Are you passionate? Propeller take on passion projects

Propeller headed over to Shoreditch last week for an evening of talks to learn all about the genesis of creative passion projects.

Hosted by Glug and WeTransfer, speakers sharing their passion and offering their insight included Dave O’Donnell (managing director of Gilles Peterson’s digital radio station Worldwide FM), Angela Sangma Francis (Communications and Partners Manager for ELCAF – the East London Comics & Arts Festival), Shahnaz Ahmed (founder of Knit Aid), Notes to Strangers’ artist Andy Leek and Ustwo co-founder Mills – developers of the BAFTA award winning game Monument Valley.

The red thread connecting all the talks was how passion and community are inextricably linked. The best projects, initiatives and businesses are based on passion and connecting a community – be it pre-existing or freshly formed. Passion projects are all about trying to make things exist in the world that wouldn’t have existed otherwise – from Worldwide FM’s beginnings as an in-game radio station on popular game GTA V to Knit Aid’s forming as a social initiative to help and empower refugees. Passion is the spark and you should never be afraid to say ‘yes’ to opportunities, to invest time and faith in your ideas – giving them space to form and take shape. 

Andy Leek, who turned down a high-profile job offer to further his project, stated that the universe rewards bold leaps of faith. He compared pursuing and making a success of your passion to the Spanish conquistador Hernán Cortés, who gave orders to his men to burn their ships upon landing in South America. To drive your passion you must not be afraid to move forward at all times, whatever the cost. 

Stressing the point that ‘success’ and ‘failure’ aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive was Mills, who has coined the portmanteau ‘succailure’ as one of his key entrepreneurial philosophies. He also concluded on the sobering advice to passionate, budding creatives to ‘NOT take yourself too f**king seriously’… quite in keeping with his reputation as the man who once turned up to Ten Downing Street wearing shorts.

Thank you to Glug and WeTransfer for hosting such an enlightening evening. We certainly left feeling more passionate!