Do you feel stuck? Going round the same loop, again? Pivot Points brings you stories from cultural influencers about how they pivoted their lives onto a new path. Pivot Points unpacks the reality of lasting transformation. This series of interviews explores the often difficult process of pivoting from the old to the new. We explore how shifts in individual stories can change the culture. Andre uses the format of story to frame these in depth discussions. These shows cover topics like racism, coping with illness, leadership and dealing with success. Each episode contains nuggets of insight and truth that will give you tools for pivoting your own life.
Pivoting through bullying (with Sam Dunlop)
This episode is like an allegory for all those who have experienced bullying or rejection for being themselves. Sam was bullied at school for having red hair. She tells a very relatable story about how she regained her power and took back ownership of her own image. Sam describes how she pivoted from hiding and shame to reclaiming her natural colour and image. This was such an empowering experience that others wanted to emulate her look. Sam shares her concern for the effects of social media on young people and how bullying can lead to self-harm.
Sam has two businesses: Prestigious Finance Services and Mastermind Recruitment and has done laudable work with job centres in Kent finding jobs for the unemployed. Her work has attracted positive attention and last year she won the Kent Women in Business Awards and is a finalist once again this year.
Pivoting through Art (with Mark Evans)
In this episode I speak with the artist Mark Evans. We go deep into the architecture of a pivot point. We chat about what he has learned from observing nature, the ploughing and harrowing of ground before new life can grow and the pain of creating with bravery.
Mark grew up on a rural farm in the Welsh mountains.
At the age of 7 his grandfather gave him a small pocket knife which he used to carve images into trees and wood bark, that knife would influence the rest of his life.
In his twenties, Evans left the farm and in 1995, during the height of the YBA explosion, he moved to London to study Fine Art at Middlesex University. For several years he worked with more conventional and traditional materials such as charcoal, oils & acrylics but they felt too synthetic, too safe. He couldn’t quite escape that primal childhood sense he had when he created an image by cutting & carving with that first blade.
It was winter 2000, the turn of the millennium, and Evans was trying to clean a patch of blood off a new leather jacket he had been given that Christmas. By accident he scratched into the surface of the jacket and that tiny patch on the leather suddenly opened up a whole new world of possibilities.
“It was my own Archimedes “Eureka” moment... it was as if an explosion went off in my mind. I saw a world of possibilities. I then spent the next few years focused on developing this technique at my studio. I was living as part artist & part alchemist trying to perfect the process which I’d accidentally discovered.”
Nearly 20 years later Evans now works with animal hides from all around the world, and hand-etches them with dozens of different knives & scalpels. After two decades he has perfected both the etching and the leather tanning, which is integral to the overall process of the art piece.
The procedure takes incredible patience and immense attention to detail, he removes less than a tenth of a millimeter of the leather surface. Evans cuts through the layers of dark skin, removing just enough skin until he exposes the varying tones of lighter tanned suede (or nap) beneath.
Evans describes his work as “micro-sculpture” and his pieces occupy a space somewhere between painting and sculpture, and each artwork can take months to complete.
He adds “Working in leather has huge aesthetic appeal, leather is ancient, yet elegant, leather has historic heritage and yet it’s very contemporary. Leather gets better with age and in our plastic, synthetic, digital world, leather has an authentic integrity. Animal hides were once a living, breathing creature and we subconsciously respect that.”
Evans’ works are held in private collections around the world, and his collectors vary from Royalty to the Hollywood A List.
Pivoting through music and culture (with Tamara Konstantin)
In this episode I speak with the composer and pianist Tamara Konstantin.
She recently performed her romantic piano compositions before Grace Jones's headline act and a star studded audience at the ICON gala at London's Landmark Hotel where the worlds of fashion, show business and music joined forces to raise funds for NHS Charities Together and WellChild.
Tamara learned to play piano as a child growing up in Georgia. After attending a special music school for gifted children, she continued her piano studies at the Tbilisi Music Academy where she performed with the State Symphony Orchestra of Georgia and gave many solo recitals. Surprisingly Tamara did not seek a career as a classical pianist, but chose to take a linguistics degree at Tbilisi State University before becoming the first female political commentator on Georgian television.
Tamara's next 'pivot' was when she switched careers again and moved into the oil industry to help companies negotiate their strategies in the former Soviet Union and Central Asia; she eventually became Vice President of Business Development for an oil company.
Fate took a hand however and marriage to an Englishman brought Tamara to the UK where she found home in the beautiful Dorset countryside and with it her way back to music. When Tamara complained to her husband about a modern atonal piece of music performed at a concert they attended he challenged her to write something better. She rose to the challenge and an intense period of creativity followed.
In 2016 'Inflections' - Tamara's much acclaimed debut album was released to huge acclaim. The album was nominated CD of the week by Lady Magazine and compositions from it have been played on Classic FM, BBC Scotland (Classics Unwrapped) and BBC Solent.
Three years later Tamara’s second album, 'Reverie' was released. Next month Tamara's third album is being released by Last Man Music. It is perhaps her most personal endeavour to date because it was produced during the global crisis and reflects the pain of lockdown. As she says: "It is a personal message of love, hope and affection to the people and places closest to my heart and the heartache of not being able to see my son and his family. I have tried to evoke feelings that most of us will recognise, including a sense of loss and heartbreak juxtaposed with the empowerment of love, hope, family and community.”
Several pieces on the album evoke the anxiety and isolation caused by the Covid-19 epidemic. There are compositions that cleverly translate into music the beauty of her beloved home county of Dorset and the natural beauty of places further afield including her native land of Georgia.
The new album Resilience demonstrates Tamara’s electric creativity and fuses her love of Chopin’s romanticism, Rachmaninoff's strength and Beethoven’s dynamism with her own mesmerising and passionate compositions and operatic melodies. Overall, the work is a testament to her belief in the power of music to console, to uplift, and to bring people together whether in joy or sorrow - the power to help us find a spirit of Resilience.
The album showcases Tamara's vision, prodigious talent and ability to speak through music and was written for and performed by Tamara's piano trio who perform together under the name 'The Three Graces' which includes the immensely talented violinist Elly Suh and acclaimed cellist Jiaxin Lloyd Webber.
The album 'Resilience' will be released by Last Man Music on November 5th. The single 'The Elixir of Life' is out on October 5th and you can have a listen here: https://s.disco.ac/qnymwixevecj
Pivoting into eco-friendly business (With Michael Donald)
In this episode I speak with Michael Donald - former banking boss turned eco warrior who is waging war on plastic. Michael is an environmental activist who is determined to take action against the effects of plastic pollution - one of the most pressing environmental issues today. He has launched ImageNPay - a new digital wallet, in a bid to kill off plastic payment cards by making digital payments interactive and carbon neutral. This is the world's first payment system that enables users to personalise a virtual Mastercard with bespoke images that appear in their Apple Wallet.
Michael hopes to inspire concerned members of the public as well as corporations and government officials to press for change and lessen our environmental impact.
He says: "Plastic is polluting not just our oceans, it’s polluting us. Via the water we drink and the food we eat.' Michael aims to protect the environment by eliminating the need for plastic credit and debit cards which contain toxic materials which are difficult to recycle. You can find out more about ImageNPay Digital Wallet (available on Apple Pay) and Michaels work at https://www.imagenpay.com/
Kneenecking and racism. Where are we a year on? (with David Gyasi)
In this first episode of season 2, I speak again with the actor David Gyasi (Interstellar, Cloud Atlas,The Dark Night Rises, Carnival Row). We look at where the word kneenecking is a year after it's conception as a way to articulate the horror of racism. We chat about the continuum between micro and macro aggression, the origins of racist 'science' and signs of hope and change. We look at racism as a disease and a state of being that far from being the human condition is an infected wound that mars and obscures humanity. David also discusses how when we really want to make a change we can do it.
Pivoting through season 1 of Pivot Points (with Andre Radmall and Øyvind Aamli)
This is the finale to season 1! In this episode I am interviewed by the award winning documentary film maker Øyvind Aamli. We talk about some of the pivot points my guests talked about in season 1. We break down the four elements of any pivot with examples from interviews with people like David Gyasi, David Grant, Tamzin Merchant, Carrie Grant. This episode unpacks some of the changes I have been through and how I understand the mechanics of deep change. We draw on the principles of storytelling that have inspired my approach to helping clients transform.
Well worth a listen
Quickly becoming one of my favourite podcasts to listen to, filled with wisdom, practical advice and amazing guests.
Words create worlds
I love this podcast as you are invited into the deep stories of people’s lives, discovering the nuances and the dynamics of being human and giving us the hope for change.