Operation TLC – reducing energy bills at Barts Health NHS Trust

Turn off, Lights Out, Close Doors

Operation TLC is a campaign I was recently working on with Global Action Plan for Barts Health NHS Trust. The campaign was designed to engage with the Trust’s hospital staff to encourage them to reduce their energy bill by communicating the benefits of carrying out each action. Operation TLC stands for Turn off (unnecessary equipment), Lights out (when possible), Close doors (where possible). These actions were determined following various research to understand where energy was being lost but also where the patient experience could be improved. For example, not only does closing doors help to reduce drafts and keep warmth in, it means that patients experience peace and quiet during their stay, especially at night time.

The campaign aimed to be simple to carry out, quick to understand and accessible. The three actions could be adopted by everyone through out their working day around the hospitals.

Here is a video (containing footage I shot) which explains what Operation TLC means to range of Barts Health staff,

To celebrate NHS Sustainability Day and to help raise awarness of the campaign, a team of volunteers stood outside a number of the hospitals to encourage ‘High Fives’ in support of Operation TLC. You can see photos here from outside the Royal London Hospital:

Operation TLC

Operation TLC

Operation TLC

1,200 people were reached that day simply by high fiving everyone that entered the Royal London Hospital and St Bartholomews Hospital. The day contained a range of events from Global Action Plans ‘eco interactive’ displays, workshops, site visits and energy saving stand. The Guardian newspaper wrote a great piece about how the day empowered and encouraged innovation: NHS Sustainability Day: empowering and encouraging innovation

The Guardian, NHS Sustainability Day

You can read more about Operation TLC here in the Global Action Plan website: Operation TLC – Nudging in the NHS

The team were very pleased with the results of the campaign and how well engaged the staff were but there’s nothing more satisfying than to win an award for all the hard work.  Barts Health NHS Trust won the HSJ Award for Improving Environmental and Social Sustainability. More information can be found here on the Sustainable Development Unit website: HSJ Awards 2013: Improving Environmental and Social Sustainability

iBehaveSex: Increasing condom usage among men through tech

iBehave logo

Changing behaviours for good, in general can be an incredibly powerful way to encourage new habits and change attitudes. There are particular societal issues where behaviour change is commonly used and recognised as a valuable tool. Behaviour change is often used to protect our environment, to help reduce climate change and more and more to benefit our health.

Behaviour change contains a broad range of activities and approaches which focus on the individual, community, and environmental influences on behaviour. If you’re not familiar with how to achieve this, I recommend having a read of BJ Fogg’s website where he explains the importance of motivation, ability, and trigger.

Behaviour change can be achieved through simple messaging, focused communications, engagement and empowerment. But, to add an interesting angle to behaviour change, iBehave is looking at how technology can be used to benefit our health:

iBehave is a meetup focused on the usage of technology as an enabler of behaviour change by enabling behavioural transition from risk behaviours to those akin with positive health outcomes. Our mission is to provide an OPEN INNOVATION ecosystem designed to:

1. Enable the achievement of game changing health outcomes by showcasing, encouraging and accelerating technical innovations where game mechanics related techniques can be used to drive behaviour change and compliance.

2. Foster a community of companies and individuals interested in enacting behavioural change in the healthcare industry through game mechanics related behaviour change techniques.

iBehave hosted a MeetUp on 26 March titled ‘Increasing condom usage among men through Tech – how do you change behaviour?’

Dr Julia Bailey, a clinical senior lecturer in Primary Care at UCL and Damian Hampton, head of technology for Illumina Digital gave an insightful presentation about project SexUnzipped: a website about sex, relationships and sexual health for young people over 16. 

  • Did you know that STI’s cost the NHS a £1 billion a year!?
  • Did you know that gonorrhoea will become untreatable in the future with the resistance to antibiotics?

The presentations were excellent at setting the scene, gave us a better understanding of how technology is currently being used to change behaviour around sexual health and created an opportunity to ask questions. Following the presentations, the behaviour mechanics that attended the MeetUp broke into groups to take part in an innovation session to unlock ideas on how technology can address the challenge of ‘Increasing condom usage among men through tech’.

ibehave innovation groups

Here are some of the questions put to the behaviour mechanics that attended the innovation session:
–How do you get a man to decide he’s going to wear a condom before things start getting heated up?
–How can we get women to veto sex without a condom?
–How can we reduce/eliminate the embarrassment, time and cost to getting condoms?
–How can you use technology to “sex educate” our target audience?
–How would you incentivise our target audience to engage with the content?

iBehave innovation session

And here is a little video which explains what the behaviour mechanics thought of the event:

Interested in coming along to the next MeetUp? We’ll be discussing obesity in low income communities on 13 May – it will be provocative. It will be interesting! Be sure to sign up through the MeetUp page to guarantee your place.

Easy to cook, healthy Indian food!

I recently had the pleasure of filming Cyrus Todiwala, (chef and owner of Café Spice Namasté), cook a dish for NHS Sustainability Day.

NHS Sustainability Day, hosted by Barts Health NHS Trust is intended to initiate action around sustainability for the Trust and community. There will be a number of events happening on the day, there are celebrities endorsing the day and there are a variety of ways to get involved. For more information, have a look at the website.

Cyrus Todiwala came up with a Pink Fir Apple Potato with Sesame Seed recipe. Pink fir apple potatoes are in season at the moment and make a delicious, healthy and easy to cook recipe. The following video was filmed in Café Spice Namasté:

It was fantastic to hear how all of the ingredients used were locally sourced, seasonal and organic. And, I can vouch for how easy it is to cook! Here is a version I made:

20130324-224413.jpg

and I used the left over ginger skins to flavor tea. A trick Cyrus taught us (but which unfortunately had to be left out of the edit)

20130324-224637.jpg

I can’t wait to visit the restaurant and try more food on the menu.

Sharing Failures in Paris: FailCon

25th September marked the day of FailCon Paris when the fantastic FailCon team came over from California to help the French embrace failure!

Cass introducing the FailCon Paris sponsors

The conference hosted a full day of speakers, Q&As and excellent networking opportunities at Microsoft’s offices in Paris. I went along as I’m particularly interested in encouraging people to understand that any business, start up, venture or entrepreneurial idea will at some point, inevitably experience failure. That, however is not a negative occurance but a means of learning to succeed at what you want to achieve.

The speakers were excellent. Some were fairly big names, others were less well known but the thing, for me, that made the event was the atmosphere in the room. Everyone that attended the conference was ready to accept failure, had failed at some point, wanted their business to succeed and/or understood the value of learning from other people’s mistakes.

Prepare For and Avoid Common Startup Mistakes
You aren’t a real entrepreneur until you’ve had to deal with failure, and recovering from it –
financially emotionally and practically – can be challenging. Hear how entrepreneurial
leaders have dealt with failure while keeping a positive and tenacious attitude.
Failcon

FailCon Paris

Learnings from the morning’s speakers

JB Rudelle CEO and cofounder of Critero talked about the differences between being a hare and a tortoise when it comes to business start ups. You may feel the need to run quickly and reach your goals quicker than planned but this can be a curse. ‘If it’s not quick and easy, it is a bad idea’ – WRONG! Success comes from hard work and persistance. Deals should be done when opportunities arise or ‘me-toos’ will creep in! All of this must, however take metrics into consideration. You must force yourself to measure your actions and outputs properly or it will become very difficult to know if you are being successful or not.

Eric Mittelette from Microsoft told the story of Microsoft’s web servers being hit by a virus which gave them a bad name. The virus took 15 minutes to infect 75,000 servers! The flaw in their single product meant that customers had a negative opinion of the entire company. Their failure came from their product having too many features and they did not know enough about security. Their piece of advice for businesses is to always have someone look over your code and use fresh eyes when reviewing work. This not only finds flaws and irons out problems but creates fun,positive competition in the workplace.

Jean-Christophe Capelli, CEO and cofounder of FriendsClear encountered regulation issues when starting his money lending via the internet business. His business was a small start-up trying to work with big businesses but both were on different time lines. Jean’s advice is to avoid working in regulated industries (!) but the overall learnings were to never give up, be prepared for hurdles and be aware of the pace of your partner companies. He had to stop working for 9 months and take a breather. Something that is not unheard of by a number of start-ups.

Next came a panel session titled ‘Investment Pitfalls’

On the panels was:

Jean David entertained everyone with this opening remark. ‘the first pancake never looks good’ Very true and interestingly linked to the fact that VCs will hardly ever admit they failed after an investment! VCs need to trust the entrepreneurs more and trust what they are doing with their money. When someone is investing, they are buildling the company and know one knows what will happen to that company. ‘how do you make people row in the right direction? you can’t…’
Sean went on to discuss the directions that failure can take. Often failure occurs because the technology has failed or because a me-too has entered and possibly saturated the market. There needs to be trust between the investor and shareholders. Breakdown in trust is when failure gets nasty. Know your numbers, show your enthusiams but don’t be afraid of having doubts.
Philippe said it’s important to paint a vision but also be able to tackle situations and take control.

Learning’s from the afternoon speakers

Olivier Fecherolle, Viadeo realised that he was too early with his start-up but didn’t have the money to wait. He made an interesting point that the UK is an island and you need to think that way if you want to launch there. You must base yourself in the place that you want to launch in to be able to set yourself up commercially. You must be in the same place as your company for success and look at your business globally if you want to scale it.

Thom Cummings, SoundCloud piece of advice from starting up his company was that it is easy to under recognise your achievement yet it’s also easy to over recognise milestones! It is common to have access to too much information and too many paths which makes focussing challenging. Start-ups must pick the right metric and be able to recognise when good enough is good enough. ‘Be a navigator, not a chauffeur’, ‘choose the right path, give support and let them drive’

Thom Cummings at FailCon
Next came the panel session Location: Can It Ruin You?

This session discussed building trust with your brand and the necessity of having a website that your stakeholders like and can relate to. Good branding is essential for gaining this trust. Markus explained how he tried to scale the marketing too slowly. It is important to have big numbers and faith to spend money on your marketing!

Gabriel was confident that you don’t necessarily want two years of runway to grow your start-up. It’s more important to spend what money you have wisely!

Lara Rouyres and Tatiana Lara, LivingSocial had some very wise words to share as the last speakers of the day. The culture of a small start-up will change when it becomes a bigger business and people need to be ready for this. ‘Make sure you get management to write down their values each month, then choose who represents those values best’ was a technique they have adopted.

Anticipate transition, don’t rush into hiring people and remember that communication amongst the team is crucial.

What I learnt from the whole event

Starting a business can be done by nearly anyone but understanding what is ahead of you needs confidence, management and planning. We can plan for inevitable hurdles but we never know when we will come across them and need to be ready to pivot. Every time we fail, those hurdles become more obvious and the time it takes to pivot reduces.

You must believe in yourself but be mature enough to listen to others and know when to take their advice!

The conference was incredibly valuable for anyone running a business and what I heard definitely rings true with the start-ups I am currently working with.

Ignite Athens

On 20th September 2012, a fantastic event happened in Athens, Greece. Entrepreneurs, business start ups, VCs, angel investors and mentors all gathered at the Onassis Cultural Centre to share their passion for innovation. I was honoured to be invited to speak about My Fail Tale, making failure positive.

Ignite Athens place card

Ignite Athens a fast-paced geek event started by Brady Forrest, Technology Evangelist for O’Reilly Media, and Bre Pettis of marketbomb.com, formerly of MAKE Magazine‘ was organised for companies and leaders to share innovation. Based on a pecha kucha style presentation, each speaker was given 5 minutes (20 timed slides, each 15 seconds long) to talk.

The morning session…

The day opened with a message from Nellie Kroes, Vice-President of the European Commission who talked about the Digital Agenda for Europe and the importance of supporting entrepreneurs in Europe.

Neelie Kroes video message

The morning then heard a number of speakers all connected with entrepreneurship either as mentors, business support, interesting initatives or with successful companies.

Here is a summary of the insights I picked up from the speakers:

  • Tolis Aivalis, (@aivalis) a business mentor and serial entrepreneur kicked off the event by talking about the important characteristics of an entrepreneur. Autonomy, strength and liberty were interesting key words.
  • Ryan from The Ink Factory (@the_ink_factory) demonstrated (via an animation) their amazing talent at graphic recording. ‘You talk, we draw, it’s that simple.’ Well, they make it look that simple but actually, they are fantastic at capturing the essence of your talk in a matter of minutes. Here is a photo of one of the boards they created throughout the morning.

Graphic recording by The Ink Factory

  • endeavor(@endeavorGR) gave an interesting talk about growth and how to support entrepreneurs. Apparently only 15% of entrepreneurs in Greece are female whereas only 8% are female in the EU. Why is this? These numbers are both incredibly low.We need to be more realistic about where we are and what we can achieve: aim high, dream but make sure you can reach that dream!
    Explore the power of corporations; but don’t boycot and create issues and share you ideas.
    Have a strong commitment to your start-up: solutions are not handed to us!
  • Ydir Vissers from Monitor Group explained their view on the paths to becoming an entrepreneur.
    – You could set yourself up in Silicon Valley and immerse yourself in the entrepreneurial surroundings.
    – Spawn off others through an anchor model path.
    – Follow heros that represent entrepreneurship.
    – Be put into an event driven environment where you have to succeed!
  • I added to the conversation by presenting the My Fail Tale project (video below), working to create a movement of change people’s attitude towards failure. The great news it that the subject was warmly welcomed and people were happy to discuss their failures. Well, more their fear of failure as most people in the room were entrepreneurs about to fail! The Ink Factory created this great representation of my talk:My Fail Tale

The afternoon session…

The afternoon session introduced a huge list of budding entrepreneurs in Greece. There were so many of them that it’s best you look them up yourselves if you’re interested. Here are some of my favourite:

Healthster ‘The smartphone app Hippocrates himself would endorse. Be CEO of your own well being. Taste health one bite at a time with Healthster’ @healthsternow

Gnostix ‘Social Media Monitoring & Analytics tool for results driven Social Media Marketing’ @gnostix

Weendy ‘Share the action, fun and conditions from any spot as it happens. Simple. Social.’ @weendyapp

Suibee ‘Suibee collects inspiring posts from people like you’ @suibeeapp

WOTgroup ‘helping women find mentoring in business’ @WOTgroup

Buddy Traffic ‘Buddytraffic is a fun and exciting crowdsourced app that helps you and your buddies report and avoid traffic’ @buddytraffic

Fashinating ‘Fashinating is online window shopping! Thousands of fashion products – apparel, shoes, bags, accessories, jewelry – from the best online stores worldwide are gathered in one place, to enable you to easily discover and buy the items you like.’ @fashinating

To sum up…
Ignite Athens did a great job at bringing entrepreneurs, innovators, business minded, inspiring people together in one place. The passion and excitement in the room created the foundations for business initiatives and forward thinking. I met people from all types of business with different skills and different dreams. I wish them all the best of luck and thank everyone for the insights and contacts I took away.

The talks can all be found here on YouTube.

You can watch Louise speak about My Fail Tale below:

 

The Peckham Peace Wall

If you read my blog from last summer which talked about the London riots titled ‘Peckham is a real community‘, you’ll remember the photos of the ‘peace wall’. The wall of post-it notes put up by the local community sharing their thoughts on the riots and how it had affected Peckham.
The post-it notes were preserved and had been moved to the area outside of Peckham library in Peckham Square for a while but now they’ve been turned into a permanent ‘Peace Wall’.

Peckham Peace Wall by Louise Wilson

Every post-it note (ok, clearly the best have been selected) has been scanned in and turned into an organised wall called the ‘Peckham Peace Wall’. It was such a great surprise to come across the wall and be able to read the messages properly.

You can read about the project here:
Peckham Peace Wall by Garudio Studiage celebrates the wall of post-it notes of love and respect for the area which grew on Rye Lane following the disorder of last year, and launched on the 8th August 2012 to mark this one year anniversary.

Peckham Peace Wall up close photo by Louise Wilson

It’s amazing how a basic movement of messages has been transformed into a fantastic piece of art that brings the centre of Peckham to life.  It was even featured in Creative Review back in August.

I highly recommend going to have a look for yourself.

Searching the hedge rows for food and info!

Would you know what to look for in a country hedge row if you were told there were edible and informative plants growing? I certainly wouldn’t have until I went on a foraging walk organised by Woodland Ways.

www.woodland-ways.co.uk

Kevan Palmer, an instructor at Woodland Ways, took a group of Adventure Travel Film Festivalers on a foraging walk around our camp site. It’s such a great skill to learn when going on adventure motorbiking trips or walks around the countryside.

Kevan started with a ‘health and safety’ talk which explained when, where and how to start foraging.  The main tips I picked up were: have a look around the surrounding areas and be careful picking and eating plants close to main roads where car fumes have been polluting the air. You don’t want to eat dirty plants… and that leads onto the second tip. Could animals or humans have used the hedge as a toilet? The hedgerow where we were was furthest from the campsite toilets and therefore was likely to have been used as a night time relief spot…!

Kevan Palmer on the foraging walk

We learnt a huge amount but here are my favourite learnings.

Rose petal jam

Rose petal jam (google images)
Roses are really pretty and smell lovely but they are also edible. The petals vary in taste; spicy, tart or sweet and although Kevan recommended making jam from them, you can also use them to garnish salads or flavour butter. Be warned though, roses bought from a florist are unlikely to be edible. Only eat roses found growing wild in the countryside.

Rose hip

Rose hips (google images)
Rose hips, vibrant red berry looking fruit are apparently are full of vitamins known for ‘offering a cheap and effective way of treating debilitating rheumatoid arthritis

You can dry them and eat like a dried cranberry or make rose hip tea and rose hip jam from them.

Scarlett Pimpernel

Scarlet Pimpernel (google images)
Scarlett Pimpernel consists of small, red flowers which open when it’s going to be sunny and closed when it is going to rain. Known as the ‘poor man’s weather glass‘ the plant is a great way to predict what the weather is going to be like. It may not be the best forecast tool but the open flowers are pretty and mean sunshine.

Note: this plant is not edible!

Sloes

Sloes (google images)
Am I the only person who thinks of Sloe Gin when sloes are mentioned? Luckily I definitely wasn’t the only one on this foraging walk.

Sloes are the fruit of the blackthorn tree and are a great fruit to pick in the autumn. One of the last fruits to remain on the trees before winter, they allow the forager plenty of opportunity to harvest.

Kevin explained the best way to pick sloes is to identify them in May when the flowers are out. The white flowers are very easy to spot, unlike the fruits which hide themselves amongst the thorny plant. Once they are picked, ‘after the first frost’ prick them with a toothpick to help bring out the flavours then bottle them with gin. If the ‘first frost’ is very late (which it tends to be these days) you can pick them and put them straight in the freezer. Here’s a recipe for sloe gin.

Dandelion

Dandelion (google images)

The word dandelion comes from the French meaning ‘lion tooth’ which relates to the shape of its leaf. I had always thought of it as a common weed and had no idea of it’s health benefits.

Dandelion leaves are a rich source of vitamins and good for digestion. Eat the leaves in a salad or put them in water and drink it as a tea.

Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle (google images)
I’m sure most children have spent some time sucking the nectar out of honeysuckle.  Not only do the flowers taste good, the leaves and can be cooked and eaten as a vegetable. Both the flower and leaves act as a good anti-bacterial.

Don’t use once it’s mature and tanines have developed though – then it becomes not good for you.

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