The Guest Panel for the Economics of Happiness, Sydney screening

While the Economics of Happiness film explores the effects of economic globalisation it also uncovers solutions through localisation (tickets and details here).

We would like to introduce the special guests who will take part in the panel following the screening:

Helena Norberg-Hodge is the co-director of the Economics of Happiness. Helena is the founder and director of the International Society for Ecology and Culture (ISEC) and its predecessor, the Ladakh Project. She is the author of Ancient Futures: Learning from Ladakh and co-author of Bringing the Food Economy Home. Her articles have appeared in numerous journals such as The EcologistResurgence, and YES! magazine. Norberg- Hodge’s ground-breaking work in the Himalayan region of Ladakh is internationally recognized, and earned her the Right Livelihood Award.

Jon Dee
was the 2010 NSW Australian of the Year. He is the Founder & Managing Director of Do Something! and in 1991 he founded Planet Ark with Pat Cash. Projects initiated by Jon have inspired millions of Australians into making positive social and environmental change. Recently you may have seen Jon on various news broadcasts as a key advocate of the banning phosphates in Laundry Detergents campaign. Aldi have now agreed to phase out by 2013, at no added cost to the consumer.

Gareth Johnston, Managing Director of the Live Local Foundation, Non Exec Director. GEM Financial Group Ltd, Co Founder Future Ready P/L, Community Beekeeper.  Gareth believes resilience is critical for community. He enjoys living in a diverse healthy community in inner Sydney, practising his “local living.”


Lauren Anderson, Collaborative Consumption. Lauren is an Innovation strategist and project manager for CC Lab. She played an instrumental role in building the Collaborative Consumption brand and the growing movement.
Lauren has worked with a range of cutting-edge organizations in the Social Innovation sector, including the Australian Social Innovation Exchange, Project Australia and the Brightest Young Minds Foundation, as well as recently the Vibewire Enterprise Hub.


Make sure to purchase your tickets soon as we have limited capacity.
Tickets here


The Economics of Happiness Screening, 5th of May, 2011

Announcing the Sydney screening of “The Economics of Happiness”

Screening followed by a panel discussion with;
The film’s director, Helena Norberg-Hodge, John Dee of Planet Ark and Do Something & NSW Australian of the Year, Gareth Johnston of Live Local, plus more

Social Innovation Sydney is proud to announce the Sydney launch screening of “The Economics of Happiness” film on Thursday the 5th of May, 2011.

‘The Economics of Happiness’ reveals some uncomfortable truths about today’s global economy, in which big banks and big business are simultaneously degrading the environment, destroying jobs and creating financial chaos. In stark contrast, it shows how people around the world are already engaged in exploring alternative visions of prosperity: uniting around a common cause to build more ecological, more human-scale, more local economies.

Join us for a special screening of ‘The Economics of Happiness’, a documentary about the worldwide movement for localisation, held at COFA at 6:30pm on Thursday, the 5th of May. With a panel discussion featuring Helena Norberg-Hodge following the film.

Tickets here

The Economics of Happiness Trailer here

Review from the Huffington Post here

For more information please call Michelle on 0415 092 298 or email

“Localization is about connection,” says Norberg-Hodge. “It is about re-establishing our interdependence with others as well as with the natural world around us. And this connection is fundamental to our very happiness.” In the faltering cracks of the global economy, these are the real “green shoots” to be hopeful about.

Social Innovation Startup Camp Agenda #sibsyd 7th & 8th May 2011

sign up nowSocial Innovation Startup Camp is all about taking a social innovation idea and turning it into an actionable plan.

It’s an intensive two day session that gives you all the basics you need to bring your idea to life and to explain it to other people (like funders and business partners). Social Innovation Startup Camp will give you reusable tools for clarifying, marketing and presenting your ideas so you can turn them into reality.

Even if you don’t have an idea to work on why not sign up and come along to help other people with their social innovation ideas? Collaboration and teamwork are an essential piece of the puzzle.

To ensure this is a startup camp we will try not to be too structured. This will ensure that we don’t spend our time rushing between sessions, but to give us the time we need to work in our individual teams, and to create our social enterprise prototype or business.


  • Refining the Idea
  • Team Leveraging
  • Research
  • Business plan/strategy
  • Marketing Plan
  • Design
  • How much will it cost?
  • Funding and finding a sustainable business model

Refining the idea
Exercises to decide and refine your idea for the camp. Remember it’s not about the idea, but the process, the teams you create and work with, especially over this weekend

Team leveraging session
People in the teams network with people from other teams and share ideas on how they leverage each others resources/share contacts: How can we help each other? Ultimate objective is building a collaborative community who can leverage off and share with each other.

Research (who else is doing this in the world, how have they done it?)
Using the Internet to access existing platforms offering this service, finding articles discussing, getting in contact with the social entrepreneurs that run this.

Business plan /strategy
Building a clear strategy for developing the business.

Community Building (formerly known as Marketing)
Building your community, your brand (personal & business) & getting press coverage.

How much will it cost?
In capital, people, hidden costs, time. Monthly burn rate? How much do need to get it off  the ground? What do you need to do financially to make this happen? What are the monthly costs?
Leveraging Technology and the Web to build your social enterprise
Looking at the successful examples of Social Entrepreneurs who have utilsed the web, and tools.
Incorporating design & design principles into your social innovation. This includes:

  • Design testing
  • Branding
  • Image & identity

Funding and finding a sustainable business model

  • Funding sources/ VC’s/ Angel’s/ Grants/ Lean start up model
  • Creating a sustainable business model

Pitching to a Panel

  • to get funds
  • partners
  • family

What it should include?
How simple it should be?

This will include pitching to a panel for appraisal and feedback.

Key take away from this weekend:
10 Things I can do next week to move my business forward

We’ll be announcing who will be running the sessions in the coming days. They’re all people with real life experience in bringing ideas to life.

5 things you can do to get more involved in the Social Innovation from @ausix

These are some great ideas on getting involved from our friends over at Australian Social Innovation eXchange (ASIX):

Here are some actions you can do in the next few days to get more involved in the Social Innovation space in Australia.

  1. Attend Vibewire’s 10th year anniversary event: In a combined event with the School of Social Entrepreneurs and a special talk from Tom Dawkins, founder of Vibewire. More info
  2. Vote for Two Bob’s Worth: One of the projects created at the 1st Australian Social Innovation Camp. His creator is looking for support to win one of the final spots with Vodafone makes a difference. More info
  3. Register for the upcoming Social Innovation Startup Camp: Organised by Social Innovation SydneyMore info
  4. Join a project: Have a look at the first projects that have been added to our new site and start helping out. More info
  5. Read the Open book of social innovation: Which describes the methods and tools for innovation being used across the world and across different sectors. More info

Have a fantastic next few days.

Social Innovation Startup Camp – getting things started

One thing that we’ve noticed is that there is a lot of interesting social innovation ideas around but that often people are not sure what steps to take to turn those ideas into reality.

Social Innovation BarCamps are a great way for people to meet and build relationships with other change makers. However, the conversations that happen at the Social Innovation BarCamps don’t always turn into concrete action.
This dilemma of how to turn interesting ideas, a network of change makers, and some remarkable conversations into real projects has been one that Michelle and I have been pondering all year.

sign up nowWe think that the answer is a Social Innovation Startup Camp. And we’re holding our first one in May 2011. So block out 7th & 8th of May for our first Social Innovation Startup Camp.

A Startup Camp is a face-to-face, collaborative event dedicated to bringing together people – social entrepreneurs, technologists, business strategists, and others – who want to make things happen and enabling them to share advice and information about getting an idea up and running.


What can you expect at the Social Innovation Startup Camp?

You’ll learn the essential skills for taking your idea from concept through to the point where you can explain it effectively to collaborators, the media, funders and investors. Over two days we’ll have experts share the essential concepts and skills you need to bring your idea to life. For example:

  • Refining your social innovation idea
  • Defining your social business strategy
  • Developing a business plan
  • Pitching your idea to other people (like potential investors or collaborators)
  • Technology for your social innovation idea
  • How to use social media and social networking to help
  • Presentation skills

What outcomes can you expect from Social Innovation Startup Camp?

  • The chance to workshop your idea and refine it collaboratively
  • Practice presenting your idea to groups of people
  • Develop your own workbook to document ideas from the workshops

Registration for the 2-day Social Innovation Startup Camp is $40 (plus PayPal fee)

sign up now