Top 3 TOOLKITS To Develop Great Ideas

Top 3 TOOLKITS To Develop Great Ideas

In the last a couple of years, I have become very interested in design thinking as a mechanism that not only helps you to make intangible things tangible but also finding creative problem solutions that foster social impact and innovation.

Nowadays, a significant number of small and large organisation have started to equip themselves with a variety of innovation toolkits not only to help them to grow further but also to inspire and empower people to innovate and solve problems that matter.

Don’t Burn Your Bridges

Don’t Burn Your Bridges

For some people, leaving a job is like closing a door. A friend of mine recently quite a pretty fancy job to free up time to return to school, but when her manger emailed her a few weeks later to say hello and check on how things where going, she was utterly confused. Why would she want to maintain contact with someone she hadn’t been all that close to and now no longer worked with? For her there is no looking back.

Listen Up! Entrepreneurial Podcast Lineup

Headphones by kev-shine CC via flickr

So, I’m a bit late to the podcast party. People have been telling me for years to tune in and, even though I knew I’d probably love them, I put it off and put it off. Finally, in a fit of frustration with Spotify a few weeks ago, I caved. And boy, am I glad I did! I am completely hooked!

Like many, I started with the classics: This American Life and naturally, Serial (both of which I highly recommend). However, I have started branching out and have discovered that there are some fantastic podcasts out there for entrepreneurial development and creative inspiration. Here are a few of my favourites so far:

Being Boss

This is a great one for creative entrepreneurs. Hosted by badass women Emily Thompson and Kathleen Shannon, it’s a great listen for female entrepreneurs in particular but the advice, inspiration and interviews are great for anyone wanting to add a bit more “boss” attitude to their lifestyle.



This one is a classic for those who are in the process of or are thinking about launching a business. The first two seasons focused on one startup in particular, charting the progress and lessons learned from its founders. The current season is slightly different and follows a different company in each episode to provide more variety and even more insight.


Good Life Project

This is an awesome one if your current focus is on being happier as an entrepreneur. Life gets chaotic when you are busy being amazing and running your own business - this podcast provides great tips from the pros about how to lead a happier, more balanced entrepreneurial life.


Make It Happen

This is a podcast I’ve turned to a couple of times when needing a kick in the pants to get things going. It’s a really inspirational listen that will encourage its audience to get things DONE!



Another great one for female empowerment! It’s packed with stories and inspiration from amazing women. Also a great listen for the men!


Those are my favourites at the moment, but like I say, I’m only just getting started! Here are a few others I’ve heard good things about but haven’t had a chance to check out yet: Happier, Edit Your Life, She Percolates, Grownup Gigs, The Portfolio Life.

What else?? Give us a shout on social media or in the comments and let us know what else you’re listening to! Happy podcasting!



Before you start your journey down the road of the many networking opportunities in London, take a moment to really prepare, so your can be confident, and have the right knowledge and attitude before attending your first event. 

Besides knowing your business and your competitive advantages, it is important to set goals of what you want to achieve through business networking, and what you are able to offer potential customers or clients.

We All Could Use a Little Hope

First off, I want to apologise for the lack of blog updates these last few weeks. Unlike grade school kids, summer tends to be a very busy time for us and there have been lots of projects and travel that have overlapped for all of us, and unlike other blogs, we don’t keep a secret store of emergency blog posts; we’d rather create and post content in real time.

Next, I would like to apologise for the fact that this post is not going to have the standard entrepreneurial or NXCL focus we typically try to maintain. Instead, I felt compelled to reflect back on some of the current events rocking the world and offer up my two cents, sort of.


News reports have seemingly been filled with horrible stories lately, but in the past few weeks things around the world seem to be escalating. l won’t go in to detail, because that is the opposite of what I want this blog post to offer and this is not a news paper. Rather than focusing on all of the horrible stuff going on in the world I want to focus on some bright positive things that are happening. I’m not all saying that the bad things should be ignored, or that they aren't important, because they are. I am just saying that maybe it’s time we stop focusing solely on the negative things. People need hope and the current trend of media affairs can make that hard to find sometimes.


So I offer up for your hope reservoirs:


- The story of 18 year old Yusra Mardini, a Syrian refugee who with the help of her sister  and another woman managed to save the boat-load of refugees fleeing with them (the women were the only ones onboard who knew how to swim and quickly jumped into the water to propel the boat they were in across the Aegean after the motor died) and has now been officially selected to compete as a swimmer as a member of the newly formed IOC Refugee Team for the Rio Olympics.

I particularly like this video of her talking about making friends in her new foreign home and how not even a language barrier could hold them back from forming. So Congrats to you Yusra as well as to your 9 fellow ROA teammates!


- The story of a village in India that has spent the last decade working to ensure equality for its young females by planting 111 fruit trees every time one is born and raising money to help the family educate her. This effectively goes against the dowry system used in the area that had previously made young girls seem like a financial ‘burden’ to their families. Parents even sign an agreement stating that they will not try to marry the girl off until she is at least 18 and has been fully educated. #GirlPower

- And to wrap it all up, here is a quick story about a couple who decided to forgo a large multi-day traditional Indian wedding in favour of a much simpler ceremony so that they could donate the money they would have spent to build the infrastructures needed to help children around the world receive a good education. They decided that if they were going to spend thousands of dollars they wanted it to have a positive lasting impression.



As I said, I know this post doesn’t fit in with most of our standard content, and that you may not think this is the place for it. But I strongly believe that there should always be a place for hope and kindness in the world, whether it is on the streets or in your company. Be good to each other my fellow people, there are too many horrible things going on in the world for us not to take any little moment we can.

Creative Lab: Connections - Sneak Peek!

We’re so excited to have another Creative Lab event on the calendar next month. The Creative Lab is NXCL’s signature event and represents the humble beginnings of our little collective way back in late 2014 when we organised the event on no budget and a tight timeline for Global Entrepreneurship Week while students in Goldsmith’s MA Creative & Cultural Entrepreneurship programme.

Today I’m going to provide you with a little sneak peek of the exciting things we have coming up for Monday 6 June and our ‘Connections’-themed Lab event!



The first time I ever visited The Peckham Pelican I was very stressed out. I was neck-deep in business plan writing and really needed to get out of the library for a day. I’d wanted to explore Peckham for a while and when I asked friends and colleagues where they’d recommend for a day of productivity and caffeination they responded with a resounding chorus of “The Peckham Pelican!”. This cafe and bar is located at 92 Peckham Road, SE15 5PY and is a real gem of a place. They are a cross-disciplinary space and besides their great food and drink, they also act as an art gallery and event space. There is always something great going on there and we’re super excited to join this list of awesome stuff when we host our ‘Connections’ Creative Lab there on Monday 6 June.




We’ve got a great roster of speakers lined up so far for our entrepreneurial panel. The theme of ‘Connections’ is a loose one - we wanted to create a theme that was flexible and able to be interpreted from multiple angles. Our speakers are working in very different fields, but have the crucial common element of making connections between people, places and ideas.


On our panel we’ll hear from Rowena Humphreys, founder of V-Curious, who advocate for people to live vibrant, healthy and energised lives that maximise wellness through a simple and holistic approach to nutrition and food. Rowena also runs events and supper clubs to make connections between people and food as well as people and people! We love the idea of her supper club for female entrepreneurs and we’re pretty excited to try this out as a team building exercise for the five of us.


We’ll also welcome fellow Goldsmiths’ colleague, Christopher Hogg. Christopher is a multitalented individual who works as an entrepreneur, academic, poet and playwright. Christopher was recently one of four playwrights sent by Theatre 503 into the community to come back with stories about ‘The State We’re In’. Christopher’s play, Cassie and Corey was a funny, moving and incredibly topical piece about health and the experience of poverty. Chris has his hands in many pies, but he makes connections beautifully and we’re looking forward to learning from him on 6 June!


We’ll also be hearing from our past pitching competition winner from ‘Taste’ way back in November at The Bottle Shop. Gustavo of Gustavino (remember? The really cool 3D printed, Gaudiesque wine racks?) will fill us in on what he has been up to since the last Lab and how he has used his winnings.

Of course, we’ll also have another pitching competition and you will be the deciding vote! Join us on 6 June at The Peckham Pelican. Entry is only £3 and all funds go towards supporting a worthy London entrepreneur. Bring your friends and pile on down to Peckham for an awesome evening of connections!

That thing called balance...

That thing called balance...

I KNOW that my work is average at best, when I work past 8 hours in a row. I KNOW that my productivity and effectiveness will increase if I take breaks and get proper night’s sleep. I KNOW that assigning time to ‘be off’ is crucial for balance and happiness and that the motivation you get from spending time with family and friends can’t be beaten by anything. I KNOW this for sure, as I spent months and months researching this very topic for my own thesis. But it’s one thing to preach and another to practice!