A book about Social Innovation BarCamp Sydney

We’re working on a book about Social Innovation Sydney BarCamps and wanted to get some stories and photos from people who’ve attended to include in the book.

Please add a comment below if you have a BarCamp story or image that you’re willing to share. If you’re shy and would prefer to let us know via email please click here.

All contributions will be fully credited and proceeds of the book will be used to fund future community activities by Social Innovation Sydney.

The book will be published early 2011 and will be available for the February 2011 Social Innovation BarCamp.


Social Innovation Sydney feedback

Since the last event on the 6th of November we have been receiving great feedback & we thought we would let you know.

John Young of Yindi Systems had this to say about the day:

“Congratulations on running a very impressive SIS event.   I would be hard pressed to think of ways to improve what you achieved”

  • the event ran pretty well to the published time table
  • the session facilitators were effective, and in some cases impressive!
  • there were lots of passionate and motivated attendees
  • lunch was excellent!!!
  • my thanks to COFA for offering their venue to host the event
  • the ideas and information that come to the surface during the sessions were exciting, positive and informative for me and my wife, Pamela.
  • the key note pitches by Mark Pesce and Stephen Lawrence were just superb for setting the tone for the day’s activity

Minor tweeks for future events

  • A bigger whiteboard for the session program
  • Have facilitators spend 10 minutes preparation on a small briefing note about each session,  if at all possible.  Even a “pitch” on butchers paper pinned up near the program white board,  or outside seminar room,  so people could read before they enter a session.
  • Space the seminar rooms out a bit – due to a sliding door between Room 3 & 4 there was no sound barrier – so I found it hard to hear properly in Room 4 during 2 of the sessions

I feel very confident about the future of society in Sydney after hearing the ideas that surfaced yesterday.

I just wonder how we could get a better planning system in NSW,  that is not made dysfunctional by the heavy influence of developers and unfettered power of non-elected back room apparatchiks in the NSW, from both the right and the left of politics.

Would love to hear what you thought of the day and, what you would like to see!

How To Think Like a Futurist

This is a guest post from Neerav Bhatt who attended the Gartner Symposium in Sydney, this post is reproduced with permission:

I had a press pass to the 2010 Gartner Symposium/ITxpo and specifically made time to attend Craig Rispin’s session “How To Think Like a Futurist” as I’d heard he had some thought provoking ideas to share.

He made a lot of good points including his first one which was that futurists need to read lots of science fiction because science fiction helps you understand that life will change, must change. Science fiction suggests how and why it may change in the near and distant future.

Craig explained that:

“Futurists are reverse historians. We try to peer over the horizon so we can make better decisions today. We analyse trends, anticipate significant changes and help people create preferable futures.”

In a world where social, technological, environmental, economic and political change is occurring so fast it is learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists.

To think like a futurist you need to think:

  • Global versus local
  • Long term as well as short
  • Of multiple Future possibilities rather than predicting one
  • About Trends not news
  • Cross industry vs industry specific
  • About multiple trend drivers not just the economy
  • About long term vision not short term tactics
  • Big picture versus micro detail

More details about some of Craig’s publications can be found on Neerav’s site.

Twitter testimonial

Just saw this lovely feedback from @kimkevin about our last Social Innovation Bar Camp:

“thanks #sibsyd, without the barcamp I would never had courage to actually talk about my ‘silly’ idea with somebody else let alone pursue it.”

Just saw this lovely feedback from @kimkevin about our last Social Innovation Bar Camp:

“thanks #sibsyd, without the barcamp I would never had courage to actually talk about my ‘silly’ idea with somebody else let alone pursue it.”

Social Innovation BarCamp Nov 2010

You can find out dates for the next Social Innovation Sydney events here


EVENT: Co-creating for social impact

Latest Tour brought to us by ASIX:

How can we build a public sector innovation system?  with Christian Bason:

Masterclass and Free Public Forum

Government and the public sector are key players in shaping and providing social services and decision making on behalf of citizens. But how can we make a public sector that is innovative and responsive to the needs of its citizens?

Christian Bason suggests that public managers take responsibility for building the language, the ability, the process and the leadership practices necessary to create the new solutions that society needs.
  • What is innovation in the public sector, and how do we create a common language about it?
  • What does it mean to build the capacity for future innovation, across political context, strategy, organisation, digitisation and culture?
  • How can we orchestrate the individual elements of a co-creation process, including rich citizen involvement and collaboration across the silos of government?
  • What are the four key leadership roles in driving innovation in government?
Who is this Masterclass for?
Whether you’re inside or outside of the public sector, if you’re interested in how to develop innovative, collaborative public sector practice then this masterclass is for you. This masterclass is for policy makers, activists, leaders in the public and third sectors and citizens with an interest in the shaping of future public policy.
Sydney For other cities please click here
Free Public Forum: How can co-creation drive public sector innovation?
Building on the substantial hands-on experience of MindLab, the cross-ministerial innovation unit in Denmark, Christian will discuss:
* What does it mean to orchestrate a process of co-creation, involving citizens and communities in policy and service development?
* What is the value of such an approach?
* What are the barriers, traps and pitfalls?
* How to get started using the key approaches of co-creation in government?
Free public forums will be held in Adelaide, Melbourne, Canberra & Sydney
Register for your place in your nearest city using the links below here

About Christian Bason: Christian Bason is the Director of MindLab, a cross-ministerial innovation unit in Denmark. He was formerly responsible for the public organisation and management practice of Ramboll, an international consultancy. As an experienced presenter and facilitator, he has served as advisor to numerous public institutions around the world. He is also a university lecturer and is the author of four books on citizen involvement, leadership and innovation in the public sector. His latest book, “Leading public sector innovation: Co-creating for a better society” (Policy Press) is out in October 2010.

That’s a wrap on Social Innovation Sydney #2


The feedback we’re receiving thus far is that the day created vibrant discussion, new ideas, and actionable steps. The collaboration and shared insight from the experience and passion of the multitude of attendees is the perfect recipe for continued action.

Mark Pesce set the tone of the day by exploring our connection with material items, with our mobile phones. Mark challenged us to just say NO as this was the first step to living sustainably. Stephen Lawrence followed this by noting that the journey to be a Change maker begins with the journey inside ourselves.

The sessions were varied and informative. Popular sessions included Social Innovation 101: skills for citizen change makers, collaborative consumption and Australian opportunities, plus social network & social cause fatigue.  Agenda here

Along with the Unconference Barcamp the Bootcamp stream was successful. Participants stepped through tools and necessary skills entrepreneurs require to develop successful social enterprises. Key topics included Social Innovation business models, giving a great pitch, pitching practice (how to ask for funding) and lean start-up methodology.

“Congratulations on running a very impressive SIS event yesterday.  I would be hard pressed to think of ways to improve what you achieved. I feel very confident about the future of society in Sydney after hearing the ideas that surfaced yesterday.” John Young, Yindi Systems

“Great to have conversations about topics that are important but I never get that chance to talk about”.

But how was it for you?  What would you like at the next Social Innovation Sydney?

Unleashing the Awesome Foundation in Melbourne

Two of my favourite Aussie changemakers, Ross Hill and Edward Harran, announced their fascinating new initiative recently and I thought we should share the news here too. If you’d like to get involved in the Awesome Foundation Australia let Ross know via email .

There are heaps of grants out there asking you to fill in reams of paperwork, tell your life story, sign over all your IP, and then still wanting a chunk of ownership in your project. There is certainly a place for these if you need a big amount of cash – but there are also heaps of awesome little projects in the world that only need a small amount to make them happen. That’s where the Awesome Foundation comes in.

We award $1000 grants every month with absolutely no strings attached, and where the only requirement is that your idea has to be really awesome.

It started in Boston last year and has spread to New York, San Francisco, London, and beyond – funding some really awesome projects like putting cameras on kites to take early photos of the Gulf oil spill,
audio tours of the SF Bay Area that walk you through the effects of climate change, and perhaps the most awesome – building a cotton candy cannon.

Edward Harran and I are looking for ten people to form the founding board of the Awesome Foundation in Melbourne. Over the next month we are casting a wide net so that in December we can select a really diverse group of ten to award the first grant in January 2011. Each micro-trustee needs to be willing to commit $100 cash each month at an in-person grant review session where each member will play an active role in collectively selecting the awardee, and be willing to find a replacement micro-trustee should you need to back out of the financial obligation.

Please note that the ten micro-trustees need to live in melbourne so they can come to the face to face decision session over dinner, but the grant awardees can live anywhere in the world (including Sydney).

If that sounds like you please send an email to ross@rosshill.com.au and we’ll be in touch.