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Shedding light on anything under the sun

Last Saturday, I gave a TedX talk in front of a live audience in Northwich about how our indoor lives are playing havoc with our body clocks and what we can do about it- including taking a look at the lights 😉 I was privileged to have been chosen from hundreds of others for the opportunity to step out onto the red dot alongside 8 other remarkable women, each with their own ‘idea worth sharing’. What an incredible experience – the level of coaching and care that the Northwich team poured into us all was simply incredible. I will share the video when it’s ready…

I was struck by how many people collared me in the interval and the rowdy celebrations in the pub afterwards to talk about their teens and their concerns particularly during lock-down, 

So here are a couple of articles for those of you with young people in your lives … perhaps worth printing them out and leaving them lying around where they might read them too? This article, Evening types have social jet lag and metabolic alterations in school-age children, explains how their chronotype (early bird or night owl) can have long-term consequences for their health and well-being. If you need any more motivation to brave your teen’s wrath, here is a sobering article on the long-term impact of social jet-lag (more than one hours’ difference in sleep/wake times between weekday and weekend) – Sleep timing, chronotype and social jetlag: Impact on cognitive abilities and psychiatric disorders

These articles offer some solutions … how simple changes to exposure to light, along with a change in mealtimes and exercise can help – How to Become a Morning PersonWhat the heck is social jet lag and why it’s harmful to your teen The Sleep foundation offers some tips and background that you might find useful too – Can You Change Your Circadian Rhythm?

And if they’re keen on sports, here is an article that explains just how powerful light can be for performance This fascinating study points out the many sporting activities are timed to fit broadcast schedules, not the athlete’s body clocks. Exposing cyclists to 60 minutes of light with a high melanopic lux (more wavelengths in the ‘blue’ range) didn’t improve maximum performance, but it did improve performance overall – Prime Time Light Exposures Do Not Seem to Improve Maximal Physical Performance in Male Elite Athletes, but Enhance End-Spurt Performance

At the other end of the scale, I’ve been speaking to five incredible business leaders – Amy Brachio, Graham Edgell, Florence Lam, Helen Loomes and IWBI’s Penny Goodall Quraishi – about what it will take for light and lighting to be taken seriously – and even help to deliver on ambitious ESG targets – which in turn helps to attract the best teams, partners, investors and reduce future risk. It’s such a privilege to host them this afternoon. Registration’s still open – Drivers for Change: Environmental, Social and Governance reporting

Some context below…

Struggling to get your team to come back to the office? Perhaps creating a space where they feel more at home could help! –  Making sense of why executives are eager to get employees back in the office

In this article, EY’s Erin Roberts points out that in order to thrive in this new era of accelerating transformation and stakeholder capitalism, companies will need to embrace ESG as a strategic business imperative – and offers some practical tips too. – The current state of ESG reporting in the engineering and construction industry

Leading by example on ESG means making difficult decision… This article by Carol Lemmon explains how… ‘Responding to this global economic agenda involves a new level of organisational and cultural change. Mastering it will ensure your business remains relevant, profitable and responsive to clients and customers alike while also delivering positive environmental and societal outcomes.’ – Sustainable development advisory

And at the other end of the scale again, I’m proud to curate and host the international day of light and international year of glass celebrations with London Light on the 16th of May. We’ll be the first event at the Science Gallery for over two years – and it looks set to be a cracker – I’ve working with physics students to create artworks in glass to demonstrate their research, a mobile glass furnace so you can come to create light guides with hot glass yourself – and hosting a series of debates with scientists and artists – including Mark Major and Paule Constable… read more here– 

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