More Connecting the Dots

Creativity is just connecting things. When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while. – Steve Jobs

Poetry (Stories + Testimonials) + Photography + performers

Stories and first-hand testimonials from refugees, along with Brian Sokol’s photography project, ‘The Most Important Thing,’ inspired the spoken word poem, ‘What They Took With Them,’ by Jenifer Toksvig.

This 5-minute film was produced by the UNHCR – The United Nations Refugee Agency, and is performed by  UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Cate Blanchett, actors Keira Knightley, Juliet Stevenson, Peter Capaldi, Stanley Tucci, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Kit Harington, Douglas Booth and Jesse Eisenberg, and writer Neil Gaiman.


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Creative Framework for New Beginnings

Colin Winterbottom is a Washington, DC based photographer, well known for capturing the ‘soulful energy’ of local landmarks from unique perspectives. With a degree in Economics, and a Masters in Philosophy and Social Policy, Winterbottom worked in the city for 8 years as an economist before deciding to pursue his long standing interest in photography.

So as I trained myself in photography; I set some rules for myself… I mean, I had just left a “sensible” career track to make artsy photographs, so the last thing I wanted to do was duplicate other people’s work. – Colin Winterbottom

In 2015, Winterbottom held his first exhibition at the National Building Museum (NBM)Scaling Washington: Photographs by Colin Winterbottom, and was interviewed about his creative process by NBM curator, Chrysanthe Broikos. The article is a quick read, and in addition to explaining how he reached the decision to leave his day job, it includes his approach to creating original artwork.

Winterbottom’s ‘rules’ also provide an interesting perspective, or framework for creative thinking. Should you be considering a new beginning, the comments below might easily be re-framed for thinking outside-the-box about your own project / journey.

  1. “I’d literally think of every way I had seen it photographed and would just avoid repeating that.”
  2. “I always tried to avoid the obvious vantage points and to find a unique way to look at something.”
  3. “Defy expectation.”
  4. “Explore and observe and wait until you see unusual things.”

Winterbottom specializes in black and white photography, and had been photographing a scaffolding set-up in the interior of the Washington National Cathedral after the earthquake of 2011. While there, he noticed how the sunlight shining through the stained glass windows traveled across the interior walls. He had the idea to use the unusual vantage points (see no. 2 above) provided by the scaffolding to film the sun’s daily progress. The video, set to original music, is stunning in its beauty.

Stained glass time lapse, Washington National Cathedral from Colin Winterbottom on Vimeo.

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Make Moments

There is more to life than increasing its speed – Marie Douglas

Marie Douglas

via @Marie Douglas


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Speaking of Impermanent…

A flashmob recreates Rembrandt’s painting, The Night Watch, in a shopping centre in Breda to mark the painting’s return to the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.

Companies and organizations use flash mobs, and pop-up events as marketing tools. Both, by definition, are temporary, and both are seemingly random or unplanned although, in reality, nothing is left to chance. Pop-up events can expand brand awareness, attract a new audience, or even characterize an entire organization.

Compassion Pop-up signageFor example, Compassion 604: The Compassion Collective is a loosely organized group of co-workers and friends who get together semi-regularly to help people experiencing homelessness. Initiated by Stacey Wakelin, Compassion 604 uses a Facebook group to communicate, organize, and solicit donations of needed items. With virtually no overhead, Stacey, and her group of neighbours-helping-neighbours operate with few out-of-pocket expenses.

Compassion Pop-up donationsFrom random-acts-of-kindness to an oatmeal street breakfast, to a pop-up hair salon, with free clothing, food, and a card-making table, Compassion 604 members use their imagination, their connections, and their initiative to plan each event. This means no two Compassion Pop-ups will ever look the same. To date, one event used empty retail space, another, a community centre, and still others went directly to the streets. All items are donated by individuals, and local businesses; monetary donations are used to purchase items to give away.

The Compassion Collective shows us what can be accomplished by a group of people, passionate about making a difference, who think outside the box, and use the resources at hand.

Sometimes a worn and weathered old saying is still a perfect summation: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

~ Debbie MacLeod


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Walk the Talk

… You’ll be surprised how fresh air drives fresh thinking, and in the way that you do, you’ll bring into your life an entirely new set of ideas.” – Nilofer Merchant

Additional suggestions on taking a creative path:

Imagining and creating give us a sense of purpose. If you lack those things, a pervasive sense of emptiness becomes the default. The great seduction later in life is that many of us fill the vacuum with false friends, material things and medication, both legal and otherwise.  – A Creative Life is a Healthy Life by Amanda Enayati


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Michael Leland: I Belong Here

binner [`bin-ner] noun: a person who collects redeemable containers and other things from bins to sustain their livelihood and to divert waste from landfills; a dumpster diver – Binners’ Project 

From Luminus Films…


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!

Are We Not Human Beings?

When there is nowhere to go, nowhere is home – Human Flow

A film by Ai Weiwei…


The CREATIVE CHANGE-MAKING Conference has been organized to showcase local heroes, individuals from within our own communities, who are creating their own path, leading by example, and following their dreams through purposeful work.

Intrigued? Come listen to the stories. Ask questions. Be inspired to change your life!