The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Event Review: Participation is the new consumption — June 10, 2013

Event Review: Participation is the new consumption

As part of the Vivid Ideas festival, community ambassador Mark Woodrow went along to the Participatory Revolution, an event inspired by Michelle Williams, connector, collaborator and  founder of Ideaction.

Panel discusses big Vivid Ideas
Panel discusses big Vivid Ideas on participation

“There is the same power in our phones as what took humans to the moon.” Michelle Williams inspires passion in us all to join the revolution in opening the half day conference at the MCA in Sydney, 27 May.

“This is the era of creativity. Participation the new consumption.”

It’s not what we consume, it’s how we participate

Greenpeace CEO David Ritter defined their early vision with blunt clarity in quoting David McTaggart  “We have to get our world into 21st C in one piece. Fuck everything else.” Greenpeace works by active participation. The latest campaign targets the horrendous damage by plastics on bird life. Two thirds of Australian sea birds are choking on a stomach full of plastic. You can participate by not purchasing from a multinational like Coca-Cola, which shows no interest in recycling. And watch the compelling ad that was censored by mainstream Australian media.

“Greenpeace’s mission hasn’t changed  but now there are many more options for activism.The action items on the menu for social change have expanded in the rich opportunities contained in digital age.”

Participatory democracy and citizen centricity

‘Social media is just a part of a broader cultural change’ according to self proclaimed geek and open data advocate Pia Waugh.  Gov 2.0 means 3 key things:

1. open data, 2. participatory democracy, 3. citizen centricity.

It is good to have Pia representing the thoughtful application of technology in government and promoting that as citizens we should all be central participants. “For two years, we’ve had more people engaging with government online than through any other medium”, says Pia.

Learning to be a citizen scholar

James Arvanitakis is the lecturer you wish you had at University, winning a Prime Minister’s award for being the most popular Australian lecturer in 2012. He advocates participatory education where we trade knowledge to attract students – we need more citizen scholars, as “Students aren’t empty vessels”.

Like newspapers, James believes the model for traditional university education is outdated. Studies show that attention in lectures goes downhill from 12 minutes. James overcomes this by interacting before, during & after lectures with downloads, and interacting on Facebook.

“Knowledge is like a big picnic. If we all bring something & contribute it will be awesome. We need to get students ready for jobs that don’t exist”

Dan Ilic (Very funny MC), Michelle Williams (Amazing Curator), Mark Woodrow (Fetching)
Dan Ilic (Very funny MC), Michelle Williams (Amazing Curator), Mark Woodrow (Fetching)

Know your sense of purpose

People are interested in doing the right thing and changing the conversation, according to Paul Bennett, Creative Director at renowned design firm IDEO. But to truly participate we need little less conversation, a little more action. Paul recommends we:

1. Have a higher purpose. ‘Know your sense of purpose’, but it needs to be integral, “Purpose is not a layer that you just add on top”.

2. Make stuff. ‘Less talking more doing’ is what leads to human centered design.

3. Be transparent about success & failure. Leap forward into growth rather than step back into safety.

4. Play well with others – collaborate. Assume the good.  “If you care about solving problems, you can’t try and own the solution”

The rule at IDEO is that everybody is in it for everybody. Incredibly IDEO puts everything online. You can see it all, download it. frameworks , designs etc. According to Paul:

“Burning eyes are the business eyes of the future”

The Maker Movement

Yammers Steve Hopkins is all about eliminating silos.  “How you make things is as important as what you make”. Makers are true participants and they are on a different schedule. For a further insight read Paul Graham’s Maker’s Schedule versus Manager’s Schedule

For projects to work, Steve’s suggest’s the Yammer formula:

“Two to ten people in a team for between 2 to 10 weeks. Never longer”

For Ian Lyons, the ‘maker movement’ is increasingly creating value. Ian makes drones (pilot-less flying machines) and suggests you investigate over funded projects on crowd funding platforms,  such as KickStarter. These are a great source of market research. Collaboration is the key – find a community that will help you build what you want. There are great Australians ‘Maker Spaces’ including  Robots & Dinosaurs, Ozberry Pi, Ninja Blocks and Dorkbot. These vibrant, creative communities that provides access to tools, software, space, ideas and support. As do #coworking spaces. You just need to search them out to participate.

The time is now. Reward collaboration over competition. Join the participatory revolution. Vive la révolution!

About our Ambassador // Mark Woodrow. Prefers the more informal self-appointed title of No1 Fetch Fan.  Runs a design and communication consultancy, The Galaxy. Resides at Hub Sydney. On the NSW Board of International Assoc of Business Communicators. You can connect with Mark on Twitter @markwoodrow


Event Review: Etsy Success Sydney 2012 — June 8, 2012

Event Review: Etsy Success Sydney 2012

This event review is brought to you by Delphine Vuagnoux, from our Fetch Community Ambassador Team in Sydney.

What: Etsy Success Sydney, a day-long conferences and exchanges to inspire, inform and connect local creative entrepreneurs who wish to learn new skills and understand the need for change in the new economy.
Where: in the newly-renovated Museum of Contemporary Art, with incredible views on the Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge
Over Heard: “I’m not perfect. I’m perfectly myself.”

Etsy is a global platform for people to buy from and run independent, creative business. It’s a community marketplace selling unique handmade products accross the world. Launched in Australia in 2011, Etsy is about connecting people, supporting independent businesses and artists and promoting a sustainable and viable trading.  Etsy Success Sydney, part of the Vivid Ideas Exchange at Vivid Sydney 2012, provided a rich programme for everyone looking for ideas to create or expand his/her own business. 300 creative people came to get inspired, to connect, to learn and to share.

Here are six lessons I learned from a full day of inspired stories and rich insights:

1. Find your courage

Starting something new is one of the biggest challenges in life, whether it’s moving to a new place or launching a new business. Chad Dickerson, Etsy CEO, set the tone of the day by telling us how he found the courage to do what he really wanted to do. Yes, there are always a ton of reasons not to change, not to try. So how to overcome your fear? By starting somewhere. Anywhere. “Courage comes from doing,” Chad said. Once you started you have to persist. You make some mistakes, that’s normal; the main thing to keep in mind is that you learn something everytime you failed. And then, always be true to yourself; when in doubt, go with your heart.

2. How Etsy success works for newbies

Danielle Maveal started selling on Etsy 4 years ago and as being now Etsy’s Seller Education lead, she shared tips for the beginners. Etsy has 15 000 members. They sell products which are vintage or handmade or supplies to make them. Danielle was really enthusiastic and as she emphasized, ‘with Etsy, it’s not only opening a shop, it’s about values.” She shared practical insights about how to use keywords (must be clear and detailed) or social media (it’s all about storytelling: sharing your unique point of view, of inspiration). And of course, being consistent so you keep investing time, editing and sharing.

3. Ways to use fashion as a vehicle for social change

Dr Grace McQuilten narrated us the story of The Social Studio, a social business in fashion industry, adressing the issue of refugees in Melbourne. Starting from scratch 3 years ago, The Social Studio is now a fashion label, a retail space, a cafe and a printing studio. “It’s a complex solution to a complex problem”, Grace confessed. Employing 20 people, training 35 students a year in association with the fashion school, the social studio has 5 outlets accross Australia and studies the possibility to be present in Sydney.

4. How to boost your creative business through networking

Hard to believe that Valerie Khoo used to hate giving speeches and networking as she was one of the most interesting speakers of the event. Valerie is the founder of Sydney Writers Centre, a journalist, a blogger and an author. So she had a lot to share about how to make the most of your networking opportunities: both in person and online. It’s all about to connect with your customers and continuing the conversation, building your community as we trust recommendations of people in our community. In real-life networking events can be scary but “if you force yourself, you’ll end up by liking it!”, confirmed Valerie. Overall, always remember that “your network is your networth”.

5. The story of the garage sale trail

It began as part of a local creative community festival in Bondi in May 2010. In April 2011 it went national and was activated in locations all over Australia. In May 2012, more than 150 000 people participated in event nationally. According to Darryl Nichols and Andrew Valder, 3 keywords explain this amazing success story: sustainability, community and creativity. The general idea is to “encourage recycling and relationships between neighbors.” People just adore the idea to make money and celebrate community. “Commerce is powerful when it’s fun and social.”

6. DIY Media and PR: a practical guide

There weren’t enough seats for the last conference of the day! People were really keen to learn all the secrets on how to reach their favorite journalist and get coverage in the media. Jo Walker, editor at Frankie Magazine, and Lexi Kentmann blogger at PottyMouthMama, provided basic rules such as: keep your media release short and simple, error-free and  addressed to the right person. Rather than sending randomly your media release to 100 magazines, carefully choose your target. When you send your email, be sure that it contains all the information needed, in the limit of 300-400 words, with pictures in low resolution. Timing is a key component of success: always think ahead, at least 2 months for a bi-monthly magazine.

This is only a small glimpse of the Etsy Success Sydney 2012. To find out more stay connected on Twitter with @EtsyAU. Also check out some snaps from the event on the Fetch Sydney Facebook page.

About our Amabassador // Delphine Vuagnoux is a Communications officer, working for corporate and not-for-profits sectors. She is passionate about social change and is an idealistic: she believes that all together, with a collaborative approach, we can make this world a better place to live. She just obtained a Master in Public Relations and Advertising at the University of New South Wales, Sydney. Connect with Delphine via @delphinevuagnou.

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