Meet Grace Chambers: The 91-Year-Old Parkrunner (#58)

Grace Chambers is a 91 year-old with a passion for quilt-making and travelling. She’s also a record-breaking member of the Ormeau Park Parkrun. After spending her childhood in the rural countryside of Northern Ireland, Grace went on to have a very successful career in education that eventually led her to Barbados. In today’s show Grace shares some wisdom from her jam-packed, adventure-filled life with plenty of great stories along the way.

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Matthew Thompson
Virtual Reality & Decision-Making with Cathy Craig from Incisiv (#57)

Cathy Craig is a Professor of Experimental Psychology at Ulster University, but she’s also the CEO of INCISIV: a sports technology company that helps players make more match winning decisions. Cathy was the first in the world to use Virtual Reality to study decision-making in sport and has worked with some of the top atheletes in the world. Having a burning desire to get her research out of the lab, she’s embarked on an entrepreneurial journey that has led to Incisvs’s first product: a VR platform that trains goalkeepers to make more saves called Cleansheet.

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Matthew Thompson
A Once In A Lifetime Conversation With Foy Vance (#56)

Since his first album in 2007, Foy’s music has been known and loved all over the world and alongside selling-out his own tours the last decade has played alongside some of the greatest musicians alive including Ed Sheeran, Elton John and Alicia Keys. But in November 2017, something unusual happened. Foy walked off stage after playing the Union Chapel in London without having another gig lined up in the diary for the first time in 20 years.

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Matthew Thompson
Podcast Interview With Comedian Shane Todd (#55)

Shane Todd is a comedian from Holywood, Northern Ireland. I asked him for a bio and he said to say: "THE WIZARD OF WIT. THE KING OF COMEDY. THE MASTER OF THE MIC. THE SOURCERER OF STORIES."

Nice. After getting up on stage to do stand up as a dare while still in school, Shane has spent over 11 years working on his craft and perfecting the art of getting people to laugh.

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Matthew Thompson
Northern Ireland’s 2019 Young Enterprise Champions: RagDogs From Bloomfield Collegiate (#54)

RagDogs is a new start-up founded by 7 young women from Bloomfield Collegiate School in East Belfast through the Young Enterprise Northern Ireland Company Program. Being “barking mad about the environment” the team developed a series of products around two passions: taking care of the planet and having fun with their dogs. RagDogs produce handmade eco-friendly dog toys with materials that would otherwise be sent to landfill sites and have partnered with animal welfare charities like Assisi to create a profitable business with a social impact.

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Matthew Thompson
Jenna Stevenson: Made In Mourne. (#53)

In 2017, Kilkeel born and bred Jenna Stevenson set up Made In Mourne, a non-profit organisation whose goal is to connect and support over 500 entrepreneurs in the region and provide a space for them to sell their stuff, meet together and as you’ll hear, access fast wifi. Jenna spends a lot of time pitching and presenting the great work Made In Mourne do, but she doesn’t really like talking about herself.

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Matthew Thompson
Ryan Crown: Creative Director Of Crown Creative NYC. (#52)

Ryan Crown is a creative director and designer specializing in hospitality and food & beverage. He lives in Brooklyn New York with his girlfriend Emma and their dog Ted. After working with The Dead Rabbit in New York as Digital Marketing Manager, Ryan moved to become HPH Hospitality’s Creative Director and worked across over 20 venues in their New York portfolio.

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Matthew Thompson
From Newry To New York: Pauline Turley, Irish Arts Center (#50)

After winning the green card lottery in 1997, Pauline Turley left friends and family in Newry behind to move to NYC.  

Since then Pauline has been on a rollercoaster journey that’s included pulling pints in a bar frequented by famous Irish actors, getting married to an American fella and developing the Irish Arts Center into what is it today.

Founded in 1972, the Irish Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary organization dedicated to promoting a dynamic image of Ireland and Irish America of the 21st Century. In October 2018, Irish Arts Center broke ground on the first phase of a new $60 million Irish Arts Center Development project, which is scheduled to open in 2020.

(Looks really incredible so it does).

Pauline is an absolute powerhouse and I had an absolute blast sitting down to hear her story and I know you will to.

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Matthew Thompson
Nostalgia, Entrepreneurship and Art with Aaron Flanagan from Comic Book Guys (#49)

In 2014, Aaron Flanagan and his brother quit their ‘proper jobs’ to open Comic Book Guys, Northern Ireland's largest independent comic book store and the first-ever authorised CGC dealer. The one-stop shop located on Great VIctoria Street has been serving Belfast’s thriving comic book scene through golden, silver age, bronze to modern comics, movie memorabilia, toys, collectables and even comics made by local creators (including a comic made by the Comic Book Guys themselves about fighting the zombie apocalypse off in their shop).

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Matthew Thompson
A Conversation With Coworking Space King Steve Pette (#48)

After working in hospitality since he was 13 years old, Steve Pette has spent his life creating experiences for people. Describing himself as a guy looking to make a positive difference in cities through inspired environments, Steve is a cofounder of Ormeau Baths and Central-Working, two coworking spaces that provide local businesses with a place to thrive. Steve has worked with some big names in the hospitality sector and also in the airline industry with Virgin Atlantic and was one of the founding team members who brought the airline to America: redefining the US travel market.

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Matthew Thompson
“Small Steps To Giant Living” With Scott Riley From Causeway Living (#47)

In June 2014, Scott Riley (the founder of Causeway Living) was 100 lb overweight, suffering from Rheumatoid Arthritis and on a cocktail of pharmaceutical drugs. He was depressed, isolated and at rock bottom in his life.

But not any more. After some big leaps of faith like being treated by the tribes in the Peruvian Amazon, going 60 days without solid food, and climbing frozen mountains half naked in the snow, Scott now coaches others to “take small steps to giant living” when it comes to their health, fitness and wellbeing.

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Matthew Thompson
Rachael Campbell-Palmer From Black Box: “A Space For Things Don’t Have One” (#46)

With over 600 events every year including live music, discos, art exhibits, comedy sketches, open mic storytelling nights and much much more, The Black Box is without a doubt the creative heartbeat of our city. We sat down with co-director Rachael Campbell-Palmer to talk about the importance of creating spaces where people can experiment with new ideas, mediums and art forms.

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Matthew Thompson
The Hero’s Journey With Mark Dowds (#44)

You may know Mark Dowds as an early investor in Uber, the Chief Operating Officer of Trov, and one the of key people behind the Ormeau Baths coworking space in Belfast. But he sees himself more as “just a guy from Northern Ireland,” a dedicated husband, father, ultra-marathoner, keen cyclist and “possibly the worst pupil the all-boys school Inst has ever seen.”

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Matthew Thompson
Talking Craft With Musicians Johnny James & Rebekah Fitch (#43)

Today we’re joined by two incredibly talented young musicians - Johnny James and Rebekah Fitch.

After meeting on Instagram the two have gone on to perform and record together, with their latest single dropping last week.

In this unfiltered conversation, we chat about how they got into music, the challenges of the creative process and their new song Hiding.

Check it out.

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Matthew Thompson