Summary 2014

I hope you’ve had a good year so far and I wish you a great Christmas break and a happy new year.

I’ve written an ambitious summary of my 2014. I like reflecting on the past, it helps me to start from scratch next year. You can also listen to my summary here.

If you like goal setting you can download my goal setting template, I have found that very useful when I used that in the past.

Sharing is caring
I’ve been training people in and speaking about social media and leadership all around the world this year. I’ve spoken in China and the Arab world and have trained African organisations in London in social media. I’ve learned a lot about digital development from doing this. Digital resources and knowledge are far from equal around the world and if we live in a nation such as the UK we need to share our knowledge.Sofie Sandell speaks in China

Best talk
Malala’s talk at the Southbank Centre in March of this year. It was a pleasure to listen to her tell her story. If you have not seen her speak yet, search for her on YouTube. I am very happy for her that she won the Nobel Peace Prize, it means a lot to her and all girls who are fighting for the right to eduction.

Best classical music concert
I went to a concert to see the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra to celebrate the Year of Russian Culture in the UK. Loved it.

Best course
The creative writing course at Skyros with Crysse Morrison. I never thought you could learn so much about writing in two weeks.

Sofie Sandell writing course Skyros

New insights
After my two week-long writing course I wanted to learn more about other authors so I watched several episodes of the Swedish literature TV programme Babel. Quite a few of the interviews are in English if you want to check it out. One thing that I realised was that all successful authors have their own way of tapping into their creativity and none of them follow a specific recipe for success recipe. I see a lot of courses that claim to provide a blueprint for how to become an author. Not sure they work though, how you write and share your message is very personal.

Most random retreat
I joined some friends for a retreat facilitated by Joyce Rupp – ‘The unknown as a doorway to spiritual growth’. There were about 150 people in the room and 140 of them were nuns. Very interesting day. I don’t think I’ve every spoken to nuns before.

Most surprising event I went along to
I went along to a Death Café meet-up in December. A friend of mine went to one in May this year and I wanted to check it out myself. It was a fascinating evening, and when you speak about death you are actually speaking about life and what’s important to you. It was a very friendly evening and you share thoughts about death and listen to the people who are there. That we will die is one of the things we all have in common. The Death Café is a growing movement and there are new groups meeting every day. Google it and you might find a Death Café meeting near you.

Best new gadget
My iPhone with 64 GB storage; thanks to my new phone I’m not running out of space that quickly.

READ MORE   Why I wrote a book

Most important commitment
To write more about diversity, education and feminism. I might even write for a UK national newspaper next year. Fingers crossed.

Most fascinating building
I went to the Southbank Centre in London constantly this year, I feel amazing when I am at that venue. Something about the place makes me feel alive and creative.

Challenge in my life
I’ve been injured all year due to my joint hypermobility, plus I’ve suffered from extremely low blood pressure on and off which sometimes makes me very tired. What I need to do is plan things better, stay well hydrated, walk and keep my joints and muscles fit.

Event I had to say no to
Due to a hip injury I could not ski the cross country race Vasaloppet in Sweden as planned. Not happy about that, but at the time it was impossible for me to do it.

New insight into myself
I’ve been talking to a therapist on a regular basis all year to learn more about myself. It’s been good and some of my closest friends say that I’m much calmer now. As a speaker and trainer you give a lot of yourself and for me how to find the balance to get back what you give is still a mystery.

Eating habits
Opposite to most people, I am trying to eat more salt and fat. I’ve always craved salt and that’s probably because of my low blood pressure and I need to eat more fat to stay full, I tend to snack all the time otherwise. Let’s see how this strategy is working a few months into 2015.

New partnership #1
Tech Talkfest and I kicked off the Global Conversations Dinner in November. I loved the network of people involved. It was a great evening and we will organise more next year. To work with Ghilaine Chan and Zoe Cunningham has been great.

Fun speaking competition
The Corporate Challenge. It was fun to compete in public speaking on stage with other accomplished speakers.

Feeling worried about
Online privacy and security issues.

Swimming achievement
I feel proud that I learned how to front crawl 100 meters without stopping between lengths. Throughout my life I’ve mostly swum breast stroke, and when I first swam front crawl to improve my joints I felt as if I was going to sink. Now I am much more confident and calm and feel like a dolphin when front crawling.

New books
I wrote a mini memoir about myself. I had a huge value clash with a business partner earlier this year and this made it very easy for me to write. Conflict can be great for your creativity.

I have also published a book about social media strategies The Little Black Book of Social Media Strategies.

New academic insights
I’ve been collaborating with Mihaela Stroe who is an expert in nonverbal communication. It’s amazing what you can learn from working together with someone. We’ve been talking a lot about online nonverbal communication and how it shapes our identities. We have plans to collaborate next year as well.

READ MORE   Book launch party for 'Digital Leadership - Q&A transcribed

New design work
I designed my logo myself when sitting in a coffee shop in Tooting waiting for a friend back in January. Logos are fun and inspiring.

Best sketch
I was working with Lucy Knight and she sketched one of my talks about Digital Leadership.

I love sketching and doodling. Maybe one of my challenges for next year should be to be more creative on my iPad?

Digital Leadership talk by Sofie Sandell

Best childhood memory I’ve been reminded of
I was watching a documentary on the BBC about Tove Jansson this summer, she is the creator of the Moomin family, and I got so into the Moomins again and had to watch some episodes on YouTube. They are so funny.

New partnership #2
I’m writing for which is great, I really like writing for that site. Marketing is going through so many changes at the moment and we are in need of guidelines and inspiration.

Best book review of my book Digital Leadership
It was written last year by Susanna Stratton, but I met her again this year and wanted to share it here. She is an interesting person and coach.

Interviewing experts
I would like to do more interviews with people about digital leadership. I’ve done around ten this year and would like to do many more next year. If you know anyone who would be a good subject for an interview please connect us. I do interviews over email or Skype.

New partnership #3
I write a column and articles for The London Business Journal on a regular basis. It’s fun to explore new opportunities like this.

Best TV series
The final six episodes of the Wallander series were amazing – I’ll miss him. The ending made me cry.

Best museum
The House of Mirrors in Kuwait. Amazing artist and story behind the house.

Sofie Sandell in Kuwait

Shop addiction
I don’t know why, but I love stationery shops so much. I could go shopping for pens and paper every day.

Bought too much of
I bought too many books; I’ve nowhere to put them. I desperately need the never-ending book shelf to be invented.

Scary thing I did
I shared some of my poems in a magazine and gave two poems to friends who got engaged and one to a couple who got married.

Best inspirational documentary
I was invited to an art exhibition by Sue Kreitzman and met the director of Fabulous Fashionistas, a documentary about the lives of six women with an average age of 80. Very inspiring stories.

Best documentary #2
The story about Astrid Lindgren’s life on Swedish TV aired in December. Wow, what an amazing woman. I hope it will be broadcasted in other countries.

Feeling grateful
Thank you to Picturehouse in Belfast which edited my showreel.

READ MORE   Looking back at notes from when I was 12 years old

Best Google Hangout
I loved our Customer Service 2.0 Google Hangout and I believe that we should do everything we can to stop bad customer service. It’s fun to work with Filipe Carerra and Peter Milligan – a cosmopolitan mix.

Inspiring singers
I’ve gotten to know four opera singers this year. They are all very inspiring people, and when I’ve been trying to heal my joints some of their posture tips have been amazing. There was a period when I hardly could stand up and speak without a lot of pain. Now I am much better, thanks for that.

Best portrait photographer
Katja Ragnstam who took my current profile photos in Sweden in May.

Best voice coach
I’ve been working with Cathleen McCarron for over a year now and it’s very inspiring to learn from her. We can all learn how to better work with our voices.

One thing that surprised me about social media
That I’m consuming more news than ever thanks to Facebook. I read The New York Times and Al Jazeera and some other newspapers online all the time.

Best website designer
Anna Langa who helped me design my new website and did the final touches for my new logo. Thank you ☺

The most interesting conference I attended
The interfaith conference about digital media and religion. We now share a huge amount of messages online and I believe that we must be more accountable and not allow any harassment or trolling to occur.

Still searching for
A mastermind group to learn from. I’ve tried a few groups, but they’ve not worked out.

Noisiest venue
The Business Show at Olympia Grand in London. It must be the nosiest exhibition I’ve ever been to. I can’t understand how people can conduct business there. If the noise level was just a tiny bit lower I’m sure you would be able to build much better relationships. But maybe I am sensitive…?

Thing I’ve started to like more
Cats. I’ve never been a big cat fan, but I like them more and more. It must be all the crazy cat videos online that have influenced me.

This year has been my year of exploring theology and philosophy. I am questioning things more and more and feel great about doing so.

Feeling tired of
The personal development industry that makes us chase after perfection. I would like us all to relax more. We are okay as we are and it’s okay to have disparate beliefs and it’s okay to not preach our own school of beliefs to everyone we meet. Learning how to listen more carefully is probably a good lesson for most of us.

Being imperfect and having flaws is cool, okay!

My plans for 2015 are to continue speaking about Digital Leadership around the world, continue writing for magazines and newspapers, find a good publisher for the next books I’m writing, enjoy my time with my friends, family and loved once.

Let’s rock 2015.

Best wishes,

Sofie ☺