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What motivates people to join, love or leave, your community?

Measuring behaviour of community members gives you valuable statistical data; understanding member motivations enables engagement that's demonstrably valued. "Why people are joining or leaving the community?" This question comes up when trends in member numbers or behaviour don't match your expectations or explanations. I've had this exact conversation recently with leaders of a national community […]

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A guide to Four Territories for developing as a leader

What does it take to develop, as a leader? The day after hosting a webinar with Stephen Duns on Beyond Vertical leadership I had two conversations with peers and leaders in challenging situations. In both the webinar and conversations ‘Developmental Inquiry’ was front of mind as a way to develop as a leader. This post […]

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Harmonising conditions for innovation: random interactions vs. waves of momentum

This article summarises a presentation from a conference hosted at Edith Cowan University: Networks in Changing Business Ecosystems - 3rd International Symposium, Perth, Western Australia. The presentation focused on cases and practice, including a tentative synthesis of twelve dimensions of incubation facilitation. The questions and challenges the presentation addressed include: What are 'good' conditions for incubation and […]

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Incubation facilitation: meaning, finding and growing

This article provides an introduction to the practice of incubation facilitation, and considerations when seeking to realise the potential benefits of innovations. Andrew recently facilitated a session on this topic at a conference lead by Nora Bateson of the International Bateson Institute. The conference theme was Learning Together in Living Systems ('symmathesy'): A new way of […]

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Are entrepreneurial learning programs valued in regional communities?

Meshpoints hosts fortnightly peer learning sessions for innovation facilitators from across regional Western Australia. Recently we discussed the benefits and challenges of facilitating learning programs for entrepreneurs in the regions. In a way, asking “Why would you, and is it worth, running them?” On the call, facilitators in the Mid West, Great Southern, South West, […]

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How to be, for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity

Someday you may be invited to a space, place, meeting, opportunity or community that we sense may be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It could be through hard work, good fortune and deliberate intention, you are invited to: interview someone you've long admired, travel on an international fellowship, hang out on an island with inspiring leaders, or […]

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How startup incubators make money

This guide is for startups, sponsors, mentors and anyone working with or providing services to startups. Understanding what is a good incubator, how they measure their success and how they make money will mean you are intelligent and effective in your selection and working relationship. [ This article was first published on Startup News ] […]

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Indicators for incubators: matters worth measuring

In advising the entrepreneurs, directors and investors on growing better incubators the discussion often turns to measurement and indicators. Sometimes we come to this topic while trying to articulate and align what their mission means in practice, other times we are to quantifying or qualifying what is already being done and feels like in accordance. […]

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Listening, for facilitators: enabling ease through discerning difference

One function of facilitation is indicated in its etymology: to make actualisation of an aspiration easy. So, facilitation requires discerning others' aspirations and perceptions accurately. Projecting, relating to one's own experience or not really listening may be easier for the facilitator but doesn't enable ease for the facilitated:  Discerning different makes all the difference if your […]

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Scaling Global means encouraging Sailing Global

This article puts the case that we should encourage local startups to move overseas and flourish – if they have to… “Let’s generously give our startups warm winds of support in their sail as they surf other waves of opportunity.” [ This article was first published on Startup News and co-authored with Kate Brooks] Perth was […]

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Summer suggestions for incubator facilitators

Curated suggestions for those facilitating startup incubation 2019 planning or summer reading. Make a cup of tea and enjoy perusing. Let us know what you appreciate or make your own suggestions in the comments or by email: incubataus@wearearising.org Reading If you missed any of the 14 editions of the incubation facilitation newsletter you can read […]

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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 relate […]

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A more mature muster

Startup Muster’s annual report is very useful within its scope and as one perspective on the strengths, challenges and size of the startup ecosystem. And for me this year the the associated communications, assumptions and commentary were very interesting. They provoked some thinking about what could be better enabling of more effective reporting and advocacy […]

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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 than […]

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What is a good incubator?

This blog was first appeared on Medium courtesy of Impact Seed. What is a good incubator? A result (and cause) of an increasing number of startups, is an increasing number of incubators. A decade ago there were just a handful, StartupWA counted twelve in 2015, and in 2018 there are nearly sixty existing or emerging […]

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Evidencing demand for incubators

Superficially, and perhaps appropriately given the metaphor, new and existing incubators can be subject to the ‘chicken and egg’ dynamic: how to evidence demand from startups when the desire for an incubator by the initiator is driven (in part) by the lack of them? Actually, this question addresses the critical success factor for incubators, especially […]

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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, and […]

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Regional incubators in Western Australia

Twenty one percent of WA’s population and more than ninety percent of export value come from the regions with much of that concentrated in a dozen regional centres of populations less than forty thousand. As a results innovation in the regions is different to metropolitan areas: less density, closer to industry, different skillsets, lots of […]

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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, […]

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Assistance from Incubator Facilitator

This is a brief guide, based on historical precedents, of the most beneficial ways the WA Incubator Facilitator can be of assistance through in-person meetings and visits. The majority of support is provided remotely via email, phone and webconference, but visits and meetings are essential at certain stages of incubator development. View the profile of the […]

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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-stage […]

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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 of […]

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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 want […]

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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, rather […]

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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 and […]

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State of Startups Speech

On 5th December StartupWA hosted the 'State of Startups' event, a review of the startup ecosystem in Western Australia for 2017. You can read the full event report on the StartupWA blog, and below is the script of the prepared speech I gave as Chairperson leading into the panel discussion. -- StartupWA's Vision is that WA […]

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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 be […]

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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 coworking […]

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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 want […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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: […]

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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 […]

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Protected: Protected: Snookered: the tricky game of Royalties for Regions funding

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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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 […]

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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 just […]

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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. Without […]

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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 make […]

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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 been […]

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Social and creative enterprises in Bali and Lombok

On my recent holiday with the family through parts of Bali and Lombok I had my eyes open for local social and creative enterprises. While we were definitely tourists this time (not volunteering, researching or working), I felt that the least I could do was be a responsible traveller — aware of the impacts of […]

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Awareness in and of transitions

It still surprises me how much a simple shift in attention can change everything. In this case, what I've noticed is how the shift in attention from the activity one is doing to the way one transitions into and out of that activity can make such a difference to qualities the activity itself. Sports and work are two examples […]

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Lazy, Intelligent, Curious and quite possibly Generative

Why would I spend several sweating hot days doing an inquiry that resulted in just a three word answer? Because I'm lazy. A peer, Michael Doneman, was acting as my coach when he shared the story of what characterise the best officers in the German army. They were lazy and intelligent, meaning they were "shortcut seekers". Lazy is […]

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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 with […]

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Revolutions and revelations

Last summer I was invited to a wonderful party, a party for revolutionaries. Dressing as Gandhi had great benefits: learning to tie a dhoti, learning to ride a motorbike wearing a dhoti, testing the reactions of supermarket staff to a man wearing nothing but a dhoti, sleeping in only a dhoti, to share my recent […]

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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. This […]

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Community as Technology

This was originally published on the WorldChanging blog, here. With new options for collaboration, telecommunications and social networking coming online at a furious pace, it's worth pondering how society will continue to change as a result. Having the tools in place is, of course, only half the battle. The rest is learning to shift our […]

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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 having […]

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Backcasting - first, get clear on your vision of success... Backcasting is a process of starting from a vision of success, then looking back to today to identify the most strategic steps to get achieve success. The process is described here, compared against forecasting or use of scenarios in planning processes, and examples of applications […]

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