Let’s talk about maps

We are probably obsessed (let’s say we instead of just me) about doing check-ins at fancy places so the world can be jealous about our days. We are obsessed with locations but nobody cares about maps. Contradictory ah!?

I decided to do a little research to update my Cartography brain and discover some of the fantastic things when mixing tech and maps.

Read more…

I was invited to write for Disruptica’s new blog – Join me there.




Be a Tourist

Last week, I had the pleasure to meet Clare Guilloton, a French girl that moved to Colombia almost a year ago and started Monita in Bogotá – an amazing blog where she appreciates all the bits of design she finds in every day of Colombian life. The beauty in a hammock, a coffee crop, our traditional hats, a fair, a rustic bus…the design in many things that surround us but unfortunately we locals, don’t appreciate as they become everyday things.

I was surprised by the fact that a foreigner made me discover the beauty of my country, in pictures and patterns. I have borrowed some bits to show you, but you should have a proper look at her blog. She is very talented Graphic Designer and her pics so far are great.



Frequently visitors find things that locals don’t have any idea existed. To mention a few, my UK family  has never been in some spots I have; I’m not sure if Margate is a good example for a beach day or Blackpool for a night out, but blame it on the ticket seller. Anyway, getting back on topic, apart from helping the economy and becoming ambassadors of our countries, tourists can teach us a lot (clarifying, good tourists). Let’s see how:

  • They have a different perspective and see things that others can’t (I will give you a hint, it’s not dead people).
  • Tourists walk at the right pace, They don’t go like robots, they are constant observers, appreciating every detail and finding beauty in cute little streets or horrible crowded places.
  • They immerse themselves in the destination, trying the local food, talking to people, learning about the culture.
  • They have a plan, even when they try to be “spontaneous” they accomplish their goals within tight deadlines.
  • Tourists have never ending energy, they don’t rest until they have ticked all the boxes in the map/list.
  • They have the best attitude towards bad moments, they don’t go back home and cry, no no no! they go back home and peddle how they dealt with the unexpected, or how that event became the best part of their holiday, sometimes they assume “it was meant to happen”.
  • Good tourists are always welcome. See you soon Clare! 🙂 

It is all about people

You usually meet HR people twice; first when you are hired and then when you are leaving. I had the chance to meet a full delegation of HR Directors this week, whilst covering one of the biggest HR Events in Europe: HREvent13.

Everything started with an early morning, catching the 5:30am train to Birmingham. Then walking the icy streets without falling, making it to the ICC where the 11th Annual HR Directors Business Summit was taking place.

There is big machine running behind a Human Resources department and a two day event was going to draw attention to the main pillars supporting the industry of getting the right people in the right places. It involves changes, decisions, cultural shifts, psychology, innovation, performance, strategy, self believe, benefits, software and so on. I will tell you some highlights; nevertheless there were many interesting stories on stage and in the corridors.
Day One was enlightened when Baroness Eliza Manningham-Buller took to the stage (as she said – a very long name, don’t bother to say it again). With a great sense of humor and a strong voice the Baroness talked about “How to manage change under pressure”. She was head of MI5 -Britain’s Security Service- in the wake of 9/11 and during the threat of Al-Qaeda. Not an easy task right? During this time, this woman managed to double it in size, opened 8 new offices and established a training academy. While telling true stories about people at MI5 – I picked up on some good statements:

  • The higher the pressure of a situation, the easier it is to make decisions.
  • We always have a way of doing things, but ask yourself – is it the best way?
  • Performance will drop if you change too much.
  • It’s not what you do; it’s what you think.
  • Understand the pressure and don´t fear failure. If you fail, you will only have more to do.
  • Believe in what you are doing.
  • Be concerned with people’s welfare.
  • Pay attention to the small details, make sure you know people’s names.
  • Human beings are laughers, have a sense of humor.
  • Don’t take yourself too seriously.
  • Be humble and open about what you do wrong.
  • It’s good not to be thanked as many times as you think you should.

Baroness Eliza Manninghan-Buller at #HREvent13

The program kept running and we kept moving along the conference rooms. I then joined “A guide to working the way you want” it sounded like the title for a best seller, instead Richard Peers, Head of HR at Vodafone, showed us how a company that sells its customers mobility, embraces the same principles. Vodafone’s head office at Maastricht, a city in The Netherlands, enables their employees to work whenever and wherever they like. In this building they replaced fixed workstation for multifunctional rooms, so you don’t have the same desk every day.

Vodafone Head Office

The concept is called mobile working which brings into practice what Vodafone stands for: simplicity, speed and trust. You can work surrounded by a library, by a forest, get a coffee and then move to another room and ask for feedback in an informal meeting.

The well being of it’s staff is part of the design and it goes further than an office layout, it motivates people to collaborate, enhancing transparency among the organization. It also has financial benefits, have a look at these figures:

Vodafone Case Study. #hrevent13.

Then we went for a lunch break, I think we deserve one here as well. See you shortly.