The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Event Review: Beyond Greed — September 16, 2012

Event Review: Beyond Greed

What: Beyond Greed, at Brisbane Writers Festival
Where: State Library of Queensland
When:  8 September 2012
Reviewed by: Lee Mathers, Brisbane Ambassador

It seems that, on the surface, everyone agrees that the “greed is good” days of Gordon Gekko are dead and buried. But “greed” remains a fascinating topic and is often the starting point for an investigation into the human condition.

After all, what is “greed”? Is it really just a desire for more? And more of what? Are we greedy in different ways, with different things? Is being greedy with your time really such a bad thing?

These were just some of the topics canvassed and discussed by an expert panel at the Brisbane Writers Festival. John De Graaf (Affullenza and What’s the Economy For, Anyway?), Peter Barry (I Hate Martin Amis et al.) and John Lanchester (Capital) covered everything from the rise of Indian and Chinese middle classes, over consumption, over work and the global economy through to the psychological effects of purchasing and money and why we’re all so miserable when we’ve never had it better.

Both Barry and Lanchester are fiction authors and read excerpts from their novels, detailing the effects of greed on each of their protagonists. De Graaf quoted at length from his most recent investigation into the American economy and came to the conclusion that we’re looking at it the wrong way.

He suggested that using our most common measure, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as the measure for the growth and strength of an economy was doing more harm than good. For example, an oil tanker crashing and spilling its oil generated more economic value and therefore an increase in GDP – through the associated cleanup costs, litigation and all other manner of expenses – than a tanker arriving safely. But no one would ever suggest that that was a good outcome!

Instead, we need to reassess what the economy is actually attempting to do and attempt to refine those measurements.

De Graaf also quoted from one of his heroes, David Brower, the founder of Friends of the Earth and it neatly sums up the entire discussion on greed and the impact it has:

Consider the six days of Genesis as a figure of speech for what has in fact been 4 billion years. On this scale, one day equals something like six hundred and sixty-six million years, and thus, all day Monday and until Tuesday noon, creation was busy getting the world going. Life began Tuesday noon, and the beautiful organic wholeness of it developed over the next four days. At 4 pm Saturday, the big reptiles came on. Five hours later, when the redwoods appeared, there were no more big reptiles. At three minutes before midnight on the last day, man appeared. At one-fourth of a second before midnight, Christ arrived. At one-fortieth of a second before midnight, the Industrial Revolution began. We are surrounded with people who think that what we have been doing for that one-fortieth of a second can go on indefinitely. They are considered normal, but they are stark raving mad.

The conclusion of the panel? We may not actually be “beyond greed”. Everyone agrees that it’s not good, but we have a long way to go before we can hope to effect change.

Event Review: OzApps Roadshow —

Event Review: OzApps Roadshow

What: OzApps Awards Roadshow with Bill Tai
Where: River City Labs
When: 3 September, 2012
Reviewed by: Lee Mathers, Brisbane Ambassador

River City Labs hosted another of their numerous events catering to all things tech, when Bill Tai, legendary Silicon Valley venture capitalist visited to talk about the OzApp Awards and show off some of the very cool mobile apps that he’s invested in over the past few years.

The roadshow, ostensibly designed to encourage local app developers to submit their apps for the now expaned OzApp Awards (it started last year as a Western Australia only event), focused more on what it takes to build a successful app.

Bill spoke at length about the various apps that he’s invested in over the years and help to bring to market which include some relatively big players such as:

  • Tweetdeck: an app that makes it easier to keep track of your friends and other people of interest across all platforms of Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and any other social network
  • Maxthon: a fully-featured mobile browser used by millions
  • Tango: a VoIP and telephony client (similar to Viber and Skype) with over 60 million downloads
  • Voxer Walkie Talkie: a “push to talk” app for your mobile phone, turning it into a walkie talkie to use with your friends.
  • Scribd: A digital documents library that allows users to publish, discover and discuss original writings and documents in various languages

As well as backing new app ventures, Tai is a mad keen kite boarder and has helped to develop a kite boarding festival in Hawaii to mix investment in new digital products and applications with his love of the sport.

The session was full of good advice for all of those in the room working to get apps to market. Tai spoke at length about the three things you need to get right: finding the market, putting the team together and funding.

He encouraged developers from Brisbane to pitch their apps to the upcoming OzApps Awards in order to gain exposure and potential funding.

Event Review: ArtWrite —

Event Review: ArtWrite

What: ArtWrite – The Pitch
Where: QUT Art Museum
When: 21 August 2012
Reviewed by: Steph Dooris, Brisbane Ambassador

QUT Art Museum’s third seminar in the ArtWrite series focused on pitching to editors and featured Louise Martin-Chew (Brisbane arts writer) and Sarah Follent (editor of Eyeline Magazine).

Martin-Chew and Follent were the perfect choice for this seminar, as both have extensive experience working on either side of the table. Martin-Chew is a freelance writer who has written for The Australian, Australian Art Review, Art Monthly, InDesign and Green magazine, and previously worked as editorial manager at Art&Australia. Follent used to write for The Australian before her gig as Editor for Eyeline.

The hottest tip from the night was to research. Martin-Chew and Follent both strongly suggested knowing as much as possible about publications before pitching to them. They told the crowd that the best research was to just read the magazines and figure out what they cover, their deadlines and whether there are themes you will need to work within.

The next step, after reading up on who you want to pitch to, was to approach editors. For this, they suggested sending editors a short introduction of who you are and your previous experience (either with writing or in the arts industry), followed by a brief outline of your pitch. All in all, they suggested, the document should not be longer than a page. If you want to include a CV, Follent warned against making it longer as editors are unlikely to have time to look at much more.

When it comes to the actual writing, both Martin-Chew and Follent stressed the importance of sticking to word limits, checking grammar and proofreading. Although it may seem like common sense, the main message I took from this seminar was to be thorough in all aspects of the process, and to really know the magazine you are wanting to approach. The anecdotal advice of Martin-Chew and Follent, two heavyweights in Australia’s arts writing scene, was helpful, logical and reassuring, and definitely made this event a worthwhile way of spending a Tuesday evening.

QUT’s final ArtWrite seminar for the year, Copyright: Copyright for writers and artists, is on Tuesday 23 October at 6pm. RSVP via email ( or call 07 3138 5370.

Event Review: Creative3 —

Event Review: Creative3

Creative3 is an annual conference taking place in Brisbane, hosted by Creative Enterprise Australia. Over two days delegates focus on achieving commercial outcomes for the creative industries. The event consistently attracts a high calibre of speakers and a fascinating cross section of delegates. It’s pretty much impossible to bottle up the inspiration that was so freely handed out at this event, so what follows is is my paraphrasing of the wisdom shared by the speakers over the course of the two days.

Patrick van der Pijl – Business Model Studios
Starting a business is not just about the business plan. You have to give thought to designing the business model, talk to your customers and validate your concept before committing capital. Patrick has a great free online resource guide available for business model planning.

Kevin Finn – The SumOf
We all have the same amount of hours in a day, we just choose to use them differently. If you are self-initiating a project, you have to treat it as a client. You prioritise time and attention for it and ensure that you are giving it all the resources it needs to create repeat business for you.

Mitchell Davis – Live Gamer
Go where the market is for your business, and this is not always going to be Australia. Don’t be afraid to look to the US for your investors. Do your research properly. Move very, very fast and work hard all the time, because your competitors certainly are.

Paul Cameron – BookTrack
If you are going to call yourself an innovator, make sure you are actually innovating. Know your market, not just your industry. Consume what your customers are consuming. Get to market quickly and secure IP early. Read ‘Every Bastard Says No’.

Justine Bloom – The Village Agency
Communication is more like tennis than archery – it has to involve a little back and forth. Brave clients follow brave businesses. Be transparent, it will earn you respect quickly. It is ok to say no to opportunities. Collaboration can’t thrive within a hierarchy.

Pip Jamieson – The Loop
Government money doesn’t help build sustainable businesses. It’s a hard shift from corporate to start up. Successful businesses take time. One bad egg can ruin the productivity of an entire team. Celebrate the wins.

Thom Saunders
Game mechanics aren’t only used in games. Game design can help to visualise, share and interpret large amounts of data. Gaming can be a tool for you to get to know your customers. Historical data is a very valuable resource.

Vince Frost – Frost*
You can design your life in the same way that you would design a product. Many creatives are very bad at doing their own design and marketing. Pre-conceived ideas hinder the creative process. Get good at business – without business the work of creative is just art.

Ben Johnston – Josephmark
Sometimes you can find yourself playing in a pond where none of the fish look like you. With the massive potential for publishing provided by the internet, discovery has now become the main game. Many digital projects are treated as a sprint, the big opportunities lie in longer marathons.

Jean Huang Lundgren – You Tube
There is huge gaps for media producers and enablers in South East Asia. Gaps in the market exist for platform and technical experts, as well as content incubators. There is a rising interest in educational materials focusing on English, lifestyle content and comedy.

Kieran O’Hea – Brisbane City Council
We need less gadgetry and more strategy in the digital world. The capacity of the digital economy in Brisbane is currently behind the needs and demands in the digital society. To effectively move forward we need to be able to define and measure the digital economy.

Vince Bannon – Getty Images
Learn to except and embrace disruption. It’s happened before, the only difference is now it is happening faster. The internet is quickly changing from a textual place to a contextual place, opening up many business opportunities.

Interview: Brisbane local, Claire Louise Leonard —

Interview: Brisbane local, Claire Louise Leonard

Four buses had driven past without stopping. I was running late. When I finally arrived at the West End cafe I was 10 minutes behind schedule. As I walked in the door my phone buzzed and I discovered that I wasn’t the only one having a bad afternoon. Phew. Claire and I ended up arriving at the same time. Things only got better from that point as I ordered a cup of tea and got to know the delightful, open book that is Claire Louise Leonard.

Name: Claire Louise Leonard
Website: or
Instagram: @ClaireLouiseLeonard

Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
I am a makeup artist, stylist and a beauty therapist. I’ve been doing makeup for about seven years now. I took a break from freelance to start Black Dove, a gym, spa and clinic in West End, my first business. Now that the business is fending for itself I’m getting back into doing some freelance again and I’m loving it.

How did you get involved with RAW Brisbane?
I was approached by RAW to do this showcase and I was super chuffed. I’d never heard of RAW before. I think it’s amazing and I think it’s awesome that its happening in Brisbane. I’ve done some different runway things before, makeup for photoshoots and competitions and I really enjoy doing the more creative side of makeup. It gives me an opportunity to really think outside the square.

Do you get to collaborate much in your work?
I’m surrounded by an amazing group of creative friends – hairdressers, photographers, stylists. I’m really lucky. I think because I’ve been passionate about this for years, it’s more something that people know I’m involved in. We then have a talking point to start with and  then we go on to form a friendship.

What’s been one of your favourite projects?
My last project was really fun. I did a collaborative project with my partner, a photographer, my best mate, a hairdresser friend and a whole bunch of my really good-looking friends. I wanted to have a rough idea of what I wanted to do for RAW, so I pulled some people together for a practice run.

I’m astounded at how easy it was and it was so much fun. There was nothing riding on it, it was just experimenting. I haven’t had that opportunity for a long time. When you are working in the industry you are working towards something. When you are working on a job you are working on a brief and working to a budget. This project was mine and I could do what I wanted. Just tweaking ideas and changing things allows me to learn.

Where do you look when you are looking for new ideas?
I’m obsessed with Instagram and I love Pinterest. I’m a very visual person. I also like We Heart It, when it’s not being teenage-angsty. Getting lost in blog land is amazing. I really love The Sartorialist and I love Fashion Toast and the way that she writes. I think that inspires me more than her photos do!

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