Social change by changing socially

Social change by changing socially

Does social change, require changing socially?

Every thought-provoking tweet, crowdfunded project or inspiring social impact conference brings new ideas to our attention and catalyses interesting conversations. But have you ever wondered whether and how effectively sharing inspirational ideas and asking big questions really affect change in our social context?

During a recent conversation with a friend, we both made a recurring distinction: the response an ‘individual doing social change’ vs the response of ‘being the change in a social context’.

This post is dedicated to a few examples from that conversation. We’re curious to hear if the distinction we are making, the different way we were paying attention is noticeable and share with others?
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Eight Insights for Alliances

Eight Insights for Alliances

If you’re trying to change a system or build a new one, collaborating with like-minded people with aligned interests is a likely occurrence. Whether it’s growing the social enterprise ‘sector’, an ‘ecosystem’ of support for startups or government alliance to improve regional economic development, cooperating with others on advocacy, investment attraction and learning from each other makes sense.

These new alliances are often formed through frustration at current institutions or culture, a vision of something different and willingness to invest a a lot of intellect and energy in addressing it. However despite often being comprised of the brightest and most successful talent in a sector, success in ‘coalitions of the willing’ is far from assured. I’ve written previously about the conditions enabling of successful collaboration within alliances, and this post is to share share some insights into how these alliances can be effective in their mission and context.

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Five things startups can learn from kitesurfing

Five things startups can learn from kitesurfing

 

Do you have an idea, insight or passion you think could make a great Startup?

Time spent at the beach could actually be relevant to your business success…

Recently I’ve helped launch StartupWA, mentored at Startup Weekend, advised government on digital and innovation strategy and enjoyed the start of the kitesurfing season. This all got me thinking, and below I share five insights that could help your startup grow.

  1. Simplicity can hide complexity

Great kitesurfers make navigating big waves in screaming winds look simple. Great startup entrepreneurs similarly create elegant and easy-to-use solutions, hiding the complex behind-the-scenes challenges.

You may have an idea for a startups or app, but do you understand the real challenges of building a great product? Using Uber and thinking “I could do that” is like watching Aaron Hadlow flip in a video and thinking after a few lessons you will do it better.

Avoid being over-confident based on your ideas alone. Instead of investing in hype, spend time understanding the market, trying and failing a lot, and learning from those who’ve already done it.

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Four reasons why Bendigo is the most surprising Bank in Australia

Four reasons why Bendigo is the most surprising Bank in Australia

What would be your response if I told you that the 5th largest Australian Bank was:

  • So innovative it’s model is being exporting its model across the world,
  • So good it’s been awarded as the most ethical, reputable, innovative and best for business, and
  • So committed to creating shared value towards a 100-year vision that it’s donated more than $130 million back to local communities in which it operates?

Surprised?

I’ve been a voluntary Director of my local Bendigo Bank branch for a few years, and I still get surprised at what a remarkable organisation it is. Recently attending my first National Conference with 700 fellow Directors from 300 branches made me even more passionate about the Bendigo Bank model. Throughout the conference I enjoyed the sense of shared vision, culture, and of being part of something remarkable. There were four themes from the conference that I count as reasons for Bendigo being the most surprising Bank in Australia.

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Geraldton as a Shareable City?

Geraldton as a Shareable City?

I’ve just returned from a conference on coworking, which gave me reason to revisit the relevance of the ‘sharing economy’ and ‘shareable cities’. While we’re seeing a huge upsurge in sharing of spaces, vehicles and everything else through clever use of technology, not all of it is positive. It’s timely for Geraldton to consider the question: “If we are going to benefit from more sharing, how do we ensure the outcomes are positive for our local community and economy?” While no-one may know the answer to that question yet, but we need to be asking it or risk being surprised by the downsides of sharing in our city.

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I’ll follow you: followship and leadership co-arising

I’ll follow you: followship and leadership co-arising

In conversations with a friend about our slightly different perspectives and approaches, I looked up definition and etymology of Leadership: “guide”, “cause to go with”. What I freshly appreciated from this was the emphasis on the relationship to the ’other’ who one is causing to go with. That is, that leadership and “followship” co-arise in the same moment, the relationship may be more mutual and reciprocal than paternal, and there’s the possibility that the meaning-making, identity and intentions of the follower may be more important to the relationship than the ‘vision’ of the aspiring leader.

In this post I share a few thoughts and observations from entrepreneurship, herding chickens and fighting on the mat, as they related to the dynamics of leadership and fellowship.

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Reflections from Day 2 of #PUBLICsymposium

Reflections from Day 2 of #PUBLICsymposium

#PUBLICsymposium was an amazing event, and a rare and much appreciated opportunity in WA. A deep bow of gratitude to FORM and sponsors who footed the bill for most of us.

Here are some of my reflections after Day 2, which add to the reflections from Day 1. The same disclaimer applies as for Day 1: I wasn’t paying much attention to the visual art aspects, and didn’t attend some of those sessions.

  1. Form enables function. To balance my pun from Day 1, form (and FORM!) enables function. Even when there is so much emphasis on the digital and virtual, our awareness of the influence of physical spaces (including built and natural) on our learning and creativity is increasing. We heard evidence and stories from multiple presenters about how creativity is learned and realised in enabling spaces: coworking and innovation at Brodie’s Spacecubed and Leon’s Creative Factory, good design through Carly’s Open House of architecture, and Paul’s emphasis on the characteristics of a high functioning classroom ‘space’ for creativity. Without physical form, our embodied learning would be disabled.
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