A business jam…in the historic home of jam

Yesterday saw me back down in Dundee for the day to facilitate as part of a unique and exciting event, a Dundee Business Jam.  Everything in Dundee seems to be exciting at the moment and I’m sure every other city in Scotland is looking on with envy and pride in equal doses.

I was one of those people supporting in Dundee’s bid for UK City of Culture in 2017 and was hugely disappointed when they lost to Hull in the final stages.  However the city rallied and the proposed £25 million package of events would continue as planned.  Central to the bid was the development of the V&A Museum of Design.  As an international centre of design for Scotland – the first ever design museum to be built in the UK outside London, the V&A was to be situated next to the familiar sight of the great ship RRS Discovery and was designed by renowned architect Kengo Kuma, his first British building.  And it was really exciting to the building beginning to rise out of the banks of the river as I walked past yesterday.

RRS Discovery DundeeThe V&A development can be seen behind RRS Discovery

I was delighted to hear of its progress and the planning of the exhibition programme from colleagues from the V&A yesterday and was even more delighted by the opportunity to try the new virtual reality goggles!  As I looked though the goggles, I could walk through the museum as well as selecting to explore the surrounding spaces at 360 degrees.  A completely immersive and engaging experience and well worth a try.  If you can attend any of the V&A education events, ask to use the VR goggles and experience the new Dundee for yourself.

 Business Design Jam Invite[3]-2

The Business Jam was an event hosted by MacRoberts in collaboration with Design in Action and the V&A.  A first of it’s kind, the main aim was to encourage networking, to engage businesses and creative practitioners in the the new Waterfront development and to generate business development ideas for the ‘ideal waterfront’.  We had a fantastic mix of 22 participants, from across Dundee and some from wider afield who came together to engage in talks by Sarah and Sam from V&A, Alan Watt from Dundee Waterfront and workshops led by my Design in Action colleagues and myself.  The participants broke into four groups and worked through some ideation exercises before presenting their ideas to a panel of guest reviewers including Philip Long, Director of V&A Dundee; John Lupton, Chief Executive, Scott and Fyfe and Ben Gray, Head of Strategy and Development at DC Thomson Group.  I was excited by the energy in the room, people were really engaged and invested in the presentations.  Much discussion and networking continued afterwards with a drinks reception in the foyer of MacRoberts, enjoyed alongside a wonderful view of the Tay.  How they manage to get any work done with that amazing boardroom view…….!

MacRoberts Business Jam

So after a very successful afternoon of design innovation, I took the train home and arriving back to the coast in time to catch the last of the Northern Lights!  What a treat.  The kids were having a sleepover at Granny’s which left me free to catch up with a friend hand walk down to the shoreline to enjoy the spectacular view.  The sky was so clear, we had an amazing sky full of stars to enjoy including the milky way and the plough (sorry, that’s the only one I can identify with confidence!).

Northern Lights

The Northern Lights on the Moray coast shoreline with the plough above.

Apologies for the rubbish photo [Note to self: learn how to use DSLR camera instead of using it as a point and shoot!]  How frustrating it was not knowing how to use my camera properly and a tripod might have been helpful too.  But hey, I saw it with my own eyes so that’s all good (I’m taking tips from the Granny featured in this week’s viral image at the Black Mass premiere!)

And to top it all off, we also saw two shooting stars.  Two wishes made, time will tell if they are granted…….


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