The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Interview: Sydney local, Jenna Price — March 11, 2013

Interview: Sydney local, Jenna Price

This week Community Ambassador Lisa Fox interviews Jenna Price from Destroy the Joint. 


For those that are not familiar with Destroy the Joint could you please explain what it is?

Destroy the Joint (DtJ) is an online community which began on Facebook and it aims to bring sexism and misogyny to public attention and then to stop them. Our community uses a variety of tools, from email campaigns, to boycotts, to Facebook posts, to phone calls, to change the way women are treated in Australia.

How did you become involved and what is your role?

I became involved because I clicked on a Facebook invitation! Seriously though, I got involved because it is devastating to think women are still judged on their gender or their appearance – and even worse, treated differently because they are women. Women are paid less in all kinds of jobs, from unskilled to professional; get fewer job opportunities, struggle to get promoted; aren’t on corporate boards; the list is a long one. I’m one of eight admins who organise the page ( along with Sally McManus, Emily Mayo, El Gibbs, Amanda Mack, Jill Tomlinson, Wendy French and Jennie Hill), 40 moderators who keep the conversation civil; and now we are joined by 25000 Destroyers. I love that so much.

Destroy the Joint

You were a journalist for a number of years and are now a journalism lecturer at UTS, how is social media reinventing journalism?

Journalism continues – we just do it differently. It thrills me to read my students liveblogging a courtcase or tweeting an AFL match. I like to think that the speed and sheer inventiveness of social media inspires everyone but I see that some of my journalistic colleagues get a bit anxious about it. The biggest worry I hear is that they will make mistakes. But there have been mistakes in the media for as long as media has existed – the message here is if you are going twice as fast, you need to be twice as careful. That’s the newest skill – the need to be hypervigilant at breakneck speed.

What is your favourite example of innovative journalism?

Good journalism always tells us something new – and the basic skills are the same as they have ever been. Be accurate, be quick, tell the audience something it doesn’t know. I love Media Storm and ProPublica, I love the liveblogs on the Guardian website – but I also really love the way the Destroy the Joint community crowdsources sexism, researches sexism and reports on sexism. It’s advocacy journalism and I think that’s really innovative.

What does 2013 hold for Destroy the Joint? Are there any specific campaigns or events you would like to share?

So much, so many. We are keen to shine a light on how candidates for the Federal election measure up to what Destroyers want – and that would include the position on reproductive rights. We are in talks with Telstra on provisions for victims of domestic violence who seek silent numbers at no cost. Getting rid of the tax on tampons. Closing the pay gap. We could be here all century. And we will be, fighting all the way.

Editor notes:

  • A big congratulations to Destroy the Joint on taking out the Agenda Setter category of the NAB Women’s Agenda Awards last Friday.
  • On 26 February 2013, a Telstra spokesman was reported as saying Telstra is reviewing its policy on charging the monthly $2.90 silent-line fee for customers who were the victims of domestic violence. It will currently waive the fee in some circumstances. 

About our Ambassador // Lisa Fox is a recovering a Government Lawyer and the Cofounder and Director of the peer-to-peer rental site, Open Shed.  Lisa is passionate about spreading the word about the Australian Collaborative Consumption movement and helping Australians access what they need when they need it! Connect with Lisa via @_lisafox or @openshed.

Event Review: Consumer Trend Seminar — September 24, 2012

Event Review: Consumer Trend Seminar

I have been a big fan of Trend Watching for a couple of years now, mainly after stumbling across their monthly trend briefings. So, I was really excited when I heard they were bringing their Consumer Trend Seminars to Sydney.

I headed along to the half-day seminar, which is being run in 13 cities over the next couple of months. It covered the key global consumer trends as well as top 10 Asia Pacific consumer trends. The final session was an interactive workshop to help attendees apply their new-found knowledge. Or to put it another way – how to convince their bosses to implement their new ideas!

Parts of the seminar were tailored to the Australian audience, with a smattering of Australian businesses mentioned. And the information was certainly up to date, with all the video interviews with consumers on the streets of the world, only just days old.

Henry Mason, Trend Watching’s global head of research, ran us through the mega trends and also a number of the sub-trends and I’ve reproduced the full list below.  Don’t you just love some of the names – Statusphere, Infolust, Fuzzynomics, Social Cramming!

But what defines a consumer trend? Trend Watching calls it:

A manifestation of something that has ‘unlocked’ or newly service an existing consumer need, desire, want or value.

Trend Watching isn’t just listing what’s hot right now or peering into a crystal ball and “guessing” the next big thing. I see their value as being able to look across markets and industries and identify ideas that can be combined or applied in new spaces. It’s about helping you catch “the wave” before it catches you!

Here are a couple example and insights that stood out for me:

  • Consumers are increasingly desiring the “unique” or to put it another way – they no longer want to keep up with the Jone’s, they want something different

  • Status stories, skills and smarts. How are you empowering your customer to cram or quickly develop new skills and enabling them to tell the world?  Virtual visibility is now a social currency – does it really matter if it is not seen and recorded online?!

  • Are there ways your business can bring features of the online world, offline, to provide a more relevant experience for your customers? An example I loved was a clothes racks that show how many “likes” that particular item has received online

  • What info do you have that you can make accessible to your customers, which will help them feel empowered? The rise of DIY health sites and services are examples of this

  • Are you keeping an eye on the needs of the emerging consumer markets? Two examples of these new consumers were given – Virgin and Bottom of the Pyramid (BOP) Consumers. Virgin consumers are newly affluent Asian consumers that are buying certain products and services for the first time. While BOP consumers want urban conveniences that cater to their more limited lifestyles and prospects. Both of these consumer markets are growing at a dramatic rate, and businesses need to get better at understanding their specific needs

  • Is your brand being as relevant and interesting as possible? If not, you run the risk of not being “discovered” online because the majority of consumers are now using the online to discover by “default”, they are not actively searching for you anymore

About our Ambassador // Lisa Fox is a recovering a Government Lawyer and the Cofounder and Director of the peer-to-peer rental site, Open Shed.  Lisa is passionate about spreading the word about the Australian Collaborative Consumption movement and helping Australians access what they need when they need it! Connect with Lisa via @_lisafox or @openshed.

Interview: Sydney Local, Tom Dawkins — August 6, 2012

Interview: Sydney Local, Tom Dawkins

This fortnight, our Community Ambassador, Lisa Fox (CEO and cofounder of OpenShed) chats to Tom Dawkins of StartSomeGood about peer-funding and their community of changemakers.

Name: Tom Dawkins
Twitter handle: 
StartSomeGood & Make Believe

How did StartSomeGood come about? 

My co-founder Alex and I met while working at Ashoka in Washington DC. Ashoka is the world’s leading organisation support social entrepreneurs. Ashoka’s mission is to create an “Everyone a Changemaker World.” I was the social media director, exploring how social technologies could support help bring about this world. Having founded a couple of non-profits previous and spent a lot of time fundraising I understood that access to seed capital is one of the greatest barriers to new changemakers and innovations. Meanwhile Alex had been traveling in India and had had a realization that social change needed to be a mass movement and that it would take communities working together to bring about a better future. We re-connected and started talking about how we could support emerging social entrepreneurs and changemakers to raise the funds and rally the community they need to make a difference and over many late nights and a lot of coffee StartSomeGood was born.

You prefer to use the term “peer-funding” rather than “crowd-funding” can you explain why?

Crowdfunding as a term derives from crowdsourcing which derives from outsourcing. Crowdsourcing describes a non-collaborative dynamic of competing to win the right to do projects. This is a terrible analogue for any fundraising platform. We prefer to think of this as peer-to-peer fundraising. This isn’t just a matter of preference however but a more accurate way to describe what’s really happening. There just isn’t a big anonymous group of individuals out there just waiting to fund your project. The initial group of supporters for almost any successful project is the personal community cultivated by the founding team. Without their support you are unlikely to make it out to a wider audience. So focus on peers and the crowds will follow.

What are your three top tips for someone thinking about starting a StartSomeGood campaign?

  1. Craft a compelling story about the future you are creating
  2. Design rewards which connect supporters to your project and further your social mission
  3. Work really hard on sharing your story and inviting people to be part of it. Successful fundraising takes work, there’s no way around it.

Are there any exciting plans for the second half of 2012 for StartSomeGood you can share with us? 

Our focus right now is on growing and internationalising our community of Changemakers. There’s a lot of amazing and important social initiatives who are not currently supported by the creative crowdfunding platforms or the traditional charity fundraising websites. We are focused on connecting with changemakers and helping them design fundraising campaigns that work. We tripled the number of campaigns on our site in the first half of the year and hope to do that again in the second half. And each successful campaign represents a very real impact in the real world. We think that’s pretty exciting.

Where do you seek inspiration? 

My main inspiration comes from the social entrepreneurs using our platform to make the big scary and important leap from idea to action. It takes a lot of guts to put an idea out there and ask for support; to step up and commit yourself to making a difference for your community and to create a better future. It’s an enormous honour to work closely with and support so many inspiring changemakers.
Where do you get your information from?

Where do you get your information from?

Twitter mostly. I find it incredibly useful for keeping track of friends and social entrepreneurs all over the world and connecting with people around shared interests and passions.

What are some upcoming events you would recommend to the Fetch community?

The Biennale of Sydney is on at the moment and I would definitely recommend it – it only comes every second year! For more regular inspiration check out Vibewire’s monthly fastBREAK event, an early-morning get-together at the Powerhouse Museum with fascinating short speeches and delicious food. Also the Think Act Change meet-ups, the Young Entrepreneurs meet-up at the Vibewire Hub coworking space and keep an eye out for the next Social Startup 48.

About our Ambassador // Lisa Fox is a recovering a Government Lawyer and the Co Founder and Director of the peer-to-peer rental site, Open Shed.  Lisa is passionate about spreading the word about the Australian Collaborative Consumption movement and helping Australians access what they need when they need it! Connect with Lisa via @_lisafox or @openshed.


Interview: Sydney Local, Peter Bradd — May 28, 2012

Interview: Sydney Local, Peter Bradd

This fortnight, our Community Ambassador, Lisa Fox (CEO and cofounder of OpenShed) chats to Peter Bradd about coworking, startups, entrepreneurial support and the Fishburners space.

Name: Peter Bradd


Twitter handle: @peterbradd

Works: CEO and Founder at ScribblePics and all things Fishburners

What is Fishburners? How did you become involved?

Fishburners is a not-for-profit coworking space run by volunteers. It was founded by the managers of recruitment startup GradConnect and investor Pete Davison in March 2011. Although there’s been a huge number of individuals and corporates who contributed to make Fishburners what it is today. The original office space (55 desks) filled up within two months and now we can fit about 150 people. Our constitutional purpose is to foster tech entrepreneurship in Australia and we currently do that through the coworking space and an event space.When I first came to Fishburners there were about five desks (and no internet on) but I was just excited to get out of bedroom and work collaboratively! I was just amazed to be having conversations with other entrepreneurs who understood the issues and challenges I was facing. I love being here – I’ve seen companies that would have failed if they hadn’t been here and that’s really rewarding. Any advice that you need can be accessed. When you’re a startup, momentum is really important and this environment helps you get over any problems quickly. Besides working in your bedroom by yourself is pretty lonely! I pretty quickly became involved in the organisation of the space and I was asked to be a Founding Director. Basically, I believed in the community and I had the skillset that could help make a difference.

Can people come and try out Fishburners?

Sure can. We offer a three-day pass, so you can try before you buy. You can try out our Ultimo or Darlinghust office. We do this because working in a coworking space can seem a little daunting and it isn’t for everyone, so we definitely want you to try it out first. You can apply here

Then we have two membership options:

  1. Full time – you get a permanent desk and have 24 hour access to the building ($300 a month)
  2. Part-time – up to three days a week access to a hot desk ($200 a month)

Why do you think we are seeing the grow of coworking spaces in Australia at the moment?

The barriers to doing a startup are falling. Cheaper startup costs equal more startups. Everything is pay as you use these days. Starting up a business now can be done without any significant investment. Lean startup methodology is taking hold. There is huge growth in software as a service software (SaaS) and Platform as a service (PaaS). This combined with very cheap and high quality outsourced labour, and a steady flow of new and cool APIs means you no longer have to build and run every part of your operation yourself. This means you can experiment with less risk. However, running a business from home isn’t the ideal environment for a startup. Coworking spaces address this issue. Australia isn’t an isolated example, it’s happening all over the world. [Ed’s note: we agree! Check out our Coworking in Australia directory.]

What is next for Fishburners?

We would like to take out another level of the building in Harris Street. Startups normally do one of two things – they either fail or succeed. We want to do more to help reduce failure by providing better education and support, while it’s not necessarily our official role because we are not an incubator or an accelerator, we do see it as important and perhaps as an informal part of our role. We’d like more corporate support in this area. If a start up does really well their team starts to grow and expand and we can’t really accommodate teams bigger than five here, so we would like to take an extra floor to accommodate them. This will also create a better ecosystem as those trying to build a business for the first time can have access to people who are achieving three to four steps ahead of them. It’s really valuable to be able to observe what successful people are doing and also tap into their skills and knowledge. We are also starting to work with a number of corporates, such as Optus, Google, Ninefold and Deloitte. We welcome the support from corporates as they accelerate what we can achieve and the growth of the ecosystem. The bigger and better the ecosystem, the more successful startups we’ll see coming out of Australia. Startups are great for an economy.

Check out this video of a recent StartupWeekend Sydney at Fishburners below:

Tell us about ScribblePics

We make software that enables people to turn pictures into real postcards. We distribute our software through travel businesses. I’m really excited about is the growth of mobile and camera on phones are becoming a lot better. The way that people are taking photos has changed a lot, you are using your phone as a default point and click camera. You can now more easily capture moments and share them – ScribblePics is just another way of sharing that moment with the people in your life.

What are some upcoming events you would recommend to the Sydney Fetch community?

I’m a huge fan of Stump the Strategist by Step Change Marketing. Fishburners holds a number of events and meetups in our new event space, which holds 150 people standing or 100 sitting. General Assembly are holding a series of events in June at Fishburners. Fishburners is please to accommodate the Google I/O conference live streaming on 29-30 June.

About our Ambassador // Lisa Fox is a recovering a Government Lawyer and the Co Founder and Director of the peer-to-peer rental site, Open Shed.  Lisa is passionate about spreading the word about the Australian Collaborative Consumption movement and helping Australians access what they need when they need it! Connect with Lisa via @_lisafox or @openshed.

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