Every year we’re lucky enough to partner up with our favourite conferences around the world (or in this case un-conference), and this year the lovely lady behind Make Nice – Ngaio Parr – gave us a media pass to give away via Instagram. Read the wrap up from our winner Emily Wills below, including some of her favourite quotes from the day!
The Make Nice online community met up for the real-life Make Nice Un-Conference in Surry Hills on September 23rd. In its second year, the jam-packed one-day event was structured around keynote speakers, guest panels and breakaway discussion groups. Bookended by drinks and nibbles allowed for guests to meet each other without posturing or pretense in non-formal settings. Attendees, presenters and their guests were invited to mingle over art and drinks at the Women exhibition hosted by Special Group Projects on Friday night.
The Make Nice Un-Conference started early on Saturday morning. Independent illustrator Becky Simpson led the keynote charge and had us giggling into our coffee cups. She likened the life of a freelancer to hopping on lily pads, “before you know it, you’re where you need to be.”
“I never want my ideas to be limited by my abilities”
– Leah Procko
Leah Procko left us with the memorable mantra; “Be Nice AF. Never Give Up. Drink Your Own Kool-Aid.” The morning finished with an Un-Panel of speakers discussing – I’ve Started My Thing, Now What? Led by dynamo moderator Jess Scully, the speakers shared tips on embracing change, creating a work life balance, finding purpose, and how to talk about money.
Organised by Ngaio Parr, the Make Nice Un-Conference unknotted participants from awkward networking by providing attendees with secret lunch dates. The concept of “Lunch with NEW Friends” encouraged mingling with strangers in nearby cafes.
“Braid your skills and interests, no matter how disparate.”
– Stanislava Pinchuk
The afternoon gave attendees options to jump in on Roundtable Discussions hosted by various speakers and panelists. It was a chance to get up close and pick the brains of our creative heroes. I joined commissioning editor Lex Hirst’s group to discuss the topic “Women Helping Women,” also described as speed group therapy.
Stanislava Pinchuk brought us back to earth with her advice, “Do Less + Do it Better.” Sharing words of wisdom, she encouraged the audience to “braid your own skills and interests, not matter how disparate” to invent our own jobs, for our own brains.
“The best way to sustain work is to allow baby steps”
– Becky Simpson
Ann Friedman shared sentiments that it’s on you to show people what you can do, and what you’re capable of. The theme of building meaningful networks was echoed when she said, “it’s not lonely at the top if collaboration is how you got there.” Call your girlfriends, now.