Session 1 – Overview

Jules Mitchell – All the best people are M.A.D!

Jules opened up her talk with a wonderful Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland quote:

“Mad Hatter: Am I going mad? Alice: Yes, you’re mad, bonkers, off the top of your head… but… i’ll tell you a secret. All the best people are.”

In Jule’s case M.A.D. stands for Making a Difference. Her talk centred on changing our reaction and perception of fear, realising that we all have barriers when it comes to our own fears.

She provided methods for us all to gain a bit more control over our own fear, turning fear into an acronym: Feel Emotion Adapt Response.


Alexia Pepper de Caires – Balancing the Political Equation: The Power of Seeing Ourselves as Enough. 

Alexia’s talk centred on the political issues surrounding our current representation, highlighting one area of imbalance in our local community where in a board of 25 people, 24 were male.

Through personal stories of being seen and bravery to speak up, Alexia reminds us that we’re all good enough – we all have a voice and opinion that deserves to be heard.

“If we don’t have representative democracy, I don’t think we have a democracy…”


Jessica Labhart – Same Hats, Different Heads: Social Capital and the Links, Bonds and Bridges

Jessica’s explanation of social capital theory included an amusing, but prevalent description of how we all wear ‘hats’. She uses hats in place of masks, something we wear in social situations – your work hat, the hat you wear with friends and finally when you’re alone, no hat.
It’s all about how we change our behaviour and habits.

The importance of this is to show how sticking to these social groups and areas restricts us from the possibilities of being involved in the wider community.

“Who are you without your hats.”


The session ended with a wonderful performance from Jumprov, a local, ethnically diverse improvisation group. The group quickly won the audience over with their comedic skits and audience participation, welcoming all suggestions.

“We saw a gap and we thought we’d build a bridge.”