People having a work-related discussion over coffee
Sustainability

Residential building management and energy savings

In a previous post I commented on how the high-density residential market is not being driven by the same market forces as the commercial property sector to incorporate sustainability measures in the design/development of new dwellings.

So assuming that current building stock (i.e. those being built today) have a life span of 50–100 years. Thus, if the development stock currently being built is less efficient, what can be done to improve efficiency in the meantime? Continue reading

City-scape in the evening
Business 2.0, Sustainability

Energy savings in high-density residential

I wrote recently about the value of creating connections to nature in an urban environment.

I came across a striking statistic that really reinforces this point:

By 2030, 80% of City of Sydney residents will live in apartments and 90% of all new homes built will be in high rise apartment buildings.

A layman’s reading of this is that much of the benefits of energy efficiency in addressing emissions are going to have to come from improvements at the high-density residential level. Continue reading

Business 2.0, Design, Government 2.0, NGOs & Nonprofits, Presentations, Sustainability

Designing for Purpose

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the February instalment of Design Thinking Sydney, a monthly meetup for exploring design thinking practice.

I was stoked to be asked to present on the topic of Designing for Purpose. My presentation slides below:

I need to do a tiny bit of tidy-up on my notes, but I hope to do so over the weekend, and I’ll post them here once they’re done.

As I suspected a number of attendees at the session would be relatively well-versed in the ideas behind design thinking, I wanted to focus a bit on what’s different about applying these practices in a for-purpose context.

Given a tad more preparation time, I’d reframe a few of the points I made to be more positive (it may come across as a bit negative!) But I think these methods hold tremendous value, and that it’s really important that we continue to develop these practice—just that we go in with our “eyes open” and to be prepared for some of these differences and challenges.

The main points of difference I identified (and, of course, there are probably more than I’ve highlighted here) were in how we:

  • Define value
  • Embrace and frame “failure”
  • Engage with stakeholders
  • Encourage behaviour change
  • Measure and evaluate

Thanks to the organising committee for the invite, and for the participants who asked questions and came and spoke to me after—it was a great opportunity to dive in and explore and challenge the things I presented, which I found most valuable and enlightening!

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 https://www.flickr.com/photos/giladlotan/5108589192/
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