Author: Admin

Caring about people is not a weakness! Raf Manji on social entrepreneurship

It’s not every day you get the chance to speak with a city councillor. Rarer still, a city councillor in a city recently ravaged by devastating earthquakes. It wouldn’t be difficult to understate the enormity of the task facing the people and the city of Christchurch, New Zealand. A huge amount of effort has been dedicated to restoring the battered city centre, but for newly minted city Councillor Raf Manji, the hard work has really only just begun.

A long road travelled

Volume 1, Issue 2 I’ve come a long way to bring you this message… I hope this finds you rested and relaxed at the end of a lovely Sunday, ready to tackle the week ahead!  I write this short message to you from a newly re-opened bar in central Christchurch, New Zealand.  Yes that’s right, […]

The TKLR Dispatch

Volume 1, Issue 1 There’s a knock at the door.. Hi there. Welcome to the first edition of the TKLR dispatch. It’s a new bi-monthly newsletter that’ll bring you the finest ideas, inspiration and tools to help you scratch your creative itch. My aim is to help you break down the barriers to your success, […]

If you make correct decisions, you will be successful. Marc Lehmann on shifting the startup mindset.

What inspired Marc Lehmann to leave his high flying finance role at Deutsche Bank, to jump into the trenches with other small business owners? Believe it or not, the Saasu story starts with a small plastic bag full of receipts. More than a decade ago, Marc started noticing how much time and effort entrepreneurs would […]

How to create an innovation culture in big Business, with Annalie Killian of AMP

Have you ever felt stifled by a large organisational hierarchy? One that demands permission before you can act, that places process and risk management above personal empowerment and innovation? Finding the right environment for cultivating positive crowd-led change can be remarkably hard, which is why today’s interview with Annalie Killian is so great. Annalie’s the […]

The traditional classroom model is broken, Roy Green shows us the future of business education

Professor Roy Green is one of the smartest, most eloquent business thinkers I’ve ever met. Dean of the UTS Business School, Professor Green is the driving force behind some dramatic shifts within the university, spearheading many of the cross disciplinary manoeuvres happening between faculties as well as the spectacular Dr. Chau Chak city campus building designed by US ‘starchitect’ Frank Gehry. Roy has a background in Economics and policy and has an incredible birds eye view of the changes affecting local and global business ventures, and is very well connected with many of the new startup ventures in the Sydney metropolitan area. I sat down with Roy to learn how changes in the technology & design spheres are influencing the way business education is created and delivered, the kinds of skills and exposure people need to excel in business today and how to build the soft infrastructure for startups success.

Three awesome podcasts for entrepreneurs

I’m a huge fan of the podcast format. Not only is it an incredibly personal format, podcasts can also deliver some of the most personal, frank and highly useful information right to your doorstep. If you know where to look, the podcast can become an incredible learning tool when starting out in a new business. Want to know how the CEO of a highly successful startup manages her team, day to day? Want to hear how that global business got started, before they were famous? Want to learn about new insights into human behaviour and how you can use these in your business, today? For entrepreneurs both new and experienced, podcasts are going to be your new best friend.

DM #12: Mind Expanding

I have an artwork up in that tree. This week Frank and I discuss our recent visit to Wellington, New Zealand, for the Lux Symposium and Light Art Festival. We talk about how much fun you can have connecting with new people and how sharing your process (warts and all) helps to build real connections. We touch on how difficult it can be to get used to the ‘spotlight’ (and a clever tip for how to sidestep that very problem) as well as striking the right balance between underselling and over hyping. We’re all trying to reach different goals and it’s easy to feel like you’ve made tiny progress. Getting together and sharing your experience can be a real catalyst in helping you celebrate the small steps you’ve made.
Get out there and share your story!

From country boy to CEO, how Pete Cooper reshaped the Sydney startup landscape

Pete Cooper is not your average entrepreneur. Starting out as a computer science grad in the 1980’s, his first job was to help build the technology to run the Australian Stock Exchange (technology that ran the ASX for more than two decades). After that, he worked his way up to the highest levels in the banking business world, guiding these mega businesses through the early days of online revolution. Now Pete’s the founder of a number of businesses, the tribal leader of a startup community and a Director at the Advanced Analytics Institute at UTS. To say the least, he’s come a long way.

The Melonie Bayl-Smith Interview

This week Jason is joined by Sydney based architect, Melonie Bayl-Smith, to talk about architecture, understanding clients and picking door knobs – amongst other things. Melonie is an architect & an Adjunct Professor in the School of Architecture at UTS. Melonie has run her own practice for more than 11 years, running Liquid architecture for 9 years before closing that practice to start Bijl Architecture. Melonie has more than a decade’s experience of built practice, design research and industry development at the level of the profession.

Melonie’s one of the most outspoken members of the profession that I’m aware of, going out of her way to help guide young professionals through the trickiest parts of their early careers and to avoid the pitfalls of modern practice.

The Richard Goodwin Interview

This week Jason is joined by Internationally renowned artist and architect, Richard Goodwin. Richard’s porosity and parasitic architecture has been exhibited around the world and there’s a good chance you’ve come across his urban artworks if you’ve walked or driven around the streets of Sydney. Richard and I talk about his one true project, how he approaches creating his art and how the digital age is shaping his practice.

DM #11: The Ennui of Standing

I’ve got 99 problems, but a smart fridge ain’t one. This week we tackle empathy, a core part of understanding one another. We discuss the way that design can be an expression of empathy, understanding through experience and designing new affordances to help solve real problems. Let’s get beyond short term, quarterly business thinking, the kind that creates alientating experiences for people. Rather, put the effort into learning what someones’ underlying pain really is, and create new things to overcome that. It’s not just about mugs and chairs, but it is definitely about helping others carrying difficult loads.

DM #10: In the Midst of A Data Slam

This week on Divergent Minds we’re going to be doing things a little differently. This week we’ll be going behind the scenes at a Data Slam. Now some of you may have heard of things like Hack Days or hackathons, events that bring together people from different backgrounds to create something new in a short space of time. They’re essentially creative events, designed to create new projects that solve common or shared problems. The Data Slam very much follows this model, but with a slight twist. But what really sets this event apart is the focus of the data slam. Bringing people together to tackle the challenge of communicating sustainability via the arts. The Data Slam was the brainchild of Jodi Newcombe, the director of Carbon Arts. The Data slam was supported by the City of Sydney, was housed in the incredible Object Gallery and was facilitated by none other than Usman Haque, creator of the wildly successful Pachube platform (now known as Xively).

DM #9: A Planned Uncertainty

Getting your project out of the building. This week Frank and Jason discuss the launch of their latest artwork, Morhphic Mirror. Created for Vivid by ourselves and Liam Ryan, we talk about the transition that happens when you put your project in the hands of thousands of people. Shipping, launching, ‘finishing’ and the like. We talk about why you would put yourself through something like that, why it’s so much fun and engaging to watch people play with your artwork, how the breadth of response really makes such a difference. We touch on the unknown quantities with launching, of making tweaks once you’ve launched and everything else that happens in that incredible moment of transition.

Go on, get your projects out there and into other peoples hands. What are you waiting for?

How to take control over your destiny. Vince Frost on thinking big in design

The very first episode of Creative Agency! This week Jason is joined by Vince Frost, the founder and director of Frost Design. Amongst other things we discuss idea generation, starting small, surrounding yourself with people who’re smarter and better than you are (at things you’re not interested in knowing!) and working collaboratively at all levels.