Strategy week kicked off with a formal debate that argued that the future was too uncertain, our strategy as a university was doomed, why bother trying. The VC was convenor. Stakes were high. My team was up against 2 outstanding comedians and a futurist AKA futurologist. Game on! I had the dream team. Rachel and Renee. Rachel Wilson, a stellar member of our teaching staff who is leading the Belonging Project, and Renee Peterson, a master’s student who has had a career as a TV and radio presenter. She could have regaled the 300 people in the Strategy Week audience with fascinating tales of interviewing film stars – Tom (Cruise, and Hanks), Russell (Crowe, and Brand), but also Cameron (Diaz not David) and the venerable Nicole Kidman – but she led with a brilliant anecdote about falling flat on her face when about to interview Sir Ben Kingsley in London. With only 4 minutes allotted to her interview and working to a tight deadline to get the film back for national broadcast, she picked herself up (literally), adjusted her hair and drew on everything she’d learned as a student and did the interview with a charming Sir Ben.
We won the debate hands down, or actually hands together, as it was done by a rather unscientific (but of course entirely accurate) survey of audience applause. First time I’ve ever been on the ‘Negative Team’ though! More on this blog from the trenches of Strategy Week every day….