Generation Entrepreneur. Start here, go anywhere. Initiate48.
Design, Work

Mentoring at Initiate48 this weekend

Anyone that knows me, knows that I’m a big advocate for the development of entrepreneurship skills. Even if not pursuing a hot startup idea, such skills are becoming increasingly important in the future of work. This was a big part of the vision for the IDX Initiative.

Thus, I was excited to learn about Initiate48 which is happening this weekend, over Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, at Blue Chilli Group in the Sydney CBD. As the promo site explains:

For the better part of our high school experience, we have been living someone else’s life—our parents, our teachers, our peers and our societies. We live in a way that does not resonate with our dreams and ambitions. We choose a path based on what others think and discard the values that give us happiness. Initiate 48 enables you to figure out who you are, what you enjoy and how you want to live your life. You have gifts that are brilliant and amazing and it matters that you let the world see them. Now is the time for you to take action and empower yourself—build your dream startup.

I’m delighted to be able to contribute to the sessions as a mentor on Saturday morning. I’m really looking forward to no doubt being inspired by the participants—their energy and ideas—and to hopefully contribute in a positive and constructive way to the weekend’s proceedings.

Source: Gilad Lotan
Business 2.0, Design

Startups vs. research for innovation

We recently saw Australia’s leading political parties exchanging policies to out-fund the other in relation to spurring “innovation.” By and large, I think this is good thing, and a refreshing change to focus on ways forward and the future, rather than on who might come in or out of the country, and one whose terms.

During these announcements, Labor put forward their policy position which included regional hubs, to be delivered through educational institutions such as universities and the idea of a “Startup Year” for students.

Around that time, Steve Baxter from River City Labs1 and Shark Tank, took to BRW to argue the case to Fund accelerators, not just universities.

I can’t say I disagree with the overall sentiment of Steve’s piece, but it did cause me to take pause and think a little deeper about the role and relationship of startups and university research. Continue reading


What can a technologist do?

I was interested to come across this article by Bret Victor, looking at different ways technologists can play a role in responding to the threat of climate change.

While I haven’t had a chance to fully dig in (it’s pretty comprehensive), there was one passage that caught my attention (in the Consuming Energy section:

If efficiency incentives and tools have been effective for utilities, manufacturers, and designers, what about for end users? One concern I’ve always had is that most people have no idea where their energy goes, so any attempt to conserve is like optimizing a program without a profiler.

Many of these projects are unsuccessful and possibly only marginally effective. I don’t think this means that efficiency feedback will always be unsuccessful — just that it needs to be done well, it needs to be actionable, and most importantly, it needs to be targeted at people with the motivation and leverage to take significant action.

Individual consumers and homeowners might not be the best targets. A more promising audience is people who manage large-scale systems and services.

This really resonates with me on a number of fronts. Continue reading

Code, Design, Sustainability

Random Hacks of Kindness Parramatta

This weekend I’ll be participating in the Random Hacks of Kindness hackathon being held at the Western Sydney University “LaunchPad” near Penrith. To my understanding, this is the first RHoK being put on by the Parramatta crew.

It’s been a while since I’ve engaged in hackathon-style activities, but this one caught my attention given its emphasis on Western Sydney (now that I reside in the Blue Mountains, I’m keen to engage in more activities closer to home). But also because of the nature of the projects that are being pitched/developed across the weekend. Continue reading

Music posters on a wall
Business 2.0, Social media & networking, Software & web applications

Where should we (virtually) meet?

Recently I had occasion to kick of an interesting and inspiring dialogue with some colleagues and friends around the idea of digital making (a subject that, for those of you that know me from my time with the IDX Initiative, is close to my heart).

One of the things we were discussing/thinking about is how the recent changes to the school curriculum to include coding (one of the more positive developments, among plenty of not so good bits) will have a big impact on teachers. I suspect many will be thrust into a position where they need to pick these ideas and concepts up quickly, and conversely that the resources currently available are not yet at a standard to meet their needs.1

Having had the privilege of meeting a bunch of digital makers2, and had some great conversations with teachers wanting to engage in these sorts of activities, I felt it would be useful to connect these two groups, and using “off the shelf” social networking tools seemed to make the most sense.

What seemed like a “no brainer” raised some interesting questions for me around social network tools and how we engage with them. Continue reading