A Remarkable Day!
I was lucky enough to be invited to the Nokia Be Remarkable Conference last Sunday, 1st December. The conference was aimed at girls aged 11-14 years old. It was a one day workshop for girls to learn more about friendships, raise their self-esteem, equip them with the tools to help them feel great about who they are and give them uber amounts of confidence to make good choices.
The exciting start to proceedings was a talk from Ruby and Kimberley from Great British Bake Off who talked about their own personal experiences and their secrets to accepting yourself as you are, which was great and really inspiring. After they spoke, we took photos with them and they were both really lovely people. They were willing to sign things for everyone and take lots of photos. After we had all finished taking photos and talking to them, we were divided into four groups, each with a different colour wristband. I was in the red group and soon met three girls who I then spent the rest of the day with. Once we were in our groups, we spent the day attending four workshops. Each workshop was run by a ‘Remarkable Woman’ – selected from the ‘Remarkable Women’ programme run by Nokia.
‘Be heard’ our first session. It was run by Jane Bradley, founder and editor of For Books’ Sake, the online magazine dedicated to promoting and celebrating writing by women. In this session, we made a mini magazine from a template of four main parts. We started off thinking about things we loved – bands, books, songs and activities – which I really liked, because we could put down whatever we wanted. We then wrote down the good things about us, and this was more difficult, and Jane said that it was because it is harder to think of good things about yourself. I was really encouraged by my new friends who, although we had only just met, pointed out some very positive characteristics about me and I was able to do the same for them. I felt this really illustrated the purpose of the whole thing, with each of us finding great things to say about each other in such a short time. We then had to say what we wanted to be when we were older, but were told that it wasn’t just careers, it was about personalities too. I enjoyed doing this because it sparked some very interesting conversations!
Our next session was ‘Be who you want to be’ run by Kymberlee Jay, who is an established choreographer, dance teacher, performance coach and Nike Athlete. This started off with Kymberlee talking about her personal experience in the industry, which was very inspiring as it showed how you can’t let anyone put you down just because of what you look like or who you are. We then were told we would be learning a hip-hop dance routine to Little Mix’s Wings, and we started straight away. This was a really good way to get us all out of our shells in front of each other because a lot of us had very little dance experience! It was a really fun session and I really enjoyed it.
We then had lunch, which was a really nice time to just relax for a while with everyone. Our third session was ‘Be your own BFF’ run by Marverine Cole, who is a journalist and TV presenter. She started off by getting us to interview each other about what we liked and disliked, then we talked about when people had put us down and made us feel bad. She told us how she had overcome people saying the same things and how she felt now. She made the whole session very relatable and at the end she filmed some people talking about their interviews at the start as if they were on TV.
Our last session was ‘Be true’ run by Laura London, a successful magician who at the age of 18 became the youngest female member of the Magic Circle and performs internationally. This was my favourite session because it started with Laura talking about the ‘friendship rules’ she had come up with then asked us what we would add. She then went on to show us a brilliant magic trick involving fire that burnt at 1000 degrees and a deck of cards. She split us into two groups, both of whom would solve some magic-themed riddles and puzzles and also learn a magic trick. Both groups learnt a different magic trick and then taught it to the other. This was really fun and Laura was really nice and took photos with us. It was a great session to end with and I had loads of fun.
Overall the day was a great opportunity to make new friends and learn a lot about them and about myself. I did feel inspired and equipped with some new tools to help me navigate the tricky paths that lie ahead in my adolescent years. I wish everyone could get the chance to attend a conference like this – what a great opportunity.
Posted by Cicely Thomas