OffGrid 2018 Agenda

Our theme for this year asks Is there a better way? New ways to approach old problems’.

This year our line-up is a diverse mix of expertise from an Ethnographer to a Music Producer, Rhetoric-Geek to Robotic artists, all of whom will offer up broad ranging opinions, share alternative perspectives and look at how different approaches have created different outcomes.

10.15 “Welcome to OffGrid Sessions” – Jeremy Hill

10.30 “How small changes can make big differences” – Dr David Halpern
David will be talking about behavioural economics and how psychology can be applied to today’s challenges. Dr Halpern is Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team, was the founding Director of the Institute for Government and, between 2001 and 2007, was the Chief Analyst at the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit.

11.45 “Every Thing we touch: A 24 inventory of our lives” – Paula Zuccotti
Paula will be sharing her work from her project Every Thing We Touch where she asked people from diverse groups and backgrounds to gather every object they touched in 24 hours. By collecting these intimate objects, coupled with her 15 years experience as an ethnographer, Paula looks at how we can unearth meaningful insights and perspective when looking at others and their lives.

12.30 “What does it mean to be human?” – Patrick Tresset
Patrick is an artist who creates theatrical installations using robots as actors.  Patrick’s installations use computational systems that bring artistic, expressive and obsessive aspects to robots’ behaviour. The systems are influenced by research into human behaviour, how artists create art, how humans perceive artworks and how humans relate to robots.

13.00 Lunch + wild swimming

14:30 “Six degrees of separation… because the world is separate enough” – June Sarpong in conversation with Jamie Bartlett
In troubling times it’s tempting to retreat to our comfort zones, to be with people just like us. But what if actively seeking the unfamiliar was proven to be the key to a brighter future. June will discuss how new ways to work, learn and live together can help us reach our maximum potential, lessen the pressure on the State and solve some of the most stubborn challenges we face.

15.45 “Support, inspire and grow: Going from start-up to scale” – Sherry Coutu CBE
Research shows that fewer than 3% of start-ups both survive for a decade and enjoy a single year of high growth. The problem now is not the quantity of entrepreneurial activity in the UK, but the ability to turn that activity into high-growth scale-ups. Sherry is a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and CEO of Founders4schools. She will share her experience in how to get start-ups to the next level.

17.00 “Passion, talent, collectives & chocolate” – Petra Barran
Petra was a street food trader between 2005-2011 driving all over Britain in her wagon, making friends with fellow traders as she went. Then, in a Damascene moment, realised that if everyone got organised they could make great things happen. Petra will be talking about her journey from Jimmy the choc-mobile to the creation of the street food collective, Kerb, and the importance of culture, cooperation and nurturing raw talent.

19.00 BBQ & Beers

21.30 “Alternative ways to make a living” – Mr Bingo
A few years ago Mr Bingo made a decision to stop working for clients and go it alone as ‘some sort of artist’. He was creator of the project ‘Hate Mail’ where people paid to receive offensive hand drawn postcards. It sold out in days. He then ran the most successful Kickstarter campaign for a book in the UK ever. Nobody really knows how he makes a living now but somehow he does.


Tuesday 17th July

07.30 – 09.30 Breakfast in the Clubhouse for campers / hampers in houses

08:00 – Yoga, Run the causeway, Beach Volleyball, Swim or Tennis

09.30 “Propaganda Gardening ” – Pamela Warhurst CBE
Pam is cofounder of Incredible Edible, an initiative dedicated to growing food locally by planting on unused land throughout the community. She called it propaganda gardening. Incredible Edible empowers ordinary people to take control of their communities through active civic engagement and redefining prosperity through the power of small actions.

10.00 “How to crush dream crushers” – Gundeep Anand
Gundeep believed local communities and postcode gangs had more in common to bring them together than divide them. So he founded The Last Stand, a UK street football tournament and saw that social purpose and new perspectives soon replaced rivalries and disillusionment.

11.00 “People vs tech, how the Internet is killing democracy” – Jamie Bartlett
Jamie is back in 2018 to talk about his latest work ‘People vs Tech’ and the impact (and potential threats) technology is having on our political systems. Jamie will look at how our fragile political system is being threatened by the digital revolution and explains that by upholding six key pillars of democracy we can save it before it is too late.

12:00 ‘Rhetoric, the power of words” – Sam Leith
A self-confessed rhetoric geek, Sam will cover the history and basic techniques of rhetoric and discuss how, as the communicative landscape has changed, so has the art of persuasion.  With the rise of post-truth, social media and the peculiar and dangerous effectiveness of Trumpism, Sam will ask: Can a fuller understanding of how rhetoric works offer some old solutions to new problems?

13.00 – Lunch  

14.30 “Creativity and rule breaking” – Elijah
Elijah strayed from his planned path of university, qualification, job to following his passion for music. He founded one of the UK’s most exciting and influential record labels, Butterz, and established himself as one of the most respected young Grime producers in the UK. Elijah will be talking about club culture and the rapidly changing landscape for artists and creative communities.

15.30 “Why we overlook endings and why we shouldn’t” – Joe MacLeod
As consumers and providers we overlook the importance of healthy, coherent endings. There was once a rich culture of reflection and responsibility, but over recent centuries this has been lost, producing a mixture of long-term societal oversight and short-term denial. Joe will look at why we celebrate the new and overlook endings and why this may be the wrong way round.

16.15 Workshops

19.30 Dinner

21.00 Music, Beers, Fires & Dancing


Wednesday 18th July

07.00 Breakfast in the Clubhouse for everyone

09:00 Causeway reopens

09.30 Coaches back to Witham Station