Name: David Hood


Twitter handle: @davidahood

Works at: Doing Something Good as a free agent, and host of Collaboratory Melbourne and Gathering Unconference

Who do you think is doing cool stuff in our industries?

Tough to narrow down to one industry – I’m learning so much from, and inspired by, so many colleagues who tend to work in a range of industries and across sectors (diversity FTW!). I am a big fan of the guys at Collabforge. Expect to see real innovation in open collaboration coming out of their office in 2012. I’m keeping an eye out for what’s next from Google, as they steadily upgrade all their free online collaboration tools and integrate Google + in to more products – becoming the social collaboration network.

What was your first job?

I think I was about 11 years old when I started delivering newspapers around Vermont in Melbourne’s outer eastern suburbs. There was a family run carnation farm on my route. I’d always drop in on the way home, give the guy his Saturday paper, and pick up a lovely bunch of flowers for Mum. It was the 80s. 🙂

What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to face work-wise?

Knowing when to quit. I started working at Crown Casino as a dealer (croupier) when it first opened. Two years later I was a VIP Gaming Supervisor – a pretty cruisey job that paid incredibly well. I soon realised though, that it wasn’t the job for me. Even though I seemingly had a promising future there, had no alternative job to go to, or even any clue what I wanted to do, I quit and went traveling – against the advice of colleagues and a few in management. It was the first time I really followed my intuition. Have been in similarly tough situations over the years, I always find that following my gut feeling pays dividends.

How has the social web facilitated collaboration across communities?

Wow, the answer to that could fill a whole book. Putting it simply: by making it easy for people to connect, share, learn and build. It’s now much easier for me to discover you, transcend barriers of distance and time, and even work on something together in real time, as long as we both have a web-enabled device and internet access. And with Google Translate, you don’t even need to speak the same language! 🙂 Favourite online tools for collaboration: SkypeGoogle DocsBasecampTungle, and of course Twitter.

What is social good?

Generally speaking, actions or activities that have a positive social (or environmental) impact. With Doing Something Good I’ve worked with not-for-profits, social enterprises and community organisations to use social media and strategic communications to build community, extend their reach and increase the impact of the work they do. With the Collaboratory Melbourne, we’re developing a program, like an open incubator, to support the development of projects with positive social and environmental impact, and enable more people to take action collaboratively (across sectors) on the issues that are important to them – to build better futures for all, together.

What are some local upcoming events you recommend?

In addition to our Collaboratory Melbourne Meetups, when I can get to them I always enjoy the events put on by the Creative Performance Exchange (CPX). Celebrating a great launch year I’d be getting along to the Hub Melbourne Christmas Party 8 December, and check out what’s on over at The Wheeler Centre. And sign up to Plancast.

What’s next?

We’re currently developing the business model for Collaboratory Melbourne (as a cooperative community enterprise) and hope to launch that in the new year with a prototype program for Ideas for Melbourne. Gathering ’12: Transforming Systems to Build Better Futures, 29 March – 1 April 2012, is also on its way. And very much looking forward to the Christmas break with some time away from my laptop and a good book or two to dive into. 🙂