Monthly Archives: October 2014

Scratching the surface part three: a social media review of art in Tottenham

Scratching the surface part three: a social media review of art in Tottenham
There’s a vibrant and exciting art scene in Tottenham and once again we turn to social media to see what people are porting about.

Interview with Asher Jacobsberg

TEDxTottenham is not far around the corner, and so we caught up with Asher Jacobsberg, another one of our speakers to see what he had to say.

Asher has co-founded three Tottenham-based organisations: Involver, a social enterprise working on youth participation; the Smart School Councils Community, a charity helping schools to teach about democracy; and the Lordship Hub Co-op, a community co-operative that is running the EcoHub cafe and community centre in Lordship Rec.

We asked Asher, how (and why) he does it.

I try and get things done, I see that things need doing and try to do them, I guess.

I’m very interesting in community action, in people doing things but the most important thing is to lead by example and so if I’m interested in getting people to do more things then I need to do more things myself.

If there something you’re dissatisfied with, so if a building isn’t being used, take it over, organise some people to take it over, so that/s what we’ve done [with the Lordship Hub Co-op].

Asher’s main work involves promoting the participation of young people in their schools and in their communities. We asked Asher what was important when it comes to working with young people.

The main thing is opportunity, giving people the chance to do it and really importantly, the chance to fail. There’s only really a sense of achievement if there is a possibility of failure.

So let’s say you’ve set up a youth project and you say ‘you’re gonna run this’ and when the young people don’t organise things in the way that needs to happen somebody steps in does it for them and makes sure that everything runs smoothly in the end. And then they pat the young people on the back and say ‘didn’t you do well’. Most of us are self-aware enough to know actually we didn’t do this, this was somebody else

Asher works closely with school councils, do they work in this way?

The vast majority of school councils work in a way that are quite tokenistic, they involve a very small group of young people. They’re there as a source of pride for the school in terms of what have they done, not what they have learnt.

So no, most school councils I work with don’t work in that way, they don’t really have wide open opportunities for young people and they don’t have much opportunity for failure.

That’s not to say that young people shouldn’t be supported to succeed, it’s not a matter of throwing them in the deep end, sink or swim, but there is a danger within that that’s overstepped greatly.

We asked Asher about his background and how his view of youth participation developed.

[When I was growing up] I was very involved in a Jewish youth organisation. It seems perfectly natural to me, as somebody who was 12 or 13, that the leaders of the organisation were 18 or 19, and when grew up I became a peer leader within the organisation and eventually I ended up running the whole organisation.

I had assumed the way all organisations that work with young people were ran by young people for young people. That turned out to be completely not the case at all and it seemed very odd to me that it should be anything other than that really.

And what does Asher think about TEDx coming to Tottenham and being asked to speak?

I’ve watched loads of TED videos. I recommend quite a few to different people. There’s some fantastic stuff about education particularly.

The Ken Robinson and Sugata Mitra ones particularly are both good and the hand washing one. There was one I watched recently from TEDx in Brooklyn on education.

I was honoured to be asked to participate and it took me a long time to figure out what I was going talk about, so I just came up with the title and started there.

It’s great that it’s happening at the Bernie Grants Centre.

The theme for TEDxTottenham is ‘Beneath the Surface’, and Asher talked about what that means to him.

I live in Tottenham, I work in Tottenham, my family works in Tottenham and my daughter goes to school here, my wife teaches at a school here.

For all kinds of reasons people in Tottenham have less opportunity than people from some other areas. There are great and interesting things happening all over the place, in certain places it’s easier maybe to see those great and interesting things because of the advantages of those places have. But Tottenham has some great advantages.

I think my favourite thing about living in Tottenham is the parks. I’ve lived near Downhills Park and Lordship Rec and when we move we didn’t look further than ¼ mile away and now we live in between Bruce Castle Park and Lordship Rec.

The other thing, sounds very corny to say, the diversity is something I miss when I go somewhere else. It’s a genuine mix.

The other thing is it’s a real community. Getting to know all these different people through the Co-op. I walk down my road and I know far more people walking my down my road in Tottenham than I ever did in Rugby.

Book tickets to TEDxTottenham on 1 November and hear Asher’s talk.

Scratching the surface part two: a social media tour of food in Tottenham

There are loads of great restaurants, cafés and markets in Tottenham and locals and restaurateurs prefer nothing more than sharing pictures of their favourite dishes.


Burgers #thebanc

View on Instagram

Interview with Katie King

Ahead of TEDxTottenham on 1 November we spoke to Katie King, one of our speakers to find out more about how she felt about being asked to speak on the day.

Over the years I’ve seen lots of TED talks and I was really honoured to even be considered alongside the sorts of people who speak at their events.

Katie was born and bred in Tottenham, growing up on the 11th floor of a block of flats. One main thing dominates the memory of her childhood.

Spurs. That was really the central thing for me. We used to walk from my part of Tottenham all the way down the high road and as we walked and got closer and closer, more and more people would join the throng. That was a real community because it was a community around the supporters.

Katie’s day job is as Founder and Managing Director of Zoodikers, a PR and social media agency, which she set up after many years’ experience of working in PR.

My first role was a PR and marketing and communications executive for a big telecoms company and it was amazing. I totally landed on my feet. Within a few days of being there I was told I had to go over to Nairobi and Baghdad for trade fairs. My role was going with a box of telephone cables around to international trade fairs and standing up telling them how wonderful the products were. I helped to design the graphics for the exhibition, and write press releases, which we used to post out to the journalists; very old school, but exciting nevertheless.

Later Katie moved into working within PR agencies, before setting up her own agency

“Zoodikers is my second agency and it’s much easier. The first time round it was harder and scary, scary from a financial point of view, giving up a good salary, and all the comforts that come with the security of a big company. I guess when it came to setting up Zoodikers three years ago I wanted complete autonomy.I wanted to leave a legacy, which is something I’ll touch upon at TEDx. It was to be in complete control of my destiny to get some financial stability and to really be my own boss and carve it around my family.

And what’s Katie’s advice for people interested in working in PR today?

It’s very, very different today to when I started because everything is digital. So today it’s about getting an online and digital profile, before you even get on the career ladder. You may have to volunteer to get some relevant work experience and in order to do that you’ve got to show you’re passionate about it/ You’ve got to be the one creating the blog, and posting some really interesting things on Twitter and going into relevant LinkedIn groups. Things like that will make you stand out from the others that are trying to get on the ladder. Energy, proactivity, tenacity.

Katie no longer lives in Tottenham but has returned recently, setting up Project STEP – the Social Training Entrepreneurship Programme – which aims, by working with local businesses, to encourage young people to use social media for more enterprising purposes than just socialising.

I saw my children, who are teenagers, who are completely, intuitively using social media for fun. Then I saw the other end of the spectrum, executives using it, and being completely overwhelmed by it. I thought there was an opportunity to bridge the two. Young people need to be able to use [social media] for business, to get them on the career ladder and set up their own businesses. So I wanted to bring the two together for mutual benefit.

I’ve seen some really passionate business people from Tottenham who are prepared to give up their time, some amazing teachers and equally a really diverse range of students from Haringey Sixth Form Centre, who were just passionate and just want to put the work in and do well.

Katie’s TEDxTottenham talk will focus around similar areas (although we can’t give too much away).

I think more than anything I just want people to see that social platforms can truly can be life changing. You can use them for your businesses and reach out to anybody anywhere in the world. It’s empowering and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. It’s very accessible; don’t think it’s for the young geeks. It’s for people of every age. 

The theme for TEDxTottenham is ‘Beneath the Surface’, and Katie talked about what that means to her.

I’m in PR and see the bad press so I see the length of time that it can take to rebuild a reputation. Because of some of the problems over the years, it’s been labelled and it sticks for a long time. But that’s not my experience of Tottenham, it’s an amazing community and I’m glad TEDxTottenham will help showcase that.

Out and About in Totty Town

Some of our team went out on location earlier this year to capture Tottenham on camera. The idea was to capture Tottenham in its everyday happenings, markets and community hubs. They are an integral part to Tottenham and the community. Here’s a selection of some of our favourite images, enjoy!

Cafe, Broadwater Farm Community Centre


 ‘Back to Earth’ Project, Broadwater Farm Community Centre


Unknown location, Tottenham_MG_4750


Local Barbershop


 Fruit and Veg Market, Seven Sisters_MG_5029

Match Day at Tottenham Hotspurs Football Ground, White Hart Lane_MG_4919 _MG_4954 _MG_5002

      Photography credits: Harry Mitchell

Scratching the surface: a social media round up of great things in Tottenham

Social media is a great way to find out what’s going on in Tottenham. Here are some of our favourite photos from Twitter and Instagram.