Lorna Hamilton-Brown and Levi Roots

Lorna Hamilton-Brown and Levi Roots film shoot for Getting ‘Creative in the Food Industry’, Virtual Conference 27/06/2008

As I listen to Levi Roots on BBC R4’s Desert Island Discs today, I remembered when I worked with him in 2008. Back then, I was the  Project Manager of the East Midlands, NTI Creative Industries Centre for Knowledge Exchange, based at De Montfort University in Leicester. I suggested that Levi be the Keynote speaker for
the ‘Getting Creative in the Food & Drinks Industry’ Virtual conference I was organising.

Impressed by Levi’s amazing winning performance on BBC 2’s the Dragon’s Den TV program with his Reggae Reggae Sauce; I had no doubt that he would be an outstanding speaker.

It was great spending the day with Levi as he was being filmed for his presentation. We chatted, and he told me a bit about his life story. He said that when he went into the Dragon’s Den his mother’s words kept him going – ‘you are going to be a dragon slayer!

He encouraged me to follow my dreams, and believe that I can become a dragon slayer. As I look forward to starting my MA in Textiles at the Royal College of Art I will hold on to his words.

Levi Roots being interviewed by Rob Potter of Channel 2020 Ltd for Getting Creative in the Food Industry virtual conference.

Levi Roots being interviewed by Rob Potter of Channel 2020 Ltd for ‘Getting Creative in the Food Industry’, virtual conference.

Getting Creative in the Food Industry’ was a joint event between the East Midlands New Technology Initiative (NTI) Creative Industries and Food & Drink Knowledge Exchanges in partnership with Nottingham Trent University, the University of Lincoln, De Montfort University, University of Derby. Support was also given by the Food and Drink iNet (Innovation Network).

It is thought that this was the first conference of its type, bringing together the two disciplines of food and drink and creative industries.

Channel 2020 Ltd., created the Webinar with presentations on-line, where you could simultaneously join online discussions with each speaker without leaving your office. This was cutting edge in 2008!

The other presenters were:

Mike Dixon – Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences

James Woudhuysen – De Montfort University’s Professor of Forecasting and Innovation

Jonathan Sands OBE – Chairman of global brand identity consultancy Elmwood.

Giles Button – Studio 2 Online Ltd, Leicester’s largest web design agency. (in 2008)

Andrew Keeble – Director of Debbie and Andrew’s a farm diversification enterprise that has grown from a small cottage industry to the fastest growing brand in fresh chilled sausages.

James Malbon – from Easibind International, graphic and product design consultants.

Lorna worked tirelessly, with great enthusiasm and professionalism in support of companies involved in this five year project. By adapting the skills of the creative industries to the needs of food and drink sector companies we were able to generate a unique platform of support for the prosperity of a number of food companies. For example, without Lorna’s exhaustive support the webinar (www.gettingcreative.co.uk) would never had been seen, but now forms a legacy of the type of support available to companies.
Mike Dixon, Nottingham Trent University’s School of Animal, Rural and Environmental Sciences