With just a few days to go I thought I’d scribble down why I decided to bring Good for Nothing to Nottingham. I’m no great writer but really thinking about GFN Nottingham has given me that ‘goose bumps’, ‘butterflies in your tummy’, ‘shivers down your spine’ kind of feeling. In fact it’s reminded me of when I was sat in an aeroplane, 12,000ft above the ground waiting do a skydive …. bloody excited but hoping to billy-oh that the parachute was going to open.
So theres two main things you should know about why I’m bringing GFN to Nottingham …
Thing One … I’ve spent all of my career in large organisations. Places where everything you need is kind of just ‘there’. You’re surrounded by amazingly talented people with great knowledge & expertise, the ‘way things are done around here’ is just known and knowing that feels really good. There’s an abundance of pens, paper, flipcharts and (my all time favourite) A5 post-its. If you need to print something, well you just print it. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges – cause there are – but there’s a comfort that comes from working in a large organization. And being comfortable can feel great.
But being comfortable can also mean that you become a bit insular. You don’t always see what’s right on your doorstep. And in not seeing, you can miss out on so much.
In February this year I left one of those large organisations and you know what, there’s plenty that I miss. But leaving has meant I’m discovering the stuff that’s going on right on my doorstep. I’m learning about creative places you can work like antenna &petal, I’m discovering about the great networks that exist likeSecond Wednesday and GeekUp Nottingham, I’m spending time with people who are involved in the Creative Quarter and drinking delicious hot chocolate in great cafes like Wired.
I’m getting to see that there’s an energy in this City that I didn’t really know about before. I could sit here lamenting that I didn’t know about it or I could collide that new knowledge with my second ‘thing’
Thing Two … I’ve followed Good for Nothing for a couple of years now and in conversation with Tom, Tom, Dan and Steve (the GFN Founders) had been looking for an opportunity to collaborate. There’s so much about the ‘ethos’ of GFN that resonates with me. I love creating something from nothing. Doing that by tapping into the incredible creative potential that exists in all of us is why I go to work every day. I also believe that we all need meaning in our lives – that spending time doing stuff that has purpose – real, make the world a bit better purpose - is where & how we begin to feel truly fulfilled.
So when the guys said they were spreading the GFN love and they were looking for new chapter leaders across the UK it was a no-brainer for me to stick my hand up in a ‘pick me, pick me’ kind of stylie!
Ten weeks ago, GFN Nottingham didn’t exist. I had no idea who I was going to collaborate with to make it happen. I didn’t have the skills to create engaging graphics let alone get anything printed. I wasn’t even sure which social entrepreneurs might need some help or whether Nottingham would like what it saw with ‘GFN Nottingham’. I certainly didn’t have (and still don’t have) any A5 post-its!
So with four days to go until the first GFN Nottingham how am I feeling?
I’m feeling like I’m sat in an aeroplane, about to jump - but knowing that there’s a bunch of folk who are right there with me. That on the way down, during free fall we’re probably gonna do some sort of kick-ass, acrobatic formation. I’ve no idea exactly what it’ll look like but I’m pretty sure we’ll be smiling when we land.
Massive thanks …
… to Lauren @themeetingspace, David @designfoster, Joe@greenerandco, Kim & Adam @freshbagcoffee, Tres & Vanessa @wiredcafebar, Beccy @beccyspur, Sunita@newtrition, Tony @fastgraphicsnot, Graeme @CmcPhotoLtd,
… to the 30 folk who have already signed up to come along to our first GFN, Nottingham
… to everyone who’s helping us to spread the word
Not signed up yet? What are you waiting for?!