Spoke
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Spoke

Author: Jonny McCormick

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Welcome to Spoke. Deep conversations with interesting people about subjects that matter.

Join Jonny McCormick and a new guest each week during the season and be a 'fly-on-the-wall' during interesting conversations on a whole host topics like online community building and the fight against modern slavery. You'll get a unique insight into a subject that's close to our guests' heart and hear a little bit about what makes these incredible people tick.

You can connect with Spoke on instagram and twitter @spokepodcast or check out our website for full shownotes at www.spokepodcast.org
22 Episodes
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I can't believe it was 10 weeks ago that we started Season 2 and here we are at the final episode! This episode is just me (again!) answering some questions that were submitted via our Instagram. Thank you so much for listening along in Season 2...hope you stick around for when Season 3 launches.
In this episode, I'm joined by Kenneth McElroy one of the founders of the Caithness Broch Project. In our discussion, Kenneth explains what a broch is, why they're important, why heritage tourism is important for more remote areas of Scotland and gives his musings on archeology in general. It's a great conversation. If you don't know what a broch is I've included a picture here...but Kenneth goes into some detail during the conversation. The Caithness Broch Project website Caithness Broch Instagram Caithness Broch Facebook
This episode was originally released as part of Season 1. Due to some technical issues with our upload this week I thought it would be agood idea to give this "oldie but goodie" some additional love...it's in the name afterall! 🚲 🍞 🌱 Things are a little different this week. I'm joined by a few guests instead of just one and the podcast is in two parts. In part one I'm joined by Ryan, Leo and Richard. They are from Loveworks Cooperative. Loveworks is a workers cooperative meaning that all the workers are part owners of the business - they all take equal pay, have equal voting rights and the business is based on trust and mutuality. In part one Ryan talks about how Loveworks gave him a second chance after a few stints in jail and falling into the wrong crowd - it's allowed him to gain new skills, increase confidence and give him a new perspective on life. For Leo he's been able to develop skills as a baker and move away from the hospitality industry to being a member and chairperson of the cooperative. Loveworks is changing the lives of all those who are a part of it. In part two I sit down with Richard one on one. Richard is the visionary behind Loveworks and he shares a bit about the journey that brought him to where he is today...and it's perhaps not where he thought he would be. A doctor by training Richard worked in Psychiatry and quickly discovered that a life of medicine wasn't for him. So he retrained and is now full-time and all in at Loveworks. LINKS: The Loveworks Cooperative Loveworks Instagram
This week on the show I'm joined by Nico van der Horst. Nico started Pride and Pinion - Ireland's only dedicated luxury watch boutique - with modest loan from the bank and a plan to buy and sell watches. Since then he's gone on to open the Vault, Pride and Pinion's first shop inside the Merchant Hotel in Belfast. In our show Nico talks about his views on entrepreneurship, why he loves luxury watches and timekeeping devices in general and his favourite watches. Aside from being able to geek out about watches for a nearly an hour we also chat about Nico's approach to entrepreneurship which stems from his Grandfather, and why he's not just in business for the money. In a way watches rescued Nico from a job that he barely tolerated and a long commute which he hated. He used watches to escape the hum-drum of a predictable life and built the life he wanted. An inspiring story. You can follow along with the Pride and Pinion journey over on their Instagram (@PrideandPinion), and you can check out their website if you want to browse their collection. Even better though, you can call into the Vault in the Merchant Hotel and meet Nico yourself, try on some watches and learn a thing or two about the stories behind them.
This week we have Dr Simon Clark on the show. Simon is a Youtuber with a PhD from the University of Exeter. He spends his time on Youtube sharing about science, maths, and helping students get into elite universities like the University of Oxford where he completed his undergraduate and master's degrees. Simon's Youtube channel Simon's Twitter account Simon's Twitch channel
Michael Howe, a co-founder of Campus Capital, shares in this episode his journey from being an overstocked teapot salesperson to founding one of the most innovative venture funds around today. Michael along with his co-founder Samantha started a venture fund that operates traditionally in many ways, raising money from institutional and high-net-worth investors, running due diligence and deploying capital into high risk, high reward, high growth, high potential start-ups. One this is different though...their VCs are students.
This episode is a bit different. For a start, it wasn't necessarily planned! I sat down and recorded a brief conversation with my youngest brother and we chatted through funny nicknames (Stinky Poo McGrick), his thoughts on Brexit and what he believes are some of the 'big issues' in the world today.
In this episode, I am joined by Krystyn Harrison, CEO of Prosper. Prosper is an app based coaching service helping people navigate their careers. They can provide coaching on things like landing your dream job, scoring a promotion or even just leveling up your leadership ability. Krystyn is a multi-business founder and in this episode, she shares about her journey - the successes, failures, challenges, and victories. It's an honest conversation packed with lots of goodness! Hello Prosper Krystyn Harrison Twitter
In this conversation Daniel Giacopelli, Editor of Courier Magazine shares what goes into making magazines work as a business. He also talks about the state of media today and gives some hints at where Courier might go in the future.
It's an absolute delight this week to be joined by the one and only, Sara Tasker. You might know her as @meandorla on Instagram or elsewhere. You might also know her as the author of #Authentic the book or the host of the podcast by the same name. Or, maybe as one of the co-hosts of Letter from a Hopeful Creative. Sara is a busy bee online and it's clear she works hard yet it's still surprising to many people that she's managed to build a multiple 6-figure business out of what was once a hobby...posting on Instagram. Since those early days where she started gaining popularity Sara has expanded her empire to writing, podcast, speaking, consulting and coaching others how to do the same. In this conversation Sara shares about her journey to building a business and life she loves. Originally starting her career as a speech therapist Sara is now one of the authoritative voices on influencing online, digital marketing and being how to keep your soul and remain authentic whilst doing it. It was a delight to talk with Sara and I think you'll love this episode. If you do please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts - it helps spread the word! Hashtag Authentic the book Me & Orla Instagram
Lyra McKee - GoFundMe legacy fundraiser Wow…it’s been a while. I’m finally ready to start launching season 2 episodes and I’m really excited to share them with you. We’ll launch season 2 on 27th June which is exactly one year after our first official episode aired, with Mel Wiggins in the guest seat. And, in fact we’re going to launch with two episodes - double the goodness - the first two episodes feature Sara Tasker who started the incredibly popular instagram account meandorla and the podcast hashtag authentic and Daniel Giacopelli the Editor of Courier Magazine which explores the world of modern business and startups. They’re such great conversations and I can’t wait for you to listen to them. I had originally intended to release season 2 much earlier but life just kind of got in the way. As some of you will know I’ve had some quite big personal news…Cassie, my wife, and I have had our first child and we’re totally in love with her. She’s turned our lives upside down and inside out in the most special way. Alongside that I’ve been balancing work, starting a small property company, study and just life in general and the podcast sort of collected dust. But, no more! It’s time to get these conversations out into the world. Alongside all the goodness of the past year, it would be remiss of me not to reflect on the fact that one of season 1 guests, Lyra McKee, is no longer with us. For those who don’t know Lyra was brutally murdered as she was reporting rioting in Derry. Just 2 days before she was shot I was messaging Lyra and we were reflecting on the all too quick passage of time, something that feels even more poignant now. A fundraising page has been set up on gofundme to contribute towards Lyra’s legacy. I’ve already made a donation and would love it if you could consider contributing anything, even a very small amount, to help ensure that Lyra’s message and hope live on. The link is in the bio but you can also just search for ‘GoFundMe Lyra McKee’ and you’ll find it. Thanks for listening and following along - here’s to season 2.
👌🏼✌🙌🏼 A bit of a different one this week to close out Season 1 as I'm joined by...no-one! It's just me. I thought a nice way to close out season 1 would be to answer some of the questions from you, the audience. So I hope you enjoy this brief episode. I'm currently busy in the throes of planning Season 2 and already have 4 interviews booked for the coming weeks. Season 2 will most likely launch later in the year but I'll announce on Instagram closer to the time. Thanks for listening! Enjoy the final show of Season 1! Please ensure you're subscribed to the show that way you'll never miss an episode. Additionally if you're enjoying the podcast it would mean the world to me if you could leave us a rating ⭐️ and review ✍️ on Apple Podcasts or wherever you happen to be listening!
🚲 🍞 🌱 Things are a little different this week. I'm joined by a few guests instead of just one and the podcast is in two parts. In part one I'm joined by Ryan, Leo and Richard. They are from Loveworks Cooperative. Loveworks is a workers cooperative meaning that all the workers are part owners of the business - they all take equal pay, have equal voting rights and the business is based on trust and mutuality. In part one Ryan talks about how Loveworks gave him a second chance after a few stints in jail and falling into the wrong crowd - it's allowed him to gain new skills, increase confidence and give him a new perspective on life. For Leo he's been able to develop skills as a baker and move away from the hospitality industry to being a member and chairperson of the cooperative. Loveworks is changing the lives of all those who are a part of it. In part two I sit down with Richard one on one. Richard is the visionary behind Loveworks and he shares a bit about the journey that brought him to where he is today...and it's perhaps not where he thought he would be. A doctor by training Richard worked in Psychiatry and quickly discovered that a life of medicine wasn't for him. So he retrained and is now full-time and all in at Loveworks.
⚡️🎙⚡️ Ben Mudge is in the hot seat as my guest this week. Ben is a Personal Trainer, Cystic Fibrosis advocate and Instagram legend (www.instagram.com/BenMudge_) from Northern Ireland. You might know Ben as the NI version of Thor because of his uncanny resemblance to the Avengers character. In this show we talk about how Ben sort of unintentionally because an CF advocate and how he's now an inspiration to tens of thousands of people. Ben also shares about some of his self-confessed nerdy obsessions including warhammer and his detailed knowledge of the swords from Lord of the Rings. If you're interested in connecting with Ben to find out more the best places to do that are on his instagram (@BenMudge_) or his website www.benmudge.com 🚨 During the show Ben mentions the importance of becoming an organ donor. Please, please take the time to research how to register for this in your country. A simple search for something like "register to be an organ donor in " should get you started. You could be saving lives! 🚨 Thanks for listening! Enjoy the show! Please ensure you're subscribed to the show that way you'll never miss an episode. Additionally if you're enjoying the podcast it would mean the world to me if you could leave us a rating ⭐️ and review ✍️ on Apple Podcasts or wherever you happen to be listening!
🏝🚨⚡️ Kyle Gawley is my guest on the podcast this week. Kyle is the founder of Get Invited (ticketing and events company) and Get Started (business launchpad). Kyle currently lives and works as a digital nomad which means he travels the world while running his business from wherever the place has just touched down. When I catch up with Kyle he's been in Thailand for a few months and runs his businesses remotely from there. In the episode we talk about what it's like being a digital nomad, how Kyle launched his business while still at University and some of the challenges he experienced along the way. Kyle shares some of the trials, tribulations and successes of what it means to be an entrepreneur. Kyle also has an incredibly rich blog with tonnes of great articles available at www.kylegawley.com. You can also connect with him on Twitter. Thanks for listening! Enjoy the show! Please ensure you're subscribed to the show that way you'll never miss an episode. Additionally if you're enjoying the podcast it would mean the world to me if you could leave us a rating ⭐️ and review ✍️ on Apple Podcasts or wherever you happen to be listening!
⚡️💯🚨 Christian Zeron from Theo & Harris is in the hot-seat this week. Theo & Harris is a luxury, vintage-watch dealer and watch content producer. You can check out all of Theo & Harris' watches on their website and you should for sure check out their YouTube channel. Christian started Theo & Harris instead of going to law school...much to his parents dismay. Since seeing his success they've come around to the idea a lot more and his dad Rolly even features in one of his regular video series, "Liquor Run". In this episode you'll hear about why watches are more than just devices to tell the time. To Christian they're steeped in history, tradition and special memories. You'll also get a bit of insight on how Christian got around to founding Theo & Harris and learn a little something about watches! You can connect with Christian personally on Instagram. You can of course also connect with Theo & Harris on Instagram and Youtube and check out their website for a beautifully curated selection of watches and accessories. Enjoy! Please ensure you're subscribed to the show that way you'll never miss an episode. Additionally if you're enjoying the podcast it would mean the world to me if you could leave us a rating ⭐️ and review ✍️ on Apple Podcasts or wherever you happen to be listening!
⚡️👌🏼🚨 Tony Macaulay takes time out from overseeing his life being turned into a legitimate musical to join me on the podcast this week. For those who don't know Tony, he is an author of 4 books which are memoirs documenting his experiences as a child and young adult growing up in North Belfast. In our conversation we talk about the series of events that led to Tony's first book, Paperboy, being turned into a muscial. We talk about some of Tony's most formative memories growing up and one of his personal heroes Gordon Wilson. Whilst Tony is possibly best known for being an author and broadcaster he is also an internationally renowned leadership development practitioner and peacebuilder and a passionate advocate for suicide prevention. We cover all of this and more during our conversation. You're not going to want to miss this one. You can pick Tony's book up in all good bookstores and in all the usual places online and I'd highly recommend it! You can also connect with Tony on Twitter (@tonymacaulay) and Instagram (@tony.macaulayauthor). If you can get tickets to his almost sold out show, Paperboy I'd also encourage it if the book is anything to go by! Please ensure you're subscribed to the show that way you'll never miss an episode. Additionally if you're enjoying the podcast it would mean the world to me if you could leave us a rating ⭐️ and review ✍️ on Apple Podcasts or wherever you happen to be listening!
This week we're joined by Jess Janz. Jess is a creative currently residing in Toronto, Canada. Alongside being a talented singer/songwriter and poet, a number of months ago Jess along with her cofounder Ryan started a dinner series called Share Plates (@shareplatestoronto on Insta). Share Plates invites strangers to have dinner, drinks and conversations together. What's the catch? You're not allowed to talk about work...that's it! Share Plates invites people to go past the superficial and into the things that actually matter through a series of thought-provoking questions. Jess shares a little about what an evening at a Share Plates dinner is like. If you haven't connected with Jess the best place to do that is on Instagram @jessjanz. You can also follow her poetry account (recommended!) @visitjessjanz. Aside from that Share Plates can be found @shareplatestoronto Thanks for taking the time to listen. If you enjoyed the episode it would mean a lot if you could take the time to review it and leave a rating. As always you can connect with us on Instagram or Twitter @SpokePodcast See you next week!
Matthew Thompson is in the hot-seat as our esteemed guest this week. For those of you who are familiar with Matthew you probably know him from Best of Belfast, which started out as an Instagram account dedicated to showing the hidden beauty in everyday Belfast. Since it's beginnings as an Instagram account it's sprouted wings and taken on a new life as a Podcast and a community that hosts regular gatherings, dragging people from the digital into the tangible. This is Matthew's first time being the interviewee and I'm glad he chose to share his experience with the Spoke community. Matthew shares some of the stories involved in starting a community online and what it's like to try and take that community offline. He talks us through how he had 3 simple rules for his life: Not getting married Not going to university Not living in Northern Ireland ...and how he has since reneged on each of these. If you haven't connected with Matthew check him out on Instagram (@BestofBelfast) check out his podcast and website at (www.bestofbelfast.org). The whole premise of Best of Belfast podcast is to showcase and highlight local legends and Matthew does this perfectly. The episode he recommended you check out was his most recent (at time of recording) with Gavan Wall. My personal favourite is the live recorded episode with Dillon Osborne but they're all great! Thanks for taking the time to listen! If you enjoyed the episode it would mean a lot if you could take the time to review the episode and as always you can follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
This week on the show I am joined by Lyra McKee. Lyra is an award winning investigative journalist, an author who is working on two books due to be published in the next two years, a TEDx speaker (watch it here) and a winner of the Forbes 30 under 30 honour. Lyra and I discuss things like what investigative journalism is, some of the pieces she has investigated, her thoughts on the state of journalism and why some cases or issues don't get attention while others do. According to her granny Lyra was destined to be a writer but she didn't have the easiest ride to get there. Lyra struggled with reading and writing growing up and as a result of some inspirational people in her life and a tonne of internal fortitude she broke through and was rewarded with a two-book deal. Join me as I chat with Lyra McKee. In this episode Lyra and I chat about everything from the state of the media to Harry Potter ⚡️. We chat about the rise of #FakeNews and what it really means alongside things like why certain stories get more coverage in the press than others. Links and things mentioned in the episode: Lyra McKee on Twitter Two of Jonny's favourite pieces that Lyra has written: Suicide of the ceasefire babies - in the 16 years after the end of the Troubles in Northern Ireland more people took their own lives through suicide than lives that were lost as a result of the conflict. Lyra tries to find out why. The fight of your life - while boxers often know they risk injury when they step into the ring what they might not consider is the long-term effects of brain damage. Lyra speaks with some of the families who have been affected. The piece Lyra would like you to read is her investigation into sexual assault within the PSNI. Available here.
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