I ran my first marathon this year.
I’m far from a runner but have been inspired by my new found running legs. They have given me time to myself, a space to breath and feel my strength, and approach some pretty difficult transitions head on.
More than anything, my running legs have allowed me to be an explorer and create my own adventures. And 2016 has been all about exploring and leaning into opportunities, challenges, and adventures. It’s been a wild road of new and old, but it’s taught me a lot about myself, what work means to me, and friendship.
I’ve had to make some tough decisions over the past few months which has meant letting go of projects that are important to me. After over three years, I decided to step away from CycleHack. From the inception of the idea to building the brand through the past three events - CycleHack has weaved its way through my life. With gratitude, excitement and sadness - the time is right to walk away.
After two TEDxPortobello events, I decided to step away as curator and pass the baton onto a new inspiring crew of leadership. TEDxPortobello has taught me a great deal about imagination and what we are capable of together. I’m forever grateful to the people I have met along the way.
Despite saying goodbye, I’m so proud of the work this year. It’s been creative, challenging, and allowed me to work alongside some inspiring people.
In January I launched my consultancy Go Jo to bring together my creative facilitation, project design, and event management activity. I had no idea where this would take me and I'm so excited to look back. Some of my favourite work was with Dani at Tribe Porty, Lorna and Bill at TEDxAbertay University, and the National Library of Scotland on redesigning the Library of 2025 and create a Library Lab.
Cyclehack saw another fantastic year with 25 cities participating in the global event over the same weekend in June. Loads of fantastic hacks were developed over the weekend. Check out some of the highlights of the weekend here.
TEDxPortobello 2016 was a total success! With another sell out crowd, fantastic speakers, and hundreds of people watching the online stream - I'm so proud of the team and the community for helping this special space grow. Read more of my reflections here.
After a year of hard work and lots of redesigning, we launched the new Innovative Learning Week and later went on to win the Educational Event of the Year in Scotland. Thanks to amazing Snook, we were able to create a new festival of creative learning that spoke to the needs of our student/staff community and allowed us to experiment, play, and make together in a more meaningful and effective way.
It was a pleasure to be able to share some of my experiences from speaking at the Creative Edinburgh's Creative Corporate Love event to the Scottish Institute of Enterprise dinner with young entrepreneurs. They are such valuable opportunities to reflect on the work and engage with a new community of people.
In June, I started a new position at Edinburgh University managing the brand new MasterCard Foundation Scholars Programme. For the past six months, we’ve built a team, a programme, and recruited 12 of the most amazing Scholars you’ll ever meet. It's been an absolute dream job and I’ve learned so much. I can’t wait to see where we go. Read more about the programme here.
By far, my favourite part of any project is the people and there are have been some fantastic ones.
Thank you to Dani, Bob and Alan for being you - constant inspirations, awesome people, and teaching me all I know about friendship and love. To Chris, Steve, Keith, and Geoffrey - I’m constantly inspired by your skills, talents, and willingness to roll up your sleeves. Thank you for your kindness and compassion. Esther, Simon, Gerry, Leah, Mel, Sophie, Arran, and Eugenia - it’s been such a pleasure to work with you and be a witness to your shine. Silje - thank you for all your hard work and putting your whole heart into what you do. To James, Roy, Barbara, Christina, Steve, and Derek - working with you is both meaningful and the most fun I’ve ever had. Thank you for having faith, putting in the work, and caring so much - and for the coffee. Thank you to Lorna for being my first Go Jo gig! Sarah, you amaze me and I’m so happy to not only work with you - but share beers and good chats often. Jen and Sarah, you are wonderful strong women and our friendship inspires me beyond words - even if it's just over What's App these days. My dearest Mark, Haley, Elise, Roberta, Tilly, Mom and Dad - I’m grateful everyday for having you in my corner.
Here's to another year full of long runs and bigger adventures x