New project: Island Innovation Lab Efate, Vanuatu Jan 16 – 20 2014

We are very excited about this new project that is just starting out in early 2014.

Island Innovation LabWe are collaborating with Paul D Miller (aka DJSpooky) to develop a Carbon Negative Innovation Lab and residency program on Efate in Vanuatu (Just outside Vila).

The Lab will become a location for creative thinkers from all disciplines to undertake residency programs that afford them the time and space to think deeply and collaborate on complex global sustainability issues.

As part of this project we are also partnering with a number of other global programs such as Peaceboat (UN).

The first Island Innovation Lab will run from 16th – 20th January 2014 in Vanuatu. And we will be joined by a number of interested artists, designers, communicators, sustainability experts in Vanuatu.

The Beta Lab will set the tone for the formation of the formal program and the infrastructure that will support it.

Currently we have a wonderful blank canvas, a 500 acre beachfront property with 7 different ecological zones from rain forests to grass lands to bamboo  and palm groves. There are natural springs with fresh water and good solar and wind energy opportunities.

Our goal is to design and develop a minimal impact, carbon positive communal workspace and studios with accommodation for the residency program participants. This will be a social enterprise and aims to partner with and support the local community through employment, education and other opportunities.

As part of the kick-off for this project Selena and Paul will be heading off to Vanuatu along with a number of UNSW students in January 2014.

You can follow updates about the project via Twitter at @theVPF and @selenajoy2


VIBEWIRE is calling all creative young innovators!

Our mates over at Vibewire have put out a call for young innovators…

“Do you have an idea that could change our future?

We’re putting the call out to changemakers (30 and under), who are working on or looking to launch creative projects with social impact, to apply to compete for $2, 000, an Innovation Lab Scholarship and other prizes at the Pitch the Future Event at the Vivid Festival of Ideas. See full list of prizes below.”

Vibewire is accepting applications til 5pm May 15.


Thank-you for your support in 2011

Social Innovation Sydney had a wonderful year thanks to the support of the SIBSYD community. Our goal of building a community of changemakers to share ideas and information so that we can make a difference has evolved in amazing ways. It has been a great inspiration to meet so many people who want to make the world a better place and who are willing to take positive action.

We’ve hosted the following events through the year:

  • Social Innovation Unconference Feb 2011
  • Social Innovation Sydney at AMPlify Festival June 2011
  • Social Innovation Unconference May 2011
  • Social Innovation Unconference Aug 2011
  • Indigenous Innovation Unconference Oct 2011
  • Social Innovation Unconference Nov 2011
  • Social Innovation Startup Camp May 2011

You can check out some of the photographic memories of these events on Flickr.

Many thanks also to our sponsors and partners in 2011: COFA and University of NSW, ASIX, Cisco, Ninefold, AMP, National Centre of Indigenous Excellence, Barangaroo Development Authority, and Headshift. We’re very grateful for their kind support in 2011.

SIBSYD Planning for 2012
We are currently planning an exciting schedule of events for 2012 – there will be some real food for thought and some opportunities to discuss new approaches to making change happen. Stay tuned for more details in early 2012.

Also we are looking for volunteers to help out with organising events for 2012 – if you’re interested please let us know via

Applications open for School for Social Entrepreneurs Incubator Program

Applications are now open for the SSE Incubator Program beginning March 2012!

The Program schedule is slightly different next year, making it more accessible to people outside of Sydney and Melbourne.

If you are already in action around your idea and feel ready to accelerate, go to their website: and complete the Application form.

Or, if you are exploring your idea and have questions about our Incubator Program, go to their website: and complete the Expression of Interest form.

In Sydney SSE will hold two information sessions on Tuesday 6 December 2011.

Click here to attend 12:30pm – 2:00pm session


Click here to attend 5:30pm – 7pm session.

Solving complex problems, some prereading for Living Sydney #sibsyd

As we approach our next unconference, Living Sydney in November, it is worth checking out Bud Cadell’s presentation. As he put it:

“In the future, I see a global network of 21st century problem solvers with the understanding and know-how to solve the most massively complex problems; challenges that face corporations, governments, and citizens. These individuals work together to unleash their passion and creativity towards ambitious objectives and tangible change. They undertake projects such as: increasing family retirement investing, ensuring the welfare of the poor, identifying new energy sources, protecting the world from terrorism, and making consumption more conscious – challenges that must be confronted, but have always been too complex for any single corporation, government, or voting block. And each objective, because of its complexity, results in a handful of simultaneous clients benefitting from the thinking and creating of this group (how or if this network charges for its work is a decision to be made by the group at a later date). This may seem like a fantasy today, but it’s nearer to our grasp than you realize.”

Read more: how to solve complex problems

Read the post from Bud Cadell here

The Buzz on Bees

Bees are one of the most important animals in our food chain. Their role in pollinating all our food crops and those our other food sources rely on is paramount to our survival.

Globally there has been, due to a number of factors, a significant decline in bee populations. In Australia we are fortunate as none of the diseases affecting European Honey bees have appeared yet and hopefully won’t.

We are also lucky because we have a number of stingless native bee species which are very easily kept in your garden and can do a lot of useful work in the garden for you. They don’t produce as much honey as their European counterparts but also require next to no maintenance.

Check out for more information

Twitter Equality Forum Thursday 29 September 20:00 – 21:00 #Equality

Everyone is invited to join in the  Twitter Forum on Equality this coming Thursday 29 September 2011 at 8pm Sydney time.

Joining in will be The Honorable Kristina Keneally, Australian Marriage Equality, Sydney Star Observer, Twenty10, SameSame and YouTube Celebrity Drag Muppet Queen Miss Left Titter.

A wide range of topics will be discussed including: Raising Awareness, Why the Marriage Act needs to change, important milestones and dates, alternatives to same-sex marriage and asking people to share their experiences with us.

The Hashtag for the evening will be #Equality

You can RSVP on Facebook and share this with your friends and community.