NGOs & Nonprofits, Sustainability, Work

Recent events

I’ve enjoyed the opportunity to participate in a number of events over the past few weeks that I thought I should reflect on here – presented below in chronological order. (My attendance at these events partially explains my radio silence around here…)

Startup BarCamp

I wasn’t able to stay for the whole day, but managed to see a number of sessions at the Sydney Startup BarCamp presenting some really great insights and tips to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Kate Carruthers made me realise that I, too, am addicted to startups ;) And of course some great discussions between sessions too as one would expect from a BarCamp.

If another one is organised, I might put something together to present on things like managing cashflow etc. – a bit more around the specifics of starting a business. While not as sexy as the big conceptual stuff, these things can make or break a new business…

Cultivating Sustainability workshop

Behavioural psychologist Tim Cotter put on an interesting day-long workshop for sustainability advocates.

While there wasn’t a huge amount of material I hadn’t already come across, it was a great refresher and was very useful to see a lot of concepts that I’ve come across before wrapped up in something akin to a methodology.

A few key themes threaded throughout the day including tying sustainability behaviours to a person’s values, and that people that are more values aligned and empowered are more likely to participate in sustainable behaviour.

And, again, great to meet folks who are passionate about sustainability and behaviour change.

Australia & New Zealand Sustainability Circle

I’ve attended a couple of events run by A&NZ Sustain over the past few months, so was delighted to be invited to contribute to a 2010 planning workshop late November.

It was great to meet a bunch of folks from a variety of backgrounds all working towards a sustainable future, but also to contribute some ideas for next year’s programme. From what I’ve seen so far it will be a very interesting year for the Circle members…

Australian Social Innovation Exchange (ASIX)

ASIX first popped up on my radar when a friend invited me to a ideas generation workshop for the Social Innovation Camp happening in Sydney, March 2010. I was delighted to be invited to a 2010 planning workshop for ASIX.

It was a great opportunity to find out more about ASIX and its origins, but more importantly where it’s heading. While the emphasis early in the year will be on the Camp, there was a lot of discussion about the core approach of ASIX and how it relates to other NGOs working in the social ventures space.

The dialogue at the workshop was refreshingly open and honest across the tables and kudos to the organisers for being so open to constructive feedback. I think that’s a very good sign for the future of the organisation, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how they respond with a programme for next year.

Sydney Alliance rally

Last week I attended a Sydney Alliance “rally” in Sydney. The best online reference to the Alliance I can find is this one – I’m not sure it’s “official”, but reflects what I heard at the meetup.

The Alliance is a “citizens’ coalition whose vision is to provide our community with a voice to express common values and aspirations for a fair and just Sydney. The Alliance is broadly based across religious organisations, community organisations and unions”.

In contrast to the format of the ASIX event, this was much more a series of presentations with a minimal amount of group interaction within tables. That said, the Alliance vision is quite interesting and I’m looking forward to engaging more over the coming months…