£10 – £12

BelongCon Summer 2020

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Location

Lighthouse

28 Kensington Street

Brighton

BN1 4AJ

United Kingdom

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Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

Event description
The Belong Conversation (BelongCon) is an event for people to share and hear stories of finding their belonging, acceptance , and identity.

About this Event

Since 2017, BelongCon has held a space for people to share their stories. Stories of not fitting in, of finding their purpose, and of finding themselves: whether that’s through tough life experiences, making bold choices, or getting involved in movements and communities that have helped them to help others.

Unlike most ‘conferences’ which are prepared, edited, and rehearsed, BelongCon is a safe space for people to be raw, unscripted, and vulnerable.

We don’t invite professional public speakers: we invite people with stories to tell.

We’re all about sharing life, unedited.

Our next event is on Tuesday 7th July at Lighthouse in Brighton.

Doors open at 6:30pm and talks will start at 7pm sharp.

Our Speakers

Helen Davies: What's Your Superpower? Neurodiversity!

Helen Davies will talk about hidden disabilities in the workplace. Helen is a creative, fun, vibrant person who loves working with people... and she often looks like she has it all sorted. She's also dyslexic, and deals with the challenge of having a hidden disability at work. Every day is an admin struggle, a new report style takes getting used to, and some times she can have 'bad brain days' when even a simple email can take a lifetime to write.

And Helen also believes she has a superpower, as her neurodiversity means that she's an original thinker, she can see connections and patterns when others don't, she has a great "spidey sense" - intuitively getting what needs to be done, and feeling what's behind the mask of what people show. Helen hasn't always been 'out', having faced a lot of discrimination, but she's now in senior position where she can be fully herself, and a visible role model and support to others.

. . .

Mariam Crichton: From London CEO to Nappy-Changing in the Himalayas

We're excited to welcome Mariam Crichton to BelongCon to share her story of shifting identity and how this impacted her sense of belonging. Mariam will speak about transitioning from being a CEO of a company of 20 people in London, to a stay-at-home mum, to travelling India and China with a one-year-old toddler.

Mariam is passionate about spreading the message that being an intrepid explorer and adventurer does not have to stop when you have a baby. She'll share her experience of a dramatic lifestyle shift, as well as giving advice for adventurous parents from her one year spent backpacking with her one-year-old through India and China.

Mariam is also passionate about advocating for women in senior tech roles. We see the statistics of women 'dropping off' the career ladder when it comes to Senior Executive positions in the workplace, but we don't often hear the stories from women about why. As part of her story, Mariam will also share her personal experiences of the challenges of being a senior female leader in the entrepreneurial tech space whilst being a mother of a young child.

. . .

Naomi Harris: My Cat Saved My Life

Naomi Harris has been part of the BelongCon community for a while, and we’re incredibly honoured that she’s asked to share her story from getting a diagnosis of OCD, anorexia, anxiety and depression at the age of 15 to become the person she is now.

After battling with various mental health issues during her teens, by the time Naomi reached her early 20s she found herself unable to work, and attempted to take her own life more than once.

In the last two years though, Naomi has completely changed her life around. She’s on medication that works, has bought a house, has two darling cats, and lives with a loving partner. She also now works with students who are going through similarly tough times. Having been there herself, she really can understand what it means to them to be in crisis and help them on their journey.

So, what changed for her? It all started with her cat: Monty. In her talk, Naomi will share her road to recovery, which all started with having a reason to stay alive.

. . .

Simon Batchelar & Adam Bastock: How Do You Get in the Pride Parade if You're Self-Employed?

What happens when you can't find the community you need? Start your own! Simon and Adam were looking for a place to meet other LGBTQ+ business owners and freelancers, but were surprised to find nothing out there. They had a lot of questions and ideas, and were curious to hear from other professionals in the community... but networking and other meetups just didn't feel right. (And they also wanted to make up the numbers needed to get into the Pride parade.)

With employees and employers being well-represented with legislation, support and resources, they felt that there was a gap in the conversation when it came to everyone else. So together, they created Proud Business. The monthly meetups are casual and apolitical, and focus on creating a safe space to meet like-minded people. They discuss the challenges and triumphs around communicating our LGBTQ+ identity to clients and suppliers, as well as how we can send positive messages about diversity and inclusion.

At BelongCon, Adam and Simon will talk about their individual reasons for creating this community, and what having this important space means to them as individuals.

. . .

Sara Osterholzer: Saying ‘Not Today’ to Anxiety

For those of you who know or have heard of Sara Osterholzer, words that would be unsurprising to hear associated with her are connection, positive energy and confidence. And it hasn’t always been that way. We’re thrilled that she’s asked to stand up at BelongCon and tell a story that only a handful of people know about her journey from social isolation and anxiety to where she is now: leading the growth of communities across the world in areas she’s super passionate about... ‘Business for Good’ and motorbikes!

Sara will talk about how a shift in her early twenties saw her living a life of fear, unhappiness and hopelessness and the steps she took to get herself back to living life purposefully and powerfully. One of the most powerful moments when Sara was at the height of her anxiety was a colleague reaching out to share their own journey with social anxiety. This gave Sara the access to hope that she needed, and helped her take the steps to get support. Now, Sara wants to share her story in the hope that, in the same way, it might be what someone else needs to hear to begin their own journey to “living a life you love”.

. . .

Dave Cottrell: Slingshots & Boomerangs

Dave Cottrell (also known as "Mindset By Dave") has gone from being bullied in school for putting his hand up and having the answer to questions, to standing up in front of both primary and secondary school children and helping them find the answers to questions about their mental health.

While being bullied, Dave turned to food for comfort, developing an eating disorder at the age of 13. Shortly after this he was also diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Dave struggled with non-purge bulimia until his late 20s, and when the food alone was not providing the comfort he sought he turned to drink, drugs, and self-harm.

Turning his life around in the wake of this, Dave felt he had to sort out the difference between the things that happened to him and the things he did to himself, and in this process came up with the concept of "slingshots and boomerangs".

In his talk, Dave will be talking about these two behaviours: boomerangs being behaviours that have a positive short term impact, only to come whipping back with a negative long term consequences; and slingshots, behaviours that pay off the most in the long term but we have to make ourselves vulnerable or uncomfortable to achieve first.

On top of his work, Dave also runs an ambitious project called A Life A Day where he gives away an hour of his time to 365 people each year so that (in his words) people can “have the support that he once needed.”

You can find out more about Dave on most social medias at @MindsetByDave, and you can find out more or apply for a slot on A Life A Day at www.mindsetbydave.com/alifeaday

Full line up coming soon...

About Our Venue

Lighthouse is a Brighton-based arts charity specialising in connecting new developments in art, technology, science and society. They provide an accessible programme of training, talks, exhibitions, commissions and education initiatives.

Their central Brighton venue where all our BelongCon 2020 events will take place can be hired for meetings, workshops or screenings. Get in touch to find out more.

About Us

Find out more about BelongCon at belongcon.com

Follow us @belongcon on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Use the hashtag #BelongCon to join the conversation!

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Date and Time

Location

Lighthouse

28 Kensington Street

Brighton

BN1 4AJ

United Kingdom

View Map

Refund Policy

Contact the organiser to request a refund.

Eventbrite's fee is nonrefundable.

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