Freelance Tour of England 2018

Freelance Foundation – Tour of England 2018 – Report for all our patrons, associates and friends and how you can be a part of it 

( Collated by Freelance Foundation Documentation Team and from Facebook : Wordcon Channel)

Shorter version : 1 min video trailer – Directorial Debut of Priyam B Wordsmith Jr- I in England

Freelance Foundation is a  charity registered in Calcutta and works with the following mission.

The Mission: Primary mission was to spread the message of Freelance Foundation through lectures, travel, one to one discussion, institutional interaction and playing the game of cricket.  The secondary mission was to provide two young associates exposure to work and deliver under adverse and semi-adverse circumstances.

The Motto: Harmonizing Income, Leisure and Fame

The Team: Pritam B Wordsmith, Chairman, Freelance Foundation, Mr. Priyam B Wordsmith, Jr. I, trainee youngster, Mr. Anik Gupta, Head of Events and Logistics.

Duration: 19th Sept – 28th Sept 2018

Locations Covered: London, Birmingham, Aston,  Oxford

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The Heritage and History of the Tour

On 30th Dec 2017, Wordsmith Communication – the permanent and seminal sponsor of Freelance Foundation hosted a retro style cricket match in NKDA Cricket Ground Calcutta and it was conceived to have a similar match in British soil. In 2018, Freelance Foundation conducted a 4-city tour of India, namely Bangalore, Mumbai, Delhi and Calcutta and gathered a considerable patrons, associates and well-wishers.

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It was just after the successful Tour of India 2018, the Trustee Board approved the Tour of England, presumably being convinced of the effectiveness of the model presently termed as “Cashless Model of Patronage” where individuals and institutions provide us facilities and the Foundation keeps all the events free to attend in return and the model is sustainable and scalable with some seeding fund provided by Wordsmith Communication and others.

Brief Description of the Tour of England 2018

The relationship of Britain with Wordsmith and by association, Freelance Foundation goes back to 2004/2005 when Chairman Pritam B Wordsmith left his job as Deputy General Manager of Tata Communications and landed in Starthclyde Business School, Glasgow as a British Chevening Scholar and boarding a British Airways direct flight from Calcutta to London Heathrow (CCU à LHR and now this is extant) in a chilling February morning of 2005. This relationship matured and in one of the addresses in London and also  in last Wordcon International Conference in the Park, Calcutta where British Deputy High Commissioner Mr Bruce Bucknell was present, Pritam B Wordsmith in his capacity as Chairman described – “..As Chevening alumni, I thank you as a representative of British Government and British People and taxpayers for their generosity. It was my stay and study for a year in Britain that nurtured and supported my desire to start Wordsmith Communication as a company of unique nature and also the networking that made this journey possible. A Journey which I call the journey of a Time Rich Cash Poor Gentleman where I use gentleman in the Victorian sense, i.e. a gentleman is always above money. One of the greatest business learning from Britain was to consider a business contract sacred and inviolate.” The details of this relationship are described by Pritam in one of his books – Wordsmith Book of Business.

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“The hand of a good man that wields the bat, rules the world” – Anonymous Wordsmith

The three member team from Calcutta started westward on 19th and there have been practice sessions in Eastern Calcutta parks in full gear with GBC Chandrani Bhattacharjee present. Associates delivered their wares – memento, medallion, gifts, banner, standee, camera gears and we greeted them as associates, not as mere vendors. On 18th, GBC Subhasis Chatterjee had a breakfast meet at Wordsmith HO at Salt Lake and bade us well. Without much event, the journey went westward – to Arabia Deserta and then to Londonium.

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Practice in Calcutta East – 48 hours before Fructus ex Virtus in British soil

On 20th, we reached London and it was a sunny day and we emerged out of London Euston –fully loaded with message to be delivered and cricketing gears. For the two young fellows, playing in British soil was first time experience and they were little anxious. From Euston, a virgin train dropped the campaigners in Brimingham New Street where they were greeted and picked up by Head of Wordsmith UK – Mr. Amit Ghose and we had a good night’s sleep. On 21st, we had our freelance meet in Birmingham and in the evening, briefed by an ominous weather report, the visiting team met Mr.Bukhari – a young British gentleman and a promising engineer in GE to discuss the proceedings next day. On 22nd, we played at Aston Manor Cricket Club, Birmingham under very adverse conditions – rain and cold and very ferocious bowling. The Game was interrupted many times but the Cricket won as the players braved the weather and promised to return next summer. Mr. Bukhari commented – “This is a slight interruption. This is not cancellation and we consider the match postponed till next summer.”   After a rest day on 22nd, the team set off to London on 23rd.. In Baker Street, near the statue of Sherlock Holmes, Pritam delivered a tribute in words to the greatest “freelance” consulting detective of real and imagined and the passers-by were quite amused. It was a bright day and the team folded their standee and went off to Oxford. Walking along one of the greatest and oldest architectures of the British Isles in Oxford, the young fellows were captivated by the charms of the buildings. Pritam B Wordsmith delivered his address entitled:   “Beauty, Freedom and Utility – the business of Freelancing” at St. Clements. The address emphasized that lack of freedom will invariably lead to ugliness and life may be very affluent but without beauty it is not worth living. Freelancers have this inestimable gift of freedom if they can creatively harmonize income, leisure and cultivation of beauty. Nothing is so magnetically famous as an object of beauty and nothing is so repellent to human spirit as  lack of creative freedom.  Returned to London and then next day in Working Central Victoria freelance meet, the address was entitled: “What freelancers can teach the world?” Pritam talked about how Future of Work in itself is a question of Art rather than only some function. In a world where more and more labour will be saved by smarter machines, the challenge is not from the machines but from a more formidable and self-referential problem – “What shall I do with the Leisure which appears to be thrust upon me.”

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Heathrow welcomes us with an opportunity for a photo shoot.

On Leisure – at Bloomsbury Park, remembering Francis Bacon’s “Essays”

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Surrounded by architectural Beauty and just before delivering the talk entitled : Beauty, Freedom and Business of Freelancing at St. Clements, Oxford

In London, at Central Working Co-working space – a kind partner and Pritam B Wordsmith – “tired and emotional” reflects on how London is an enchanting yet merciless city for any freelancer and he reflected on his engagement with the city as a “come and go freelancer” since 2005.

What did we learn?

  • The message of Freelance Foundation is greeted warmly by freelancers and institutions supporting them, for example – co-working locations and training institutions plus innovation ecosystems. All artists are freelancers but all freelancers are not artists. Innovation is what art for a freelancer who re-invents all the time.
  • There is an increasing awareness of freelancing as a significant component of economy in England and freelancing is considered more and more as a “normal” career option.
  • The Millennial Generation are increasingly drawn towards freelancing partly because of structural shifts in the economy and also in consumer behaviour. Innovation is no longer something an enterprise does or obligated to do, marketing and innovation are the pillars now of a freelancer – a one person business.
  • Our two young Tour members did wonderfully well – whether it is organizing meets or playing in British weather or working on the go – these discoveries of hidden strengths were great achievements.

The Road Ahead

  • Next year Tour of England 2019 will have Mr. Subhasis Chatterjee, GBC and Head of Logistics, Mr. Soumendu Chakraborty, Head of Operations and Design, Mr. Gaurav Purkayastha, Global Counsel and Head of Regulatory Affairs. All of them are freelancers in their own right.
  • Vision 2020: We shall be carrying our message to 20 cities of India and 20 world cities by 2020.

How you can be part of it?

Being a charity we are fully dependent on support – financial and non-financial from our patrons, associates, friends and well-wishers. Here are six modes of association:

  • You can be a teacher in your domain and teach freelancers and our audience free of cost
  • You can be a mentor to our freelance associates as a teacher without any financial transaction involved
  • You can provide us with seed-funds as a donation in form of cash.
  • You can provide us with facilities in cash-less model of patronage. For example, you can provide us a meeting room under your ownership/control free of charge where we can organize meets which will be free to attend for all.
  • You can spread our activities within your network of influence and let us know.
  • You can be friend of our social network and traditional friend circle, grace us with time and attention and be a friend and a constructive critic.
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