April 2022 Highlights

Ben Pecotich

April blurred by for me with the end of daylight savings in Australia, school holidays, and three short weeks. It was also Earth Month, Earth Day, World Creativity & Innovation Day, World Book Day… and also Jazz Appreciation Month. A lot going on. Here are some of my April 2022 highlights.

Earth Month

While April is Earth Month, of course every month is and we’ve got plenty to do. We’re proud to be part of the B Corp Climate Collective and I really recommend checking out their The Climate Justice Playbook for Business: How to Centre Climate Action in Climate Justice for practical help on your journey… if you’re climate curious and just getting started – or already taking bold action, there’s so much value here.

Social Enterprise

It’s a time of huge and exciting opportunities for social enterprise in Australia. The Social Enterprise World Forum (SEWF) will be hosted in Brisbane in September, the Social Enterprise National Strategy (SENS) is coming together nicely, and the communities convened by each of the state/territory social enterprise bodies are humming and collaborating nationally.

It was great to be able to participate and contribute to the important work of creating the vision and mission for the social enterprise sector in Australia. A huge congrats to Jess Moore for her leadership in bringing together the diverse perspectives in our social enterprise sector to engage in a genuine collaboration to co-design this… building on the great work from the Yunus Centre Griffith University. I’m looking forward to the next steps.

Events

April was full of events… online, in-person, and hybrid.

GLEAM Series by Hayball

I was stoked to be part of this exciting event speaking in the new Sydney Opera House Centre for Creativity space alongside Fiona Winning (Sydney Opera House), Jonas Nordquist (Karolinska University Hospital in Sweden), and Fiona Young and Richard Leonard from Hayball. A livestreamed hybrid event with an in-person audience in the Opera House and the Hayball Melbourne Studio.

The theme we explored was “What do you do with a bold idea? Enabling innovation”. I focused on three questions with three takeaways.

What are bold ideas, and what ideas matter?
Bold ideas that matter do great things for people, our planet, and shared prosperity.

What do I do with my bold idea?
Take a human-centred design approach to build empathy, prototype like you’re right – test like you’re wrong, and keep learning.

How do I make it happen?
Practice happiness habits, build momentum, and have fun!

Thanks to Fiona Young for including me in the line up!

Humming Series 04: How to Solve Problems That Matter

A lunch and learn session in collaboration with my friends at Sponge… I talked about designing sustainable business models and solutions with purpose and embedded impact. Ideas that deliver great outcomes for people and our planet while being financially successful and how to look after your wellbeing while doing it.

Social Enterprise Series: From Ideation for Impact by ACU Co-Lab & StartSomeGood

I enjoyed being part of the teaching team again on this 10-week program. I delivered the Ideation for Impact class in week 3. It’s not too late to get involved. The next session is on 11 May.

Regenerating Australia Screening & Workshop by The Grove

This was a great way to wrap up Earth Month… catching up with a bunch of old friends, reconnecting with a few people I haven’t seen for ages, and of course meeting some new people.

The Regenerating Australia film is a great piece of vision setting. A vision we can be optimistic about. I recommend checking out Regenerators to find out more and get involved.

Regenerating Australia Screening

SECNA AGM

The month kicked off with our SECNA AGM. A full agenda and social event to refine our constitution, elect two new directors/board members, and reconnect as a community of more than 200 members.

It’s been an intense period and we’ve achieved a lot in a challenging context… and it’s also a time of huge and exciting opportunities for social enterprise in Australia. SECNA is playing an important role in all of this as the member-led peak body representing social enterprise in NSW and ACT.

We welcomed Andrew Marselos and David Burns to the board joining Cindy Mitchell and Christina Chun (co-chairs), Greg Hodgkinson, Jay Boolkin, Jess Moore, Marcella Lazarus, Selena Choo (non-director secretary), and me (treasurer).

We also farewelled two of our founding board members, Tom Dawkins and Lee Cooper. It’s been great working with both of them since late 2019 on forming SECNA and making our early progress. They’re both deeply embedded in the social enterprise ecosystem and we’ll continue to collaborate on all sorts of fun.

Cindy and I are staying on for the final year of our max term as the last two founding board members.

SydDT #67: Community Drinks & SydDT #68: Thoughtworks YConf: Accessibility Through Technology

A couple of in-person SydDT events in April. Always a fun night and I love the stories of people coming for the first time and feeling welcomed into the Sydney design community.

SydDT #69: Community Drinks is coming up on 12 May before we return to our normal format for SydDT #70 on 9 June, which is also our 7th Birthday.

Fishburners Social Impact Pitch Night

It was great to see the pitches from seven founders and hearing more about how they’re using their startup to help create a positive social and environmental impact. I was part of the judging panel with Anne-Marie Elias, Irma del Mundo, Jacqui Munro, and Andrew Bragg.

Congrats to Tom Dawkins from LendForGood who won the judges award… and Alex Slade and Rommel Macaraeg from Axon Energy who won the audience award.

Fishburners Social Impact Pitch Night

Solve Problems That Matter

It’s been exciting seeing my book out in the wild and being used by people over the past few months. So far the book has reached around 150 people in around 10 countries. Thanks to everyone who has bought a copy – or more!.

I ran a promo in March to win a 45-minute coaching sessions. I’m looking forward to learning more about what these people are up to: Stefanie Wilson & Indi Tansey, Mel Braun & Joanna Rich, Connor Forsyth, Nandeeta Maharaj, Ruth Knight, and Lauren Black (who has passed her session on to Arianna Watson).

The book is supported by free resources, including downloadable worksheets. The current set of worksheets and templates includes the Dynamic4 People/Problem Canvas, Customer Research Planner Template, Conversation Guide Template, and the Assumption Log (RAID). It’s relatively high on my to do list for May to add more video content, articles, books, and events. Please let me know if there’s a worksheet or template you’re waiting on.

Want to grab a copy? If you’re in Australia, the best deal is direct, which includes free shipping of print copies using Sendle’s compostable packaging and carbon neutral deliveries. Outside Australia, it’s best to buy from one of these international online retailers for cheaper delivery that’s faster and has less carbon impact.

Books

Ash Maurya has just released the third edition of his awesome book Running Lean: Iterate from Plan A to a Plan That Works. Ash is the creator of the Lean Canvas (one of my favourite tools) and I’m a big fan of his work. If you don’t already have Running Lean (or even if you do), grab the third edition… the “completely revised and updated 10th anniversary edition”.

Running Lean by Ash Maurya

Music

As many of you know, music is core to who I am and my happy place. I post one or two album micro-reviews each week under #MusicMeanderings. My most listened to album in April was…

The xx - I See You

I See You by The xx (2017). Soulfully moody but with a driving energy. The production is pretty pared back but every sound has an intention, even if that intention is to create space so a lyric lands. I love the understated harmonies and warm basslines. All of the pieces come together so you can really feel the emotion and the hurt. Beyond melancholy. So many beautifully powerful lyrics which have pulled me in after excessive listens. I find the rhythm, phrasing, and harmonies on Dangerous captivating, “They say we’re in danger, But I disagree, If proven wrong, shame on me… Should it all fall down, You’ll have been my favourite mistake, They say, You are dangerous, but I don’t care, I’m gon’ to pretend that I’m not scared”. I was pretty late to this one and actually found them through Jamie xx’s solo album In Colour – which is also definitely worth a listen.

Photos

I have an ongoing photo journal project under #PhotoMeanderings. A few from April…