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 www.Goldenline.pl and www.nasza-klasa.pl 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.
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
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:
1 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”
3 Pawel Kołodziej IT Project Manager at Serwisy branżowe xtech.pl Sp. z o.o. wrote “I’m a member of board at xtech.pl, i’m looking for marketing advisor, a person who will share knoledge with xtech.pl.
8 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.
9 Sue Młeczko told us about her involvement in international education and how she is looking for a new project here in Kraków
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 http://www.proactivate.ie
12 Marta Ryłko Open Coffee Krakow founder – talked about the Lifetramp.com career testing platform, and 13 Brainly.com. Brainly closed a US$9 mln investment round and is hiring. www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/brainly-expands-to-us-with-9m-venture-funding-led-by-general-catalyst-279269232.html
14 Łukasz Siatka volunteer at Open Coffee Girl Geek Carrots many events told us about http://devfest.pl 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-Organizerhttp://devfest2014.pl
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 Mintia.com, Pitch2 Program – B2B sales training on 14th-15th November http://pitchprogram.pl/ 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 Colab.pl co working space includign low cost high speed translation from http://turbotlumaczenia.pl and the
21 Colab Open Coffee meetings
23 Konrad Głowacki is building a low cost SLS 3d printer. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Selective_laser_sintering
24 Richard mentioned the cool new Zortrax 3D store opening last week
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.
Here is the summary of who said what – (errors and omissions expected)
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
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
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.
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.
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).
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 TED.com 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 TED.com or TEDx
ŁK: I tell them that instead of going to school they should watch dozens of short films from the TED.com website, he he he. Obviously, that’s a joke, but the fact is that the speeches you find on TED.com 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 TED.com 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 TED.com or TEDx
Powiem by zamiast iść do szkoły odpalił kilkadziesiąt filmików ze strony TED.com hehehe. Oczywiście to żart ale fakt że ilość inspiracji płynąca z przemówień na TED.com 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:
2 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). http://worldofchange.pl/
7 Madeline Betlehem is in Colab.pl 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..
11 Michal Smiałko told us about http://www.prismake.com 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
15 Przemyslaw Stanisz Co-founder and managing director at Mintia.com, Co-founder at NorthStarConsulting Pitch! 2 – effective sales training session http://www.web.gov.pl/programy_akademia_2014/710_4290.html
19 Bartosz Rybski new business manager at j-labs looking for business opportunities…what’s up in startup community
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
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/TED.com 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
1 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.
- plan and implement pre-viewing party PR. How are you going to get the word out, encourage people to come.
- 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.
- Welcoming, registration and badging are important and should be done well.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Feedback of course ask attendees for feedback and what can be done better, and take note of it.
- 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.
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
or “rejects are valuable”
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
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 TED.com 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 TED.com 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
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.
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.
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 TED.com 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: http://www.ted.com/talks/joe_smith_how_to_use_a_paper_towel?language=en
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
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.
http://strim.org.pl/en: It was my hosting organization, but it is also a sending organization for Polish people who want to go abroad as EVS.
http://europa.eu/youth/evs_database_en: 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 🙂
These events really happened –
with great support from Regionalne Centrum Wolontariatu w Krakowie and the Jewish Community Centre
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
I wrote this in 2008. Now I am preparing for Global Entrepreneurship Week 2014 I decided to republish it. Not much has changed other than that I am older.
Richard Lucas, September 2014
Richard Lucas July 2008
School visits to companies can be highly educational, or boring and a waste of time. When pupils (and maybe a teacher, and teaching assistants) visit a company, they are typically in an unfamiliar environment. When pupils visit museums, castles, zoos etc, they are going to places that are designed to deal with visitors, including children. Companies are seldom “set up” to deal with school visits. Visitors to companies are usually business partners: suppliers, clients or candidates for work. Both sides are out of their comfort zone. It’s likely to be unpredictable. School visits to companies are usually a rare occurrence. There are few set patterns and plenty of scope to take the initiative. This is as much of an opportunity as a danger, and this article is aimed at helping raise the chances of a successful outcome, based on 20 years of experience of school business links.
As with any project, it is worth asking simple questions about the objectives. The better they are defined the more likely it is that the visit will be a success. This article is not the place to define your objectives but here are some that we have focused on in projects I have been responsible for.
- Role models/motivation. If the organization/company being visited is being staffed or run by ex pupils of the school, there is clear potential for the children to understand that this could be them in a few years. School children often take a former pupil’s advice more seriously than either teachers or their parents.
- to show what a working environment looks like. For most of the children this was the first time in a completely new environment
- to show a business as a place where adults are friendly and open minded/ This can be necessary to challenge negative stereotypes of business people being greedy and unpleasant. This is not to say that all business people are admirable but clearly companies that are able and willing to host a school visit are likely to be more public spirited and interested in their local community than average. Giving school children direct experience of business people, is a good way of challenging stereotypes.
- to have the children as active participants not just observers during the viist. This is an obvious education point, that pupils will remember more if they have something to do.
- that the children to learn about commerce and then company. Depending on the age and education of the children
- Gender roles. If some of the managers in the company are female or in non typical gender roles, it is worth making sure that the pupils get to see this.
- to demonstrate that it is “never too early” to get children into the workplace, and to challenge Theory X thinking , promoting Mcgregorian Theory Y, that work can be satisfying fun and rewarding, when properly organised.
So, if you are a schools pupil, director, teacher or parent how can you find a company to visit?
There are many ways, and no one “right” approach. Essentially let as many people know that you have this goal as possible, and watch the offers roll in. Ask the pupils if they have any ideas, An announcement in the school newsletter, on the school web page, a survey of the parents of the class you are responsible for, a note to the Parent Teachers’ Association, contacting local organizations that might be able to help such as: the local chamber of commerce, Junior Achievement, Young Enterprise or Global Entrepreneurship Week. The general rule of communication “face to face is better than phone, phone is better than e-mail”. Assuming that this yields more than one offer, then it is important to review logistics (how are you going to get there and back, time out of school, permission from school authorities and parents), and the suitability of the type of company for the children. Issues of cost have to considered both in terms of getting there and back and also what is being given up from normal classroom activities.
Having at least one teacher who is prepared to go beyond their normal responsibilities is important. Schools always have some experience of organizing trips and visits. The same issues apply, and there will be some teachers with experience.
Compulsory or voluntary?
This issue needs to be addressed. My experience is that it is much better to work with a smaller group of school pupils who want to visit rather than a group who have been told that they “have” to come. It is very difficult to do workshops and events requiring participation if the children are not motivated, and it is not motivating for the company have to deal with kids who do not care about what is going on.
In the case of Poland’s Global Entrepreneurship Week project, if a company has decided to host visits, I would recommend that for the time that they are opening their doors they should be ready to have volunteers from more than one school who have chosen to be there.
Pre visit preparation
Once a company has been identified, there are simple steps that both school and company can take.
For the school
The school teacher should invite a staff member of the company to talk to the class (and possibly other classes) about what the company does, and how it makes its product/services (and profits – if it is a commercial organisation), or pays for itself (if not funded by clients). The company should send the most impressive person it can find, and this is a powerful way of getting the children interested in company
The children should go onto the company web site. This is an example of using the internet to gather information, and learning by doing in a practical context. A teacher can help steer the children to looking for simple Who? What? and how? type questions that the pupils have to answer.
Discuss what to expect. Making clear that a company is a working organization and that the children need to be both respectful and co-operative. This is one of the reasons I favour voluntary visits.
Pre visit preparation by the company
There needs to be at least one member of staff to co-ordinate the visit, agree with management what is going to happe, plan things with the school, and inform to the rest of the company. That member of staff should be a volunteer, and request for other volunteers to help them. If this is the case, then it is important to communicate about how undisruptive this is for the company. It is not that easy for people to take ‘time off normal work. Schools and volunteers should not assume that overworked staff working to tight deadlines can do too much (even if they want to). Most professional companies face the same issues.
A visit by the teacher to the company before the visit with school children itself is desirable if possible, both to review the premises and agree the activities planned for the visit. A “walk round” is a good idea as teachers will note things that members of company staff might not see (dangerous stairs, access to toilets) and staff might be aware of issues that are note visible to teachers.
Accountability/responsibility – Both school and company should make clear who is responsible for what happens during the day.
Get the big picture and the details clear
It isn’t complicated but needs to be thought through. Are meeting rooms, and a projector reserved?. What is going to happen, when, in what order?
Welcoming arrangements. The receptionists area were prepared for a influx of school pupils. We put up notices on the front door and the meeting room to make them feel welcome.
Company presentation The way the company presents itself to normal partners may not be suitable. Basic information – what do we do, how do we make our money, what our our revenues, how wide are the salary ranges, how to get a job, will probably be of interest to some people.
Tour of the premises Make a tour as un-disruptive as possible. In each room the children visited one person was prepared to talk for 1-2 minutes about what happened in that room. We split the children into two groups so that it wasn’t too many in one room at one time.
Games and workshops
These can work if pupils are committed. Breaking them into up into teams who have think of “reasons to come to our school” is a good marketing exercise, which encourages discussion about what features and benefits a school has and develops communication skills both within the team and in front of the rest of the group
Departure/End of visit We took various photos during the visit, and ended with photos in front of the company front door which is a natural and suitable end
Doing a survey (Annex 2) of what the parents of the children do, and whether a visit either by parents to school or school to parent company would be possible.
For staff team building a short meeting afterwards to thank those involved is a good idea for team building
Put photos of the children on a company web site so that they can go back to the web site and see themselves there
post visit homework project where school children are discussing their visit and what they learned
Communication and appreciation. a thank you card or letter is important. Pupils need to understand the fact that those who choose to host a visit are making an commitment that deserves to be appreciated
Annex 1 Post visit summary thank you letter from School Teacher to PMR
First of all, I would like to thank everybody involved in organising the Nursery visit at PMR. Trips like that, where the kids meet and interact with other people as well as learn about different places are not only a great experience for that age group, but also they meet a lot of the educational objectives for all learning areas in the British curriculum for 3 and 4 year olds (Knowledge and Understanding of the World, Communication, Language and Literacy, Mathematical Development, Creative Development, Physical Development, Personal, Social and Emotional Development).
Let me list just a couple of them:
– Finding out about past and present events in their own life and in those of others;
– Identifying the use of everyday technology;
– Sustaining attentive listening and responding to what they hear and see by relevant comments, questions and actions;
– Capturing experience using various materials, tools, imaginative- and role-play, movement, etc.;
– Forming good relationships with peers and adults;
– Developing confidence to try new activities, initiate ideas and speak in a group of people;
– Understanding that there are codes of behaviour for groups of people;
It worth mentioning that the educational benefits as the ones above, are meant to be ‘hidden’ and delivered to the kids in activities taking various, but as attractive as possible a form and I am sure we have achieved that!
Thank you again on behalf of the kids and myself.
Annex 2 Parent Survey used by children in this project
Next week the Nursery children will start learning about grown-ups, the places they work at, their jobs, occupations, etc. In relation to this, we would like to find out what their Parents do jobwise.
Together with Year 5 we have prepared a short questionnaire, which you will find below. Please fill it in or help your child to complete it and bring it back to school on Monday 5th May 2008.
Of course the survey is not obligatory we would, however, greatly appreciate your cooperation.
Also, if anyone would be interested in coming to school and talking about her/his job to the kids, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Should you have any questions, please ask.
Nursery and Year 5 Teachers
The child’s name:………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
Would it be possible for the children to visit above company/organisation? Yes/No
Would it be possible for the children to visit above company/organisation? Yes/No
Richard Lucas September 2014
I talked to two schools in Krakow today about them getting involved in Global Entrepreneurship Week this year. Both seem positive, and while preparing materials about the project and movement, I came across this article I wrote in 2008 for the Winchester College Alumni Magazine (they never published it but that’s another story). Winchester College is one of the oldest and most famous schools in the UK I attended many years ago, and has a reputation for being elite and elitist (a topic I’m happy to discuss with anyone who is interested). (Since then in 2014 with another old boy – Ed Neale – we are setting up an Winchester College Entrepreneurs Society – Wintrepreneurs. . (Here are photos of a possibly the youngest ever school visit to a company in Poland). Clearly the article is targeted at alumni (OWs) and “Win Coll” refers of course to Winchester College, but I still stand by every word I wrote
It has grown from the British idea of an “Enterprise Week” to encourage young people to acquire the confidence, skills and ambition to be more enterprising over the last four years. In the words of Gordon Brown ““Together we can encourage young people to realize and unlock their talents…to bridge the gap between what we are, and what we have it in ourselves to become”
Poland (where I’ve lived since 1991) participated in GEW for the first time in 2008 where I was on the Honorary Committee. I had had no experience of GEW, but have been involved in school business links since 1989 and welcomed the chance to get involved on a wider scale than simply hosting school visits to companies to which I am connected or visiting schools and universities to give talks and conduct workshops. This article is to explain the goals and justification, why it is important and most importantly is a call to action to encourage other OWs to get involved..
Why bother ?
It might seem to some that encouraging young people to take the initiative, be active, dynamic and enterprising is so obviously worthwhile that this question doesn’t need answering.
I don’t agree for several reasons
1 Not everyone thinks that introducing school children to the world of business is a good idea. An Israeli American head of an NGO in Cracow commented “so guys like you who are busy raping the planet are now trying to brainwash the next generation” when I asked him if he could host a school visit as part of the GEW. Although half in jest, underlying this reaction is a widespread “anti-business” culture that has deep roots. Clearly not all business is good for all stakeholders. From my perspective this creates a bigger need for positive examples of good business practice to promote themselves to young people.
- Although it’s obvious to me, having spent most of my adult life in countries who suffered much from socialist ideology, not everyone understands the importance of individual initiative in human progress. It’s important for those who are active members of society to take up a leadership role and be available to challenge stereotypes through direct contact with children. Stefan Theil of Newsweek has extensively researched anti-business attitudes in many countries’ school textbooks, and it is not uncommon for big corporations to be portrayed as automatically bad. Especially now, in the midst of a severe economic downturn, those who believe in free markets, private property, personal responsibility and individual freedom, need to get “out there” and be seen and heard.
- Apart from the long term benefits in terms of wealth and employment creation that greater levels of initiative leads to, there are wider social benefits of active citizenship. If children see that they too can make a difference to their own lives and to the community in which they live through their own efforts, by meeting people who have done precisely that, then “making a difference” ceases to be an idealistic slogan, and instead becomes an achievable goal. Beyond the “social good” it can be fun and is certainly challenging. Giving a talk (in Polish) to 200 Polish school 8-12 year olds at 8 am about why self employment is a career choice they should consider is one of the more stressful things I did last autumn and I don’t regret it. It’s good to push yourself.
- In the context of supporting GEW in Poland, I’ve met and worked with business and political leaders operating at a much higher level than I do in my day to day life. It is a way to extend your range of contacts, if you care about this sort of thing.
Entrepreneurship is at the heart of human progress and is not a politically divisive issue. Jesse Norman, of Policy Exchange, has just published Compassionate Economics, in which he argues that entrepreneurship is “imagination, the ability to spot or conceive opportunities, and a willingness to take risks”. He correctly sees that an enterprising approach is something just as needed in the public or non profit sector as in private enterprise. Gordon Brown’s strong support for Global Enterprise Week shows that enterprise is not a monopoly of conservatives. It’s possible to be sceptical, even cynical about human motivations in many cases, and still see that this type of project as an exception and more than worth committing to.
Can and should you help Winchester?
Do Wykehamists need encouragement to be enterprising and to take the initiative in their own lives? Some might think we are privileged enough, but others would say that with privilege comes the responsibility to put talents to good use, and how better to do this than such a project. My experience of “enterprise education” at Win Coll certainly makes me willing to help others. In 1982/83 at an “industry day” I remember an executive from Magnet – a company making Portakabin type temporary buildings – telling us “you are probably too young to know what you are going to do, but I suppose that you imagine that if you were in business you would be managers.” This made sense, the 50 or so 14-15 year olds in the room nodded to ourselves. “So here’s a management problem. You are in charge of an ice cream factory (a few frowns, “was he patronising us?”) its 3 AM you are working flat out, the night shift is in full swing, business is going well, and 300 litres of ice cream a minute is being pumped through a steel tube over your head. There is a loud bang, the tube splits and frozen ice cream starts spraying in all directions. You are in charge, so what are you going to do ?” there was a silence as we pondered the problem, then he said “don’t wait too long or you are going to drown in ice cream. “ At this moment I realised that there were some skills in business that we were not being taught, and that action orientated decision taking appealed to me as a feature of any job I wanted to do. I would probably have gone into business anyway, but this talk made a difference and inspired me.
What can you do to help ?
First a self assessment. Are you in any way a role model for younger members of society? Can they learn something from your experience? Ask your friends, family and colleagues for confirmation or to challenge your first thoughts. If the answer is yes, then the only barrier is your willingness to get involved. Even if the answer is no, you can use your position in the organisations you are connected to so as to encourage others to get involved.
I attended an excellent one week course at Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning at Cambridge University’s Judge Business School (CfEL) in June 2008, and was very impressed by the both the calibre and commitment of senior business people from the local community to the programme as volunteers. I asked Dr Shailendra Vyakarnam – the CfEL’s Director – for guidelines. In his view it is vital that volunteers from the business community should share the basic values of the Centre, namely:
That entrepreneurship can be taught
That a positive attitude is vital, would be entrepreneurs should be supported and encouraged
That outside volunteers speakers should work to the curriculum (not about how clever and successful they are, but about a topic (team building, marketing, finance, technology, (whatever))
As he told me those who believe that entrepreneurs and leaders are “born not made” are not much use to an organisation devoted to teaching those skills
Contacting David Baldwin (address removed as he has retired) if you or the organisation you work for can help with Win Coll Careers, either hosting visits or returning to Win Coll to as part of the careers’ days initiative
Make sure that enterprise education support is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility agenda of the organisation you work for. Ask other members of staff via your internal company systems whether they are ready to volunteer to help schools in the communities your company has a presence and approach local schools directly. Staff are often willing to do more for schools either they attended or their children currently attend.
Get back in contact with Universities you attended to offer help in giving talks, hosting visits . being a judge on a panel for student enterprise competitions, I did this, and also was able to help in the Careers centre. maybe you can do something similar. Here I was interviewed by Cambridge University Careers Service.
Look for other alumni associations connected to places you have studied and worked in Linkedin, Facebook, etc. The most active people are usually the founders, or contribute to forums, and discussions.
If you have children in school now but not at Win Coll, contact parents and alumni asking for volunteers for a careers day or for companies to host visits
Think about things that are you were not taught in schools and university that you think are important to get on and be successful in life that you could share with the next generation. It never takes more than 15 minutes on Google to get up to speed with what others have said and written about any topic under the sun. Finding the ideas, and materials to support a workshop or talking is never hard these days.
GEW is a great mobilizing tool for those who want to make things happen in their local community. You don’t need to wait until November 2009 to do something, use GEW as an excuse to approach people to see if they are interested. Apart from visiting the global web site http://unleashingideas.org to find out what has been going on in the country you live in, I am more than willing to share my experience as far as time allows with anyone who asks. Richard.firstname.lastname@example.org
Introduction (and why the Chinese?)
This post is a translated Interview with Yan- a professional journalist and editor, amateur fashion blogger in China.
With Marlena and Krzysztof Achinger we have launched a blog about European fashion for Chinese speakers. Our main blog is here
Marlena and Krzysztof are also the founders of Bohan Bohan Online is a free Chinese-Polish and Polish-Chinese dictionary.
Special thanks to Yan for giving the interview and Marlena for doing the translation – (Chinese into English) how many people do you know who can do that?)
Interview with Yan- professional journalist and editor, amateur fashion blogger (http://aeccrnticgirl.blog.163.com/)
Please, introduce yourself in a few words.
My name is Yan and I come from Guangzhou in China. I am a journalist and an editor. I am also an amateur fashion blogger.
How did you start your adventure with blogging?
In September, 2008 I set up my fashion blog. Earlier I followed some foreign fashion bloggers and thought that I would like to find some way to show my own style and inspirations as well. Some place where I could express myself.
What do your family and friends think about your blogging?
My family is very supportive, especially my mum who likes my mix of style. Very often she shares her opinion and suggestions with me. My friends also encourage me. They are very happy to help me with taking pictures and creating new dressups.
What has been your biggest achievement so far?
I have never been very diligent student, but I was lucky enough to become a journalist and editor just after I graduated. Some people think that I am not professional journalist and I got my job in the fashion industry only because I was very lucky. But I think that I have been working very hard to seize the opportunity to express myself.
What was your biggest failure? And what have you learnt?
When I was still in the high school, my whole class failed an exam. Then my mother attended parents meeting only to find out about my failed exam. It was the first time my mom was very disappointed. That evening she called my dad to tell him about it. Then I felt like I made them very upset. Since then I have decided not to disappoint my parents anymore.
What was the most surprising thing in your life?
14 years ago, my husband had a crush on me, 3 years ago we fell in love and now we have been married for over a year. I think that the fate brings people around us. I haven’t kept in touch with my husband for over 10 years, but then we fell in love with each other. I think this is the most surprising thing in my entire life.
What are your biggest challenges?
My biggest challenges is lack of time. During the week I work as an editor and in the weekends the most time consuming things are related to my blog and fashion: I participate in fashion shows, take pictures for my blog, create new dressups, etc. Every night I go to sleep thinking that this day was definitely too short.
In what way are your ambitions similar to people of your age, and in what way different?
In fact, my ambitions are not that different from the ambitions of people in my age. Since I got married, I have appreciated stability. Earlier only two things were important to me: working and writing my blog. Now my life is divided into three parts: work, blog and my husband. Maybe I am not so worried about the money matter compared to people in my age. I think there’s always some way to earn money. If I do it in a right way, I will never have to worry about work and money.
Where do you find inspirations for your dressups?
I don’t have any particular source of my inspiration. But the most inspiration for my dressups I find in microblogs, magazines, people met on the street and even my friends.
Where do you think we can find the most interesting style?
Definitely in Sweden. In the past few years, I paid particular attention to the Scandinavian design, especially Stockholm. Many of my favorite brands are from Scandinavia. Moreover, on the streets of Stockholm you can spot many Swedish girls with great ideas for their dressups.
Is fashion meant only for wealthy people?
Fashion is the way to express yourself. In China, there was a girl called Wang Shouying. Her family was rather poor and she couldn’t afford to buy branded clothes. That’s why she started using stuff found at home to create her own dressups, clothes, hats etc. Many people were laughing at her because of that, but I think this kind of imagination gives people the power which can’t be ignored.
In which direction does the Chinese fashion follow?
I very rarely follow fashion. I think people should create fashion, not follow it.
Who are your role models on Chinese internet? And why?
When it comes to China, I particularly like Zhou Xun. She is also rather short and her dressups are very feminine and stylish.
Which foreign blogs do you follow?
Too many to mention all of them. I don’t have favorite group of blogs I follow. I follow blogs which present great ideas and nice pictures.
Over 2 billion people have watched Psy’s Gangnam Style which is a backlash against popular culture in Korea. Will there be a Chinese Psy?
Haha, I think it will be difficult to find a Chinese Psy. Psy comes from a very wealthy family and he had opportunity to study in Berklee College of Music in the United States. His “Gangnam style” is very nuanced and using auto-irony he shows how it is necessary to have a great knowledge to express life’s reflections in the funny way.
What do you think about American and European fashion? Do you have your favorite western designers?
American fashion follows the needs of the market, therefore designs are rather useful. Whereas, European designers have artistic souls and their designs are very ornamental. I particularly like European designers like Ann Demeulemeester, Raf Simons and Christophe Lemaire.
What do you think about Baltic amber and style based on it?
I don’t know much about this style but I would love to find out more.
In that case, what polish designers should do to succeed in the Chinese fashion market?
In order to succeed in China, you have to understand and use marketing tools. In fact, Western countries can easily reach Chinese clients. The best way is to co-operate with fashion bloggers. Moreover, organizing fashion shows can help to promote the brand and style.
Where will you be in a few years time if things go well?
I will be on the stage of my life where both me and my husband can succeed.
他们正是创造潮流的人，美国设计师很会考虑市场需求，因此他们的设计都很实穿；欧洲设计师大多带点艺术感，还有建筑感，观赏性更强。我比较喜欢的欧洲设计师有Ann Demeulemeester、Raf Simons、Christophe Lemaire等。
There is a lively and sometimes angry debate going on in Krakow about how far the city government has been and wants to help us. I’ve written quite long posts about this on some Facebook pages. and thought I’d share them here
A consultation meeting is being held today (9th August) in Krakow has generated a lot of comment,
My comments was here
Thanks for the invitation to attend. I’m not in Krakow.
The questionnaire not the right way to start. We don’t need a new slogan.
We need clear information about what the city is doing and trying to do, we need the opportunity to give feedback about what is useful and should be developed what should be stopped. and what is missing and should be piloted..
The city should start by presenting what is the current situation. What they are doing now, and have a discussion about gaps and challenges taking account of the track record experience and interest of those contributing.
A strategy review starts with three questions
where are we now
where do we want to be
how are we going to get there
Where are we now?
The local government should publish a summary of what they have contributed to the entrepreneurship scene with their zl 15,653,752,43 zł programme.
what have they done to encourage schools to promote enterprise ?
what have they done to encourage banks and financial institutions to promote startups and enterprise?
what have they done to encourage students and academic depts to support enterprise
what have they done to encourage existing businesses to develop and grow
What have they done to encourage government agencies to put support of enterprise higher up their list of priorities.
what have they done to promote their projects and programmes among the thriving start up community in Krakow?
how are are they working with the regional authorities excellent programmes as part of Global Entrepreneurship Week
Local government officials should add details and contact points to community resources like this
There should be a person/point of contact who regularly posts details of their ideas, events and projects and attends startup community events, makes announcements gives talks, and gets feedback about our needs.
Is there a person whose job it is to collect examples of good practice and celebrate these examples locally and internationally ?
It would be great to know who is responsible for enterprise support on the government side and what we can expect from them,
We need to make sure that the Civil Servants who show up have authority and commitment to change the way Krakow supports and leads economic development.
A successful outcome of the meeting would be
1. publishing of a report of past activities to support enterprise
2. publishing current plans, and targets
3. Establishing an agreed and planned feedback process to take account of the views of important stake holders in the local community, not just the people who happen to be available at short notice for this meeting.
On 9th August an article here – in Polish – praising Krakow’s startup community by Dominika Baranowska- is provoking a debate about how far the government is supporting – or not – the startup community in Krakow and prompted my comment below
“A lot of other people were involved in making this happen – here are only a selected few.
Rafał Styczeń was an early adopter with iif.pl
Ramon set up this page,
and gave this TEDxKrakow talk Krakow: Europe’s Silicon Valley?
Ela and Piotr set up Hive http://www.hive53.com which led to Open Coffee Krakow http://www.ockrk.co/faq
GfE have been fabulous http://www.meetup.com/Google-for-Entrepreneurs-Krakow/
So is Hub.raum https://www.hubraum.com/locations/krakow
Krakow Tech Park has been surprisingly good for a government owned agency
the regional authority has done a lot with Global Entrepreneurship Week
This project still has global potential, but has yet to spread http://www.znaniabsolwenci.pl
TEDxKrakow.com – first with Paul, and for the last four years Ewa thereafter has been a powerful force for spreading many great ideas both from Krakow – big like Agata Wilam’s Childrens University and small like the Pan Cogito hotel and bringing new ideas to Krakow and Poland.
To keep up with the community developed check out
for more ideas worth worth spreading and projects worth promoting
and if you want your organisation to be involved get listed here
Four years ago I proposed this
as a way for the government to map out our eco system. it still hasn’t happened
by Richard Lucas August 2014
listen to the interview here
I often listen to John’s daily interview with entrepreneurs here and wanted to interview him. He is as interesting as the guys he interviews, and we can learn from his success. Thanks to him for the time
He responded with an audio interview,which I have put on Soundcloud here
I’ll try to add questions in my own voice later but for now we have him asking the questions you can see below and here
Please give key facts about your company, how many people you employ, your yearly turnover, and other striking facts. many of the people reading this will not have been on your web site etc. They’ll be glad to know what you are doing, how much has been invested, the basic numbers.
Where did you get your entrepreneurial spirit from, who inspired you, or were your role models when you were young?
Different leaders have different styles – what are the most important goals of your job, and what might people find surprising about you if they worked in your team
Entrepreneurs on Fire obviously doing well. What of your achievements are you most proud of and regard as unique and special
Obviously there are plenty of other podcasters with talent in the “promotion of entrepreneurs” space and many of them are going to be good at ”self promotion” I heard you say in one of your interviews that you lacked a place where there was a new podcast every day – which is one differentiator. How else do you aim to be better different and to keep ahead of any competition?
You talked about “firing people up” . Is that what gets you out of bed in the morning ? is that it or are there other things that really make you glad to go to work
Why did choose this as a career choice, what else might you have been, and what might you later in life? ?
What interesting or surprising jobs or other things have you done apart from leading companies
What do you think about Europe in general as a place to work, rest and live. You were in Barcelona last week. what do you say to American colleagues who are not so internationally aware about going into business internationally ?
Way back I interviewed ex fighting forces – Airforce and Navy – about leadership. what can you tell people about the impact the military life has on your business skills
Where do your source your entrepreneurs. How do you decide who to interview for EoF.
If a person reading this wants to make contact/give feedback what should he or she do?
What else would you like to tell readers that we haven’t covered?
Thanks again, make sure you you visit his website
www.entrepreneuronfire.com and listen to his replies
Richard Lucas July 2014
I am invited from time to time to attend, speak at/be a mentor or sponsor events. I sometimes agree. If it matches my plans, I support the goals of the organisation, the audience is one I feel I can offer something of value to then I may say yes.I aim to be useful and contribute. If the organisers are volunteers/are working for free, I may agree not to charge.
My topics are usually entrepreneurship, leadership, management and technology. I am very focussed on “participant experience”, and ensuring those who attend interact, contribute and learn. I’ve written in more detail about this here
I don’t want to be bored or participate in boring events. Life is too short
Events I support do not have to be in an expensive venue or with a high budget. indeed some of the worst events are in the “smartest” locations, as if fancy food and champagne compensates attendees for boredom. I want events I attend to be 100% respectful of the time of the people who show up (including me).
I’ve seen so many lamentable examples of bad practice at events I’ve attended (and sometimes sponsored) that I don’t feel apologetic about having some requirements. If someone agrees to attend an event you are involved in, they should be able to expect that you will be respectful of their time. You owe it to them to run the event at a high standard.
Most events have something wrong with them (from my perspective), and so I wrote this as a check list. The aim is to help event organisers do a better event and create more value. Even if you never invite me, or don’t think I am the sort of person who would contribute, I would encourage you to consider this list with respect to the people who you do want to have involved.
If you are going to invite me please copy/paste the questions into an e-mail and send it to me (with the answers where relevant 🙂
0. Who is in charge of the project, and who else in in the team?
1. What is the point of the event? Who are the target attendees and how many are you expecting?
2. Who else you have asked to speak/sponsor or attend, how did you ask them, and what did they commit to?
3. I believe in transparency. Do you accept transparency in principle? What is your expected budget and your largest three planned expenses ?
4. What is the plan and timetable for promotion of the event/activity ? and who is responsible for making sure this happens?
5. Will speakers be introduced briefly and courteously by a Master of Ceremonies (MC)/ Host who knows who they are ? Who is the MC/Host?
6. Who is responsible for the play order and timekeeping during the event?
7. Do you commit to international standards of organisation and time keeping ?
8. Will attendees are welcomed, encouraged to interact with each other/the speakers and be looked after from the moment they arrive at the event, as per this article ?
9 Is a named individual is responsible for making sure that the projector, laptop, loudspeakers, internet access and microphone (if needed) work ? Who is that person and do they understand that they have to make sure things work?
10 Are all speakers told what their time limit is, what is it, and will it be enforced ?
11 Are questions/comment time limited. what is the limit, and will it be enforced ?
12 Are links to presentations posted on the event wall and web page, and are presentations/videos distributed under a Creative Commons licence ?
13 A few minutes before the start time will people be asked to take their seats, so the event starts on time?
14 Do you solemnly promise there will be no enforced “waiting for latecomers”. So that the speakers and people who are on time have their time wasted by those who are not punctual ? (It often makes sense to have 30-60 minutes, pre-event registration, networking, so that there is a soft start before the main event) . If you invite me and nothing is going on 5 minutes before the main event I will start anyway – you have been warned.
15 Will attendees be told that mobile phone use, and texting during talks is not allowed and that laptop users should sit at the back ? Big thanks to TED.com for alerting me to this obvious rule. As they point out, seeing someone else using their mobile reminds you of the world out there and takes your attention away.
16 Will all attendees are asked for feedback at the event and afterwards, and will this be shared online?
17 Will short up to one minute community announcements be allowed and encouraged at some point in the programme?
18 Will the host and the volunteer team intervene to stop people chatting during presentations?
Most of the requirements and questions above reflect bad experiences I have had or observed. If you are at the early stages of planning your event – and don’t have answers to all the questions. just be honest. We can come back to the list closer to the event.
Organising and leading an event is hard work and can be challenging. I recognise this and salute everyone who is trying to organise something good and valuable. The fact that it is a challenge does not mean you should not challenge yourself to do a really classy event. It requires thought, planning and commitment more than money. If you achieve all of the above you are a star.
Feedback, comments, and suggestions welcome.
On 18th May 2014 a Wojtek The Soldier Bear statue was unveiled in Krakow’ Park Jordana.
I’ve never been associated with such a project in such an important location. I want to pay tribute to many of the people who made this possible, and share a few lessons learned. I’ve said on many previous occasions how much this project is the result of other people’s work. As the person responsible for gathering examples of good practice and distributing it far and wide I am often seen as carrying the work load on my shoulders – but it isn’t true. I am sure there are people who helped who either I don’t know about or who I’ve forgotten. As people who know me realise, I have mild prosopagnosia (face blindness) meaning that I may have forgotten people who I’ve met. Apologies in advance. I can edit this article if there are omissions.
In some places the tone of this article may seem a little resentful or even passive aggressive. The journey has been a long one, and I’ve had my share of repressed frustration and anger along the way. On the outside I tried to keep up a sunny optimism, while internally sometimes being upset at the lack of action to follow up declarations of support. Overall the experience of this project has been good, I’ve got to know some wonderful people, and I am very happy that we have a positive ending. I know that my difficulties were trivial compared to the experiences of all the people whose terrible experiences at the hands of the Soviets and fighting the Nazis I wanted to publicise. At the same time I hope sharing can be useful,even if the lessons are not always clear.
Back in April 2013 I wrote an account of what happened up to the City Council’s decision to approve the idea of a statue. This event was marked by Professor Norman Davies attending a press conference. The fact that figures of such internationally stature lend their name to the project is really something to appreciate.
At the unveiling I gave a speech in English (and not very good Polish) about the project. The English text is at the end of the article.
So what has happened since April 2013? There were several types of activity going on, some things I did worked, others didn’t and were very frustrating. The on line activity of promoting events on Facebook was easy and high profile. Finding people who would actually spend time doing things was not easy and because I didn’t have a team (other than Wojtek Narębski in town) many of the things we did were not successful in terms of fund raising. I am not sure what the lesson is. It would have been possible to give up, or say, better not to start until you have a team. I think that an alternative view is that if you believe in a cause you just keep going.
The Statue Design and Build
The scale of the work connected to statue design and build,the planning permission, construction permits is hard to put into words. This was led by Kazimerz Cholewa some input from Wojtek Narębski. They did so much work towards getting the statue built and it would have been very difficult for anyone else to have managed the complexity of such a project.
The planning, the casting the paper work, the physical hard labour, are not adequately shown. This video of the transportation perhaps gives a sense of the work involved.
The budget of 55,000 zloty was somewhat over GBP11,000, and included a lot of people working for free or at cost. We decided we wanted a high quality bronze that would last for generations. As I discovered, raising so much money was almost beyond me.
Fundraising This effort can be compared to a leaflet drop or direct mailing. We made many tries, most of them ineffective and had a lucky break. I told friends that fund raising is not my strength, and I lacked someone to support me in doing the work needed, other than the tireless Wojtek Narębski. The first major donation of GBP 1000 (about 5000 złoty) was from Krystyna Ivell who herself organised Wojtek events in London and published an album about Wojtek.
Doing the event did help spread the word about the Wojtek history. However, my business brain told me that the amount of time and trouble we spent to raise such funds was irrational. We got 905 złoty and I had the strong realisation that this was not an effective use of Wojtek’s energy and time, mine or the other people involved. When I saw Wojtek putting his own money in the tin I felt positively uneasy. We didn’t have other ideas at this stage, and were getting lots of verbal as opposed to financial support.
Krystyna Sadowska from Krakow Technology Park suggested that she could get us in front of a group of the most successful business people in the region at their Annual Business in Małopolska gala event. Barbara Wityńska also helped. Things ran late and Wojtek Narębski and I spent a long time waiting to go on stage for three minutes to talk about the statue, received warm applause and about 420 złoty over the next few days. If it had been possible to send people to the tables with collecting tins, I think we could have raise much more. There are formats involving auctions where donors are visible. But I didn’t have the time or people to help me do that kind of thing. After taking Wojtek Narębski home, I gave a presentation at the Talking Dog festival on the same evening.
People suggested that we do a Kickstarter, Indiegogo or Polak Potrafi campaign and with Wojtek Narębski and Kazimierz Cholewa we recorded a number of videos. Here is Wojtek in English and Polish I did a recording with him here with filmed ourselves together here and Kazimierz Cholewa here Ewa Spohn offered to be the UK Fundraising vehicle (you needed to be a resident in the UK to use Kickstarter). However I had heard from many sources that you shouldn’t start a campaign unless there is a PR initiative prepared, and I didn’t find a volunteer to do this. Maybe the video appeals helped, but I don’t know.
One of Krakow’s most successful companies Integer SA Inpost posted links to our project on their Facebook page.
There was work on the web page and leaflets (thanks to Agata Dziekan, Piotr Synowiec and Józef Wieczorek. The Pomnikwojtka.pl page didn’t really work. Józef Wieczorek;s blog did. This was mainly my fault as I struggled with WordPress, The webpage did enable people to give money from foreign countries. If you want to give a donation to the Park even now, you can here though if you have a Polish bank account it lis better to do it direct via the Park’s website here
The Żagań Wojtek statue
Wioletta Sosnowska and her school in Żagań organised the first Polish Wojtek statue, and has worked tirelessly to promote the history. This was unveiled on 3rd June 2013 and Katy Carr, Agata Dziekan, Dorota Kulawiak, Wojciech Narębski a delegation from the UK, attended.
This triumph helped mobilise us all, with the knowledge that a Wojtek statue really was possible, and gave us a renewed sense of shared purpose.
Educational events about Wojtek’s history
Marek Wisniewski, Sławomir Ptaszkiewicz helped organised a workshop with Wojtek Narębski and Ewelina Olaszek about the Wojtek history for youth groups in Maly Rynek in Krakow. A report on local TV here covered the event. ( 7.49). We raised 20 złoty.
At the National Army Museum in Krakow, at an event in which I was not involved Robert Garcarzyk read the story in Wojtek in Silesian Language and Wojtek Narębski told the Wojtek history
It was here that the breakthrough happened when a friend Andrew Targosz – a local businessman – who was there with his children – heard how we were struggling to raise the money we needed. A couple more conversations led us to agree that we would cover the remaining costs between the two of us. While I always intended to make up any shortfall had never wanted the funding of the project to be covered by me alone. I realised that thanksto Andrzej Targosz we had a chance to have the project completed by the 18th May Monte Cassino anniversary.
I want Wojtek’s statue in Park Jordana to be a catalyst for further propagating information about the history surrounding Wojtek – and fund raising for the Park. I hope that authorised miniatures of the Statue can be sold with profits going to the Park; that some self financing programme of guides and information can be developed so that the increased awareness of Wojtek leads to increased knowledge of history.
I very much hope that other Wojtek projects – including the Scottish one that inspired me in the first place – are successfully completed. If other people want to lead they can count on my support. If people reading this want to help take this project forward, they can contact me and I will suggest things that they can do. I hope someone else will lobby for a Postage Stamp of Wojtek. Additional statues in other places where people might not know the story would be fantastic. And I hope teachers the world over will use Wojtek to help inspired their pupils to learn, think and be aware of what history means,
The most enduring personal benefits for me of this entire project has been the privilege of getting to know so many wonderful people, and none is more inspiring that Professor Wojtek Narębski. If I ever feel tired, demotivated or down, I remind myself that there are people like him and he – like Wojtek – motivates me to keep going.
Long list of helpers – alphabetical order
Ryszard Antolak, Vic Baczor, Wojciech Batko, John Beauchamp, Joanna Berdyn, Mark/Marta Bradshaw , Christine Bojen, Marusia Bucknall-Kowalyszyn , Katy Carr, Katy Carr Simon Daley, Professor Norman Davies, Agata Dziekan, Brendan Foley Agnieszka Gis, Vivian Glenn, Nick Hodge, Will Hood, Adam Irski, Krystyna Ivell, Anna Kret Dorota Kulawiak, Mike Levy, Edward Lucas, David McGirr, Kat Mansoor, Wojtek Narebski, Jonathan Ornstein, Garry Paulin, Katarzyna Pętlak-Długosz, Patryk Polec., Angela Riccomi, Raymond Ross, Wioletta Sosnowska, Andrzej Targosz, Billy Stewart, Krzysztof Strzałka, Piotr Synowiec, Kamil Tchorek, Simon Thompson, Andy Traverse (Szawlugo) Łukasz Wierzbicki, Aleksandra Wojcik, Michalina Ziemba
Wojtek unveiling speech (not quite what I delivered but more or less what I wanted to say)
When I had the idea of building a Wojtek Statue in Krakow back in 2008, I didn’t imagine such a wonderful statue in such a perfect location. I am very proud to be associated with the rediscovering and publicising of this part of Poland’s history. but I do not want to focus on this. There are three important things that we should focus on today.
The Wojtek story, the story of this statue, is not about me, my generation, or even young people. Wojtek is a Polish hero who is associated with the fight for freedom. Poland needs popular and attractive symbols and through Wojtek the whole world can hear, learn and identify with Poland’s history. In Putin’s Moscow people are daring to say positive things about the USSR was something positive. Through Wojtek we remember what the Soviet Union really stood for. Children love to hear about Wojtek. Wojtek’s journey teaches them history.
I want to say thank you. thank you to many generous people who gave their time and money to make this happen. This statue was build with private funds, not your taxes. I will mention Professor Wojtek Narebski – today in Monte Cassino – who remembers Wojtek the Soldier bear. Krystyna Ivell who flew from London and was the first major donor. Both survived the Anders Trek. Prezes Kazimierz Cholewa of Park Jordana, and those who worked with him and Andrzej Targosz whose generosity means that the statue stands here today, Some are here today, others are far away. Please with me, now show your appreciation owe them all. We are united by promoting the memory of Wojtek and those who fought and died with him.
Lastly, I want to tell everyone here that I hope this statue is not the end of Wojtek’s journey. it’s the end of a chapter in the book of Krakow and Poland’s history. I hope there will be other statues, and other Wojtek projects. around Poland and the world. Wojtek belongs in the hearts and minds of people around the world. If teachers, parents, children, patriots everywhere can be inspired by this statue to launch their own projects in schools, to paint, sing, act – then surely this Statue is something we can be very proud of.
More tourists will surely visit this beautiful Park. More people will know about Wojtek, More people will know about the heroism of General Anders and his army. More people will know about the crimes of Stalin. Surely that is something we can all be proud of. Thank you very much for bringing Wojtek to Krakow.
Kiedy w 2008 roku przyszedł mi do głowy pomysł by w Krakowie zbudować pomnik niedźwiedzia Wojtka, nawet nie wyobrażałem sobie tak wspaniałego dzieła w tak doskonałej lokalizacji .
Rozpiera mnie duma, że jestem zaangażowany w odkrycie na nowo i promocję tej części historii Polski, ale nie chcę skupiać się wyłącznie na tym. Są trzy bardzo ważne kwestie, których istotę powinniśmy dziś podkreślać.
W historii Wojtka i w historii tego pomnika nie chodzi o mnie, moje pokolenie, czy też nawet pokolenie młodych ludzi . Wojtek jest przede wszystkim polskim bohaterem, który jest związany z walką o wolność. Polska potrzebuje popularnych i interesujących symboli i dlatego właśnie dzięki Wojtkowi cały świat będzie mógł usłyszeć, poznać i identyfikować się z historią Polski. Through Wojtek we remember what the Soviet Union really stood for.
Dzieci uwielbiają słuchać o Wojtku, a podróż sympatycznego niedźwiadka uczy ich historii .
Dziś przede wszystkim chciałbym podziękować wielu ludziom dobrej woli, którzy poświęcili swój czas i pieniądze by doprowadzić do tego wydarzenia. Bo warto pamiętać, że pomnik ten został zbudowany ze środków prywatnych, a nie z pieniędzy podatników. Chciałbym wspomnieć właśnie dziś, w rocznicę bitwy o Monte Cassino, profesora Wojtka Narębskiego, który pamięta Wojtka żołnierza niedźwiedzia. Chciałbym wspomnieć o Krystynie Ivell, która przyleciała z Londynu i była pierwszą z głównych darczyńców. Oboje przeżyli Anders Trek . Dziękuję prezesowi Towarzystwa Parku Jordana, Kazimierzowi Cholewie oraz jego współpracownikom. Dziękuję także Andrzejowi Targoszowi, którego szczodrość spowodowała , że dziś możemy oglądać ten pomnik. Niektórzy z wymienionych są tu dzisiaj z nami, niektórzy nie mogli nam towarzyszyć. Proszę, pokażmy im dziś wszystkim nasze uznanie i wdzięczność. Połączyła nas chęć rozpowszechniania pamięci o Wojtku oraz tych, którzy walczyli i zginęli wraz z nim .
Podsumowując moją wypowiedź, chciałbym wyrazić nadzieję na to, że pomnik nie będzie końcem podróży Wojtka . To koniec jedynie pewnego rozdziału na kartach Krakowa i historii Polski.
Mam także nadzieję, że zarówno w Polsce jak i na świecie powstaną inne pomniki i projekty dotyczące niedźwiedzia Wojtka.
Wojtek jest w sercach naszych i umysłach ludzi na całym świecie. I myślę, że z pewnością będziemy mogli być bardzo dumni jeśli nauczyciele, rodzice, dzieci i patrioci będący w różnych zakątkach świata zainspirują się naszym pomnikiem i uruchomią w szkołach własne projekty, za pomocą plastyki, śpiewu czy innego rodzaju artystycznych występów.
Więcej turystów z pewnością odwiedzi ten piękny park. Więcej osób będzie wiedzieć o Wojtku , więcej ludzi będzie wiedzieć o bohaterstwie gen. Andersa i jego armii. Więcej osób będzie wiedzieć także o zbrodniach Stalina.
I ten efekt to na pewno coś z czego wszyscy możemy być bardzo dumni.
Bardzo dziękuję za sprowadzenie Wojtka do Krakowa .
Richard Lucas May 2014
Introduction Kinga Skorupska is part of the TED and TEDx Community – and through the OTP is one of those people who make TED talks available to those would would struggle with English. It’s a pleasure to share info about what she is up to with a wider audience
Please introduce yourself, who are you, what do you do and where are you from ? My name is Kinga Skorupska, I am a Polish Language Coordinator at TED Open Translation Project and a member of TEDxWarsaw team.
Were you supported by family and friends or did they think you are crazy? My family liked that I was doing something that made me happy and that I was learning at the same time, but a lot of my friends thought I was crazy! Back then hardly anyone except for hardcore nerds and people in the industry heard about TED and it was common for me to hear „You work for free! Why?”
Can you describe what you do for OTP, and what the point is? As TED and TEDx stand right now in many parts of Europe they are quite English-centric, because they want to be attractive to international guests. So without translations TEDx and TED remain inaccessible to a large part of the local community – especially to older people and children. I hope this will change, if not through direct participation, then thanks to localized websites and translated talks. This is why Language Coordinators like me devote their time to oversee the quality of translations, recruit and mentor volunteers, write translation manuals and organize training workshops.
You’ve been active in both TED/ OTP, TEDx, and I’ve heard other projects What and who inspires and motivates you? Why did you decide to get involved? I became a member of the OTP right after the project was announced, as I was studying English Philology at that time and I wanted practice in translation. I had already been a fan of TED for a few years at that point and as I translated more I realized that is the best way to appreciate and really understand the talks. Then I started sharing them with my family and friends, I exchanged emails with other translators and we became friends. I met Krystian at TEDxWarsaw, TEDxKraków and then he invited me to be a remote member of TEDxYouth@Kraków core team – after I learned more about TEDx it was natural to reach out to the TEDxWarsaw team..I am active in the OTP because I want our translators to feel like they are part of a community – it’s easy to forget when you stare at pixels for hours. Contributing to TEDx is a bit different, because there are more team meetings, phone calls, direct discussion and then the grand event. The OTP also attracts more introverted people who like TED and TEDx and just want to translate the talks. It’s great motivation to see your translation appreciated, but it’s not always enough to keep interest in the project – the knowledge, connections and friendships you form on the way ultimately are why you stay.
What did you find most challenging, stressful? That was the very beginning, back in late 2009. As there was no imposed time limit for translating talks the first task took me well over two months to complete – I wanted my first translation to be perfect. Of course I was clueless at that point, so a few months later, after getting pointers from Krystian Aparta (thank you!) I asked TED staff to reassign it to me and changed it again. Then finally, Rysia Wand did the review and still changed so many things…I had a lot to learn!
What are the biggest elements of the workload that are not visible to outsiders? There tens of thousands of TEDx talks available for transcription and translation, alongside TED-Ed and TED talks. A 15-minute talk means about 20 hours of work in total, with 6 steps to complete on the way: transcription (original language subtitles), review of the transcription, approval of the transcription and then translation, the review and the approval again. Each of these tasks requires a certain set of skills, so a knowledge transfer has to occur ideally for every new member – for this we use OTPedia, social media and comments in Amara, our translation platform. Giving good feedback on tasks is crucial and then there is the research, terms, and my nemesis: punctuation – why can’t we just do away with these teeny scribbles?
What would you describe as your key roles and contribution? I am a Polish Language Coordinator and as such I approve translated talks and give feedback to volunteers. Other than that I write English and Polish content for OTPedia: http://translations.ted.org/wiki/Polish and last year I started organizing a community of OTP translators around TEDxWarsaw, with increasingly more regular meetings and training workshops. I hope our example will inspire more cooperation between TEDx and OTP around the world and spark a sense of belonging for OTP members– the TEDxWarsaw team has been incredibly supportive in these goals. Thank you!
What was the most unexpected, funniest and strangest TEDx experiences and what are you most proud of? We organized an international OTP workshop after this year’s TEDxWarsaw and meeting other OTP translators has been a blast! After the workshop we had a sightseeing tour of Warsaw – we fed animals in Łazienki Park, and saw a live deer there – when does that ever happen?! Sure it rained a bit when we got to the Old Town, but it really didn’t matter. I have heard that we are leading the world in TEDx and OTP cooperation, and that makes me proud, grateful and happy – is there one word for these emotions combined? Sure could use it now.
What do you say when you meet someone who hasn’t heard of TED.com or TEDx, does it happen often. Lately more often people have heard about TEDx but haven’t heard about TED, which just shows how big of an impact TEDx has on our society – Kudos! When that happens I explain the concept, show them a talk they may like and tell them to ask me later how they can contribute.
How did you come into contact with TED? I always wanted to know a bit about everything. First it’s great for creative writing. Second, it’s great for connecting with people. It helps you see and understand how what they love and do is interesting. So in my quest for understanding I browsed a private educational tracker for free lectures, and found the first bundle of TED talks – that got me hooked.
Which are your favorite TED talks and why? I absolutely loved John Hodgman’s “Aliens, love – where are they?” – it was heartwarming, lyrical and quite geeky. Other than that I love talks about life sciences, physics and astronomy, for example Brian Greene’s talk “Why is our universe fine-tuned for life?”.(in Polish here: http://www.ted.com/talks/brian_greene_why_is_our_universe_fine_tuned_for_life?language=pl)
What advice would you give to anyone who is considering getting involved in TEDx or the OTP, or starting a new project? Don’t try to do it all by yourself and don’t be afraid to ask for help! There are plenty of enthusiastic and reliable people who are actually happy to help. Krystian and Rysia helped me learn to be a better translator and encouraged me to try things out. Magdalena Daniel has been an awesome help when it comes to organizing the TEDxWarsaw OTP sub-team. TEDxWarsaw team, Mateusz, Milada, Adam, Ralph all supported our efforts to bring the translators together, as part of the bigger community and make them feel appreciated.
What interesting and/or strange facts can you tell us about yourself than most people don’t know about? I love games: board games, competitive computer games and pen&paper RPGs. My hobby led me from being a Game Master for Warhammer and WOD to becoming a Deputy Commander on the World of Tanks battlefields. I coded a bit for a MUD. I am also learning freestyle rollerskating.
What are you working on at the moment, what’s next and what will you think of as a success in 5-10 years from now. I translate movies, games and work part-time as a small business assistant and teacher, but I love sf and creative writing, so in 5 years I expect I will have published my book set in the HQ of a post-SETI group operating covertly in a dystopian society.
What is the biggest impact TED and TEDx has had on your life? Because of TED I met smart, open-minded and fun people and I stopped worrying about fitting in. As my friend put it, I became awkwardly social, more self-confident and as a result – happier. TED and TEDx celebrate human connection and curiousity and when these two meet innovation and knowledge are born, but you have to have the courage to admit you that you want and need to learn. I am trying to contribute to the community in such a way as to create a similar experience for others.
Anything else you’d like to tell us:
Sure! Join us, it’s easy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nua96nvklF4
Soon, we are organizing another TEDxWarsaw/OTP Translatathon so if you are free on the 1st of June show up and we will show you the ropes.
Find out more here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/OTPWaw/