The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Three years of The Fetch: a look back with feedback from the community — April 27, 2014

Three years of The Fetch: a look back with feedback from the community

Screen Shot 2014-04-27 at 12.45.03 AM

We recently passed three years since the first humble email digest was sent in Melbourne. The Fetch was just a teeny tiny side-project then with the goal of making it easier to discover all the events happening that the rest of the event and city guides didn’t cover. Since then, we’ve been on a journey, delivering curated goodness to the community week after week – in cities all around the world. Countless hours have been put in by our community of tireless curators, including dedicating our Sundays to prepare so that we could kick off your work week with your local issue of The Fetch. We’re now starting to think about our future. It’s exciting… and scary!

Over the coming weeks, you’ll start to notice many updates to The Fetch – including a new logo, a new email design, the transition to one global newsletter of the ‘Link-love, must-reads’ section, and the launch of a new responsive landing page. From here, you’ll be able to sign-up to reserve a username for the next generation of The Fetch – an app that does a way better job of delivering you events (customized for you, less noise, and more relevancy with social and calendar integration). Most importantly, this platform will allow us to have a better foundation to sustain our activities from – we will be able to spend less time creating and editing The Fetch emails manually – and more time on quality and breadth of content.

We’ve decided that there’s no point in building this app if we don’t have the support of the community we love to serve. After all, if you don’t find it useful or actually want/need it, then perhaps it shouldn’t exist! A good way to understand this support is via crowdsourcing funds so we’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign over the coming weeks. We hope you back us!

The map above shows a few of the 70-plus requests we’ve had to take The Fetch to more cities. The grey dots are where we’d expand to with the new platform.

In order to get a better sense of what is is about The Fetch that our community values, we’ve asked members from all walks their thoughts:

Avid reader

“I regularly recommend The Fetch to people looking to get involved in their local startup scenes — it’s quick, informative and brilliant. As a weekly reader, I’m a huge fan.”

~ Kathryn Minshew, founder & CEO, The Muse


“Since becoming the Melbourne Curator, my life has changed dramatically in a very positive way. It’s provided me with the opportunity to meet an exciting network of people across the digital/tech/ creative industries who are eager to connect, collaborate, and share knowledge. The sense of community that can be found amongst the Fetchers is unique and one that has developed in such a natural and organic way – it’s been amazing to be a part of its growth.”

~ Kat Loughrey, curator of The Fetch Melbourne

Event organizer

“The Fetch has helped me grow my community, Girl Geek Dinners Melbourne, from 300 to 850 women in one year. Most recently, we advertised Australia’s first all-female hackathon, She Hacks. An increase in traffic to our website resulted, but there were also many people who I bumped into on the street that said they saw She Hacks in The Fetch. I recommend The Fetch as the best place to find out about events for professionals.”

~ Tammy Butow, senior digital strategist, National Australia Bank

City ambassador

“The Fetch has allowed me to invest in my own growth. I have been able to forge new friendships, develop skills and pursue unexpected interests because of what it’s put in my path. As a result of the things I am aware of in my community, I have become better equipped at guiding other people towards the resources they need to fuel their own aspirations and endeavours.”

Jackie Antig, city ambassador for The Fetch

No. 1 fan

“The Fetch has opened my horizons both professionally and personally in Sydney and in places I travel to, such as Melbourne, London, and New York. It’s brilliant for making connections and putting me in the know of what’s happening in the digital and creative scene. I recommend The Fetch to nearly everyone I meet, and they love it. Since the very first issue came out, I have been a fan, the No.1 Fetch Fan in fact. It has changed and enriched my life.”

~ Mark Woodrow, founder, The Galaxy and now at Yammer

No. 1 sharer of The Fetch’s content

“I feel a bit lost when my week doesn’t start with The Fetch. I’m always on the lookout for fresh job opportunities and local events where I can learn and network, and The Fetch’s weekly email is my first port of call to find them. Even on the weeks where the jobs and events don’t suit my needs, I always know there’ll be at least a handful of fascinating articles to read and learn from. I love it.”

~ Neil Fahey, freelance writer, blogger and online comms guy

Email format lover and partner

“To feel the pulse of a city’s tech scene, I recommend subscribing to The Fetch. Regardless of whether you’re making in-roads into creative communities, or wanting to attend a web metrics meetup, each issue will have you both scrambling for your calendar and reading up on new and interesting projects. A hat tip to their team for creating such a valuable newsletter!”

~ Rosanne de Vries, Community Manager, Campaign Monitor

If you’d like to pass on any feedback about where we’re going and where we’ve come from – or to chat about sponsoring or adding to our list of Kickstarter prizes, please email me

Thanks so much and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on our changes over the coming months. 🙂

Kate Kendall

John Hagel on the Big Shift and understanding the Power of Narrative — January 30, 2014

John Hagel on the Big Shift and understanding the Power of Narrative

John Hagel Image

John Hagel walks us through how the ‘Big Shift’, driven by digital technology and a rapidly globalizing world, is driving unpredictable change at an ever increasing rate; and how the ‘Power of Narrative’ can help us create movements that let society benefit and thrive from the Shift.

I have been studying and publishing about the Big Shift at Deloitte’s Centre for the Edge since 2007. We brought together a series of metrics around digital foundations and economic freedom; flows of knowledge, capital and people; together with the impact on value for institutions and individuals to measure and describe how things have changed over the last 50 years.

What we are seeing in 2014 is that digital technologies are coming together into global technology infrastructures that straddle the globe and reach an ever-expanding portion of the population. In economic terms, these infrastructures systematically and substantially reduce barriers to entry and barriers to movement on a global scale. One effect of this is to accelerate the pace of change – information flows at a faster and faster pace to more and more nodes, making it possible for all of us to see things faster and to change our actions more quickly than ever before. As anyone who understands complexity theory knows, the more connected we become, the more vulnerable the system becomes to cascades of information and action that can disrupt the system in unexpected ways.

While previous disruptive technologies have tended to stabilize we are not seeing that with digital technology. Our digital technology infrastructure is unprecedented in human history. It is not stabilizing. The core technology components – computing, storage and bandwidth – are continuing to improve in price/performance at accelerating rates and the best scientists and technologists suggest that this exponential pace will not slow down in the foreseeable future. And the power and scope of impact of these technologies is amplified by their interaction with each other and their ability to accelerate the performance improvement of an expanding array of other technologies. The rapid changes in both the digital technologies and the technologies and business models built on them is blurring traditional boundaries between industries and leading to disruptions that may span the economy.

The Shift does have a dark side. As change continues to accelerate, uncertainty within our institutions grows and performance pressure mounts. Instead of harnessing the opportunity, we see too many institutions becoming more risk averse. It is as though Institutions are waiting for stability that may never come.

It is important that institutions rethink their practices and structures to access the resources and talent they need to learn, adapt, and innovate in times of constant change.

A useful resource is the Shift Index, and in this case – the Shift Index in Australia, which was compiled by Peter Evans Greenwood – the author of The New Instability.

The Shift Index for Australia represents the first time the Centre for the Edge has compiled a Shift Index outside the US. While many things are the same, there are also marked differences. In the US we have seen a steady decline in Return on Assets, whereas in Australia we are seeing a steady increase. We are seeing increased competitive intensity in Australia over the long term but it is still a long way from the competitive intensity in the US. Returns to creative talent in Australia are lower than in the US which may have provided some insulation to Australian companies in terms of the financial returns they are able to generate. On a public policy front, Australia has seen ongoing reform over the last three decades such that it is ranked 3rd globally on the Economic Freedom Index.

My second focus is on the Power of Narrative.

As organizations and individuals experience increasing pressures and rapid changes, I believe that what we need is a new narrative: One that isn’t confined to a specific country, race or religion, but that highlights the incredible opportunity created by digital technology infrastructures on a global scale that are evolving at an exponential rate.

One that focuses on the ability of each of us to achieve far more of our potential than we ever would have imagined possible and the opportunity to achieve even more when we come together on a global scale to learn faster than we ever could on our own. One that is clear about the challenges we will face as we seek to address this opportunity, but one that is also compelling about the abundance that will result as we overcome these challenges. One that helps us to find each other as we begin to gather on the edges of existing institutions and gain support from each other across multiple edges in different institutions and different parts of the world as we embark on this amazing quest.

Everyone is captivated by the emotional power and engagement of stories, and it’s true, stories have enormous power. But to understand the much greater power of narrative, I point to the significance of narratives throughout history. Every successful social movement in history has been driven at its core by a narrative that drove people to do amazing things, even give their lives, whether it’s the Christian narrative, the American narrative or the Marxist narrative. Narratives have an extraordinary power of pull.

Narratives are relevant at multiple levels – they can shape our lives, our institutions and the social arenas that surround us. Narratives are far more powerful than stories because they actively call for participation – they are open-ended, with the resolution hinging on the choices and actions that each of us will take in the days and years ahead. The outcome depends on us. What will we choose to do?

Note: Silicon Valley based John will be visiting Melbourne on February 21 to share, explore and discuss how we, as individuals and through roles we may have in Institutions, can make the most of the extraordinary opportunity to turn stress into abundance.

Get your tickets to John Hagel’s Melbourne Tour at Deloitte’s Center for The Edge here. Hagel will be joined at the event by Pete Williams and Pete Evans-Greenwood.

About our contributor // John Hagel is an author and former consultant who specializes in the intersection of business strategy and information technology. In 2007, Hagel founded the Deloitte Center for the Edge Innovation. Follow him on Twitter @jhagel.

Interview: Sydney Local, Clover Moore — April 14, 2013

Interview: Sydney Local, Clover Moore

This week our social innovation community leader Michelle Williams interviews the Lord Mayor of Sydney – Clover Moore. This is one of our best interviews yet – a must-read/bookmark for all Sydneysiders and city/government 2.0 geeks. 

Clover Moore

Clover in Sydney Park

Clover Moore has created a city where people have a voice, can have go at being innovative, creative and entrepreneurial, to pursue their passions and, most of all, to have a good public, community life.

“Creating a good public life nails what it’s all about. That’s what my whole career has been about. Started off trying to stop traffic and to do something about local parks. Now I just do that on a bigger scale.”

What was your background before you became mayor? Did you have political aspirations from an early age?

Years ago I did something risky, something right out of my experience and comfort zone – and it completely changed the direction of my life. As a mother at home with two small children, I was dismayed that my Redfern neighbourhood was so run-down, with fast moving traffic in every street and children’s playgrounds that were derelict and dangerous. I wrote to my state and local rep who either didn’t get the problem or who flicked my letter onto some uninterested bureaucrat. So then I did something. I went round to my neighbours, gathered community support and ultimately founded Redfern Community concern. “You be our voice,” my Greek neighbours, mainly women urged. And without any background in politics, I stood for the Labor dominated South Sydney Council as an Independent. I was elected to the South Sydney Council in 1980.

After four years the council was amalgamated with Sydney City and three years later sacked by State Government. I was so angry at this blatantly undemocratic act that I stood for the 1988 State election as an Independent, becoming first the Member for Bligh and then, when boundaries were changed, the Member for Sydney. Then, in 2004, when South Sydney Council and the City of Sydney were both sacked and amalgamated in another attempt by the NSW Labor Government to take control of our city, I was urged by a team of like-minded independents to stand as the Lord Mayoral candidate to provide community leadership for Sydney, I agreed – at first reluctantly.

As well as mayor, you were also an Independent State MP for Sydney. What have been some major achievements or changes during your time in politics?

Our election and my position as Lord Mayor has given us great opportunities to improve life for our residents, our businesses and our visitors. We’ve beautified the city villages, created a series of award-winning parks and community gardens, and provided design leadership in award-winning bars, introduced bike lanes and provided affordable spaces for creatives and digital startups. We provide great services and a strong financial position – no debt. When I was forced to choose between Parliament and the City by the Coalition O’Farrell government last year, I left Parliament as the longest-serving woman in the history of NSW parliament.


Clover when she got the FOI bill through in NSW Parliament

I have been told continually from those first days in Redfern that it was not possible to get elected as an Independent, that I needed a party machine behind me, and even if I was elected, I wouldn’t be able, as an Independent, to achieve anything. But I found I could achieve a great deal by working hard for my community and representing them in Parliament.

Clover’s achievements in parliament are numerous. From 1991-1995 with two other Independents, they held the balance of power introducing the ground-breaking Charter of Reform, which included the Royal Commission into police corruption, and was described as the most progressive reforms in any Westminster system in the 20th Century.

I introduced private member’s bills that became law, or were included in Govt legislation, including anti-vilification legislation, making it illegal to incite hatred against gay men and women; to allow for same sex couples to adopt; and ended Kings Cross streets being used as de facto car sales yards; South East Forests protection bill and the small bar bill. Achievements in a Parliament dominated by major political parties and with my beginnings so unlikely.

“I’ve always been progressive, parliament thought I was radical. I was just doing what was needed.”

You are well known for listening to your community. How have you been doing this more via digital? What can we look forward to?

It’s always an important part of what I do. Always progressive about technology and communication. When I was first elected to South Sydney Council, we put out enewsletters that were very amateurish at the beginning, but have became more professional. I was the only one doing it at the time and it was handed around to party MPs who were told to copy it. Always held meetings with community and sought community views in most effective way. Now, of course, the most effective way is through digital media. A good example of is our Open Policy our strategy to revive Sydney’s late night economy, is ready to be finalise. We’ve had 20 roundtables and 11,000 people have talked to us. We did vox pops at 2am to hear from people in Kings Cross. We do what we need to do to talk to people who want to talk to us. The majority of people in this city are young and use social media. We still do the meetings, some people still like it. People don’t hold back in telling me what they think [which brings a laugh to both of us]. Doing community consultation means you know the majority wants this. You always do get the vocal minority, the naysayers. If you listen to them you never do anything.

What are the key ideas the City is implementing to enable a more liveable and green Sydney?

The 2030 plan is the overarching policy (for the City). It guides everything that we do. Environmental aspects are our top priority because we know that the future of the planet is important. We’ve got lots of ticks on that including photovoltaic panels, retrofitting, water harvesting and getting on with policies to do with tri-gen. Carlton Brewery site on Broadway is a tri-gen site that’s going to power a precinct. It’s part of the 2030 plan and that’s being done by the private sector. This also plays into the social sustainability plan and community networks which mean we’re more resilient as a community. We need to have long-term sustainable business and that’s one of the main reasons we’re so supportive of the startup community. We like to support communities doing stuff rather than doing it for them. Our grants program is an example of that.

It’s great to see City of Sydney supporting entrepreneurs and creatives through providing subsidised space and workshops. How did this come about and what other initiatives are you engaging in?

It originated from a Cultural City Talk in 2007. Three speakers from different creative perspectives and backgrounds, said we had great cultural institutions but what we really needed was to support our young creative talent. I don’t think they discussed it prior but there was a common theme. What really stuck out for me at this talk was Neil Armfield explaining that a troupe had gone to Melbourne but had not come back. They loved the small bar scene and the opportunities for musicians and for visual artists. Small Bar licensing in Sydney in 2007 was very expensive – $30,000 compared to $500 in Melbourne and we’d been waiting for years to see any sort of change in NSW parliament. In the 70s, Melbourne was dead and part of it’s renewal was built on creatives, to do with allowing people to do their thing whether that be grafitti in a laneway or musicians performing. And I said right, I’m going to do a small bar members bill, I’m tired of waiting for (former NSW Premier) Bob Carr. The two major parties had a problem with it but then there was a strong community reaction, the whole thing just took off. The government had nowhere to go but to agree with it and we got the laws changed. And we have 68 (small bars) in the city area now. Creative studios are a part of that too. We’ve supported setting up like Oxford St, the soon to open William St and 107 Redfern St, Redfern.

The strong message was we have to support creatives. It’s an expensive city, it’s hard to get going. That was the best way we could support creatives to get going and that’s how it all started. And it’s going so well.

Queen Street Studio is another example. During the five years it was available, 20,000 creatives used it. And support for things like GreenUps is another example. Everything we do in this area is well received and taken up.


Launch of the artwork on Foley St on Friday night from Clover’s Instagram account

Why, in your own words, do you think this is so important?

[Said with a big genuine smile] I think it’s about our soul, about who we are, and supporting the cultural life of a city like Sydney is probably one of the most important things that you do. We have 200 nationalities here, what is our cultural identity and how interesting are we? How is that reflected back to us?

Do you draw inspiration from any other cities or governments from around the globe?

Portland is a city that inspired. I was encouraged that they started their bike lanes in ‘94 and they had the same backlash I met. Same with their light rail. They were doing a lot that we’re now doing. It seems a very civilised city. Copenhagen too. At the Mayors conference for COP15 people gathered for Earth Hour. It was freezing and 6,000 people gathered. I had a great sense that the people know who they are, very content with themselves. I was amazed that after, everyone dusted the snow off their bike seats and rode off! In Scandinavian countries the royalty sends their children to public schools. I was shown street after street where cars had been and now they’re for people. And people gathered there, sitting in outdoor cafes, in freezing temperatures, wrapped in blankets. I was struck that they know who they are and what sort of government they want. And they know what sort of contribution they want to make. Very impressive. What’s the difference to here? Good government. I despair about Barangaroo and how corrupted that process is. It’s one of the most beautiful sites. I think good cities are about visionary government and making sure that’s what people get.

People, politicians, media and vested interests haven’t made your path easy in achieving progressive outcomes (challenges many of us face in trying to build businesses). How do you overcome these?

Do your homework so you have the confidence in what you’re doing. Be brave and bold and stand your ground. Stand your ground!

My whole career I was told: “You’ll never do that”. It’s about believing in what you’re doing. That’s critical. It’s about being bold. My husband has said to me “This is a big risk for you” and I’ve said “It’s the right thing to be doing now”.

Do you have regrets?

No regrets, although always sacrifices in what you do. This has dominated my life and my family’s life. I always thought it was worthwhile. You only get one go at life. My CEO says to me “Sleep when you’re dead”. You pay your rent, you make your contribution.

Where can we go for info on how to make it easier for us to develop businesses? Are there any special grants or events the community should know about?

This is so important for us, we see if we can help support, facilitate and empower. We have an economic development unit and this is one of their most important areas of work. When we identify a need, we respond and do something about it. The Economic Development Unit work closely to support in a number of ways. For example, little cafes, we coach through the process and offer grants. When the first small bars opened we worked with them to give some clear guidelines. 101 Startups is another great example, also our Let’s Talk Business Seminars. These bring people who have experience, are inspirational and can offer practical advice. We know (for entrepreneurs) it’s about having the energy and enthusiasm to do it and then you need the practical advice, you need encouragement too.

[Clover, the City of Sydney and Alex Greenwich MP are interested in hearing from you, your ideas on how they can help, what you need and what would make it easier. Please leave a comment below or tweets us @thefetchSYD]

What’s your favourite thing to do in Sydney? How do you switch off? How do you clear your head, stay fit, maintain your general sense of wellbeing when you are busy with your Mayoral duties?

Walking in Sydney’s beautiful parks is one of the things I choose to do most often, with my Staffies and my husband. This is also how I switch off. I get to talk to my husband, and talk to everyone else, they never hold back!

What is your vision for Sydney?

Sustainable, equitable, culturally vital city. The reason we chose to live in Redfern, when no one else would, was because it’s where we could afford. One of the reasons is we’d lived overseas for a while and the Greek families sat on captured milk crates in their street, and kids played in their back lanes, a sense of community, street life. So much more important than in the suburbs where people drove to their houses, only seeing people when they invited them over. I’m really thrilled that over the last eight years because we’ve beautified streets, added wonderful facilities and great parks – there is a whole lot of street life that did not go on before.


Clover crossing the rainbow crossing on Oxford St for Mardi Gras

The beginnings were with the migrant communities, now everyone engages with that. Gays with their dogs, young families or an older couple. Suburbs don’t engender that. In the city you may live alone but because you go to this park. If you’re not lucky enough to have a personal family you can have this other family. We tap into, support and provide opportunities to connect. We do it through creative support but also our bike and pedestrian paths, wonderful parks and public communal spaces. We create a good public life, rather than just a good private life. In suburbia you may have a private life around your pool but how much better is it if you have a good public life? Creating a good public life nails what it’s all about.

That’s what my whole career has been about. We started off trying to stop traffic and do something about local parks. Now I just do that on a bigger scale.

About our ambassador // Michelle Williams is the CEO & Founder of Ideaction. She’s a connector, collaborator, communicator and innovator for systemic change. Follow her on Twitter as @MiA_Will.

Interview: Melbourne local, Jennifer Frahm — November 9, 2012

Interview: Melbourne local, Jennifer Frahm

This week Jacqueline Shields chats with Jennifer Frahm – founder of Conversations of Change, change manager and communications pro, author, Bricoleur and eternal optimist.

Jennifer Frahm. Photo by The Itchy Eyes

Name: Jennifer Frahm
Twitter: @jenfrahm

You have decided to buck the trend, say no to negativity and focus on sharing stories of success in business and industry. What was the tipping point that motivated you create a forum [called Bright Spots] where we can hear first-hand from those who have overcome challenges?

Thank you! The tipping point? A partner in crime! It was a passionate conversation with Steve Vallas of Honey Bar. He was “over it”, (the negativity) – and I’m a firm believer in don’t complain, if you are not going to do anything about the subject of complaint. So we said “let’s do it!” Let’s turn it around! So we decided to create an opportunity to celebrate the positive and optimistic stories of business and industry in person and online by case studies.

At the Bright Spot meetups, we’ll have three people talk for 10 minutes on the challenges they have faced, how they countered the challenges and how they are smashing it in a time that the news headlines say they shouldn’t. And we’re particularly interested in the quiet achievers — those that don’t have a big PR machine behind them. There’ll also be facilitated networking. You’ll leave with more than just three great stories, you’ll have a whole handful to refer to and counter the negativity that you hear. It’s no cost to attend for those interested and initially, we’ll be holding the events at The Honey Bar in South Melbourne. We’ve had interest across the globe, so we’ll treat the first one in Melbourne as a pilot and then look at what it takes to roll it out further. We are busy identifying three speakers to get the ball rolling. So stay tuned for a date.

Through Conversations of Change you assist people deal with change on a micro level through coaching. Overall, what have you found are the main issues faced when introducing change to an organisation or overcoming resistance to change?

Change cynicism is the big one at the moment along with change overload. It’s fair to say we have a long way to go in building resilience within environments of continuous change.

Employees are increasingly cynical about the “next change” and that takes some work unpacking that. Often you hear “people don’t like change”. I would challenge that. People are often fine with change if it is introduced and managed well. When you have had people in the workforce who have been subject to poorly managed change over successive decades, you see a lot of cynicism about future change (“oh that again?, yeah we tried that”). Responding to change cynicism means having leaders who are prepared to offer acknowledgement of past transgressions, validate the negative experiences and demonstrate how the future change path will be different.

Your book The Transformation Treasure Trove offers insights into change management and communication. What are your top three and why?

OK, these are my top three because if you understand these ones, you’ll cope much better with introducing change and not get so frustrated.

  1. It’s not about you! Stakeholder engagement doesn’t start with getting armed with your key messages. It starts with an attitude of humility and a willingness to learn about your stakeholder.
  2. When you engage with resistance to change, you receive valuable feedback on how well your program is progressing. Be appreciative of the feedback – it’s the silence you need to be worried about.
  3. Patience and Persistence – the key to successful change? It’s pretty simple, patience and persistence. Be graceful, and determined. You’ll get there.

For those toying with the idea of becoming a change manager what pointers would you give for the uninitiated so that they reach for the Perrier instead of the Pinot Noir?

  • Be endlessly curious, accept nothing you are told, keep asking why.
  • Be proactive in professional development, seek out course, read books and articles.
  • Be prepared to have a lots of coffees. That’s how we do stakeholder engagement.

Being immediate past President of the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) Victoria, how have you found the members managed the explosion of social media right across the business landscape?

There absolutely is a much greater appetite for social media today than three years ago when IABC first started really driving social media awareness and understanding among members globally. The questions and discussions being held amongst the members locally reflect a much greater maturity and more relaxed stance on the issue of “losing control”. IABC Victoria now has many member organisations that are doing really interesting work in this space. Corporate members like Telstra who have significantly resourced up on social media teams are seeing tangible benefits in customer service, and creating sales opportunities with their monitoring of conversations. Alcatel Lucent is doing very interesting stuff with employee engagement and Yammer.

It’s not just the large organisations though. Many of the independents and smaller agencies are much more adept at using social media for community engagement, social recruiting, and online marketing. Once questions at IABC Victoria events would have reflected “what is [insert platform] and how do you use it?”. Now they are prefaced with an example of direct experience and questions on alternative perspectives on how to manage the outcome.

Do you believe change is as good as a holiday?

Hmm. Perhaps not. I guess it depends on if you are the thrill seeking bungy jumping kinda holiday seeker, or whether you want to be lying on a beach with a beautiful buttery chardonnay. I guess the difference is that the holiday yields immediate benefits, change often takes some time to see the benefits.

Where is your favourite stakeholder engagement location (café)?

Locally, I frequent Lava on Carlisle St, Balacalava. In the CBD, you can’t go past MOAT under the Wheeler Centre.

And finally, what is a Bricoleur for those readers who may not have googled the word as yet?

A bricoleur is some-one who uses what ever is at hand to make stuff. Part creative, part innovator, and part experimenter.

I tend to think of myself as having a very broad knowledge base (psychology, sociology, management, communication, change, sales, gleaned from multiple industries). When someone comes to me with a problem, I take a bricoleur approach, I draw from a number of experiences and give it a crack. I don’t tend to focus in one area or one methodology. It’s representative of my twitter experience too – I follow a wide variety of conversations, and tweeps from really varied backgrounds. It keeps me from being stale!

About our Ambassador // Jacqueline Shields. Luckily Jacqueline is not a cat. She’d be on her ninth life. Her inquisitive nature sees her say yes to pretty much anything – a  Tough Mudder, an African Safari, sailing down the Nile in a felucca and even a HTML workshop. And each and everything she tries, she takes great joy in writing about. You can connect with Jacqueline on Twitter @hillrepeats.

Interview: Melbourne Local, David Hood — November 20, 2011

Interview: Melbourne Local, David Hood

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. 🙂

%d bloggers like this: