Making space to explore new opportunities

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Having left a top job in Vodafone at the end of February, after six highly productive and enjoyable years, the timing was perfect for me to fulfil an ambition that I have been nursing for quite a while.

I’m boarding a plane for Austin, Texas next week to experience the legendary tech, cultural and culinary extravaganza that is SXSW. It’s a long way to go to see your own mayor speak – as Sadiq Khan will be there flying the flag for London – but I would never get to see the likes of Melinda Gates, Bernie Sanders, Spike Lee and Bob Odenkirk in my everyday life. Not in one week.

Although I do really want a selfie with Bob (of Breaking Bad and Better Call Saul fame) that’s not the only reason I’m going. If words got awards for being overused, ‘convergence’ would win an Oscar for lifetime achievement. However, I can’t find a better one right now for what this event represents. Business, digital, art, film, music, comedy, food – everything I’m interested in – all mashed together on one huge plate. I can’t wait.

I’m planning to write down a few thoughts about my experiences there – provided I have the time between queuing for keynotes, finding out what kind of music ‘nerdcore’ is, and wondering whether I need to pack my kagoule (archaic term for lightweight waterproof jacket) in my backpack every day.

Taking a trip to the frontline of creative ideas will also help me decide which field to work in next, and give me more to contribute when I land in a new place.

That’s the plan anyway. It should be fun too.

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