Always Learning


The speaker for our September meeting kicking off the new season’s programme was Ian Wigston, SudSoc committee member for events, local resident for 15 years but also owner and founder of Bright Field Consulting, an educational consultancy.

Ian is clearly fascinated by learning in its widest sense and took the audience on a magical mystery tour of some of his insights and experiences of working with other companies, schools and individuals over the past 30 years. Starting his career in banking, Ian was always interested in innovation, establishing one of the first Innovation Units in Europe. He explained the key difference between creativity – developing original ideas that have value and innovation – the process of putting new ideas into practice; how they are linked but separate.
In sharing stories about Rosalind Franklin (the chemist whose contributions to the discovery of the structure of DNA were largely unrecognised during her lifetime); Outward Bound mishaps with Valerie Singleton; introducing Thunderbirds crafts to Boeing engineers and working with the school at the heart of Channel 4’s ‘Educating Yorkshire’, Ian gave us examples of creative, fresh approaches which led to innovation.

He made some insightful observations about ‘the perfection trap’ that can be generated by parents’ expectations of their children, their outcomes from GCSE, Sixth Form, University and subsequent job prospects.
Ian explained that he had been inspired in coaching and leadership by David Whitaker, successful British hockey coach and team performance pioneer, subsequently Chairman of Bright Field Consulting. This led to his successful female leadership programme that has mentored over 200 women around the world to become leaders in their professions.

Thanks to Ian for an interesting talk – he concluded with a short extract from an interview conducted with the actor Juliet Stephenson where she speaks convincingly about her role as Nina in the award winning film ‘Truly Madly Deeply’. A great film illustrating that all lives contain loss and change which are often glamorised but can involve raw, ugly and angry emotions. I loved her idea that although the film’s premise is slightly whimsical (ghost returns to live with his grieving lover and cause disruption), it is balanced with substantial emotional ballast to add necessary weight…

If you are interested in seeing the full 35 minute interview with Juliet Stephenson that Ian provided an extract from at the end of his talk, the link is as follows:

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