Category Archives: ideas

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.

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.

Black Dog Ride video #sibsyd #blackdogride

Tony Hollingsworth shared his story of the Black Dog Ride here recently and promised to share his video as soon as it was ready.  It’s ready now and his post is reproduced here with permission:

I am so thrilled to be able to share this tonight.  My friends ‘Pong and Stil helped me get all my video footage from the Black Dog Ride (over 100 individual video files totalling more than 8GB) ‘Pong then edited a chronological summary of my journey into this 4 minute video.

‘Pong and I first met at the Cupcake Camp fundraising event in 2009.  We caught up again at the first Social Innovation Sydney BarCamp in August 2010 where I learnt of ‘Pong’s own personal story about dealing with depressive illness and some of the films he has been making around mental health.

I posted earlier on this blog about the work that ‘Pong is doing and I also encourage you to visit his website to learn more.  He is a talented artist.  Thank you ‘Pong for your generous contribution here.

Thinking about social innovation, the Black Dog Ride & “where change makers meet”

This guest post from Tony Hollingsworth gives an insight into a recent fundraiser for the Black Dog Ride:

I am honoured to have the opportunity to guest-post here, thanks to Social Innovation Sydney organisers.  On the eve of this second event (I posted thoughts on the first conference here) it’s exciting to be able to share my thoughts about a recent  project I’m involved with.

In September I participated in The Black Dog Ride, a motorcycle trip to the centre of Australia to raise awareness of depressive illness and funds for The Black Dog Institute.  Only a few months earlier I had no plans to participate (I don’t currently own a motorcycle) when unexpectedly I was generously offered the use of a bike.  There was still one challenge – I couldn’t afford to take time away from my work.

What happened next amazed me: a community of supporters rallied around my plan to participate, and funded my trip.  The majority of the supporters were Twitter followers, some of whom I had not even met in real life.  Not only was my trip fully funded, but donations were made to the charity directly, raising over $2,500 for The Black Dog Institute.  Overall nearly $80,000 was raised for the Institute.  I started my own blog to raise awareness of depressive illness, sharing personal stories and documenting the journey.  One personal story (TRAUMA, by Frances Jones) attracted over 6000 views.   The feedback I received (blog comments, tweets and people speaking to me in person) inspired and encouraged me.

This was made possible because I have spent the past three years building a community of supporters on Twitter.  This online community answered my call for help – they believed in what I was doing, and trusted me to do it.  It proved to me that social media can be used for social good.  I think this is a great example of social innovation, and what can be done with a supportive community around you.  I am expecting to share with you a brief video highlighting my trip, thanks to my friend ‘Pong who I got to know at the first Social Innovation Sydney event, and is busy editing the final cut tonight!

I’m looking forward to Social Innovation Sydney tomorrow – now best get some rest as I have a 7am flight back to Sydney from the Gold Coast in the morning!

This post was originally published here and is reproduced with permission.

Message from the DESIS Group who’ll be at Social Innovation Sydney!

The Sydney Design for Social Innovation & Sustainability (DESIS) Group would like to invite Social Innovators with projects or seed ideas to attend a Design Brief Writing Session at the Social Innovation BarCamp Sydney 6 Nov 2010.

Who is DESIS Sydney?

We are an emergent group of academics and educators from a range of Design fields and institutions (including but not limited to: object and product design, graphic design, fashion design, and design management at COFA, UNSW, UWS and UTS). We are exploring the role Design can play in helping foster Social Innovation for Sustainability and are forming an Australian node of the International DESIS network. DESIS is lead by Ezio Manzini of Milan Polytechnic who recently gave a number of presentations in Australia as part of the Social Innovator Dialogues.

How can we help you?

Ezio Manzini has suggested that Design and Social Innovation can and must learn a lot from each other to help in the transition to Sustainability. To shift Design’s focus from technological to social innovation, the DESIS project uses Design thinking and skills to amplify promising cases of Social Innovation. Designers and design students seek out and document promising cases of Social Innovation then explore ways they can be made more visible and viable through Design.

Because Social Innovation is so well established in Australia, our initial strategy is to work with you—to explore how Design could be useful to your projects or project ideas. As a start, we’d like to invite Social Innovators with projects or project ideas to a preliminary Brief Writing Session with the aim of drafting  a list of briefs that we could run as learning projects for undergraduate design students.

Here are the sorts of projects that students might assist with:

  • Design and build web sites to implement and promote a social innovation
  • Design other visual communications to promote a social innovation
  • Design a service system in detail
  • Design a product or interface (e.g. products may need to be redesigned to facilitate shared use; information displays)
  • Apply Design for Sustainability principles to ‘close the loop’ and/or improve the environmental performance by linking up to other networks or by extending the social innovation.
  • Use design communication skills to help others visualise a social innovation (to help in the project ‘pitch’ with storyboards or sketches)
  • Use design skills to support participatory design stages of the social innovation process (to help in any creative co-creation involving stakeholders)

What Next?

When we have some promising ideas for student projects design academics will need to consider when and how the projects can be integrated into specific design subjects and then briefs will need to be refined in some detail. For the projects to be successful, design academics and students would need continued collaboration with the Social Innovator client. This would involve for instance, the Social Innovator providing background material to students, attending student presentations and providing feedback.

Sustainable Travel Challenge @ Social Innovation Sydney

Social Innovation Sydney has been presented with a problem which at first seemed like a negative but now, considering the theme of the day, could actually be a great challenge.

The parking Social Innovation Sydney seems to be non existent due to construction on new facilities in the COFA campus starting this week coupled with vigilant parking times and inspectors in the Paddington area (my area scout on Saturday revealed most spots were 2P from 8am – 2am ~ yes, 2am).

So, this can either be a major impediment to us travelling or, we can look at alternative ways of travelling to Social Innovation Sydney, and then perhaps discuss this during the day.

Our options are:

- Ride a push bike down one of the newly created bike lanes in the city
- Catch a bus (333 or 380 or 378 leave every 5 minutes from Town Hall down Oxford St)
- Catch the train  (Town Hall or Museum are closest) & walk or catch a bus down Oxford Street
- Car pool for the limited number of spots available.
- You could also drive to a train station and public transport it the rest of the way (Wollstonecraft if you are north of the bridge).

Our reliance on cars, although convenient, cause a multitude of problems including carbon emissions, congested roads, lack of fitness/mobility and increasing costs. It will be great to see the solutions we can come up with.

Please feel free to use the blog and/or Twitter #sibsyd to discuss your options and to find people to travel together with.

We will update you as soon as we know the # of spots available, but these will be very limited.

How will you be travelling to Social Innovation Sydney?