Finding Innovation – four steps and a stumble

Local governments, corporates and SMEs can embrace and enable innovation for transformational benefits. And, venturing into the world of startups, unicorns, incubators and angels can be risky and expensive. There is an abundance of information and people about the technologies and trends with implications for industries and organisations, but little about how to effectively relateRead more

CEP Discussion Paper: Incubators, Accelerators and Economic Development

This is an fantastic paper from one of the world’s most prestigious economic research institutes: The Centre for Economic Performance. One of three very useful conclusions for those running or supporting incubators is: “there is fairly clear evidence incubators and accelerators work overall – for survival, employment growth and receiving external finance”. But rather thanRead more

Innovations from Regional WA (Beta)

Western Australia has great history of inventions, innovations and ventures growing from its regions. While fantastic, most of this history and stories are not widely known. More than just ‘nice’ to know, understanding the history and type of innovations can be critical information for new or existing incubators, local ventures seeking mentors, media, investors, andRead more

Partners for Incubators

Partners for Incubators For many incubators, partnerships can leverage significant additional resources and services for the benefit of ventures. Successful hubs in ecosystems often build a density of connections that gives them an almost gravitational pull, attracting ventures, talent, capital and other resources. For the partners, incubators can be attractive as a source of ventures,Read more

Incubator Support resources for applicants

The official and full information is available online the Incubator Support website. These resources are for convenience for applicants working with the WA Incubator Facilitator. Incubator: has specific meaning that can include a broad range of activities that “that fosters innovative start-ups…”. Further details are in Appendix A of Programme guidelines. Startup: has specific meaning: “innovative, adaptive, early-stageRead more

USA IVLP: advancing entrepreneurship

This June (2018) I’m in a United States’ on an International Visitor Leadership Program exchange scholarship. This post gives a little context about the remarkable program, diverse participants, and activities spread across the country. Future posts will be here or on my personal blog and more frequent updates on Twitter Since 1948 the United States’ government has facilitated a version ofRead more

What’s an appropriate motivation and intention for growing the WA innovation ecosystem?

What’s an appropriate motivation and intention for growing the WA innovation ecosystem? This question can more easily be asked now, because there is sufficient shared acceptance of ‘innovation ecosystem’ existence, value, and that they can be grown deliberately through different policies, investments and voluntary activity. So now that we have one (an ecosystem) and wantRead more

Learning from and for regional innovation strategies

This post is about the lessons learning through developing the Mid West Innovation Agenda and Mid West Innovation Action Agenda (unpublished*). This is most relevant if you are doing something similar in another region, though may also resonate with anyone facilitating collaborative strategy development. This is not a report about what do grow innovative ventures themselves, ratherRead more

Report from the 2017 WA Regional Innovation Summit

On Thursday 23rd of November 2017 Minister Alannah MacTiernan hosted more than one hundred delegates at a Regional Innovation Summit in Bunbury. While the majority of the participants were from the South West of the state and representing various government or agencies, there were also representatives from northern WA and from various social enterprises andRead more

Growing great digital communities: 7 Mistakes and 7 Recommendations

Since 2008 I’ve been voluntarily created or contributed to the growth of more than a dozen “online communities”. This post, published on world changing.com in 2009, shares the insight that got me started: communities can be considered an amazing ‘technology’. What online communities create, particularly, is a a place to test thinking or incubate ideas, and enable experimentation that leads to learning that can then beRead more

Innovation at edges: four facilitation principles

I have a refreshed sense of the relationship and importance of edges and convergence in enabling the emergence of new ideas and innovations. A fine awareness of the dynamics at edges (of disciplines, geographies, ecotones and comfort zones) seems necessary to facilitating successful convergence – whether that be at a conference or in a coworkingRead more

Sweet digital tools for a club – Geraldton Kite Crew case study

This posts documents a small digital side-project to connect kitesurfers in Geraldton. Some of the tools and approach may be relevant to you, if you run any sort of group, club or team. Enjoy! Some of our starting assumptions with Geraldton Kite Crew were that: People with hobbies enjoy it more and are safer if sharing with others, Most people wantRead more

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 responseRead more

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 areRead more

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 IRead more

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’sRead more

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:Read more

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 inRead more

Reflections on Day 1 of FORM’s #PUBLICsymposium

Rather than tackled the impossible task to personally condense the first day’s messages and ideas from dozen civic leaders’ life’s work from Day 1 (and which the ‘crowd’ has done well through the event’s hashtag #publicsymposium ), this post is to articulate a few personal observations and ideas-in-formation. A brief disclosure, first, because I didn’t justRead more

An updated inquiry: Learning from and with innovative cities

Thanks to feedback from some wonderful people, I’ve updated the question shared in a previous post. I expect many more iterations to occur! The summary of the final submission for a Churchill fellowship, and trajectory for my professional work is below. Thankyou to Andrea Selvey, Will Varey, Ann Larson, Scott Ludlam and the Pollinators members and community for their invaluable contributions. WithoutRead more

Bendigo Bank community services ecosystem

Geraldton’s Community bank branch an amazing array of services, grants and funding opportunities for community groups. The image attached is an unofficial attempt to highlight how some of these work, centred around a member-based, NFP community organisation. As a voluntary Director, shareholder, and business and personal customer I am still working out how to makeRead more

How can innovation in local communities be of benefit, globally? The next question…

Arriving in Geraldton from years in Sweden, UK and traveling, I was holding a question about “the conditions that are enabling of sustainable human communities. My 5 year inquiry has taken the form of action-learning, contributing to projects and ventures that I (and others) assessed as high-leverage contributions to Greater Geraldton moving closer towards being a sustainable community. And, since 2011 my efforts have beenRead more

Holacracy — a magical ‘OS’ for organisations

Holacracy has been on my radar since 2008, and recently completing their become a Certified Holacracy Practitioner has turned me into an enthusiastic advocate for this new ‘operating system’ for organisations. This post is a bit of a download of my enthusiasm and early experience of having just facilitated our first ‘Governance’ meeting using Holacracy withRead more

Pollinators gets buzzing

There is an intense buzz of ideas, enterprises and investment around the world, for social good. Governments are rethinking how they deliver services, entrepreneurs are competing to solve homelesnesss and climate change, cross-sector collaborations are being used to re-invent the global food system, and corporate intrapreneurs are recreating their companies from the inside out. ThisRead more

The significance of Identity for Sustainability

Beyond being one of the Max-Neef’s Fundamental Human Needs (see footnote) I think our identity is actually central to effectively working towards sustainability. Questions of identity have come up repeatdly during my personal journey since graduation, whilst traveling overland back to Australia, and most recently during the Hallbarhet2009 event. Completing the MSLS program and havingRead more

Can social innovation competitions move beyond hype and deliver change?

Integrating the best of business (they trade, and make a profit) and charity (they have a social mission, and re-invest all profits into achieving their social mission), social businesses (also ‘social enterprise’ or ‘community enterprises’) are growing as a means for individuals and existing organisations to create positive social change. Whether these social businesses areRead more

Developing as a Leader, through Action Inquiry

Awakening to action and inquiry in different territories of awareness One way to FRAME the concept of leadership is that being a leader is about leading yourself with integrity by staying in alignment with your values. As you engage with others, a leader’s concern becomes mutuality. This is about your interaction with others, reciprocation, andRead more

Leadership Development Framework

Dictionary definitions of leadership highlight associations ‘showing the way by going in advance‘, ‘guiding behaviour‘, ‘inducing, directing, and inspiring‘. And the word development is an antonym of envelop, so can be interpreted as ‘unwrapping’. So, leadership development can be thought of as unwrapping thee potential of individuals, teams and organisations to guide, direct and inspire.Read more

Sustainability Inside-Out: the role of coaching

Can organisations move towards sustainability without coaching? Arising and Article 13’s research reveals the critical role coaching can play in the shift towards sustainable and profitable business. Most large organisations are making moves towards sustainability. Leading organisations are integrating ecological and social factors into strategy. Many factors constrain organisations progress, but the barriers of cultureRead more

Visual, sustainable business model design

Have you ever thought: Excel spreadsheets, verbal pitches and typed-out business plans are not as effective as they could be in communicating the essence of a business model to investors, partners and staff? There is a confusing lack of a clear, consistent, modular ‘language’ for describing business models and the key components? Given that mapsRead more

Sustainability, Entrepreneurship and Art at SHINE

We were recently involved in SHINE Unconference for social entrepreneurs. We researched how understanding ‘Fundamental Human Needs’ can inform both the analysis, diagnosis, innovation and marketing phases of social entrepreneurship. Based on this thinking we co-created an installation that engaged visitors in the ten fundamental human needs. And, hosted several workshops with partner organisations whoRead more