Francis Macdonald
Music

5 minutes with Francis Macdonald – BAFTA-nominated composer and drummer with Teenage Fanclub

Francis Macdonald

Francis Macdonald
Photo by Niall Webster

Drummer, composer, producer and manager of Scottish bands Camera Obscura and The Vaselines – Francis is a busy man. Last year he released his album ‘Music For String Quartet, Piano And Celeste’ described by Classic FM as “sublime, minimalist classical music“. Read More

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David Procter Cinematographer
Entertainment

5 minutes with David Procter – Director of Photography

david procterDavid Procter is an internationally acclaimed Director of Photography with production experience across Europe, Africa, the Americas and Asia. His body of work includes film, cinematic documentaries, commercials, music promos and most recently, a new Netflix Original series.

Alongside commercials for Puma, Nike, Jaguar, ASOS and Issey Miyake (to name a few), David’s work has been recognised by worldwide ceremonies including the British Independent Film Awards, Cannes, and the Camerimage Festival for the Art of Cinematography.

His commitment to his craft recently earned him a nomination for Best Cinematography at the 2017 MTV VMAs.

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gwen holbrey
Business

5 minutes with Gwen Holbrey – The Watermelon Studios

gwen holbrey poleGwen Holbrey is the owner and head instructor of The Watermelon Studios. As a child, she grew up trying multiple styles of dance and went on to complete a degree in Drama. After attending pole classes and becoming head instructor for another school, she took the plunge and opened her own business. Her studio quickly became a Scottish success story, coming second in the Off The Pole best studio awards and attracting pole artists from all over the world, visiting to teach exclusive workshops. The school also attracts world class sports photographers looking to shoot both Gwen and her Watermelon ‘Pips’ (students).

With classes booked to capacity every week, Gwen has just opened her second school, introducing Zumba, Body Blitz and Yoga alongside her famous pole classes. Most recently, The Watermelon Studio was the first pole studio to get to the final of the Edinburgh Business Awards 2018, and proudly took home the Community Award.

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Marlon Kobacker 5 Minutes With
Business

5 Minutes with Marlon Kobacker

A difference-maker in the field of renewable energy, Marlon Kobacker continues to develop new and innovative strategies for reducing operational business costs through environmentally sustainable solutions. Marlon Kobacker, the director of Sustainable Future Group, is widely respected for his role as an innovator in the renewable energy sector and brings more than 13 years of experience in sustainable building design when working with clients seeking to benefit from his company’s expertise in sustainable technology, finance, and advisory.

1. Tell us more about Sustainable Future Group’s mission and values.

We understand that businesses have different needs to consider, so our mission is to provide sustainable solutions designed with the short- and long-term needs of each individual business clearly in mind. In order to do so, we have made a commitment to our clients that ensures they will always have access to the most innovative and effective sustainable products and alternative energy solutions available.

2. What strategies do you rely on most to achieve your business goals?

Developing a sense of trust with our clients is absolutely critical, so we conduct ourselves in a manner that is always forthright, informative and honest. We then work to develop an ongoing relationship with our clients to ensure they get the greatest possible value from our services.

3. What is it about your business model that makes it so unique?

Sustainable Future Group is built upon a comprehensive service model in which we provide clients with advisory services along with technology and financing for the project.

4. Outside of your work with Sustainable Future Group, how have you raised awareness of the need for significant environmentally sustainable change?

Given the potential stakes involved in this global issue, raising greater awareness of the problems we face today — not to mention the ones will might face in the future — and the solutions already available to us has long been a goal of mine. I’ve written countless articles on the subject and recently published a book called “Removing the Capital Cost Barrier to Sustainable Building Design.”

5. What motivates you each day?

The work we do at Sustainable Future Group is so important for so many reasons, and I’ve always been motivated by the opportunity to make a difference through environmentally sustainable change.

And Just For Fun…

6. What is your favourite quote?

There are quite a few quotes from David Attenborough that I’d like to share, but this one is probably my favorite: “It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”

7. What is your favourite sport?

I enjoy playing Ultimate Frisbee the most, but there are several other sports I enjoy playing or watching.

8. What have you learned in the last week?

The last week has again reminded me that not only do you have to continuously strive for forward progress, but you also have to be vigilant against the possibility of a sudden regression as well.

9. When was the last time you felt nervous?

During the talks that led to the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, there was a great deal of pessimism that an agreement could be reached at all, let alone accomplish enough to address global climate change. I was quite nervous throughout that process.

10. Who would you most like to meet (dead or alive)?

I’d like to meet either David Attenborough or Henry David Thoreau.

Want to know more? Contact Marlon Twitter

You can also visit him over on Linkedin

Travel & Tourism

5 minutes with The Barefoot Backpacker

barefoot kickingThe Barefoot Backpacker (real name Ian) is a travel writer and blogger hailing from Nottinghamshire, UK. He specialises in solo travel, focusing predominantly on routes that are off the beaten track. His posts cover both UK and worldwide locations, his niche being that he only ever carries hand luggage. His writing appeals widely to those who carry his same deep appreciation for the history and has previously been published by Bradt Guides.

With a vast experience of travel under his belt, The Barefoot Backpacker is a host for the popular weekly Twitter chat The Road Less Travelled. Ian is currently working on a book documenting his adventures in West Africa, which will run alongside him making his second trip around the world.

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zoya patel feminartsy
Business

5 minutes with Zoya Patel – Founder of Feminartsy.com

Zoya FeminartsyZoya Patel is a writer, editor and public speaker. In 2014, she founded online feminist literature and arts journal Feminartsy, after four years as Editor-In-Chief of Lip Magazine – an online magazine that aims to provide intelligent, thoughtful content to young women. She has been writing about feminist issues since the age of 15 and has had work published in multiple publications. Zoya was highly commended in the Scribe Publishing Non-Fiction Prize 2015, was the 2014 recipient of the Anne Edgeworth Young Writers’ Fellowship, and was named the 2015 ACT Young Woman of the Year.

With Feminartsy as a platform, Zoya’s goal is to raise the profile of women’s voices in the media. The site has gained her the Canberra Critics Circle award in the category of ‘Writing’, with credit to her for creating a platform for women writers. Zoya is set to release her debut book, No Country Woman, this year. Read More