This month there’s been plenty that inspires me but I’ll share just two that fit into that head and heart crossover space.
Supporting regional business
#buyfromthebush is a very simple idea, started by Grace Brennan from Warren NSW (I’m sure in a moment of inspiration for her) just a month or so ago. Grace wanted to help bring regional Australia and the cities together in a way that would help everyone. She set up a hashtag and and a few social media pages and encouraged those in the city to #buyfromthebush, especially in the lead up to Christmas.
The impact has been incredible. Over 100,000 followers are now united on this platform which is showcasing incredible products from jewellers, artists, milliners, dressmakers, bespoke retail businesses, providores and chefs from all over Australia to buyers mostly in the cities. It’s helping consumers solve the problem of finding something unique and special to gift, while knowing they are helping out in a very tangible way.
There are some similar initiatives. One Day Closer to Rain (Rural Cottage Crafts) gained 157,000 members on Facebook in just over a month, focusing on handmade products.
The hardworking volunteers behind these ventures have emerged to create a marketplace with huge numbers, and with such impact in a short time. Simply inspirational.
Making the best of the west
Since arriving in our new location in Parramatta I get inspired every day by the business community around me, no more than when I attended #catwest a few weeks ago. This conference, hosted by Western Sydney University, was about confronting what's possible when a new city is shaped collaboratively. Using digital hacks, ideation, provocative speakers and an app to keep the stream of consciousness and conversation going when not gathered, the event ensured I was inspired by what I heard and saw.
Most notable was a presentation by the "two cats", Michelle Catanzaro and Katrina Sandbach, both lecturers at WSU who presented on The Invisible City. The ‘cats’ talked about a new way of thinking about a city map – not roads and landmarks, but a heatmap of how people feel in different locations, including their memories, emotions and aspirations. It’s a totally different way to think about a city. I was encouraged by this research and what it means for how we plan and manage the emotional and mental health of populations. It's world class work - taking place right here on our doorstep. Youbetcha that’s inspiring!