My first year back in the UK. Here’s what happened.

A year ago I returned from 16 months travelling around the world. Here’s what’s happened since:

  • I was only in the UK for two weeks, then jumped back on a plane across the Atlantic. I spent an inspiring week at the first ever International Summit of Cooperatives in Quebec City learning about the state we’re in and the call for a new economy. I also had a small disagreement with Peter Marks, then the CEO of The Cooperative Group.
  • From Quebec I headed down to the US to spend two weeks with the WorldBlu team, exploring freedom centred leadership at BluCamp.
  • Inspired by the coops summit, I came back home and set up The Brightoneers in order to build a community around a better vision for the local economy. The launch meet-up almost got out of hand with 150 people registered, and the group now has over 300 members with over 20 meet-ups held. It’s been fun, but now needs much more focus and a specific goal. Still thinking about that.
  • Through The Brightoneers I got in touch with Dan Webb of Good Money. We’ve been talking on and off about creating complementary currencies to work around some of the problems with our broken money systems. Hoping we’re going to make something interesting happen in this area before long.
  • I spent a few months working as a WorldBlu Ambassador, helping to build the movement of democratic workplaces. I focussed most of my attention here in Brighton and the city now has one of the greatest densities of WorldBlu-certified democratic workplaces in the world. Nice.
  • I learnt about mindfulness and started practicing meditation. This is potentially life-changing but also highlighted just how much of a day-dreamer I am and how I struggle to hold my attention on anything. Still a lot to learn and improve.
  • I joined the awesome new consultancy colab as a non-exec director. The founder, John Shewell is one of the most purpose-driven people I know. He’s on a mission to transform public policy and enable communities to drive the changes they need to increase wellbeing for all. We also have a hell of a great laugh working together.
  • My travel-weary body has been slowly getting back to a respectable level of fitness. Got back into running, triathlon, mountain biking, road cycling and took up Crossfit. Seem to be having an annoying number of little niggly injuries though which is annoying.
  • Since May, I’ve been working with Wired Sussex getting a bunch of activities started to provide learning and support for creative & digital entrepreneurs. We just finished a wonderful pilot project, The FuseBox Amp, which the inspiring participants enjoyed a lot. This made me very happy! It was certainly one of the most interesting projects I’ve ever worked on.
  • I started working a lot with Charlie Davies. A fool and a genius, Charlie has taught me so much about developing Very Clear Ideas, the true essence and nature of money and about how the purpose of a company comes from its founder. He’s become a great friend too.
  • My sister Tess had a baby and I become an uncle to a beautiful baby boy. Yay!
  • I’ve had some other lovely trips – mountain biking in Afan, Wales; snowboarding in Austria; and a wedding in up-state New York which was absolute carnage.
  • The irresistible lure of NixonMcInnes, the company I founded and left in 2011, has proved strong and I’ve been hanging out there a lot recently. I think founders always have a special relationship with an initiative and it’s a great place to be exploring exciting new ideas. More about this soon.

All in all, a pretty amazing year. I wonder what the next 12 months have in store.

2 thoughts on “My first year back in the UK. Here’s what happened.

    • Cheers Tim. You need to put in a fair amount of time to get the new practices bedded in so I really recommend doing an 8-week MBSR course – one evening per week plus daily meditation practice. It stands for Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction, but it’s not all about stress – it’s good for everyone. I did it with Mindfulness Sussex near Haywards Heath but there are practitioners in Brighton too if you do a bit of googling.

      The Headspace app on iphone/android is also very good if you really don’t want to commit to a proper programme, but it’s easy to not stick to it and see your mindfulness journey peter out. Also, learning in a group means you can share your experiences – it’s fascinating and reassuring to hear others talking about what’s happening for them which is often very different to you. If you learn on your own using an app you might not be sure if what you’re experiencing is right. Good luck!

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