Below are a selection of projects I have lead on or been involved in over the course of my career. I believe that these show the relevant skills and experience that would enable me to be successful part of the team at Buffer.
If you have any questions or would like more detail then please don't hesitate to contact me.
After spending two years working within a large organisation developing their Innovation Lab I decided to leave and move on to join Impact Hub Birmingham as their lead on Corporate Social Innovation as well as to pursue other freelance opportunities.
Our first job was to run a Kickstarter to raise some initial capital to supplement capital raised from other sources as well as engage the local community in our project and vision. The Kickstarter ended up being successful and was the largest Kickstarter ever completed in Birmingham.
Following the success of the Kickstarter we started a process of collaborative building where the team and the community came together to design and build the Hub. Impact Hub Birmingham opened in June 2015 and is now growing at a rapid rate. In addition to providing a fantastic collaborative workplace we also work on developing socially beneficial projects in an open and inclusive way. A couple of examples of these are Famalam and Open Project Nights
My role at Impact Hub Birmingham requires me to have an extremely extensive knowledge of local private, public and third sector organisations and through this role as well as my previous work I have built up large networks and contacts in organisations all over Birmingham. It also requires me to link large corporate businesses with small new socially conscious startup organisations in Birmingham.
You can read more about Impact Hub Birmingham by reading our partners / investors brochure. Click the below image to be redirected to the site.
You can read more about Impact Hub Birmingham by checking our Mission Roadmap here.
Over the last two years I've been lucky enough to work on various design projects across the business. Below are a few examples.
I was asked to lead on the development of last years Customer Annual Review. The brief was simple and allowed me a lot of room to get creative. Basically we wanted to create something digital, modern and innovative that allowed our customers to really take an active part in shaping how it would end up looking.
I started off trying to figure out how much it would cost to create a website and develop it to suit our needs and then I realised something. Tumblr, a blogging platform that I'd been using for years provided everything I needed without any of the cost or head ache. It was simple to use, intuitive and allowed colleagues and customers to easily submit their content. BromBox was born.
And submit they did. We had videos, poems, letters, even comments wrote on the side of coffee cups. It was raw, unedited customer feedback and gave a level of authenticity that can be lacking in traditional organisation designed reviews. Here are a few shots of the website and some of the feedback we received.
BromBox was initially only open for 3 weeks. After it closed we took the customer submissions and used them to shape our Customer Annual Review. By combining customer input with videos from our Communication teams 50 stories campaign and guest blogs from around the business we ended up with a website rich in content that delivered on answering the concerns our our customers.
Here are a few screen shots.
I have extensive experience of appling for funding through a tender process. In my last job I applied for £32 million in funding to run the entire support systems across 5 boroughs in Northamptonshire. The tender process is highly complex and therefore it has given me extremly valuable experience in applying for funding.
Northants is really great direct experience in relation to the job description for this role. My role has consisted of having to quickly figure out how to design visuals, pathways and process flows for a very complex proposal of which I have no direct experience. In addition I have facilitated sessions within meetings so that I could utilise my teams in depth knowledge and experience to come up with the best possible pathway / plan.
Over the course of the application I have designed for numerous purposes and numerous different markets. Sometimes I'll be designing a customer pathway which highlights the customer journey and removes the back end processes that the customer isn't interested in and at other times I've been making graphics to illustrate our plan to the executive board, tender commissioners and potential partners.
Below are a few examples of some of the designs I have developed. Click to enlarge them and hover your mouse over each image to see the methodology and thinking behind the design.
Earlier in the year I was tasked with writing a report on how we could develop a new feedback system. This task required systems research, collaboration with teams across the business, analysis and design skills. The below photos show a few pages from the report I produced. Click to each image to see it in greater detail and find out the thinking behind each component.
Over the last year I've got involved with a bunch of local causes. Here are a few examples of some of the work that I've done.
I was commissioned by Catalyst to shoot the photography for their rebrand. I worked closely with the super talented local graphic designer Claire Hartley to come up with a brand identity that was young, fresh, modern and interesting to a wide audience.
In collaboration with Claire and Catalyst we decided that we wanted to focus the imagery on the people behind the programme. We wanted colour, vibrancy and life to pop out of the material. To do this I got the team together and headed down to the colourful and vibrant area around the custard factory in Birmingham to shoot. After grabbing the shots Claire added her magic using a hand drawn typeface and quotations from the people involved.
You can read more about the Catalyst project on Claire's blog here.
To say I'm a TED fan is a bit of an understatement. I went through a period of my life where I used to fall asleep watching TED talks on my iPad in bed so it should come as no surprise that when I found out TEDxBrum were advertising a job for a new Chief Storyteller (or Marketing and Communications Director in normal human speak) I jumped at the chance... even if I wasn't really qualified to.
Luckily I managed to convince the TEDxBrum team to give me a shot and I then embarked on without a doubt the most difficult and challenging work experience of my life. TEDxBrum pushed me to the limits, it taught me what I was good at and more importantly it also taught me about my weaknesses and areas I had to improve on. At TEDxBrum I did everything from manage an entire communications and marketing team to franctically running around trying to find a printer who could get us 400 branded lanyards on a days notice.
Working at TEDxBrum meant that for periods of time I was working 80 hour+ weeks. It was hard, really hard but the experience, contacts and skills I gained from it are absolutely invaluable.
Below are a few images that showcase the theme that my marketing team, the wider TEDxBrum team and Birmingham design agency Orb co-designed for the 2013 event.
A bit of info on the theme development can be found over on Orbs website.
The TEDxBrum creative team is amazing this year, to put it into perspective the creative / communications / marketing team this year is bigger than the entire TEDxBrum team was put together last year. This means that we have been able to really push the boat out and get ambitious with our theme.
The theme this year is DIY. DIY is about empowering our local community to get our there, take ownership and deliver something awesome themselves, without waiting for permission.
The creative team decided to create a brand that we could give to the community. It's organic, it's exciting, we don't know where it will take us. We've created the template but the people of Birmingham will decide how to use it.
Every year TEDxBrum picks a charity that we want to promote. This year I'm over the moon to say that we've decided to work with The Big Issue. Earlier in the year I was invited down to Big Issue Birmingham HQ to learn about the work they do and come up with ideas on how we can help.
I came up with the idea of a photography project but not your usual black and white homeless person looking sad rubbish that we have all seen a million times. I wanted to do something that empowered the Big Issue vendors, something a bit different.
The idea is two fold. The first part is going to involve me going around and photographing the vendors but it's more than just photography I want to share their stories, give them voices. I'm going to pair up my photographs with interviews that give an insight into their lives. This may be about their issues and problems but what I really want to do is focus on who they are as people. Who are their favourite football teams, what music do they like etc etc. As I wrote in my blog a lot of people don't see the person underneath the red jacket. I want to try and help change that.
That's only part one though, I'm much much much more excited about part two. I want to give the Big Issue vendors a platform to express themselves so to do this I'm getting a bunch of disposable cameras and handing them out to the vendors to use. I'm giving them a little brief with ideas for shots but for the most part it's up to them to photograph whats important to them. I don't know what I'll get back but I'm sure what I do get will be diverse, exciting and really give an insight to the character and individuality of each and every vendor.
Once I've got the photos I'm going to combine my work with the work of the vendors and exhibit it in the main entrance hall of the Library of Birmingham so that the people of Birmingham get a chance to see for themselves. In addition we are also hosting a exhibition / drinks reception for the TEDxBrum team, our corporate sponsors and the Big Issue photographers later in the year. The idea of getting the grey suit brigade and the Big Issue vendors in the same room should be fantastic.
My hope is that one vendor really gets into it and wants to take photography further. On the day of TEDxBrum 2014 I am leading the Photography team and I'd love to get one of the vendors on the team so that they get some real solid photography work experience that they can take forward and turn into something more.
As you may have noticed by being on this site when I'm not Bromfording or TEDxBrumming or Yoyoing or Karateing I spend a lot of my time snapping snaps. Photography is my biggest passion and over the last five years I have worked hard to get to the point where I can now take that passion and apply it to commercial work. Here is some of my work from the last couple of years.
I was commissioned by Birmingham based clothing label SeventySeven to shoot the look book for their autumn / winter campaign. Shooting to a very specific brief I had to convey their brand identity of edgy urban style in photographic form. Below is a snippet of the catalogue that resulted from my work.
I was asked to shoot the centre fold main article for Take Heart Magazine. One of the images from this shoot was later picked up and used in Digital Camera Magazine, which is the most widely read Photography magazine in the UK and it's French sister publication Photo Lumiere.
FutureShift is a support and investment organisation that aims to create numerous social businesses within the Birmingham and Black Country area over the next year. Once again I teamed up with Claire Hartley to deliver the photography for their branding and visual identity.
Good things happens when people get together. Over the last two years I have built my networks both within the housing sector as well as the wider business and social scene. I was recently ranked 18th on the #PowerPlayers list as well as coming runner up in the Rising Star and Best Blogger categories. Over the last year I have spoke on the main stage at the Northern Housing Consortium Summit as well as for the Chartered Institute of Housing HGD conferences twice. In addition I have guest blogged for the CIH and have a good solid following on my personal blog.
In addition I have built up strong networks outside of the housing community. I am constantly asked to get involved in projects and schemes around Birmingham and have recently spoke at Small Talk and FutureShift festival. In addition I have been asked to speak at Glug Birmingham's digital innovation event. I'm really pleased about this as Glug is a hardcore conference for branding agencies, designers and artists that takes place all over the world from Birmingham to Beijing! I'm looking forward to taking my view on design, from an unconventional background to a new audience.
Here is a video of my talk from the Small Talk event.