My recollection of the subjects I learned at school is patchy at best, but those hazy memories are of a series of lessons in stand-alone subjects, which bore little or no relation to one another.
Even those teachers who taught more than a single subject seldom linked the events of one to the other, with the result that I left school with a number of separate parts rather than any real body of knowledge. Whilst I knew from the writings of an English poet that no man is an island, my impressions were of solitary experts – poets, geographers and mathematicians – rather than of any great continent of human development. Facts in history were largely presented as separate from facts in science and the arts, and any connection between them seemed purely accidental.
And yet recent commemoration of the events of 1916 have reminded me that the world of human action and thought is greatly intertwined, with the writers, thinkers, rebels and soldiers of that period all parts of a greater worldwide whole.
The Book That Binds
Our featured guest on Kickstart Your Business was Alison Hackett, a teacher with a background in maths and physics, who has always been fascinated with the role played by the sciences in the development of the world, and the links between the activities of one with another in the lives of men.
She developed The Visual Time Traveller project in order to present key milestones in world history over the past 500 years in a way that would appeal to viewers in a whole number of ways, what she describes as a mix of eye candy and brain food.
This extraordinary body of work offers five year windows on the world of the time via a series of images that include details of 12 events of the period. The Visual Time Traveller is a book, an exhibition, a series of talks and a whole lot more.
A World Of Wonder
Both Shane – standing in for George – and Gerard were awestruck at Alison’s achievement, an extraordinary compendium of eye-catching pictures and ear-catching words that provides a fascinating insight into how the worlds within worlds collide in the most unexpected ways through the activities of people who appear on the surface to have little in common.
Gerard suggested that this is a big, big idea that needs focus in order to bring it to a successful commercial conclusion. In particular, Alison needs to determine quickly who are her best customers for The Visual Time Traveller, so that she can begin to realise the value she has created through her investment in research, design, creation and production of a truly unique product.
Balancing The Books
How do you suggest Alison might go about getting the whole world buying into The Visual Time Traveller?
Listen back to Alison on Kickstart Your Business (with thanks to Energia), and tell us what you think?
We’d love to hear from you.
Kickstart Your Business is broadcast on The Right Hook on Newstalk every Thursday around 6.25pm, and is available for playback immediately afterwards at Newstalk.com.