Back in the Ideas Lab at TEDx Brighton

Goodmoney was back in the Ideas Lab at TEDx Brighton again this year. Last year we’d just had the idea of creating a gift voucher that could be spent with lots of independent local businesses – linking them up to create a better choice than a department store and getting more of the £20 million a city the size of Brighton spends each year on gift cards and gift vouchers going to the independents.

For us, the gift voucher is a first step towards our vision of an ethical financial services brand that provides alternative ways to exchange value within the community.

To help spread the word about Goodmoney gift vouchers, we’ve just launched a 75 second video on our website and we relished the opportunity to return to the TEDx Brighton Ideas Lab and report back with our progress.

Like last year, TEDx Brighton attracted a great crowd of interesting and interested people. It reminded me of the Eleanor Roosevelt quote, “Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people.”

It’s a great quote although there is a bit of implied smugness that misses it’s own point. It’s safe to say that we all talk about ideas, events and people, but talking about ideas is somehow so much more exciting. Whether understanding past events from a different perspective, linking seemingly unrelated concepts and ideas or imagining possible future realities – discovering and exploring new ideas makes you buzz with energy. There’s probably a TED talk somewhere about how TED talks affect your endocrine system!

Throughout the day I must have spoken to forty or fifty people and I felt really energized by all the positive responses and great ideas. We’re now selling Goodmoney gift vouchers online via our website, at Christmas fairs and markets and through local stockists like hiSbe and City Books in Hove. However we’re also really keen to sell to local employers who use gift vouchers to thank and reward their staff. As luck had it, I had a really illuminating chat with some delegates who also happened to be HR professionals working in the creative and digital sector.

I hadn’t realised how important it is for employers to have a great reputation in the local community, even if their clients are further afield. It makes complete sense when it comes to attracting and retaining talented staff because people want to work for an organisation they can be proud.

This insight was particularly timely as it helped me to see an opportunity to learn from the success of the Living Wage Campaign, by including local employers, that use Goodmoney gift vouchers to reward their staff and support the local community, in our business directory and press releases.

TEDx Brighton is such a highlight in the local events calendar and it’s incredible that it’s organized, run and staffed entirely by volunteers. Hats off to the whole team – great job!

During the breaks and at lunchtime, the whole place was really buzzing as people exchanged thoughts and ideas. It got me thinking – an amazing community of around 1000 people attended the event this year and I can’t believe they want to wait until TEDx 2016 before getting together again. I’ve been to some great Meet ups over the last few years. In particular, the Create talks organized by Toby Moore and Tom Nixon’s Brightoneers movement that helped us launch Goodmoney CIC. I don’t know what it would look like or who has the time and energy to make it happen, but I’d love to see some regular Meet ups for the TEDx Brighton community to get together and share more ideas more often.