Last night I wrote a listicle of 14 things that I have learned this year that I need to remember (and some of those may help you so go scan read!). Now, here are two projects for 2015 that are exciting, and will need more than just me and Immy.
Spoken Word Festival
One of the many, many experiences that have brought me to tears, or defo having to bite my lip very hard not to cry – was listening to young spoken word artists. It struck me that one way of really hearing a lot more of this, learning more about it and championing these young geniuses who craft and deliver this poetry would be a festival. Yep, the Festival of Code but for words. If you don’t know what I mean by spoken word then here is George the Poet, doing it:
I spoke to Immy Kaur about it and she is *in* which is great. It has got as far as what, where and when, not much else has been thought through, but it will!
This is the current plan, (timing may change, location and format will not):
- 100 young people (top age 25 is the current thought, this can be influenced!)
- One week of working in groups or alone to write and rehearse a new poem, based on four themes (yet to be decided). This is not done in one place, you would do this in your own homes or your friends’, (this may change!)
- The Saturday is performance day, with everyone coming together (hopefully at Immy’s Impact Hub in Birmingham – Kickstarter here :)) and to perform and listen
- There will be heats in the morning and final in the afternoon: a judging panel of suitably good people will filter X Factor style the winners for each of the four themes – plus an overall winner
- There will be prizes, food, music, fun stuff
- There will be an after party
If this works then we may well look at doing it again and following the Festival of Code format grow it to multi-centres and a whole weekend – but we are starting with this.
Operation Rebrand ‘Wimmin in tech’
This year I have spoken at many schools and on many platforms, supposedly inspiring girls into technology. One day I accidentally did it in heels and a GORGEOUS skirt from Ted Baker, because I was headed somewhere amazing afterwards. This time it was to a room full of 600 girls in a school in Streatham. I was amazed to discover how much more interested and engaged they were. So I have a plan.
In 2015 I am going to gather a group of women in technology fields, covering everything from coding to media tech. Then every month hire four incredible cars and buy four incredible outfits and pairs of shoes for four of these ladies. Then visit a school, or a group of school children gathered in one place – sweeping up one lady geek per car, deliver an assembly followed by a careers workshop.
I hope that after 12 months of doing this (one per month but not starting until at least February! so this will have to bleed into 2016) we will have significantly rebranded the image of geekery, technology, women and science in the minds of young people, inspired them to look at technical careers and opened their minds to what technology, or indeed all STEM subjects, could actually deliver for them.
If you want to be one of the women to take part, or if you are a school and want this to come to you, or you want to help us find a good supplier of glamorous cars for hire, or you have an idea for who might want to back this project email me: firstname.lastname@example.org
That’s it, those are my two projects for 2015 – that and I will be working full time in suitable paid employ, more news on that when I have finished interviews and (hopefully) actually have a job to tell you about!!
Happy New Year, everyone, please do share your own projects and ideas and link to them in the comments – it is exciting to see what everyone is going to be doing!