Earlier this month, I was lucky enough to fly off to Stockholm for the Bonnier conference GRID. Now, don’t switch off – this is nothing like the cold coffee and uncomfortable chairs that you’re probably picturing; GRID was quite the opposite…
Flying into Stockholm (what a beautiful city), the five of us representing Bonnier Publishing UK didn’t really know what to expect. We’d been following the blog and twitter, studying the program, had asked colleagues – yet the only thing we could be certain of was that GRID is like no event that any of us had been to before. So here is my roundup of the best bits, the videos you have to watch and some behind-the-scenes highlights!
Monday morning we made our way to Wintervaken, the abandoned dynamite factory (seriously) where we were to be spending the next two days. Lit up and decked out with chintzy armchairs and sofas, stools and side tables all pointing towards a stage, it seemed like things were about to start…
Next thing we know, the lights are out and on comes Jonas Bonnier!
It’s a pretty packed day of speakers from all over the world and all kinds of industries. My favourites? Sarah Kay on spoken word poetry, Bunker Roy sharing his story of Barefoot Wisdom and Chip Kidd telling us how to ‘fail better’. All the speakers had incredibly different ways of looking at the world, yet were similarly determined to achieve their goals – be it training grandmothers to be solar engineers or moving up to Harlem and starting a restaurant. But why take my word for it when you can watch all the videos here!
Wise words from Einstein in our GRID notebook – where would we be without the wonderful, varied (and sometimes fantastically mad!) imaginations of our authors?
Day 1 flew by as we listened to the stories of our speakers: stories of struggles, non-believers and achieving the impossible. We all left on a high, jumping on a boat to get back to central Stockholm – luckily the sun had come out!
A surprise appearance from the Bonnier band – who knew that Bonnier CEOs from around the world were so musical?!
In seemingly no time at all it was time for day 2, and a brand new array of speakers. Marco Tempest merged magic with technology right in front of our eyes and Andy Puddicombe (above) led us in meditation (and juggled). Louie Psihoyos gave us an insight into his terrifying documentary The Cove and we talked about social media with Margaret Stewart.
GRID was like nothing I have ever been to before. From the people I met, who are internationally struggling, innovating and creating just as we are, to the stories, to the setting, it was genuinely inspiring. I took a hundred things away from there, but most importantly? Say YES. Say yes to as many experiences as possible, listen to stories, read widely, introduce yourself to strangers, try something different. It was the common theme through all the speakers that taking a chance works – whether it pays off it the way we expected, or influences our futures for the better.
So thank you Bonnier for holding the conference, and thank you speakers for bringing your experiences and stories to us in Stockholm – next year’s GRIDsters have something special to look forward to!