Guides and reflections on: innovation, leadership, sustainability and community.
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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Deciding what to do? Consider what's possible, probable and desirable

What to do? How to decide what to do? Yesterday I spoke to three different friends about decisions: careers, intimate relationships, and business strategy. After talking with each I felt clearer about the difference between what’s: possible, probable and desirable. We were paying more or less attention to each aspect during our conversations. Afterwards I […]

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A friend recently provided generous, excellent and critical feedback on a blog post and email sent to her. Reading it really hit me, was appreciated, and also got me reflecting on what feedback is, and how it works when done well. Feedback seems fundamentally necessary for any system, human or otherwise, that is to improve […]

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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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Conducting harmony

Yesterday I published an article on Harmonising Conditions for Innovation. As often happens, getting something published enables a sort of integration that gives way to further insights. Overnight this got me reflecting on the organisations and activities that enable ‘harmony’ and evolution within communities. By harmony, I mean something equivalent to in music: the combination […]

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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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Healthy growth is multidimensional

Learning to think and relate in multiple dimensions, is consequential for the health of a growing ventures, and of the health of all they are affecting. Yesterday Adrian Cockcroft spoke at Plus Eight Boosted - events where global experts assist scaling ventures. He spoke about two things that triggered an appreciation of the very ways […]

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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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About, is not it

About is about, distinct from the thing to which it refers. Seems obvious yet I've noticed in my speech, action and that of others how 'about' is used in a way that intends to substitute something close to, but exactly not the thing to which it's referring. It's use is often interchangeable with 'like'. The […]

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Who benefits from one’s reflection and learning?

There’s been a shift in my conception of reflection, communication and its role in learning. Rather than reflection and learning being “for me” it’s “for...others, a purpose or principle greater and other than oneself”. This shift has implications for everything about reflection, communicatino and learning: the why, what, where, when, how and who for are […]

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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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Twist towards creation

A thread of learning about prioritising the acts of creation emerged from three contexts recently. The observation of if, how much and when creation is made important proved valuable in itself. The new practice is to put it first rather than last, though still in limited proportions, and see what results. The contexts were: receiving […]

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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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Future housing found in Fremantle

This post is to share details of remarkable housing development in Fremantle, Western Australia. It's brand new for Western Australia informed by successful models widely-applied in places such as Germany that have now spread globally. While simple in essence, it could enable totally different relationships to our home and suburbs. Please read on and if you, […]

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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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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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The antonym of compassionately coaching: how to crush a climber

Have you ever laughed at something or someone, not felt right about it, but unsure about exactly what was ‘off’ about it?   Just this week I caught myself laughing about someone struggling with things I've mastered and seem trivial. The laughing inflates myself, denies my journey, distances from others, and now that I am […]

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Being open about what's in focus

The fact of finite resources, limited ability and attention and short lifetime durations means that I (experienced or observed) can want to be 'focused'. Who and what focus is on seems to depend on self-identification and intentions, as well as the context and conditions.   Physically, my visual, auditory and sensory focus is often limited, […]

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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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Cheng Hsin resources list

A list of useful Cheng Hsin resources     Download this as a pdf   Top Resources: Consciousness videos https://www.youtube.com/user/PeterRalston Newsletter http://chenghsin.com/interact-request-newsletter.html Website https://www.peterralston.com Books: http://chenghsin.com/book-list.html Podcast https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/consciousness-podcast-with-peter-ralston/id1175857896?mt=2 All Resources Courses: eCourses http://chenghsin.com/ecourselist.html Workshops http://chenghsin.com/workshoplist-schedule.html Audio courses http://chenghsin.com/audio-courses-list.html Websites: Introductory website https://www.peterralston.com In-depth website http://chenghsin.com Also http://personalempowerment.me Videos and podcasts: Peter Ralston consciousness videos https://www.youtube.com/user/PeterRalston […]

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Learnings from 2017, as shared with Pollinators

How can I best summarise learnings from the past year?   Below is a distillation of some personal learnings and the audio of it being presented at Pollinators Social Member Meetup on 15th December.   The guidance in the invitation to this event was to “share learnings and successes for 2017”. Initially I had asked the […]

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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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Appreciation + Question - Pollinators and Transitions

This post is in the form of a personal letter, of which I've been writing quite a few lately. The form I've been using is of Appreciation + Question. The form is to firstly ground in my positive intention and sincere appreciation of the efforts made, contributions given, conditions enabled by the other party, and secondly to […]

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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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I want to die in the Kalbarri gorges

More accurately, I want to be able to die in the gorges of Kalbarri National Park. It’s not that I really want to die, or for anyone else to die, but I want it to be possible: to fall, overheat, get lost or just break a leg and know that I may die because of […]

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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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Accepting Achievement

On 28th October I accepted the Leadership and Innovation category award within the 2016 WA Regional Achievement and Community Awards. It was and is a great honour to be supported, seen and encouraged as a leader in this domain. Historically my relationship to awards and recognition has been mixed, having not resolved the tensions I perceive between the positive and negative, […]

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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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Purposelessness enabling effectiveness

This post is to share the insights and shifts in attention resulting from contemplation of ‘purpose’ as part of the Principles of Effective Interaction course. It has been a very full-on week, but the benefit of this course and some of my practises are that they’ve enabled me to make sense of what’s going on […]

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Purpose, responsibility, revelation and Spiderman

Three weeks in to the Principles of Effective Interaction course (PEI) and I’ve been inquiring into responsibility. This blog post documents some observations and thoughts. While writing I considered a derivation of the Voltaire quote (via Spiderman): “With great power comes great responsibility” — “With great responsibility, comes great power” i.e. one’s level of clarity and […]

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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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