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Summary:

2009 was a great year for me professionally, largely oriented around driving the successful production of several tech industry events that’re helping create a vibrant tech scene here in Leeds, England. From O’Reilly’s Ignite UK North, to the LSx09 festival, TEDxLeeds and a bunch of geek […]

2009 was a great year for me professionally, largely oriented around driving the successful production of several tech industry events that’re helping create a vibrant tech scene here in Leeds, England. From O’Reilly’s Ignite UK North, to the LSx09 festival, TEDxLeeds and a bunch of geek dinners, it’s been a good year!

A few things I’m really proud of: I finally launched a venture-backed startup I co-founded at 2009′s South by Southwest festival; I mentored a couple of undergraduates through their final year; was invited to hang with tech’s “great and the good” at ETech, TEDGlobal and Futuresonic; and helped bootstrap an open government initiative.

So what will I be up to in 2010?

Another Festival

  • I’ll be leading the production of the third Leeds Web Festival – LSx2010. This year we’re pulling together a two-day conference, over a dozen fringe events and partnering with the Live At Leeds music festival to create a SxSW vibe, as well as a “rock the vote” event ahead of the UK elections in May.

A Couple New Ventures

My partners and I will be focusing on pair of new ventures to help build our business.

  • DayLeeds is a concept I’ve been developing over the last few months, building a suite of tools for a “post-digital newsroom” and putting them in the hands of an agile team of journalists and citizens. We’re planning to pilot this in the first half of the year.
  • Dotnorth — a bunch of us will be launching a blog covering digital culture and tech happenings across the North of England.

Rebooting Mind & Body

Being involved in so many exciting projects and initiatives has come at a cost I’m only just beginning to comprehend; my health, my spiritual balance and family life has suffered, so I’m intending to be a little more deliberate and disciplined with non-work activities:

  • Taking regular exercise, setting myself some goals to reduce calories — and keeping score using apps like DailyBurn.
  • Rebuilding my spiritual schedule. As a practicing Muslim, my obligitary prayers provide me clarity, luck and comfort. When I lapse, other parts of my life suffer and I drift. Last year, I learned to “keep score,” using simple spreadsheet during Ramadan. Now, I’ll be extending that to the entire year.
  • I had a wonderful three-week vacation in Pakistan with family last month, completely off the grid, speaking another language and embedded in another culture. I’m going to give my family and my friends more of my time.

I think I’ve unintentionally categorized my goals for the year as broadly cultural, fiscal and personal — I’ll gladly take two out of three!

What are your goals for 2010?

Photo credit: stock.xchng user jana koll

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By Imran Ali
  1. Your comment about making time for faith reminded me of this http://informationageprayer.com/ To be clear, I’m not advocating this particular service, as few things are more beneficial to the human spirit than deep personal reflection, spiritual or otherwise. It just made me laugh (with shock) that there is a business model to support this kind of Web 2.0 app.

    Would also love to hear more about the DayLeeds concept; my research is delving into citizen journalism through digital storytelling.

    Hope 2010 is another good year for you Imran.

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  2. Thanks for your interest in DayLeeds Sarah, you can download a concept paper http://bit.ly/dayleeds

    I don’t think there’s any harm in providing tools to help with reflection and spirituality…if you were building a church, synagogue a mosque – you’d expect that builders, architects, designers and others would be paid for their physical and intellectual effort, though there might be some fiscal reward…it’s all about intentions :)

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