This is the final in our series of blogs uncovering the leadership team behind TEDxGlasgow. In our previous blogs, you’ve heard about our curator, Gurjit, our Head of Partnerships, Pauline, our Head of Event Management, Jo, our Head of Marketing & Communications, Cat, and last (but certainly not least) we’d like to introduce our Head of Operations, Iain Delworth.
Tell us a bit about you and your background
I started my own business at the beginning of the year which was a huge leap for me.
After graduating I’d worked for a few national development agencies doing development and consultancy work which I mostly enjoyed but became frustrated because most of the change that we were trying to deliver was top down and didn’t have lasting impact. I decided to start up on my own and haven’t looked back since! Most recently I’ve taken over a company called Miascape which you can find out about below.
When I’m not doing TEDxGlasgow work I am the Managing Director of Miascape. We are a transformational change consultancy that believes change effects and is delivered by people so we need to understand the psychology of change to really make a difference. We focus on changing thinking, not behaviours.
How did you hear about TEDxGlasgow?
A friend of mine posted on Facebook that TEDxGlasgow was having an open evening for people who were interested in getting involved. I was obviously a fan of TED and thought volunteering would be a good use of my skills, as well as the chance to get involved with an interesting organisation.
How did you get involved in TEDxGlasgow?
I went along to the open evening and then to the pub after for a few pints, where I ended up chatting with the Project Manager about what the next steps were. Perhaps not the smartest of moves, as quite quickly she decided I was also going to be the Project Manager alongside her and, after that, well, I’ve never been able to stop!
Tell us a little about your role
Up until recently I was the Project Manager for TEDxGlasgow. Having reviewed our strategy and expanded our plan of work I’m now the Head of Operations. Alongside being responsible for the people management side of things and the finances I work with the team to run the main event. That means managing the project plan, running team meetings, finding and coaching speakers, working with suppliers, chasing the team on actions and lots of other stuff.
We try to deliver change and exposing our audience to new ideas is part of it but real change happens when you get interested parties in a room and set them to work on how they can take our speakers ideas and turn them into action. With my expanded role I lead on trying to make this happen.
What is the biggest challenge in your TEDx role?
Making sure we have an impact. Through our work we want to inspire people to deliver meaningful change in their work or their personal life and making sure everything we do, whether that is the speakers we select or how we facilitate networking at the event has to go back to this. It’s our why. We haven’t got it completely right yet but we are definitely getting there.
What is your favourite TED/TEDxTalk?
I use a lot in my work but here’s some of my favourites. Simon Sinek’s ‘How great leaders inspire action’ because it encapsulates what question great leaders and companies need to answer to be successful; people don’t buy what you do they buy why you do it. I know it’s been mentioned by a few other members of the team already too.
Another is Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s (pronounced Me-high Cheek-sent-me-high, I had to look it up!) ‘Flow, the secret to happiness’ as this is one of the key concepts that underpin Miascape’s work.
Martin Hendry’s ‘Opening a new window to the universe’ is an amazing talk because it breaks down a pretty complex scientific concept (gravitational waves) into something that is accessible and mind-blowing when you start to understand what it could mean for humanity.
Being cheeky, I’m going to add in a final one, Laura Beveridge’s ‘Kids in care: let’s start a revolution’. I had the privilege to coach Laura and her talk was pitch perfect and in it she challenged us to be part of the revolution that will improve the lives of those in care.
What is your favourite thing about TEDx?
We work across the arts, science, technology, design, business and more, so I get to meet some of the most interesting people in Scotland who have amazing stories to tell. We are all about providing a platform for people to share their ideas worth doing so they can inspire our guests to deliver change themselves. It’s inspiring to be part of that change. That and working with such a talented, dedicated and inspiring team!