Having a car and designing a vibrant, unique Perth

After five years without a car, a friend left hers with me for two weeks while she went snowboarding in Japan.  It was an opportunity to visit some places that are nearly impossible to reach in the city of Perth without a vehicle.  It was also a chance to reflect on my relationship with different modes of transport.

At the end of the fortnight I concluded that, in a car:

“…we are a different person, seeing our life and our world from a different vantage point.”

Continue reading “Having a car and designing a vibrant, unique Perth”

The circus comes to Engineers Without Borders

Imagineering was the title of the 2011 Engineers Without Borders Conference, rounding off the Year of Humanitarian Engineering with a celebration of innovative engineering aid in developing countries.  There was also space for sharing best practice and reflecting how we can do more.

I opened my presentation with a handstand.    It was spontaneous and yet not without motive – we were in the carbohydrate slump slot forty-five minutes after lunch and shifting the energy was critical if I wanted to keep my audience with me.  So I got them moving, I did a handstand and we knew we were going to do things differently.  This presentation was about seeing problems through new eyes so as to find creative solutions with a more positive social impact.

Continue reading “The circus comes to Engineers Without Borders”

Engineers v. entrepreneurs: the great impro-off

Every played at improvisation? These are the exercises actors use to be able to create whole performances from scratch on the spot.Improvisation in companies takes those exercises and applies them to building skills which help improve business performance.On the surface, it looks like a facilitator having you running around and playing games to stimulate your creativity and capacity for complete ridiculousness. What it actually does is help you practise bringing more of your great ideas to your company. Continue reading “Engineers v. entrepreneurs: the great impro-off”

Capitalism is the new activism: big business and media lead the way to social and environmental change

Late last year I had the pleasure of meeting with Sophie Tranchell, Managing Director of Divine Chocolate  and an activist at heart. Armed with management experience in the film industry, Sophie arrived at Divine ready to merge her passion for social transformation with good business sense, understanding that the market has the power to bring about massive change and that creativity and communications are the key to people’s hearts. Continue reading “Capitalism is the new activism: big business and media lead the way to social and environmental change”

Digital media. Sustainability. Bashing down walls. It's all the same.

 Share photos on twitter with TwitpicI attended FutureGov’s Gov 2 Gov event at Canada House on Friday.   Superb chandeliers, live tweeting commentary of the speakers, and an opportunity to discuss the use of social media as a tool for government engagement. 

I may have been the only person in the room not twittering throughout the evening’s talks; twittering by mobile phone, something I learnt recently and was sure indicated my high level of technological advancement, was a bit old school for this room of social media afficionados.

What was most interesting for me was that the issues for strategic thinkers in digital engagement seem to be the same as the barriers that I come across (and subsequently beat down with a sledge hammer) in my change, sustainability and general business improvement work:  people and organisations forgetting to ask,  ‘Why are we doing this?’, ‘Who are we doing it for?’ and ‘What is the best way to do it?’,  before diving into things head on.

Digital media and the potential for mass collaboration is a fabulous segue to asking those questions.  It’s the perfect combination of geeky and cool; most people want to be a part of it before they fall behind; and those who think it’s ‘never going to catch on’ will be the ideal antagonist for office debate – and will eventually be telling the rest of the world that they were a part of it all from the very beginning.