May 24, 2018

Ann Healey – Lunchtime Sessions

The Idea

Tupac Shakur said “During your life, never stop dreaming. No one can take away your dreams”. The importance of daydreaming should never be underestimated. Daydreaming allows for creative discovery. Sometimes with the abundance of information available to us, we stop allowing ourselves the time to engage in this activity. London is a busy city, and if we are not ‘on the go’ we tend to be online. In an effort to put my phone away, and put the practice of daydreaming into my daily routine, the concept of Lunchtime Sessions popped into my head, amidst the crush of commuters and announcements of further delays on my early morning journey to GSM London.

In the classroom, we teach a lot of theory, and place importance on putting that theory into practice. It’s one thing to know a theory, but quite another to live it and so this semester, Business Management with Creative Industries and Small Business and Social Enterprise students teamed up to deliver the first Lunchtime Sessions at GSM London.

Creativity is a crucial aspect of a post-industrial economy, but it’s not just about the money.  Creativity helps to promote a sense of well-being as well as encourage social cohesion within communities and so inspired by such events as Radio 1Xtra’s Fire in the Booth and the live streaming of many radio shows, Lunchtime Sessions quite literally emerged to provide students with some experience of working together in a business to start to build a creative community within GSM London.

Initially intended for Business Management with Creative Industries students, Small Business and Social Enterprise students were invited in order to encourage students from different programmes to network and take charge of their student community.

Just Do It

Dan Weiden of advertising company Weiden + Kennedy  could not have put it better in the slogan that they created for Nike – sometimes in life, you have to ‘Just Do It’. Some of the most effective and efficient learning can occur as a result of saying “Yes” to opportunity. Everyone who took part in Lunchtime Sessions came with this very attitude.

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Our initial meeting was short! It was to outline some ideas and decide upon a date for the first Lunchtime Session. The students volunteered for various roles according to their individual strengths and knowledge. The poster was designed by Leah Griffiths in under a week. It was this ‘Just Do It’ attitude that got this event off the ground so quickly.

From the outset, the students were in charge. They would produce the content, and project manage the event. The first session was run as a live dress rehearsal.

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The session running order was put together by the students and included motivational talks as well as music by DJ Tapiwa Kanhemba and a performance by Ashton Jordan.

Leah-Ann Kuria, who was asked last minute to host the session, does a great job keeping the energy up. Here she is talking to Sina Adelaja-Olowoake about his business.

 

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The thumbs up from producer Leah Griffiths. The event was recorded live with help from Charlotte Wigmore from the VLE team. Video content came from Cheryl Svose about her experience performing in a pageant. Commit to what you are passionate about and share it with others. Ashton waits to perform.

6Ashton performs in the dress rehearsal but we had a technical hitch, the sound system did not work. When Adele’s backing music went down at a recent concert, she didn’t stop performing. Great artists have the self belief to keep going, no matter what happens. Success requires not only skill and talent, but the tenacity to never give up, even when the technology lets you down.

After this initial session, we had a short debrief, to discuss any issues and most importantly consider solutions in order to resolve them.

So we came back – Bigger and better than before.

7Of course, as with all projects, there were the people behind the scenes, without whom, nothing would have been possible. Zoe Chisengalumbwe provided invaluable assistance with setup and marketing. A creative project can rarely run effectively without the reliance on a team of people and these often unsung heroes lay the foundation for the end product. This time we had a well organised space and we were ready before anyone arrived. This was essential learning from the first session.

 

8Gerry Lotsu, student representative for Business Management with Creative Industries gives an inspirational talk on creativity and innovation.

Vanessa Ngoma agrees after a short conversation to be one of our DJ’s and she and Leah-Ann look like they are seasoned professionals, providing impromptu comments and questions to the guests.

The plan with Lunchtime Sessions is to learn and evolve. It’s not perfect yet, but as creatives, we are passionate about our product and this passion drives us to strive to be better.  It is this growth mindset that allows us to keep moving forward. We want to form a community of creative students at GSM, who will share their talent, experience and ideas. Creative communities evolve organically. We are passionate, and curious and when given a chance, can, quite literally, promote a sense of well-being and increased happiness within the spaces that we inhabit.

Watch this space, get involved and lookout for Lunchtime Sessions!

 

 

 

 

 

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