With all the growth and excitement currently surrounding both the Auckland and Wellington communities, we’ve found ourselves needing to grow the Dojo family to deal with all the added responsibility. Here we have a wee interview with one of our newest members, DK, who’s joined us in Wellington to help with activations and all things awesome - including the brand spanking new Collider WGTN.
1. So, DK, the first question we should ask is about your name… It’s just a D and a K?
No mystery, it’s my name (DK Jones is what’s on my passport)…
2. What were you doing before you nabbed this sweet position at the BizDojo?
I’ve been part of online communities and blogging since 2000, plus I've produced over 200 podcasts and vodcasts.
In 2006 I founded a leading social media training / consulting agency, MediaSnackers (a term I coined early 2004/5’ish) plus a CEO / executive-level mentoring firm, Social Media For Suits, both paused in 2011. I authored Zen And The Heart Of Social Media (costs a tweet) and created the award-winning The Web Makes Me Feel research project.
Since then I’ve been a strategic advisor and (energetic) speaker on how / why social media can improve businesses, organisations, and individuals. This is a pedigree built through working with a vast variety of clients including The Gates Foundation, UNICEF, BBC, Welsh Assembly, Hasbro, Ubisoft, and many others.
I spent nearly a year with Design-Thinking agency Empathy Design as a business designer, and was a Social Media Manager for national education organisation, CORE Education.
Before all that I worked in various levels of local government and was the UK’s first & only (at that time), Corporate Youth Officer… oooh!
3. You have a bit of an accent. Where are you from, and how long have you been kicking it in NZ?
Originally from the Land Of My Fathers - Wales - a small Celtic nation in the UK which has the population of three million. I’ve been in NZ for over four years now and Wellington has similar wind, rain and hills which I grew up with so don’t feel too homesick.
4. If you had $20 million, what would you do with your life, aside from travelling?
I’d probably carry on doing what I’m doing, on top of funding side projects and investing in passionate people with purpose.
5. But let’s be real, you probably don’t have $20 million right now, although getting there may be an ambition for you. If it is, how do you plan on getting there? If not, how come… what’s more important to you?
Experiences are more important than financial gain. Obviously money can help create those opportunities, but I’ve managed to travel to five continents and make friends all over the globe using nothing but focussing on adding value and asking better questions. I don’t see that changing anytime soon.
6. Are there any famous humans that you admire? What is it about them that you find admirable?
This is the hardest question to be honest. I obviously ‘admire’ a few (what folks would call) ‘famous people’ although I know more admirable ‘non-famous’ people. However, they all have common traits about challenging norms and inciting action by being creative thought leaders.
7. What do you do for fun?
Cultivate my curiosity.
8. Give us a brief synopsis of what you spoke about at TEDx.
Well, the first time was on what inspires people and the second was on taking a step into adventure. The former was a mistake and failure in terms of being true to myself. I was trying to be clever and failed my true voice. It was an experience which enabled me to learn about leaning into my pedigree and not trying to craft something which isn’t.
9. What’s one serious mistake you made in the past that you learned from - personal or business?
Well my first company bombed and I learned so much from that humble experience. It was a social enterprise before we knew what that term meant. It functioned by taking corporate social responsibility funds from brands and investing them in community youth projects.
This was in 2003 and I was blogging heavily at that time, curating content from the sector and crafting new content as well. Fast forward three years and I was broke and so very tired. I learned how to utilise the online opportunities in business and when new media broke into social a couple of years later, I simply leveraged this experience into my new endeavours.
10. Do you prefer working alone or in partnership?
Depends on the venture. I’m definitely a loner when it comes to public speaking although in anything else I like to do in company. Being the license holder for TEDxWellington is a perfect illustration as it’s a totally voluntary role and the whole endeavour is a collaborative affair with other good souls giving their time and energy for free.
11. What’s the single most important thing we can do to make the world a better place?
Hug more, and stop trying to use social media channels to market or advertise - it’s a human channel for wonderful connections, creative inspiration and provocative conversations.
12. So far, what are you finding enjoyable about the BizDojo?
He Tangata. He Tangata. He Tangata. / The people, the people, the people. / Y bobl. Y bobl. Y bobl.
This piece was written by Gil, Community & Communications Coordinator at BizDojo Auckland. When Gil is not helping our community grow he is probably throwing a great party. Want to know more about Gil? Hit us up in the comments, and then maybe we can convince him to get a twitter account. In the meantime, you can follow BizDojo here.