The most cost effective way to give your staff the tools to solve problems and generate new ideas, books and ebooks can provide an instant hit to enhance creative capabilities.
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Haven’t got the budget for a training course? We now have one our most popular bite-sized courses, the Creativity Kickstart on DVD. Without an introduction, using creativity techniques can seem strange and unnatural. This 1 hour DVD is the perfect introduction to familiarise yourself with business creativity, to be able to make practical use of creativity techniques.
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Alternatively, we can provide a PowerPoint for our popular Creativity Kickstart course along with a full trainer’s guide.
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Time for training is increasingly tight. It takes real dedication to take a whole day off work. These sessions, lasting one to two hours, are designed to fit around the working day as breakfast or lunchtime events, or to take up a manageably small chunk of working time. We have been running these bite size events since 1995 and they continue to be amongst our most popular (and cost effective) sessions. Most can run with any size audience.
Bite size sessions cost £800 each, or are available for small groups at our individual rate of £125/head (minimum 3 attendees). Like all our sessions, pricing assumes you will provide the facilities and excludes VAT, books and travel expenses.
This 1.5 hour seminar introduces the basics of creativity in an informal, interactive session. The participants get the chance to try out two powerful techniques and there is significant audience participation throughout. Suitable for groups of any size (maximum so far 800), the session is the ideal introduction to practical business creativity.
Creativity and innovation are not optional extras. In a challenging environment, creativity is a survival skill. It’s not enough to do what you’ve always done because the world is changing around you. The Creativity Kickstart event gives a powerful introduction to the nature of creativity, the need for it and the mechanisms available to enhance creativity in a practical, day-to-day manner. Experience has shown that the requirement to do something about creativity is only really understood once individuals have some experience of the approach and techniques available – the Kickstart is designed to give that initial boost.
We have a range of workshops available:
Sometimes you need to become immersed in a subject. Our full day sessions are aimed at those who will benefit most from the expertise, or who will act as ambassadors to spread the word. Most run with 10 to 20 people – that’s still as little as £100 each for a day’s training.
Full day sessions cost £2,000 per day or are available for small groups at our individual rate of £295/head (minimum 3 attendees). Like all our sessions, pricing assumes you will provide the facilities and excludes VAT, books and travel expenses. To keep costs down you could omit giving a book to attendees, but we strongly recommend it as a very effective way to sustain the message back into the workplace.
One of the most popular sessions, the creativity day is long enough to allow the participants to get a good immersion in creativity techniques. There are two main variants of the creativity day. Each is very interactive and participative, but variant A gives attendees the widest toolkit of techniques to go away ready to use, including several quick exercises helpful for improving team working, while variant B gives the participants a whole group afternoon to attack a single problem using a more detailed approach.
In variant A, the first half of the day combines an interactive learning exercise - an expanded form of the taster that gives more information on creativity – with an opportunity to take a single problem through the four stage creative process in small groups. The second half of the day builds a toolkit of techniques to go away and use, finishing with a personal agenda, pulling together the techniques as they are most likely to be used. Variant B goes into even more detail in the morning, with a few sample techniques to gain experience. In the afternoon, variant B addresses one or more real problems provided by the client, using a full framework of techniques, taking the participants in small groups through each of the stages of Imagination Engineering.
In both cases, participants will be able to take what they have learned and apply it to future problems and idea generation requirements. [Maximum of 20 people]
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We have a range of topics available:
Brian has been giving workshops on creativity and innovation for over 20 years, and thanks to his experience in having over 30 books published and writing for many newspapers and magazine, he has now extended this service to workshops on improving your writing skills. Brian has given a number of Guardian Masterclasses on science writing and gives writing workshops for business and organisations as part of Writing Project.
Our tailored writing workshops develop writing skills and stimulate confidence at work. A workshop can last from 1.5 hours to a full day, or longer. This list of workshops is not exhaustive and we'll be happy to create a workshop especially for you.
You’ll come away with a new approach to writing and the confidence to write effectively.
Ideal for any organisations in the science field, using Brian's extensive experience of science writing, can be focused on either writing for the public or writing the ideal academic paper.
Who Are You Writing For?
Knowing your audience is crucial. This workshop will help you communicate clearly and concisely to the people you want to influence. Participants will learn key writing and editing skills and boost their confidence in shaping their message for different clients/stakeholders.
Use More Engaging Language
There's often too much jargon and over-used vocabulary in professional communications. This workshop will experiment with fresh language and explore the use of metaphor and simile. It aims to provide tools for more engaging phrase- making and find alternatives for tired and unimaginative phrases.
Edit Yourself Better
Save management time by creating better first drafts. Using examples from your organisation, and others generated during the workshop, this session provides practical techniques for effective editing. Learn to re-structure, summarise, and make documents more accessible to your target audience. Experiment with editing your own and colleagues' writing.
Understanding Your Narrative
Narratives define who we are and what we do. Organisations need stories that clearly depict what they represent, why they exist, and where they are going. This workshop will help you define your story and express it memorably. We will look at how to foreground your USP and other stand-out elements of your organisation within a coherent narrative that will engage your customers and stakeholders.
Writing Press Releases
Snappy, factual, story-driven: press releases must be all these things if they are to grab a journalist's attention and get your message across. This workshop focuses on how to identify your core message, craft punchy headlines, and construct press releases that the media will want to publish.
Casual and friendly? Precise and official? Somewhere in between? This workshop discovers how to set the appropriate tone for your emails, both in-house and to other organisations. Explore the question of language register, how to establish authority and show tact in response – and learn how to self-edit before hitting 'send'.
Blogging and Social Media
Who do you want to engage? What image do you want to project? How do you find your desired audience and communicate your message in a tone that will keep them on your side? Participants will experiment with different voices and tones to attract interest, and discover techniques for building a compelling online presence as well as keeping up the momentum.
Writing Marketing Documents
Learn how to fine-tune public documents to attract and win over your target readership. Based on your organisation's own marketing/PR materials, this workshop shows how to hone your style and tone to convey the optimum public image/brand identity.
It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of information you collect and collate. This workshop looks at ways to analyse information as you record it, and how to be strategic, concise and accurate in your note-taking. It also looks at selecting for relevance and priority in your notes, so that you can put what matters first.
(Charity professionals) Bid Writing and Grant Proposals
If you're seeking funding, this workshop will help you create powerful and effective
bids, proposals, and letters to potential donors. Written communication skills will be honed and polished through an understanding of the process, attention to structure, clarity of intention, and imaginative ways to engage different audiences.
For further details on writing workshops and audits, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Bite-sized 1.5 hour events cost £800, half day £1400 and full day £2000. Audits cost £750. Travel expenses and VAT extra.
Based on his best-selling books, Brian's talks last around 1 hour plus a Q&A - we explore the most amazing and mind-stretching aspects of science. Ideal for awaydays, after-dinner talks and staff engagement.
For further details on science events, email email@example.com.
Single 1.5 hour events cost £800, half day £1400 and full day £2000. Travel expenses and VAT extra.
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Time travel makes for wonderful science fiction, but in this talk, we take a trip with science writer Brian Clegg into the real world of time machines. Surprisingly, there is nothing in the laws of physics that prevents us from travelling through time. In fact, time travel is a natural consequence of relativity - though the reality is very different from the time machines of fiction. There is no other topic that captures the imagination so dramatically. From an exploration of the nature of time and why time travellers’ conventions don’t get many attendees to the revelation of our best time machine that has already been built, this talk shatters our illusions on the reality of time travel. Hear a recording of the How to Build a Time Machine talk, given as part of the Bath University external lecture programme:
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Beginning by inventing our own number system based on goats, we explore the nature of mathematics - how it operates in its own world, and yet can have such a strong connection to our own. We see how apparently unreal concepts like imaginary numbers can have a huge input on practical science and engineering and ask if today's physicists are allowing mathematics to be too much in control. A rare opportunity to think about what maths actually is and what its impact has been.
Quantum physics is fundamental to our understanding of the world around us. Everything from the atoms in your body to the photons in a beam of light are quantum particles, which act bizarrely by appearing to be in many places at the same time or passing through barriers as if they're not there. Not only is this the basis of all matter and light, now a huge amount of technology depends on it - a smartphone contains at least seven different quantum technologies - yet most of us know little about this amazing science and the remarkable stories of the development of quantum applications from lasers to superconductors.
Based on Brian's book about the origins of the universe and what came before it, this talk gives the audience a chance to explore the most popular question asked of the British Science Association - what came before the Big Bang. The event starts with the creation myths and explores how we first began to realize the scale of the universe. From there we see how the Big Bang theory came into being and how it isn't quite as certain as it is often portrayed, looking at the best of the current alternative theories. As the title suggest, we also consider that perennial question, if there was a Big Bang, what came before it... and discover that the answer could be nothing at all.
Data has been with us since we first made marks on clay tablets, but big data takes information technology - and its impact on our lives - to a whole new level. The combination of four key pieces of tech - the internet, advanced computers, smartphones and sophisticated algorithms that manage and interpret huge flows of data has made our systems worryingly powerful. In this engaging talk, Brian Clegg looks at how Netflix used big data to turn TV production on its head, why big data encourages airlines to overbook and how it enables unnervingly personal adverts to appear on our computers. Big data presents us with a huge opportunities… and challenges. It can make our lives better, from improvements in medical diagnosis to the benefits of a smart home, or it can ruin our lives where jobs are managed by algorithms and our finances are managed with no way of understanding how the decisions are made or appealing against them. Big data is here to stay - so we all need to understand it better.
An enjoyable exploration of the science that you will experience on a plane journey, both in the flight itself and also in the view from your airplane window. From Newton’s laws to relativity, from fractals to cloud formation, there’s something fascinating every moment. Do you know why you can’t make a good cup of tea on a plane? Or that sat nav would be wrong by several kilometres in one day if they didn’t allow for relativity? All will be revealed.
Based on Brian's book The First Scientist and a debate he devised for the Royal Institution, this is an exploration of what science is. The talk hangs on key people who might be considered to be the first scientist - people like Archimedes, Roger Bacon, Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and even Maxwell. But apart from giving some entertaining insights into these key characters in the development of science it's also an opportunity to explore the nature of science and why we do it. Optionally we can have a vote at the end to see who the audience believe was the first scientist.
Most of us struggle with memory. But in this fun, interactive talk with plenty of activities, there's a chance to learn a little about how memory works and try out some practical techniques that will help you remember people's names, numbers and lists of information. It's a talk you can't fail to remember.
Linked to Brian's book Ecologic, this talk/discussion looks at how our attitude to green issues from recycling and carbon footprints to Fairtrade and organic food tend to be influenced more by emotion than by logic. The talk provides students with a toolkit to take a more realistic, less black-and-white view of the environment.
Where did the idea of infinity come from? Who were the people who defined and refined this paradoxical quantity? Why is infinity, a concept we can never experience or truly grasp, at the heart of science? How can some infinities be bigger than others? An exploration of the most mind-boggling feature of maths and physics, this talk examines amazing paradoxes and the people who devised and refined the concept.
This fascinating exploration of probability, statistics and randomness explains how chaos and randomness are often behind the realities of everyday life. We learn how to toss a head ten times in a row, how to make predictions with impossible accuracy, why people volunteer to give up thousands of pounds for no good reason, and a recreate a game show that left the woman with the world's highest IQ being reviled by a whole list of academics... until they discovered she was right. The video below is of my Dice World talk at The John Rylands Library as part of the Manchester Science Festival, courtesy of the Royal Society.
Once, we sought absolutes, certainties, and facts to explain the world around us. But as science has developed, relativity has swept away many of those certainties, leaving only a handful of unchangeable essentials: absolute zero, nothingness, and light. As a result, is science better now and is it taking us closer to the essence of being human? By building a universe from scratch, we see the importance of relativity and frames of reference. From the essentials of space, stuff and time through life and human creativity, this exploration of relativity establishes humanity's place in the universe.
Let go of something - it falls. Of course it does. But why? Starting with this question we explore the weakest of the four forces of nature, yet the one that is responsible for the formation of stars and planets and the existence of life. What did people used to think gravity was? Why did Newton's contemporaries laugh at his ideas? How does general relativity explain that an apple falls because of a warp in time? And is antigravity possible. A journey into this most fascinating and mind-bending force including an introduction to general relativity.
Eadweard Muybridge was an eccentric Victorian photographer who produced the first high speed motion photographs, analysed the movement of animals and humans, devised the first motion picture projector and ran the first cinema. He travelled out from his birthplace of Kingston upon Thames to the wild world of 1870s California, where he murdered his wife's lover. It's a story packed with drama and fascinating technological developments.