2015 Flashmob - How did it go?

The 2015 Language Awareness Flashmob at Leeds Railway Station
This year was the first time that I had actively taken part in celebrating International Translation Day, and what a way to do it! The whole event, right from planning and organising through to actually doing it was a joy and I had so much fun.
What we may have lacked in quantity, we more than made up for in quality as our “flashmobbers” were enthusiastic, patient and resilient when interacting with the busy Leeds commuters. As a student of Portuguese, I thought it would be a great opportunity to practice my speaking skills during the flashmob by asking people if they knew where the University was. The first couple of people I asked didn’t have a clue as to what I was saying and shrugged apologetically. However, my third unknowing participant responded in a lovely Brazilian accent! He proceeded to walk me out of the station and show me the road I needed to take to get to university whilst explaining that was from Chile and his wife was Brazilian. I thought to myself, what were the odds of actually asking someone that speaks Portuguese at the Leeds Railway Station? Just goes to show how multilingual Leeds is!
I proceeded to do a lap of the station (since I couldn't just follow the helpful Chilean man back inside when he had gone to such lengths to show me where to go) and I thought I would ask just once more. Outside the Queen’s hotel were two men waiting for a taxi. It turned out that they were two Scots who were visiting Leeds and suggested I ask the hotel’s Doorman, as they didn't know the area at all. The Doorman was brilliant; overly helpful with giving me very thorough directions and he even tried to learn a bit of Portuguese!
As I piece together the footage to create a short video, I witness over and over again the receptiveness and tolerance of Leeds commuters and general public, and I am inspired by how multilingual the Leeds community is. I was also encouraged by the universal desire to help and to engage with one another, regardless of any ‘language barriers’ and I think fellow flashmobber Juan hit the nail on the head when he said “languages are to unite, not to separate”.

The final video will be published very soon. In the meantime, if you haven’t seen it yet, watch the teaser video here.

Leeds Business Week 2015

Pulling the petals off a daisy is an activity children are told has the same results as reading through a crystal ball: it allows us to see reality and therefore better controlling our future. I have no statistics on how reliable this is, probably very little because this action is never mentioned in professional life ... and yet we do it every day. Should I attend this event, what benefits does it report to me or to my business, how do I measure the success rate ...

If the mountain does not come to Leeds, Leeds must go to the mountain. Leeds Business Week is the product of Yorkshire Mafia’s efforts to create an environment that helps small businesses grow. The first time they organized this event they had a daisy around. Did it show the success it has today?  As a new entrepreneur, I attended previous years and this year my daisy told me to put a stand in one of the venues.

The week has had a wide range of choices: debates, presentations, seminars and always the enthusiasm of sharing experiences in a friendly atmosphere and affordable to everyone.

Big questions, request for more collaboration, large companies working with small and all wanting to help fill the gap progress makes with its giant footprints. Big and small working hand in hand in the region : what a treat to watch closely the pilot models Google and Vodafone are starting in Leeds and to  talk directly with business people regardless of size and status. We all have something to learn and something to share.

IMG_0154.JPGYou remember the smile you had when your daisy said what you wanted to hear? Well that's the smile we have now in our faces. Our special thanks to Yorkshire Mafia for organizing the event and make us all feel at home.