The first time I heard about the Like Minds conference was two or three years ago when my friend Joanne Jacobs came back from speaking there – glowing from the experience and raving about the care and attention to detail that had been put in by the organisers: buses! food! proper briefings!

 

It’s not often you get speakers so enthused about an event. Like Minds has been growing steadily since, no doubt fortified by the love it bestows on the speakers who’ve supported it over the years – the so-called Like Minds “alumni”. As Jack Russell, one of yesterday’s more inspiring speakers put it, “If you give people what they want and need, I can guarantee you’ll get what you want and need back”.

 

So, this year’s event takes place across three days, still based in its original home of Exeter: a small but perfectly formed city in the south-west of England: seagulls swoop by, cyclists peddle slowly up cobbled streets and pastel-painted houses bask in the sunshine.

 

Part of the charm of Like Minds is that they really get you moving – the daytime sessions take place across eight different venues – and in the evening another dozen restaurants and music venues are thrown into the mix.

 

The schedule itself is cleverly paced: keynotes at the beginning and end of each day, round-the-table talks in a restaurant at lunch, “immersive” workshops in the afternoon. Walking a few streets between lunchtime and immersive sessions yesterday, we came across a beautiful grassy square with Exeter’s stunning medieval cathedral slap bang in the middle: woah!

 

Sadly I could only make it for the day yesterday. But I’ll be keeping an eye on the talks today and tomorrow on the livestream – and will definitely be up for returning next year!

 

My top 3 highlights?

  • Molly Flatt: okay so I’ve heard lots of good things about Molly so I was possibly biased, but that can work against people as much as in their favour. And I loved her talk about true creativity being about silence and contemplation as much as action.
  • Really enjoyed Glenn Lesanto banging on old codger style about the publishing industry in the days when sports photographers had to develop their photos in the gents and journalists filed inky copy over the phone.
  • Chris Ward launching a new “social” currency – the Blue Dot. This had to be the best takeaway of the day: what a great, timely idea. At last we have a way to measure that nebulous good stuff. Plus we all got a Blue Dot “fiver” in our pockets to go home with: time to start investing in some genuine social good. Hurray!

Jemima Gibbons
Jemima Gibbons

Social media consultant and author of Monkeys with Typewriters (featured by BBC Radio 5 and the London Evening Standard). Get your social marketing up and running with my Social Media Launch Pack!

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