Vintage-style lights. Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/lights-bokeh-rope-light-window-41113/
Presentations, Sustainability, Work

IxDA Sydney—June 2016 presentation + notes

Last Thursday night I was privileged to present a short talk at the June IxDA Sydney meetup. (Thanks Joe!)

The slides from my talk are presented below:

Or you can download the slides, along with my speaker notes (PDF 2.8MB), which includes links to a lot of the inspirational projects I highlighted. Continue reading

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.

Design, NGOs & Nonprofits, Presentations, Work

Reflections on the IDEA Summit

This time last week I was deeply engrossed in the IDEA Summit, which was a gathering of people exploring what “indigenous digital excellence” means.

I was privileged to be one of the co-facilitators for the sessions, and had the opportunity to briefly present on the concept of “design thinking”. Hopefully I did the topic justice in such a short timeframe (15 mins)! My presentation is embedded below, or you can download a PDF of the presentation with my associated speaker notes (PDF 3.9MB).

The event, which ran over 2 days, was a really inspiring experience to participate in. The atmosphere was awesome, in no small part due to Rhianna Patrick’s “MC” role.

The event culminated in a presentation of 5 ideas explored by the participants to a broader audience of invited guests. The 5 ideas emerged from exploration of a number of key themes that emerged early in the Summit around self-determination, appropriate technology, sustainability (for communities to manage and continue initiatives beyond the initial “seed”), mobile, and cultural transmission.
Continue reading

Social media & networking, Work

What is “Digital Excellence”?

This is a cross-post from the Indigenous Digital Excellence site, part of the ongoing conversation in the lead up to the IDEA Summit.

I’m feeling really excited to have been invited to co-facilitate one of the groups at the up-coming IDEA Summit. I feel it’s a real privilege to be part of this process.

As I’ve been preparing for the Summit, I’ve been giving some thought to “What does Indigenous Digital Excellence mean?”. My first stab at an answer (from my personal perspective) is on the IDEA website:

The highly personal and “always available” nature of digital technologies, including social media, present significant promise in supporting positive personal and social change in a wide variety of contexts. To me, “Indigenous Digital Excellence” means empowering and supporting young Indigenous people to find their own creative solutions to their distinct challenges, using digital technologies as a foundation. I believe that these solutions will be far more powerful and creative than anything I could/would come up with.

Prompted by Summit co-facilitator Leanne Townsend, I started to think about this question in my own sphere. That is, as a (largely) digitally-based professional, what do I consider “digital excellence” to mean? That is to say, if I was to look around at my peers in my own personal network and ask “what does digital excellence look like?”, I’d suggest the following (probably incomplete) list:

  • Has pragmatic familiarity with a wide variety of digital devices, software tools, and spaces.
  • Actively participates in online social networks, professionally and/or personally.
  • Leverages digital technologies effectively in achieving their own personal goals.
  • Is able to make informed judgements about what tools are right for their particular requirements/circumstance.
  • Has confidence in getting up to speed with (evaluating, understanding and adapting to) new digital technologies quickly as needed.
  • Is not overwhelmed by it all.
  • Maintains a healthy relationship to digital technologies so that they are appropriately integrated into real-life interactions—i.e. not addicted to checking emails at every available moment. Chooses when “going dark” is appropriate and needed to maintain personal space and balance.
  • Is aware of, and has sufficient confidence and support in mitigating, the various risks and dangers inherent in online interactions—such as personal security, handling bullying, what’s appropriate in public vs. private vs. professional contexts.
  • Is aware of the broader socio-technical and socio-economic implications of digital technologies. That is, the broader impacts and influence these technologies are having on society at large.

I’ve just written that list off the top of my head, but it’s interesting to note that only a couple are related to the technology themselves. Most are personal attributes in how someone approaches technology. This, I think, is important.

Extending from this then, I’m very interested in whether or not Indigenous Digital Excellence is different from the above? Are there unique challenges within the Indigenous community that would influence this list? I’m personally not sure, but I’m very interested in hearing from others about their thoughts…

Work

Shifting emphasis

It’s been a while between posts here, in part due to a change of direction for Zumio, that I now feel I’m now in a position to begin to share.

Over the course of my masters degree I’ve been thinking about “what’s next” for the business. Undertaking the course has generated a number of opportunities that I’ve been wanting to explore, specifically products and services that enable or enhance social innovation, in the model of the platform for social innovation model I’ve talked about before.

However, the challenges of running a consulting firm have typically taken precedence. Gradually, over time, I have become more passionate about exploring these ideas in more depth, and as such, I have decided to refocus Zumio on seeding these initiatives.

I’m grateful for the opportunities we’ve had to work on such amazing projects in our 5 years to-date. We’re certainly inspired by the example set by our clients. It has been a privilege to be part of so many diverse and meaningful projects.

And I’m looking forward to the opportunity to share more about these ideas, centred around the areas I explored in my masters—food systems, social and mobile technology for behaviour change, and shared value applied to small business—as they develop. I hope that the dialogue through this blog will continue to grow along with these new initiatives.