I once joked that ‘when I grow up, I want to be Norman’!
My most valuable mentor and the person who’s most shaped my career and world-view in the last half decade, Dr. Norman Lewis was the first guest speaker at TEDxLeeds2009. Norman issued a provocative challenge to the prevailing culture of limits and risk-aversion, in order to foster innovation for future wealth creation.
At the time, Norman was Chief Strategy Officer for Wireless Grids Corporation and prior to this he had variously served as was Director of Technology Research for Freeserve, Wanadoo and Orange, as well as the Chairman of the ITU’s TELECOM Programme Committee. In all these roles he established a unique style of thought leadership and innovation.
Hosting Norman at TEDxLeeds2009 was a personal indulgence but his insights were hugely popular and indeed were a public preview of what was to become his Big Potatoes: The London Manifesto for Innovation initiative.
(fortunately, he didn’t share with our audience the names he used to call me!)