Guest Voice. Imagination: Social Champion’s View

As I shared in yesterday’s post, trying something new, imagining a new future for yourself are part of any successful career pivot.

And your imagination is a key part of the mix.

Following on from Daisy’s insights on how she fuels her imagination and what inspires her, it’s time to hear from someone who has inspired me many times over the years we’ve known each other.

It gives me great pleasure to introduce you to…

… Pam Bennett

About Pam: I am a lateral thinker, an entrepreneur and artist on the side. Started my career as an Architect – which has led to many other things.

Elaine… Ever since we met, over 10 years ago, your creative approach to life and addressing various social challenges has always shone through. Please could you share with us how you feed your imagination. What helps you keep it fresh and alive?

Pam… My inspiration comes from many places. Firstly I find talking to people and listening to them is key and can often take you to a new place and a new opportunity; not least others may need your services so a broad conversation could be a win-win for everyone.

I am a very positive person thinking that the glass is always half full rather than half empty.

Being around young people is great – they have a different perspective on the world and are not stuck in their ways – getting their views is always very helpful. There are new ideas lurking behind every corner!

Keeping an open mind is essential. You need to be prepared to pivot and do things differently, making new connections and thinking laterally. Being anti-fragile is the way to go – (this is not the same as “robust”) – prepare for both the worst and best – keep your business agile and flexible.

I try to always follow up on leads – nothing will come to you – you have to make the effort and this has really paid off for me in recent times and has led to us making fantastic links with our local university and becoming Social Enterprise in Residence there! That of course has led to other opportunities….

I have found that everything you do in life gives you experiences you can draw on when you come to the next phase – both in work and at home – so success needs to be measured by the value of the experience and failure is not ever a word I use.

And finally never assume anything or take anything for granted! Just think how much we took for granted before the virus struck! Be open to the new opportunities emerging all the time.

Elaine… I know you have a strong artistic side which means you are able to express yourself visually in many ways. Do you have an image or photo of something which recently sparked your imagination?

Pam… Yes, I do.

Elaine… Now there’s an interesting photo! Are you able to tell us why and how it sparked your imagination? And, if possible, where it led you.

Pam… The Covid-19 virus image made me think of how the pandemic might be viewed by future generations.

I am an artist and a ceramicist and I felt that a bit of home-based archaeology would be interesting right now.

Pottery lasts for many hundreds of years in the ground so I have made terracotta plaques which can be buried for archaeologists to unearth!!

They have different messages on the back such as “we survived”, “ so far so good!”,  “ Derek and Jane were here”. Something for families to bury in their gardens or at other places special to them!

Elaine… As a social entrepreneur you have to be constantly evolving and learning. Please could you share with us something you have learnt in the last 12 months which helped you change perspective. Why did it help you?

Pam… The impact of the pandemic has changed how I think about the needs of our Blind and visually impaired customers. People with low vision can be very isolated and in March 2020 we were providing activities for them through our lottery-funded projects which have had to be suspended.

By keeping in touch and listening to them talk about their difficulties in using smart phones and the internet, and by thinking of new ways to use old technology, we have found an opportunity to develop new services to help them, leading to innovation and new funding opportunities.

Think positive, stay safe.

My great thanks go to Pam. Brilliant! If you’d like to connect or start a conversation, you’ll find her here…


Header image courtesy of Lucas Benjamin on Unsplash

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