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As One Talks: Matt Hocking

As One Talks is a series of events that invite those creating impact, be that for people, planet or in the world of business, to share the story of why and how they do what they do. After a few years hiatus, our friend Al Light has rebooted the talks this spring and invited Leap’s founder Matt Hocking to take to the stage.

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The talks originally followed the Pecha Kucha format of twenty slides each lasting twenty seconds, but over time this has softened to just the limit on the number of slides. With each speaker Al is very clear that this isn’t about the origin story of their business or organisation, but about the key moments and characters along their journey from childhood through to the present that have provided the inspiration and drive for them to get to where they are today. It’s different, and it’s what makes these events so insightful and inspirational.

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Matt was joined on the bill by wellness author Joey Hulin, who did an incredible job as an eleventh-hour replacement for Finisterre founder Tom Kay who couldn’t attend. Joey spoke beautifully and with humour and compassion about her journey from burnt-out corporate high-achiever to retreat leader and wellness writer.

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In recent years Matt has been accepting more speaking invitations and appearing on more panels, however the focus of his talks almost always revolve around designing for change and how design can be used to better benefit people, planet and profit. This occasion was very different, with Matt sharing the story of his childhood in Cornwall’s clay country, the influence of his parents and how through his Dad’s work as a research scientist he was often seconded to “assist” one of his dad’s colleagues, which was how his deep fascination with the natural world began. He spoke about his journey through education and how, despite having dropped out of Art College, he was the first of his class to land a job with a design agency, before then taking a pay cut to return to Cornwall as The Eden Project’s first graphic designer. Matt’s daughters are as old as Leap is, and he spoke about how, as a single father, they used to come to pitches and client meetings with him through Leap’s (and their) early years. Pivotal clients, whose projects have helped to direct Leap’s offering and ethos, were touched upon before Matt spoke about his recent Ride The Change experience, cycling from London to COP26 last summer.

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It’s amazing to have the As One Talks back in Cornwall; the community and inspiration has been missed these past couple of years. Al tells us that his plan is to run them quarterly at the very least, so whilst you may have missed Matt’s talk it is well worth keeping your eyes peeled for future events so that you can get a top-up on inspiration.

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