal you can find more info about the program and the organizations

You wrote about the challenge of finding a partner who wanted you as a volunteer. What advice would you give to someone who wants to improve their chances of being accepted as a volunteer.

Write a nice motivation letter where you explain your reasons to be a volunteer and what makes you special for the project. You should describe yourself and your experience (not only about work or studies) and how you will help or support the project. Organizations likes people with initiative and a lot of new ideas to share.

What local support is available to the EVS volunteers in Krakow, do you have a local or national co-ordinator who helps you deal with the challenges of life in a new country. How do you get to know about other EVS volunteers in Krakow. How do you find out what is going in Krakow  – are you networked with local volunteer support organisations like those here

There is a National Polish Agency which organize training courses (one in the beginning and another in the middle of the project) where you can meet volunteers in Poland and you can express your opinion and ask for help.

My hosting organization, STRIM, is in contact with other associations which has EVS volunteers, such as Internationaler Bund. We organized International Volunteers Day Party together and I met other EVS-er in Krakow.

What have been the biggest challenges for you and the others here in Krakow?

Obviously, the Polish language and the weather. The language is very different than Spanish and it was a challenge to understand people in shops, etc. The weather is also different and I needed a lot of time to get used to the cold and the snow.

What particular issues topics  do you want to draw attention to in your work for EVS and Strim ?

In the office, I had several tasks although the most important is organizing events and meetings for the other volunteers and helping them when they need something from the office. I organized some cultural meetings to visit Wieliczka Salt Mine and different museums in Krakow, a film session to watch Schindler’s List movie, and one of the most great parties: International Volunteer Day. For this day, we made a performance show with juggling, a theatre play about cultural shock , we sang a volunteerism song created by one of the volunteers, we danced a Polish song and we prepared international food.

Furthermore, I helped to organize a theatre club for 10 EVS volunteers called Legendary Krakow. In April was the premiere of the play theatre for children (in English and Polish) about Krakow legends. Also, in December I organized with some Italian people Migrant’s Day, a meeting to talk about migration in Poland, with international music and with a big talk where migrants from Italy, Georgia, France, Spain and Bulgaria told us their experience working in Krakow. I was the mediator of the talk (I asked them in a stage) and, then, I made a video about the event. In fact, I made many videos since I am working in the office (You can watch them in the section Photo/ Video)!



On the other hand, I organized my own project, a contest to promote Spanish language and multiculturalism! In my contest, there were two categories: a photography contest and a short story contest in Spanish for native speakers and for students. Both had the same topic, International cultural experiences. We celebrated the Awards Ceremony in Rajska Library and it was amazing!

Are there any things about the programme you would like to change? what are they?

We had to collect food receipts (fakturas and paragons) every month to show how much money we spent in food and drinks. It was very tiring work because if you spend more than 10 zl, you had to ask for an invoice (faktura) and it was very hard when I did not speak the language!!

What have you not yet done in Krakow. (or Poland) that you want to do before you leave

I have never been in Mazurek and I would like to visit all regions in Poland.

If people volunteer more for the experience, making friends and  fun, than worrying about how useful and valuable their job is: is that a problem?

Volunteering is good a thing, no matter the reason that you have had to do it. For me it is not a problem if someone decides to do it for the experience or meeting new people.

What sort of training, preparation and orientation did you get to make the most of your time here  ?

I had some preparation training in my sending organization, AIPC Pandora, in Madrid. In total, there were 4 meetings about multicultural environment, Europe history, the private insurance that we had in EVS and other issues. I also had 2 trainings in Poland, one in Warsaw and second one in Torun.

What are you most proud and happy about so far from your experience in Krakow ?

I am proud of all what I did in STRIM office. I organized a lot of events and I was very happy with the people that I met.

What do you see as your future choices after you finish your EVS experience. Might you stay go home or do EVS somewhere else? What impact has EVS had on your ideas of what you can do with your life? What would you like to be doing in 5 or 10 years from now if things went exactly as you wanted.

I did my EVS one year ago (from October 2012 until June 2013) so I don’t know how to answer these questions. When I finished my EVS I decided that I wanted to come back to Krakow after the summer to work and I did it. 🙂 EVS is a program that you can do only once. It is not possible to do more than 1 project (you can stay at maximum of 1 year) EVS changed my life and my way of thinking in so many ways. I am more open-minded and I growed up a lot. It is impossible to describe how much I gained thanks to this experience. In 5-10 years I would like to live in Spain, Madrid, with my family and friends. I would love to work as a journalist in my home country and I think that this time abroad can help me to get it, because I am learning a lot, improving my language skills and I am sure it will be very positive.

What can you tell us about your experiences here that are interesting/fun and has nothing to do with your EVS

It was very fun thanks to the people that I met, from different countries and cultures. It is very nice to live in such a different place. In the beginning, everything surprises you. I think everybody should live abroad for a while to understand how it feels. I


So you know all the EVS volunteers in Krakow ?

i know that Strim organization will host 20 new volunteers in October, but they are not here now. I don’t know about other associations

I’m going to  organise some kind of event – like a thank you and also PR – event where we get all the EVS-er together get them to say what they are doing in one minute, and introduce them to other organisations in Krakow. Of course we will invite you 🙂

Later added

These events really  happened –

The Krakow Volunteer Appreciation Event and Afterparty

with great support from Regionalne Centrum Wolontariatu w Krakowie and the Jewish Community Centre

International Volunteer Event  )
core volunteer appreciation team :-)

core volunteer appreciation team 🙂

and more are planned. follow the Krakow Volunteers Facebook group here

Thank you for your time, and contribution to  making Krakow a better city to live in


If you want to know who is sending and receiving volunteers in Krakow go here

on the left side of the page, you can search the organizations by country and city. For example, if you put Poland and Krakow the below 23 results appear

EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-83
  •  Receiving
 Children; Education through sport and outdoor activities
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-7
  •  Sending
  •  Coordinating
 Anti-discrimination; Education through sport and outdoor activities
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-168
  •  Sending
  •  Receiving
  •  Coordinating
 European awareness; Media and communication/Youth information
EVS accredited
No: 2011-PL-249
  •  Sending
  •  Coordinating
 European awareness; Youth policies
EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-98
  •  Receiving
 European awareness; Children
EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-31
  •  Receiving
 Environment; Children
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-86
  •  Receiving
 Art and culture; Education through sport and outdoor activities
EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-50
  •  Receiving
 Disability; Education through sport and outdoor activities
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-223
  •  Sending
 Education through sport and outdoor activities; Environment
EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-30
  •  Sending
  •  Coordinating
 Development cooperation; Media and communication/Youth information
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-61
  •  Receiving
 Disability; Children
EVS accredited
No: 2011-PL-320
  •  Sending
  •  Receiving
  •  Coordinating
 Disability; Health
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-80
  •  Receiving
 Art and culture; Disability
EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-69
  •  Receiving
 European awareness; Children
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-81
  •  Receiving
 Art and culture; Environment
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-15
  •  Receiving
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-54
  •  Receiving
 Disability; Children
EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-182
  •  Sending
  •  Coordinating
 European awareness; Art and culture
EVS accredited
No: 2011-PL-254
  •  Receiving
 Disability; Youth policies
EVS accredited
No: 2011-PL-250
  •  Receiving
 Youth leisure; Children

 Szkola Podstawowa nr 24 w Krakowie

EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-124
  •  Receiving
  •  Coordinating
 Art and culture; Children
EVS accredited
No: 2013-PL-83
  •  Receiving
 European awareness; Art and culture
EVS accredited
No: 2012-PL-32
  •  Receiving
 Children; Disability