Livity just can’t get enerf..!

One of the perks of being editor is being delivered freebies and being invited to loads of events, but contrary to belief, sometimes the events and freebies are not that great much (or that could just be down to me being extremely choosy). So when I saw an invite to a Nerf office war float into my inbox I couldn’t help but let out an excitable scream. Are you kidding me? We freaking love playing Nerf! We’ve been lucky enough to have Nerf guns casually propped up in the office near my desk, just in case someone needs to let off steam from time to time. And believe me, when those orange foam darts start spraying, it’s time to take cover or join in on the fun.

Yesterday evening a team of us, a good mix of Livity and Live Magazine, headed down to Paramount bar in Tottenham Court Road to show of our aiming skills at the launch of  N-STRIKE ELITE MEGA CENTURION, Nerf’s furthest firing blaster. Upon arrival we scooped out the competition in the Centerpoint foyer which consisted of FHM, The Times, CNET and notable tech and games bloggers, but they had nothing on us! Until we began to play…

We soon came to realise that collectively we were not going to beat some of the more hardcore players in the target shooting games. There was a smug moment on my part when I managed to achieve second place on the Rapidstrike target game which lasted all but 10 minutes. I still don’t know whether I managed to hold on to third place with 1200 points. Let’s just say I did. But when all the warming up had finished and the real war began it’s safe to say the Livity crew held our own.

Apart from watching the Breaking Bad season finale, you just couldn’t beat playing a friendly game of Nerf with fellow key professionals over looking an extraordinary view of London on a Monday night. What a great way to start the week off with fun and games. Thank you to our friends over at Hasbro and Bite Global PR for our new office toys! They are going down fairly well.

It’s Nerf of Nothin’ baby

Celeste Houlker, Editor of Live Magazine

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somewhereto_ re:store [the high street heist]

Today we launched the first of six somewhereto_ re:store campaigns across the UK. We kicked off at East Street Market in Elephant and Castle, South London with a breakfast launch and celebration of local young talent.

…and we’re a lucky bunch to have the power of a dragon behind us too.

Theo said: “Becoming a representative for the somewhereto_ re:store campaign was a simple choice.  Young people are the entrepreneurs of the future and we should be looking to them as one of our sources of innovation for the high streets of tomorrow.”

So here’s what our shop on East Street looked like at the beginning…

This is our lovely team at work…

And this is how it looks now!

This morning our mate Theo kicked off the excitement by popping over to the BBC to chat about the campaign..

We were treated to speeches by the Chairman of Livity – Sam Conniff and Linda Quinn from the Big Lottery Fund, performances by CynikalNaveah Angel, and TriN3rgy, and ate our weight in croissants.

Then we just kicked back and enjoyed the live art and freestyling while chatting to the locals.

The London somewhereto_ re:store shop is going to be buzzing for six weeks so if you’re in the area (and even if you’re not) come down and enjoy the host of activity going on there. Grab yourself a beanbag and have a chat, buy some jewellery, see some art, listen to an open mic. There’s rumours that they have some really exciting surprises planned too…

Here’s a map!

If you want to find out more about somewhereto_ re:store or get involved then click here

Check out the video here

Louise Bromby, Account Exec, 18.07.13

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Caracas, Day Two

The whirlwind continues! Tuesday marked our second and final day of workshops with individuals from various Venezuelan organisations.

Predictably, at times we felt we were learning as much from our group as we hope they learnt from us. Many guiding principles of communication remain the same here, but there are differences in the socio-political landscape that impact the work and the comms companies are able to execute in this part of the world and we were fascinated to learn more about them.

We were also up against one minor challenge from the beginning – the language barrier. Despite an initial wave of terror at the realisation that we were going to be wired up with radio mics, sound packs and headphones for two days, the situation ultimately did us a favour, because there can be no momentary distraction when you’re working in translation: you have to focus on every single word, 100% of the time. By the end of Monday, we’d grown used to the dynamics of working into mics and headsets, and realised that ultimately, it made us better teachers: more focused, more able to respond more carefully and specifically to every comment, question, or discussion that arose.

We were sad to say goodbye to our new friends on Tuesday afternoon – they were a fun and inspiring group and we look forward to seeing how they get on. If you’re a tweeter, don’t be afraid to check some of them out: @Yohana Silvera, @AEscalona92, @HabitatCreativo, @HENKA_CMC, @tiunaelfuerte. (And if you’re not a Spanish speaker, Google translate will do the hard part for you.)

Saludos!

Ben and Leila x

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Greetings From Caracas!

Caracas, day one.

There are loads of interesting and awesome things about this place. Here are our Top 10.

  1. The breakfasts at our hotel.
  2. Our resident hotel harpist who plays the harp each morning during aforementioned breakfast.
  3. The skies are amazing.
  4. The old American cars bashing around the city are just so freakin’ cool.
  5. The hills and the colours. We’re in the middle of the Caracas Valley and there are mountains wherever you look.
  6. Shopping malls. We’ve already been to two. They rock.
  7. All of the girls have amazing manicures.

The final three points all relate to our raison d’être (we haven’t been able to work out what that is in Spanish) here in Caracas.

We travelled out here at the invitation of the British Council to help a mixture of organisations and businesses explore ways they could raise the profile of the work that they do. Today we led the first of two days of workshops with a group of thirteen individuals. It’s been an experience.

8. Our translator, Jeniffer, can translate almost simultaneously as we talk. She’s like a Spanish-speaking Superwoman.

9. Hearing all the inspirational stories from the organisations that we’re working with. They range from Tiuna el Fuerte (http://tiunaelfuerte.net) to The American-Venezuelan Friendship Association (http://www.avaa.org/). We hope they learn something from us, as we’re certainly learning a lot from them.

10. Finally, our hosts, Julia, Claudia and Soraya from the British Council in Venezuela, who have taken such good care of us since we landed on Sunday night.We can’t wait for day two. We’ll keep you posted on how we get on.

Saludos

Ben and Leila x

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Rwanda – phase two!

We’re half way through our week-long collaboration with the girls of Ni Nyampinga. The magazine and radio show might only be two years old but it’s already famous in Rwanda. The degree to which Ni Nyampinga is a household name became clear when we went to visit Marie Adelaide school in Gihara, just east of Kigali. We’d gone to get content for the two features and two radio packages that we are making during our week here, and specifically, we’d gone to find content for a story about how new Rwandan music was bringing young people together in friendship.

When we arrived, the whole school were lined up in the yard to greet us. Ni Nyampinga girls Cecile, 22, Beni, 19,  Glorious, 24 and Christine, 15 took to the stage and were greeted with cheers and whistles. The story required an interview with a musician so they asked the students if there were any musicians among them. Two candidates were quickly pushed to the front: a rapper who performed his track, Miss Independent and a very shy girl who was described as a gospel singer. The former is already a school superstar and his peers were enthusiastic in singing back the chorus. The girl performed a version of Rwandan superstar Knowless’ song Nzabampari and everyone responded, soft voices dropping then rising, like a Rwandan village version of Donny Hathaway Live In New York.

It was a vibrant welcome for the team who have become slightly famous themselves. Girls and boys throughout the country read the articles in the quarterly magazine, now on issue 7, and hear them weekly on their live radio show which has been running for two years.  The magazine is designed to be shared (“not kept in one person’s bag”, says Girl Co-ordinator Pacifique) but still it’s at a premium: the head teacher of the school, a softly-spoken lady who radiated a quiet authority, explained that the magazine is so popular they have to ration it, and only students who are processing well get their hands on the new issue.

Celeste and Keisha took their team off to a youth club south of Kigali to make a story about that perennial question – whether boys and girls can ever really just be friends. (Note to office: make sure you ask them to see the video of them doing the local dance. It’s a gem). Back in the office, we collected all the audio, pictures and notes we’d made from our various excursions and finished for the day, dusty, tired, but pretty sure we had the seeds of some very good stories.

And in case you’re wondering, Ni Nyampinga is a Rwandan concept which describes a girl who is beautiful inside and out. A Nyampinga is confident and happy, she makes good decisions, and she knows she is valued because of who she is. It’s a concept we think might just be useful back in the UK, too.

02.04.13, Emma Warren, Senior Mentor

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