New perspectives on crowdsourcing at Creative Sydney


On Saturday I spoke at Creative Sydney’s Crowds + Collaboration event. I had just been invited to on Thursday to fill in for a speaker who couldn’t make it, but it was pretty easy to do given last week we launched our Crowdsourcing Landscape and I gave two keynotes largely about crowdsourcing (to Cisco and at a regional futures conference in WA). As such I addressed the topic The Future is Crowdsourcing, largely supported by the Crowdsourcing Landscape, as you can see at the bottom of this post.

The other speakers were excellent. In particular the story of Detours and Destinations was extremely inspiring. Highly disadvanted youth were given the opportunity to spend time at the Sydney Opera House creating their own performance. One of their many creations is below.

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The Creative Sydney 10×10 Project – uncovering the best of Sydney talent


10x10.jpgCreative Sydney is one of the best things going on in Sydney – this annual festival really does bring out and support the best of what’s happening here. Particularly as the creative and technology spaces merge, I am very excited about what I see happening in Sydney, far more than at any other time in the 14 years I’ve been back here.

Creative Sydney has just launched its 10×10 Project. The website says:

Personal recommendation speaks volumes: so who do Sydney’s creative leaders turn to for inspiration?

10 creative leaders each nominate 10 creative businesses or practitioners, introducing us to the local creatives who inspire them.

I am honored to be one of the 10 creative catalysts selected. Our task was to nominate who we think is doing fantastic work in Sydney. It’s a very special group – you can see their profiles on the front page of the 10×10 Project website. There is also a brief review of the 10 creative leaders by Campaign Brief.

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Keynote at Critical Horizons regional futures conference: the potential of a connected world


Today I spoke at the Critical Horizons Regional Futures conference held in Bunbury, Western Australia,which “examines emerging global trends and how they might affect regional communities in the South West Region of Western Australia”. It is fantastic that a non-urban region runs a regular event to examine its future. It is clear that the attendees from across business and government had a keen appetite to explore the future and what they need to do to create a prosperous region in years to come.

The regional economy is still largely driven by mining and to a lesser extent agriculture (including the delightful Margaret River wines). It is experiencing many issues common to regional areas, including the loss of younger people to cities. However it has a particular context in its location. Australia is one of the most urbanized countries in the world, and Perth is the most isolated city in the world. Bunbury is over 2 hours drive away from Perth. It took me 10 hours door-to-door to get here from Sydney – by far the longest it has taken me to get to a speaking gig in Australia.

The region’s geographic isolation means the topic of my keynote here, Power to the People: Thriving in a Hyperconnected Society, is immensely relevant. I discussed the overwhelming trend of how a connected world is shifting power from institutions to individuals. However I also covered the implications for regions of the emerging global talent economy. Crowdsourcing tools on one level provide access to extraordinary talent that can be harnessed in ways limited only by imagination. Yet a connected world also provides opportunities to provide services, both in existing domains, and especially in managing projects.

To the extent that they are useful (usual disclaimer: my slides are created to accompany my speeches, not to be viewed on their own) here are my slides for my keynote (minus the Flash animations).

One more reason why Australia is a global hub for crowdsourcing: Ideas While You Sleep



I was recently introduced to Yvonne Adele of IdeasCulture through a Twitter introduction from Tim Longhurst – a great connection to make!

Not long ago I wrote how Australia is becoming a global hub for crowdsourcing platforms:, 99designs, DesignCrowd. Yvonne’s service Ideas While You Sleep adds to the burgeoning collection of crowdsourcing services based in Australia. Yvonne described to me how the service works.

The concept is that challenges submitted by 4pm will receive an pack of 100 ideas with an action plan by 10am the next morning, currently at an introductory price of A$495.

Ideas While You Sleep draws on 440 brainstormers, who are ranked in experience from apprentices to premium. As they successfully contribute to projects, they are promoted to a higher roles.

Teams are always designed with diversity in mind, so they include the full range of levels of experience as well as background. Team members are rotated as new projects come up.

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SME Tech Forum Series: Getting Results from Crowdsourcing on 31 May


After the success of its SME Technology Summit last December, The Insight Exchange is launching an ongoing series of events in the space, the SME Technology Forum Series.


The series kicks off with a very exciting evening event in Sydney on 31 May on Getting Results from Crowdsourcing. Full details are on the event page.

The keynote panel discussion features the CEOs of some of the great companies that are making Australia a global hub for crowdsourcing:

Matt Barrie of

Alec Lynch of DesignCrowd

Yvonne Adele of Ideas While You Sleep

as well as long-time lead user of crowdsourcing tools

Phil Sim, CEO of MediaConnect.

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Launch of Left Coast Festival and Rose Vickers’ Flohawk show


It’s great to see Sydney’s continued rise as a creative hub, with the wealth of talent on hand compounded by the immense energy going into great events and festivals such as Creative Sydney.

This Wednesday 6-8pm Sedition Gallery is launching the 50 day Left Coast Festival, including visual works, installations, video, hybrid music / dance performances and more with an event themed Red, with unconfirmed ‘whispers’ that Laurie Anderson might attend while she’s in Sydney.

The event is also a launch for the talented Rose Vickers’ show Flohawk, about transience, mortality, the brevity of life’s stages – an image from the show below.


Maybe see you there!

Australian Open Innovation Competition: how about complete corporate transparency?


My good friends and network experts Laurie Lock Lee and Cai Kjaer are the founders of Optimice, which has recently acquired Australian rights to the Enterprise 2.0 ideas management software Spigit. The platform is used to power, among other initiatives, the Cisco i-Prize, which gives prizes of up to $250,000 to external teams for generating ideas for Cisco’s next billion-dollar business, and Pfizer’s internal innnovation initiatives.

Features of the platform include reputation scores for contributors, ideas trading markets to buy and sell ideas, and participation-based currency with redemptions, all of which can create a real marketplace for ideas inside organisations.

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7:30 Report: the social impact of the population boom and Australia’s future


Last week the ABC’s 7:30 Report spent the entire week looking at the drivers of Australia’s long-term future. The fourth program, on The social impact of the population boom, was an excellent examination of the diverse issues and perspectives on the implications of rapid population growth, including interviews with a diverse range of politicians, demographers, analysts, and myself as the lone futurist.

It’s well worth seeing the video of the full program along with the transcript on the ABC’s website. A video of the program’s introduction and excerpts from my comments are below.

The program examined Australia’s demographic and social future, however the issues raised are absolutely relevant in all developed countries, where low immigration inevitably means a rapidly aging population, with all of the associated challenges.

Last December I wrote about the driving trends and uncertainties in Australia’s population growth, pointing to the recent dramatic increase in the 2050 forecast for Australia’s population from 28 million to 35 million. This revised forecast had a powerful impact, resulting in heated discussion about the social, ecological, and economic implications of what would be the fastest population growth of any developed country in the world.

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