Oxygen is an interactive events programme featuring high-profile Commonwealth speakers, predominantly from professional backgrounds outside of the creative industries.
In providing a platform for prominent individuals to speak about their experiences within their chosen field, Oxygen will seek to inspire those within the Scottish creative and cultural industries, offer new perspectives, and provide organisations in Scotland with the opportunity to host high-profile speakers.
The programme is led by the Royal Commonwealth Society in partnership with Creative Scotland.
Events will take place during 2011-12 in London, Edinburgh, Glasgow and elsewhere in Scotland. See below for speakers and event details.
Mohamed Nasheed was one of the founders of the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP), and served as the fourth, and first democratically elected, president of the country from 2008 until 2012, when he resigned under disputed circumstances. Referred to by some journalists as 'the Mandela of the Maldives', he was imprisoned early in his political career for a critical article written in a political magazine. After being released, he founded the MDP, which was recognised in 2005. Once elected, he dedicated his presidency to raising awareness of the threat caused by global warming, famously holding an underwater cabinet meeting in 2009. In 2011 a documentary film, The Island President was released chronicling his attempts to raise awareness of climate change.
Wednesday 19 September, 6.30pm, The Royal Commonwealth Society
This event is free to attend. Click here to book a place.
Thursday 20 September, 12.30pm, The Guinness Room, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
This event is free to attend. Please email email@example.com if you would like to attend.
Oxygen was launched in November 2011 with a speaking tour featuring Mark Inglis. Mark lost both his legs to frost bite when he was 23-years-old and went on to be the only double amputee to have climbed Mount Everest, fitting in a multitude of careers in between, including working as a scientist, a world recognised winemaker, and Paralympic medal winner.
His first stop was New Galloway, a small village near Dumfries, and a sold out event at a local art gallery, The Catstrand.
"Mark gave an inspiring presentation and talk on his life and the audience were in awe of his story: to come back from the losing both his legs and then climb to the peak of Mount Everest. His motivation was the compelling factor in his life journey and the local community here were drawn
to this man because he delivered his story with honesty, humour and a respect for human nature and the world around us." Sean Paul O'Hare, The CatStrand
Mark also traveled across the country to Huntly, where he gave another three talks, two of them in schools. He also commandeered a 10km hike with local residents, using his mountaineering expertise to put them on the right path after they got lost along the way...
As part of the Commonwealth Week activities in March 2012 Oxygen brought the legendary South African jazz trumpeter, Hugh Masekela to Scotland for an event in conversation with Hardeep Singh Kohli. An outspoken advocate for civil rights on both sides of the Atlantic and universally considered one of jazz's greatest horn players, he talked about his career spent pushing both social and musical boundaries.
Tim Flannery is one of Australia's leading thinkers and writers. As a scientist, explorer and conservationist his achievements are many. Amongst them are the discovery of over thirty new species of mammal, being honoured Australian of the Year in 2007, co-founding and chairing the Copenhagen Climate Council, and selling over a million copies of his book The Weather Makers, one of the most influential texts in our understanding of global warming.
Tim will be doing a series of three events - don't miss this opportunity to hear Tim speak about his extensive work, in conversation with Scott Donaldson from Creative Scotland.
Josephine Rydberg-Dumont gave her lecture at the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design. As former CEO of Swedish furniture juggernaut IKEA she could relate to the textile and interior environmental design students who had come to hear her speak.
In the spirit of Oxygen, she took her specific experiences at IKEA and applied them to a discussion on creative leadership and global business. Rydberg-Dumont's central philosophy challenges people to move beyond 'design thinking' to 'design doing'. Put simply, the key to successful leadership and business is to identify a problem that needs solving, list the specific strengths you have to address it, and come up with a practical solution.
Tim Flannery, Climate Commissioner of Australia, spoke in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London on his work as a scientist, explorer and conservationist. Tim talked about his early work as a zoologist in Papua New Guinea, where he discovered over thirty mammal species, the importance of biodiversity and what its decline has meant for the environment and his recent work as Chief Climate Commissioner for Australia.
Tim also touched on issues close to the Oxygen project's heart and talked about the importance of cultures and arts in our understanding of climate change - by helping us to imagine its impact on the world around us. Urging aspiring popular scientists to read the classics, he spoke of the importance of literature in helping scientists learn how to write, and communicate to a popular audience by telling them stories.