This is my personal blog where I write about the things I'm doing, usually things relating to my home city of Sheffield. You can find out more about me here.

Professionally, I run a digital innovation consultancy called Unfolding Innovation.

I also write about technology and innovation at "Suspended Judgement". And I keep a blog with my wife about play and digital parenting called "Appy Families".

I'm @chrisdymond on Twitter.

A Sheffield Digital Festival…

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A few minutes ago a twitter conversation broke out that quickly involved too many people for there to be any room left to chat, so I thought I’d throw this page up to see if the conversation goes anywhere (and credit to Aden Davies - @Aden_76 - for kicking the converdsation off in the first place).

At issue is the question of whether it makes sense, and is practicable, to combine several (or many!) small local digital conferences and events into one huge digital festival in Sheffield?

Here’s a Storify of the conversation.

And in addition to the ones mentioned in that thread, Herb and I could possibly also organise a TEDxSheffield to coincide, and there’s Leila Johnson’s Hack Circus, and Hackers and Makers as well perhaps?

Comment away people!

The UTC needs Creative and Digital Media projects!

For the last couple of years, I’ve been involved with the Sheffield University Technical College as a director and governor, and general representative of the creative and digital community in school affairs. It’s a brilliant institution, and is fast becoming the model for other UTCs around the country. The staff there have done a really tremendous job to build such an exciting school to train the next generation of designers, creatives and engineers right in the heart of Sheffield’s Creative Industries Quarter.

Perhaps the greatest thing about the UTC model is that it relies on employers and students working together on curriculum-relevant projects all year round. This practical connection to the industry and the world of work does so much to contextualise the lessons and create relationships - it greatly accelerates the students’ learning and ability to find employment when they leave.

However, it is, of course, reliant on

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Leaving Crossover..

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For the last 6 months, I have been standing in for Mark Atkin, as Director of Programming and Partnerships at Crossover Labs, while he has been at Channel 4 working as their Multi-platform Commissioner. Mark has now returned to resume the reins at XO, and I have stepped away to concentrate on some of my other projects, and to be able to spend more time with my young family.

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The Future MADE - Crash course in innovation

As part of the “Future MADE” series of events that look forward to the big MADE Entrepreneur’s Festival next year, I was invited to be part of a panel to spend an hour or so discussing ‘innovation’ and how people can apply it.

It was a lot of fun, with lots of interesting conversation around a whole range of  topics, especially around corporate cultures, the difference between ideas and execution, and access to new knowledge.

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Meeting the Young Entrepreneurs Club

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It was great to be invited to talk to the school kids that are part of the BiG YEC programme last Thursday, and really enjoyable to talk to them about innovation and get them working in teams to come up with product ideas. it always amazes me what young people come up with in just a very short amount of time, and how the ideas often reflect their very real problems and needs. 

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Full Fat XLR8 Innovation Workshop

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On Thursday 24th October, Gordon McRae from Gripple Ltd and I delivered the first ‘all new’ version of the full day innovation workshop as part of the XLR8 Innovation programme.

It was very intensive, and covered a lot of different areas of innovation. It was intended to be a holistic and practical view of innovation for small and medium sized firms, and teams within larger organisations.

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XLR8 Network Meeting - September: What’s the story…?

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Last Monday evening, the 25th September, we held our most recent XLR8 Innovation network meeting, again in one of the modern teaching rooms at Hallam University’s Cantor Building. We had a good turnout and welcomed some new faces as well - thank you everyone for coming!

The masterclass topic of the evening was “Storytelling and Innovation”, and we started by

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Innovation Network Sheffield’s May Workshop - DotForge Edition!

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Last Monday, the 20th May, we gathered in a nice airy central lecture room in the Cantor Building at Sheffield Hallam University. We were very fortunate to be joined by a host of young digital entrepreneurs from the DotForge Accelerator start-up incubation programme which is running in Sheffield for a total of 13 weeks ending in mid-July.

The innovation network event wasn’t formally part of their mentorship and training but programme directors Jag Goraya and Emma Cheshire felt that the session could compliment their experience and

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Innovation Network Sheffield’s March Meet-up…

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On an extremely cold Monday a couple of weeks ago (the 11th March), members of IN_Sheffield gathered in the back room of the Showroom Cinema for our second meet-up, to share our knowledge, practice problem-solving techniques and help each other address real business problems.

We started the evening off with a short masterclass talk by me on the subject of innovation ‘culture’, and specifically how teams might consciously and intentionally devise cultural practices to improve how they work and change their organisations from the bottom up, rather than

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New Thinking for a New Economy

image A few months ago I was kindly invited to give a talk at one of the regular Lunch Plus events organised by the Sheffield Community Network.
I was asked to present what I thought were the most important ways in which digital technology was impacting local economies and which I felt more people should be aware of. I decided to concentrate on platforms of exchange (or ‘two-way markets’ as the economists call them) and their double-edged influence on local communities and economies. On the one hand, in certain contexts, they can rapidly extract value from communities, while in others they can empower people, allow them to expand their reach and greatly improve resource-sharing - at least for those who are themselves networked.

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