Tag Archive for changemakers

Feedback about Social Innovation Startup Camp No. 1 #sibsyd

A huge thank-you to everyone who participated in Social Innovation Startup Camp.

Here are some of the words used by participants to describe how they felt at the wrap up on Sunday:

Participant's Feelings after Social Innovation Startup Camp May2011

One participant noted:

“I left here on Saturday evening totally inspired and thrilled to have been a part of this. Tonight – feeling a little exhausted, but high on the experience.”

and another participant shared:

“I am…

Inspired, motivated – to keep chasing my goals (even if they may be years away from fruition!)

Glad to have been here to listen, participate and learn from social innovators , good to see ‘good’ work being done!”

As part of our open collaborative process the people at our first Startup Camp shared with us the things they liked and which they think we should do more of next time:

  • brainstorming
  • networking
  • team collaboration
  • learning specific skills, e.g. presenting
  • diversity of presenters
  • short bursts of information sessions
  • sharing experiences – fresh perspectives
  • tempo – sessions moved quickly
  • diversity and variety of the content
  • low key and engaging
  • good opportunities for involvement

Some of things they suggested we need to add/improve were:

  • revise pre-Startup Camp communications for clarity
  • clarify the collaborative/adaptive nature of the process at Startup Camp
  • post Startup Camp list of resources and information takeaways
  • get previous participants to attend future Startup Camps to report on their progress
  • include session on research/competitor analysis
  • include session on legal issues for startups for social entrepreneurs

The feedback was very positive and the consensus was that this Social Innovation Startup Camp worked well and is worth running again.

A big thank-you also to our presenters – @grantyoung @totocol @josiethexplorer @DebuSPi @kimosaur @Mia_Will – who shared their insights and experience so openly.

Experiencing a culture of social innovation overseas – Nare Hakhverdyan

Introducing Nare Hakhverdyan. She will be helping us out at the upcoming Social Innovation Sydney events including the Economics of Happiness film screening, StartUp Camp and the end of month BarCamp.

Here’s what she has to say about Social Innovation, her experience of it in Europe and Denmark and why she is excited to be a part of it here:

The world is changing and our community is facing significant challenges. So what are our best options going forward?

As a young woman who is passionate about making change and participating in the global community I decided to cross the ocean and travel to the other side of the globe to find inspirations and exchange ideas on social, cultural and environmental challenges we face together.

In my search of experiencing a culture of innovation in Australia, I was lucky to get the opportunity to work with Social Innovation Sydney.  Lucky because I get the chance to work with something I truly enjoy and care about.  To work with engaged people with ideas who want to create value for society and deliver a social benefit is very dear to me and I can’t wait to really explore this environment! I’m really excited about the upcoming events in May where I will have the chance to contribute with my knowledge within social innovation in Denmark and at the same time be inspired by others. To build global network of individuals to drive social innovation is important as we have come closer to each other due to the globalization.

Culture of innovation is shaped by the national culture, and I am sure that working here in Australia will be a different experience from the one in Denmark.  I have experience in working with innovation in Denmark where I dealt with projects that aimed to equip young people to succeed in a rapidly changing global economy. Denmark is one of the most innovative countries and has been labeled as an ‘innovation leader’ along with other European countries such as Germany, Switzerland and UK. Social innovation is widespread in Europe and many organizations contribute to meeting social needs where they focus on health, welfare and education services.

The crisis we face today has only confirmed the necessity for change in the way we approach our social and economic challenges.  There are several ways to find sustainable solutions to the challenges and social innovation is now more needed than ever. Any innovation emerges from certain background in society and therefore different types of innovation emerge in different societies. Hopefully this trip will help me to achieve a better understanding of innovation in Australia and will have a positive impact on my engagement in the global community.

Nare Hakhverdyan
Studying economics in Denmark


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 michelle@socialinnovationsydney.org.

“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.

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


Sydney Cloud startup @Ninefold supports Social Innovation BarCamp #sibsyd

Social Innovation Sydney is pleased to announce that the Sydney cloud computing startup NineFold has kindly sponsored lunch for the upcoming Social Innovation BarCamp. As Jonathan Crossfield from Ninefold said:

Ninefold - Australian cloud computing provider sponsors Social Innovation Sydney

“Initiatives such as Social Innovation BarCamp are a fantastic way to harness the altruism, knowledge and enthusiasm of small groups of great people. Amazing things can happen when we put our heads together. We see Ninefold as the blank canvas or foundation for all kinds of digital creativity and innovation, so sponsoring the event is a complete no-brainer for a business like ours.”

Don’t forget you can still register for Social Innovation BarCamp – it’s on this coming Saturday 26 Febuary.

For those who are not familiar with Sydney cloud computing startup Ninefold here is some background information:

“Possibly just like you, Ninefold is a group of people with an idea. We saw a need for a powerful and professional local cloud offering that would provide all the benefits of cloud computing with the added advantages of local support, fast speeds and billing in local currency.

But Ninefold is about far more than a bunch of servers linked by technology. It’s about you – the start-ups, developers, digital agencies, and more. How we grow and improve will depend entirely on you, the wider community and the conversations we hope to have.

Launched in early 2011, Ninefold has invested in an infrastructure big enough and powerful enough to really make a difference while guaranteeing our longevity. Yet despite our unbelievably massive cloud, we’re still just a small start up – a close team in a Sydney CBD office space working intensely to develop something spectacular.”

Ninefold also have a special offer: check out http://ninefold.com they have a $50 early adopter bonus on all sign ups for a limited time.

Announcing Social Innovation BarCamp Sat 26/2 free registration

It's free registration so sign up now!Join us for the next Social Innovation BarCamp in Sydney.  It’s free registration so sign up now and participate in a day of ideas, conversation and creative thinking.

Again we’ll be crowdsourcing ideas for creating new business models for social good and building up our community network of changemakers.

Like our previous Social Innovation BarCamps this one will provide a place for facilitated conversations (details of the session format here) where anyone can share:

  • a story or an idea
  • kick off a discussion on something they are passionate about
  • share about a cause they want to rally support for
  • road test new social innovation ideas and workshop them with a group

This is your chance to get your ideas out into the open amongst a friendly crowd, as one of the participants said after our last BarCamp:

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

Saturday, February 26, 2011 from 9:30 AM – 5:30 PM

COFA Cnr Greens Road & Oxford Street, Paddington 2021 Australia

New initiative: The Social Change Collaboratory

David Hood has kicked off an exciting new initiative in Melbourne for the new year. It is called The Social Change Collaboratory and it aims at:

“Connecting agents and architects of change; facilitating opportunities for collaborative projects; inspiring action on social ventures with impact; and supporting the emergence of a resilient Australian social sector.”

Find out more about the meetup here.

David has promised to give us an update on next steps once the first meetup is over.

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.”

Social Innovation BarCamp Nov 2010

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