Creative Clyde, BBC Scotland & TEDxGlasgow – Innovation, Risk & Going Global

June 10, 2015

As part of BBC Music at The Quay, Creative Clyde joined forces with BBC Scotland and TEDxGlasgow to host an inspiring event – Innovation, Risk & Going Global – on Thursday 4th June at BBC Scotland HQ at Pacific Quay. Gurjit Singh Lalli, TEDxGlasgow Curator, Stewart Henderson, Director at Chemikal Underground, Andrew Dobbie, Founder of MadeBrave and Pete Irvine, Director at Unique Events, all passionate about their businesses and engaging speakers, shared their thoughts on how creative businesses can tackle these issues…


The night was opened by Gurjit Singh Lalli, the TEDxGlasgow curator, who gave us a fascinating insight into the rise of TEDx around the globe and specifically in Glasgow. Since its inception in 2009, there have now been more than 10,000 TEDx events across the globe and they’ve gained more than 2.1 billion views online. In Glasgow, TEDx has been around for four years and it’s grown significantly since then with a team of 10 and a pool of over 100 volunteers hosting three events. To give an idea of size and popularity, the next event, which will be held on Friday 12th June at The Tramway, is already sold out and will hear from 15 speakers and see 600 people attend.


Credit: Patryk Dymkiewicz

Gurjit explained the simple format for the night. Each speaker had five minutes to share their insights on the themes of Innovation, Risk and Going Global, followed by a short Q&A session and networking.

First up, Stewart Henderson, Director at Chemikal Underground, a Glasgow record label which is responsible for the success of Scottish bands such as The Delgados, Mogwai and Arab Strap. Risk isn’t an alien concept for a music label, but Stewart believes the fact they had such a niche market helped them survive. The digital revolution within the past ten years also couldn’t be avoided. It’s changed how we communicate and our purchasing habits and the industry needs to be aware of that and keep up with it. This is where innovation has been key for Chemikal Underground and the need for them to evolve their business through the years. Due to the rise of the internet and the change in purchasing habits of music, the focus had to shift from just selling records and so The East End Social was born, which has a strong focus on the community rather than solely concentrating on commercial goals.


Credit: Patryk Dymkiewicz

Next up, MadeBraver Andrew Dobbie. He knows a little about risk, given 3 years ago he decided to leave his job and set up a business with just £1000 investment following the birth of his son. In terms of innovation, although still in its infancy, MadeBrave has grown and evolved in the past 3 years. It started off with one man and a vision and now consists of a 20 strong team, diversifying their offering with the separate entities of MadeSocial and MadeDigital. He’s learned one key lesson from starting his own business – your employees are the real heroes.  As the saying goes, negativity breeds negativity but that can also be true for positivity, so surround yourself with good people who have a positive can-do attitude. And of course, get some sleep!

A Dobbie

Credit: Patryk Dymkiewicz

Finally, Peter Irvine took to the stage and talked about the growth of his company over the past 25 years. Unique Events created Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, the first rave at Strathclyde Park, the first music festival at Ingliston and many more. In 1993, there were 70,000 people at Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and by 1996, it had increased to 400,000. In the events business, there are many risks. As you can imagine, running an outdoor event in Scotland, the weather is a very influential factor and one year sales were so low they didn’t break even but Pete believes there will always be risks and setbacks, but it’s how you deal with them and move on that’s important. The internet has given companies and events a global reach and helped to increase their international profile, but this has also resulted in more business locally, as their profile within Scotland increases. Whilst there are always risks, events bring people together – it’s the business of joy and that’s what makes it worthwhile.

Peter Irvine

Credit: Patryk Dymkiewicz

Did you attend our event on Thursday evening? Did you enjoy the time to network at the end? We’d love to hear your feedback.


Credit: Patryk Dymkiewicz

Thanks to all our Speakers – Gurjit Singh Lalli, TEDxGlasgow Curator, Stewart Henderson, Director at Glasgow based record label, Chemikal Underground, Andrew Dobbie, Founder and Managing Director of full service digital creative agency, MadeBrave and Pete Irvine, Director at Unique Events, the company behind festivals such as Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Bannockburn Live. Finally, very special thanks to Alex Gaffney, Creative Clyde’s main contact at BBC, who was key to making the event happen.

Images courtesy of Patryk Dymkiewicz, City of Glasgow College,; thanks to both Patryk and James Wilson, Head of School, School of Creative Industries.