Success Talks is a series of events at LIBRARY that seeks to bring to young people motivation and advice from successful individuals across a broad range of professions. We had a chat with LIBRARY member and founder of Success Talks Dennis Owusu-Sem to understand why it is such an important and inspiring project:
What was the motivation behind the creation of Success Talks?
I was at work and we were talking about diverse role models and the question was asked "How many successful people of colour do you know that are not in music, sport or entertainment?". Between myself and a colleague after fifteen minutes we could only name three people and I thought to myself 'this can't be right'. So, that lead me on the path to create a solution of sorts and provide a platform to share the stories of people who are interesting, successful and influential.
What were the first steps in putting the project together? How did it start out?
I had the idea, then did a bit of research to see if anyone had created an interview series and put them in an app. Once I realised that nothing existed I thought of the name and then started sending emails and knocking on as many doors as possible until someone said yes. Courtenay Griffiths, QC was the first person to say yes and I will always be grateful, not only because he said yes but the way he said yes. It gave me the confidence to go forward and pursue a whole host of other people.
What is the organisation's main goal?
We are a media platform that looks to bring the stories of some of the top influencers across the world into one place. This will allow our audience to listen to a diverse range of stories which will inspire and provide the motivation for them to excel in their own lives.
What sort of people do you usually approach to take part in Success Talks?
We look to have individuals who are brilliant in their respective fields and have made an impact in their lives and that of others. There are no limitations to the industries as we have people from business, law, advertising to Olympian gold medal winners, creatives and techies. There are no fields and obstacles to where someone can be a success!
Why is technology such an integral component of the organisation?
The world is constantly evolving and in order to share the message in an effective manner we believe that by embracing technology it will help us to achieve our long term aim. We currently have a YouTube channel and a mobile phone app which people can use to watch and download our content. As time evolves we will continue to look to adapt to the latest technology and see how it can enhance and further the messages of influencers on our platform.
How would you define success?
Success is relative and it depends on the standards you set for yourself and whether you achieve them or not. From my perspective I want to live a life of no regret. I would rather try knowing I have given it my best rather than have that awful feeling of wondering 'what if?'.
Interview by Alicia Hempsted
Success Talks takes place every week at the club. Upcoming speakers and dates include:
- Lord Michael Hastings, KPMG’s Global Head of Citizenship - Tuesday 10 November 2015, from 6.30pm
- Wol Kolade, Managing Partner at Living Bridge - Tuesday 17 November 2015, from 6.30pm
- Isha Johansen, President of the Sierra Leone Football Association - Thursday 19 November 2015, from 6.30pm
- Mervyn Lyn, Founder and Managing Director of Strategic Partnerships Solutions - Tuesday 24 November 2015, from 6.30pm
- Lord Paul Boateng, first person of colour to hold ministerial office in the Government - Tuesday 01 December 2015, from 6.30pm
- John Amaechi, Elite-athlete, Organisational Consultant and Executive Coach - Tuesday 08 December 2015, from 6.30pm