An #upfront interview with Lauren Currie

As we continue our association with #upfront for #CRESUM17 we wanted to share a short interview we did with Lauren Currie, the founder of the initivate and speaker at #CRESUM16.

What has happened to #upfront since last summer?

I'm thrilled Creative Summit will be #upfront again this year - you are role modelling to other conferences how it's done!

We've had a busy year and in fact we celebrated our one year anniversary at the start of this month by hosting a confidence and diversity party. Yes, it's a thing! On the 2nd February, it was exactly 365 days since I tried the #upfront model on stage at Silicon Beached. It was an excuse to celebrate one year of #upfront. We raised a glass for all of the people who have sat #upfront and we heard from some, as they took to the stage for the first time to tell their story.

We cheered like it was the Oscars, we cried happy tears and we admired the voices who took to our soapbox. We wanted to share and celebrate the impact we've had over the past year; and what an impact! Together we have accomplished much, these figures speak for themselves:

  • 150 men and women have sat #upfront
  • 22 speakers have shared their stage and their power
  • 16 conferences across 4 continents were #upfront
  • 3 public #upfront confidence workshops
  • 3 corporate #upfront confidence training sessions
  • 1 appearance on Swedish television
  • 4000 collective audience witnessed #upfront
  • 99% of those who sat #upfront said it was a valuable experience
  • 30% increase in the likelihood you will one day speak at an event yourself if you take part in #upfront

“Last week’s #upfront celebration buzzed tangibly with the energy of a crowd congregating in support for something that is right and something that works. We heard about the origins of the idea; we heard from those who had been impacted by the experience; we heard from those who could see the greater potential... and I don’t think a single person could have left the room doubting that they too could turn up the dial of their impact on the world." Ruth Kennedy

We have started working with businesses, teams and individuals to deliver confidence training and workshops. This has been amazing fun and hugely rewarding. You can watch a little video of what the workshops look like here.

What is your future vision for #upfront?

Confidence and conferences need a refresh! Too many speakers derive authority from fancy job titles, overrated books, and relationships formed with elite institutions. This antiquated, homogenous culture not only breeds boredom and myopic thinking but also reinforces structural inequalities. It's time to uncover and elevate new voices. This isn't just talk. #upfront is what stages were invented for. We invite every single keynote speaker around the world to be #upfront and share their stage.

We want the #upfront couch to be seen on every single stage from Facebook HQ to United Nations. We are building a global community of people who are making change happen - a confidence revolution!

So if you’re attending #CRESUM17 why should you sign up for the #upfront initiative?

Do you suffer from stage fright? Would you like to feel what it feels like to be on stage without the pressure of performing? Now is your chance! #upfront is for you. The team at Creative Summit have got a couch with your name on it, right up on stage, where you can sit and just be, while the speakers do their thing. 0% performance anxiety,100% spotlight. That’s #upfront. If you are interested you can send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the subject line Creative Summit. Couldn’t be simpler. Let’s claim that stage! Here are what some others say about their #upfront experience;

"It was great to have the opportunity to be in the shoes of the speaker without the pressure of actually delivering the speech."

"Being on the other side of the stage #upfront has helped me understand that public speaking is simply a set of skills that you can master."

"I found #upfront a useful experience and gave an insight into how it feels to face such a large audience!"

"The fact I didn’t have to talk made #upfront feel safe and doable"

"#upfront has given me the confidence that I can do it! It’s a very powerful experience."

"When I read about #upfront, I asked if I could join her comfortable couch because it sounded so safe but bold at the same time"

If you are wondering what it feels like to sit #upfront watch this short video of Steve Baty sharing his stage and his power at Midwest UX in USA.

Website: www.weareupfront