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Business, Design and the 2012 Games

October 20, 2010

Yesterday I went to this complimentary event on how strategic design can help non-design businesses to capitalise on opportunities provided by the 2012 games. A mouthful no? lol. This premise was what attracted me to go despite it being straight after work. Bizarrely, it was fortunate I did come early (on time but they changed time, technicality i know) as this gave me a chance to check out Imperial College even though it was in attempts to find some food.

Seating myself in the college’s cafeteria, with the orchestra practicing in the background (yes, they practice in the cafeteria in the evening) with my cajun chicken sub which i must say was the only wholesome food left and for a reason (it was spicy!). The atmosphere reminded me of my uni days which made me feel even more out of place because I started reminiscing a part of my life that wasn’t that long ago! Asking for ‘directions to’, i pointed to the pack i’d received, the Imperial staff member replied ‘business school?’ lol. The same happened when I purchased my cajun chicken as the man behind the till asked for my student id.

The first part of the event involved a half hour of networking which I must say is very awkward for me as I am not naturally articulate in front of strangers, let alone people of a professional capacity. Donned in jumper and jeans, I was at a more disadvantage as I looked even more out of place. However, once the talk went underway I became more relaxed. Being held in a lecture theatre, I easily fell into the student pattern of listening intently and taking notes.

The talk itself was very interesting but perhaps the introducing speaker could have spoken less as he went over his allotted time which then made it later than expected. I particularly liked the presentation by Kevin Owens on the designs of the Olympic and paralympic buildings. Following this was an enlightening insight by Gus Desbarats on the importance of design. I was quite disappointed by Nick Leon’s talk as it was the part I had most looked forward to but was littered with too many jokes and not enough ‘How design can [actually] help your business.’

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