If you know me, you know I am passionate about cities. Great innovation happens at city level, when people engage with their local communities, and build the kinds of places where opportunities and new ideas can emerge. In Sydney, we’ve been fortunate over the past 12 years to benefit from the vision, integrity and grit of Lord Mayor Clover Moore.
Moore’s influence has been transformative. She has invested in assets for the city: beautiful public spaces and streets, cultural venues, childcare centres, pools and parks. Under her leadership, the city has implemented a cultural policy, started the Eora Journey to make our Indigenous history more visible, fought for cycleways and set ambitious sustainability goals. She's implemented rigorous design standards and fought against bad development.
I am honoured to join Clover Moore's team, as a candidate for councillor on the City of Sydney council.
I believe our team has the diverse range of skills required for the work that still remains to deliver on Sydney’s great potential - you can read more about the team here.
I am delighted to join an incredible group of independent thinkers to support Clover Moore: a visionary leader who has delivered so much for this city.
Kerryn Phelps: doctor, health and civil rights advocate and former president of the Australian Medical Association
Philip Thalis: award-winning architect, urban design leader and advocate for design excellence in the public domain
Jess Scully: curator and creative powerhouse, leading major Sydney events including Vivid Ideas and TEDxSydney
Robert Kok: practicing lawyer and advocate for Sydney’s Asian communities, having established strong ties with China
Jess Miller: advocate for liveable cities and works in community engagement, placemaking and communication strategy
Catherine Lezer: business leader and advocate for apartment residents across the state, especially on sustainability and green strata reform.
I'm thrilled to be delivering a keynote - alongside design icon Jenny Kee - in the Blue Mountains this June, at MTNS MADE Creative Industries Symposium. The event runs June 24–25 and tickets are available now.
What are the artistic, creative, technological & research possibilities presented by the #quantifiedself ? What are the social & ethical implications? Who owns your data? What does your biometric data allow you to do for your own health, wellbeing & life? What are the possibilities for medicine, epidemiology, and policy?
There's a LOT of questions here: which is why I'm excited to be hosting a discussion on the topic, Tested On Humans, at Melbourne Knowledge Week. It's presented by Monash University, Faculty of Information Technology, and features a day of fascinating product tests culminating in a discussion with:
Rachel Kalmar: a California-based data consultant, formerly data scientist at Misfit wearables and famous for wearing large numbers of sensors.
Jon McCormack: Director of sensiLab and Professor at Monash University’s Faculty of Information Technology.
Suneel Jethani: PhD candidate and lecturer at the School of Culture and Communication, University of Melbourne.
The event is on Wednesday May 4, and is free on registration, here.
I had the pleasure of hosting a conversation with super-designer Liane Rossler as part of In Conversation: Creative Women at North Sydney Community Centre, on Saturday March 5.
I spoke at the Apple Store, Sydney on Tuesday March 8, 7pm, at an event called So You Want To Be A Creative Entrepreneur. Thanks to Perla Escalon and Jo Chan for the photos.
The program included 183 events over the 23 days of Vivid Sydney, spanning sectors from technology and start-up smarts, to film and storytelling, design, architecture, from STEM skills to visual arts and communication.
The Game Changers talks series engaged audiences with leaders people shaping the creative landscape, and crafting unforgettable stories and characters: Spike Jonze, House of Cards creator Beau Willimon, photographer and stylist Margaret Zhang, and Jenji Kohan, creator of Orange Is The New Black and Weeds.
Start-up conference The Sunrise returned, while new events included un-conference Make Nice, and global digital placemaking think-tank, Media Architecture Biennale. There program included Robowars, Etsy Sydney's maker markets, Clipped, a new music video festival, zine fair and a creative career expo. You can explore our full program of creative conferences, talks, workshops and more at www.vividsydney.com/ideas
In 2015, Vivid Ideas brought together the world's leaders in creative industries over 18 huge days of events: over 152 events in 53 venues, presented by 102 event owners, and included a slate of Game Changer talks events, co-produced creative conferences and public events, and third party events hosted in the Vivid Ideas Exchange and in venues around Sydney.
Our game-changers talks series featuring Matthew Weiner (Mad Men), Tyler Brûlé (Monocle), and designer Stefan Sagmeister, completely sold out. They're three people who have changed the game in each of their industries, and it was extraordinary to be able to share their perspectives, insights and experiences with our audience.
I was excited to launch the Future of Work Sydney, a one-day conference exploring how we can learn across sectors to adapt the culture, values and leadership strategies of business to thrive in the knowledge economy. You can read more on the event here, or explore my Storify recap.
A new two-day gaming event, GameON, brought together innovators in interactive gaming and online video, for an engaging take-over of Australian Technology Park.
Retail, streetwear & street art came together at Streets Ahead, featuring jeffstaple & 123Klan.
The Silicon Valley Myth Explained, a tech conference from venture capital firm Blackbird Ventures, explored building start-up ecosystem in the Southern Hemisphere...
Vivid Ideas brings together the conversations, conventions and big announcements for the creative sector in one place and time: it is growing at an exponential rate, and has the potential to soon be the world’s most significant creative industries festival.
A neurosurgeon, hairdresser, toilet supplier, UFC fighter & human rights lawyer walk into a bar.... It's our excellent, surprising @tedxsydney 2015 line-up...http://tedxsydney.com/site/speakers.cfm
It's all going down at the Sydney Opera House on Thursday May 21, and for the first time, TEDxYouth@Sydney will also be rocking the House, sharing unique content (and a stream of key talks from the main stage) with an audience of over 1000 people, aged 16 - 26.
I was thrilled to be invited to curate the first Junket un-conference for Junkee Media: a three day event in Canberra, which brought together 200 innovators, leaders and thinkers from across Australia, inviting them to shape the agenda for our country.
For me, Junket is the answer to the question - what if the conversation could be different?
What could be possible if you could see one big problem from multiple perspectives? What if you had the people with the skills and insights and energy and access all in the same place?
We wanted a place that immediately conveys the fact that we have national ambitions, and a perspective that goes beyond the local. It's the seat of power and a place where we preserve our stories. This is best place for us to rewrite our national vision and speak truth to that power.
Who are the Junket participants?
They’re fighting deforestation for palm oil and protecting the Murray Basin. They’re re-designing job-sharing and the way we work, or trying to bring fairness to the world of internships. They’re building new lines of dialogue and collaboration between Australia and China. They’re disrupting investment and superannuation. They’re communicators who’ve won Cannes Gold Lions, engineers designing smart wheelchairs, building robots or rethinking how we generate energy. They’re researchers working on adolescent mental health and cyberbullying, they’re Indigenous health workers, human rights lawyers, astrophysicists and surgeons, or urbanists reshaping the places we inhabit. Between them, they’ve founded a social impact toilet paper company, a sex-toy company, a network supporting women in music — and more apps than you can fit on your phone.
These people are engaged, informed, and motivated. You’ll know some of them from their jobs as actors, journalists, commentators, advocates or designers; you’ll know them from radio or from #QandA; you’ve read their books or attended their events.
Read more at http://junkee.com/shaping-australias-future-is-not-a-spectator-sport-why-were-doing-junket-and-how-we-chose-the-delegates3/67147#E8GfcES5AIjGf82R.99
I have taken on the role as instigator of Kids Hack Day Sydney, a hands-on day-long workshop giving kids the skills they need to make technology, not just consume it.
I met Carl Bärstad, the founder of Kids Hack Day, at TEDActive this year. Carl has developed a network of people interested in education, technology and innovation in cities all over the world, who are all volunteering to host Kids Hack Days in their cities. Like me, most of the event hosts are TEDx organisers, and cities on board include Bogota, Beijing, Kampala and San Francisco.
The goal is to present a free, one-day event for kids aged between 10-12, giving them an hands-on experience immersed in emerging technologies. Thinkspace at the Powerhouse Museum have come on board as our venue partner for the Sydney event, scheduled for December 7. Thinkspace is a great partner for us as we want to introduce kids to a venue they can return to and continue their learning journey, and we plan to use their video conferencing facilities to connect with other kids around the world who have also experienced a KHD workshop - allowing Sydney kids to meet and learn from their peers and feel part of a bigger movement.
As this is a not-for-profit, volunteer venture, and we're hoping to make the event free for participants, I am seeking small amounts of sponsorship and support to cover material costs, or help accessing Makey Makeys, Arduinos and Raspberry Pis.
I also need help filming and photographing the event, and spreading the word about the initiative. Please do get in touch if you think you can lend a hand!
Carl's KHD Stockholm team have released this great video summary of the program and their event (on Aug 31), which will give you an idea of the nature of the event:
Building Blocks is an urban experiment and a mobile public art sculpture, animating streetscapes around Circular Quay, the gateway to Sydney, and a vital part of the CBD. While Circular Quay is home to thousands of workers, and plays host to many visitors and tourists every day, street life is less than active - there are few places for people to linger, to connect, to enjoy the city and claim the streets as their own.
Building Blocks was designed to soften the edges of a part of Sydney that has the potential to be a warmer, more inclusive, more exciting place.
Building Blocks appeared daily from April 7 to 11, 2014. The sculpture was reconfigured in a new location in the precinct each day between 7am – 2pm, inviting workers, residents and visitors to stop, take a seat, play a game and start a conversation.
I collaborated with a fantastic creative team to deliver it: street artists, Jumbo and Bennett, colour masters Lymesmith, and architecture firm Fearns Studio. It's the first in a series of public art projects I plan to deliver around Circular Quay over the course of 2014, as part of a series of commissions by AMP Capital, building a conversation about how we imagine and use public space in this city.
Building Blocks offers a suggestion of what Circular Quay street life could feel like given a renewed focus on a generous, active, social public realm. It will become a place where people want to linger on the streets, meet friends and catch the sun, enjoy music, play games, eat lunch or work outdoors.