Next Social Innovation BarCamp Sydney #sibsyd

Michelle and other friends have been discussing our next Social Innovation BarCamp Sydney. We’re thinking of running it on a Saturday in November 2010 (date to be confirmed very soon) in Paddington.

The theme is Sustainable Design.

There are so many interesting ideas we can start to consider around sustainable design. Here’s a few resources to get you started:

Articles on Building Ecology web site

Thunderbolt: COFA Staff Member’s Sculpture Raises Energy Consumption Awareness

Senior Lecturer, Dr Bonita Ely was commissioned by the Sydney Olympic Park Authority to create a public sculpture to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the Sydney Olympics. Ely is Head of COFA’s Sculpture, Performance and Installation area. She also co-ordinates the School of Art PhD Program.

Ely’s 5.8 metre high sculpture, Thunderbolt, is made from a recycled windmill from Broken Hill. It uses photovoltaic technology and data from Energy Australia to raise awareness about energy consumption. The solar poweredsculpture streams live data from Energy Australia and changes colour to indicate domestic consumption levels.

Thunderbolt is located at Jacaranda Square, Sydney Olympic Park station.When nearby electricity consumption is low the sculpture is green. As energy usage increases it changes to yellow/green, yellow/red and finally tored, which indicates that usage is high.

Ely created Thunderbolt under the auspices of COFA’s The Environmental Research Initiative for Art (ERIA). She worked with a team which included fellow COFA staff member Allan Giddy, who is ERIA’s founding Director, and Bany Jaya and Rob Largent from the UNSW School of Photovoltaic and Renewable Energy Engineering, with assistance from Energy Australia and The House of Laudanum, a digital solutions company.

Link to artilce here:

For people in WA – check out @C2030

The folks at C2030 have asked us to let you know about their stuff:

C2030 is all about capturing and sharing the thoughts and opinions of Western Australians on the future of this State over the next 20 years and beyond.

To help us do this, we have looked to the future for inspiration and created the C2030 Portal. This futuristic booth will be travelling the State in search of ideas and could soon be landing at a shopping centre, community hall, school or library near you!

The C2030 Portal uses simple to operate web-cam technology, allowing people to share ideas in private about their town, city, State or region with a simple click of a button. It will become a key feature of all C2030 events across WA, so if you have an interest in the future of our State, stay tuned for details of where it will land next.

Your views and opinions will help us to engage the community in a conversation about the future of our State and help shape what that future might be.”

You can connect with C2030 here:

C2030 Blog

Twitter @C2030



Fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream…

Noticed this in my travels recently and it seems very apt for those of us who are interested in social innovation:

Always you have been told that work is
a curse and labour a misfortune.
But I say to you that when you work you fulfil
a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you
When the dream was born,
And in keeping yourself with labour you
are in truth loving life,
And to love life’s labour is to be intimate
with life’s innermost secret.

Excerpt from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran

Interview 3: Steve Hopkins discusses SIBSYD

Steve Hopkins is a Melbournite who made the migration recently to Sydney, further strengthening the ties of the emergent social entrepreneur segment between the 2 cities.

He has helped organise events such as Future Summit and Trampoline in Melbourne. Steve is now an important part of the team at AI-Media, he also wears cool scarves!

He gave some interesting feedback on the day, ideas that he picked up, and feedback for future events.

What was the overall feel of the day:
Thought it was good and a nice way to spend time with people of same thinking. Great group of people there. The format of the day was great with the session times fine, take the pressure off the day and let it play out.

The sessions happen as the session happens.

Principals of an unconference: 1 rule: the rule of 2 feet ~ essentially people rule with their feet. At a traditional unconference people should be able to present in what ever way you want.

What were the common themes which occurred throughout the day?

The main theme discussed was how can we get paid to do good things? With business models for social innovation, of importance was how do we get support for social innovation?

An example was the session by Stephen Orster:  Commerce and Entrepreneurship for a cause. He created an in-depth conversation on how do we get paid.

This all tied into the 2nd theme : that we (the social innovators) are outside the system so need to fight the system: to be a maverick and play outside.”

Steve’s favorite conversation of the day was the discussion on Mental Health: people in the system who want help.

Discussing Slow Projects: People have time now and do these projects because  they  want to (interesting that Australian’s donate more of their time than any other nation smh: article).

People were caught up in finding ways to fight the system but this takes time.  Feel the people who will make real change have to learn to work with the system. It’s not our job to bash the system.

Also, there was a lot of talk about change but not much discussion about action.

TED has examples of people who have made big change within the current system. Done it in a way where it becomes the concept of change.

We don’t have to deal with corruption but this is an example to fight the existing system without just fighting: How about creating a new system:

Stay tuned for more details about upcoming Social Innovation BarCamp’s.

Interview 2: Bronwen Clune talks about SIBSYD

Bronwen Clune is well known online as a writer and commentator, especially via Social Media. Heavily involved in the entrepreneurial community, Bronwen also now works with Pollenizer.

Recently, I sat down with Bronwen to get her thoughts and ideas about the Social Innovation BarCamp. Great to hear a perspective from someone who has not dabbled directly in Social Innovation, but excited about what the future could bring:

This first Social Innovation BarCamp seemed to be an educating process, letting participants know how to be involved in an unconference. This initial step will ensure that future sessions/events run a bit freer.
There was a lot of energy in this first Social Innovation BarCamp and it would be good to keep that going.

The food, the organic, freshly made rolls, with locally sourced ingredients, was great and it added to the overall feel of the day.

Themes from the day

“The main themes from the day was getting middle management or government to listen. The participants have the energy and are willing to change things but a feeling of being blocked.”

It is an important to grab or develop an actionable project. Coming up with a project that people can action, have the last session be about the action project that was chosen.

Having Bob Carr open the day was a great start, was very  interesting to hear Bob’s perspective.

How do you get people interested in your causes, what will call people to action in your area of acton? People only care about things that affect them so how do we get beyond that?

Bronwen was surprised by how many people had the intention to work in the area of Social Innovation. Many who were part of the camp on the day were private citizens and not just the tech and social echo chambers.

Vision for the future of the Social Innovation BarCamp: interested in action around teh topics, not just conversation.

Bronwen’s Twitter feed can be found here

Innovation Bay seeking Oz Startups for Angel Pitches

On Tuesday 21 September 2010 those smart folks over at Innovation Bay will be running another one of their angel dinners.

With these dinners Innovation Bay acts as a broker between “angels” (those with money to invest or advice to give) and “entrepreneurs” those with ideas and talent but not enough money or business advice.

Previously a number of Australian businesses have pitched and it has been reported that about $7m of funding has been raised as a result. This is great news for startups in Australia.

If you have a business and are looking for funding Innovation Bay is interested in hearing from you.


You need to submit a 90 second video to  info@innovationbay.comtelling us about the business and why we should select you. Please see some of the posts below for advice and guidelines as to how best to do this.


More infomation is available on

Originally posted at – reposted with permission

Interview 1: David Hood talks SIBSYD

David Hood is a fine example of a Social Innovator in Australia. David is a social change activist who has campaigned with the Red Cross, the Australia-Tibet council and The Wilderness Society.

Through his experience and connections David is now at the forefront of understanding and utilising collaboration & online tools to encourage social change.  David is currently the Community Development Facilitator and host of the Hub Melbourne.

I sat down with David recently to ask him his feedback on the recent Social Innovation BarCamp day.

What were the themes of the day?
There was great  diversity of topics & conversation exploring similar themes of innovation.

It was great to discuss and meet people who had explored different ways to approach problems and opportunities.

“There was a unique diversity of people with a range of skills and experience, and it felt like the early stages of the development of this community.”

Many attendees discussed the fact they would like to take part in socially innovative work but faced many obstacles, whether it be work colleagues supporting them, or finding funding.

There is a big opportunity to do collaborative work with these people, that is where the “action” comes from.

“There was a general agreement that it is very hard to make things perfect,  but starting to realise that we should just give it a go. Openness and collaboration are so important to make this happen.”

Still think that we are all finding each other. There is also a  bunch of people out there who have not  connected and do not know these opportunities exist,  and there continues to be chance to start connecting with them.

The social innovation landscape will continue to evolve as long as it remains an open and collaborative environment. The SIBSYD day was a great opportunity to “pitch” this to a diverse audience.

What did you learn from the day?

That there is a lot of great stuff out there to still learn about.I loved the Slow Projects session by Steve Hopkins, Tim Noonan’s using your VOICE to increase engagement and influence, and Raul Caceras with his Prezi Presentation on Breaking Myth’s about Social Innovation. The content from these sessions was quite juicy and got people thinking, it also prove useful in getting people started.

What would you like more of next time?

Bit more time between sessions, especially for those conversations with interesting people we just heard speak.

It would be great to mix it up with to do one session with a demonstration. Would also be great to have a bit more visual learning, bit more hands on ~ for next time.

Great day all up, and I look forward to the next one.

SIBSYD interview series

On the 14th of August, 2010 the inaugural Social Innovation BarCamp with a mix of some of the most influential and inspiring social innovators in attendance.

They shared some of their thought on what they learned from the day, the common themes, and how this can help in building the Social Innovation Community.

Those interviewed include:
– David A Hood
– Bronwen Clune
– Steve Hopkins
– Raul Caceras

These will be posted over the next 2 weeks….

Tonya Surman – Social Innovator Dialogues Tour

This just in from the folks over at ASIX – Australian Social Innovation eXchange:

Tonya Surman – Social Innovator Dialogues Tour

After the success with the series of talks and masterclasses with Ezio Manzini, we are proud to continue generating spaces for dialogues around social innovation with Tonya Surman, Director of the Canadian Centre for Social Innovation. She is known for her work on collaboration, network building and support for social entrepreneurs. This September Social Innovator Dialogues tour will go to Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Auckland from the 20-24th.

In these 3 hour highly interactive workshops Tonya Surman will explain why everything that you thought you knew about collaboration is changing, what some of the big trends shaping the future look like and how these changes are going to impact on the practice of social innovation.

These series of workshops invite you to bring your own collaboration challenges and experiences to a group learning space as we co-create a more robust tool kit for innovative collaborations.

If you are interested in reading more about Tonya’s ideas, you can read her latest article on Creating the Conditions for Social Innovation Emergence

Tix: $200 (full price)/ $100 (conc/not-for-profit/social entrepreneur)

For more details and to register go to