Looking from the outside in – how to innovate in a crisis

Written on June 13, 2012 at 11:44 pm, by Carlos

By: Tania de Jong

2012 continues to be precarious. The global economy swings between signs of recovery and predictions of imminent collapse. Businesses appear paralysed. Though many are cash-rich, they’re risk-averse, strategically incremental and lacking in fresh ideas and innovation.

The challenge of the 21st century is to transform our organisations to adapt flexibly and rapidly to the ever changing and volatile environments we face.

We will have to reduce cost structures while increasing productivity, adopt new ways of working and invent business models that challenge old ways of thinking.

We have to maintain our commitment to innovation and growth even as we make the transition away from core businesses that have served us so well in the past.

The world needs leadership, invention and courage now more than ever. We need audacity not austerity.

It is a high stakes race to position ourselves to respond effectively to the dynamic challenges emerging around us.

Buckling down internally and struggling to approach innovation isn’t going to cut it; we will neglect to innovate or impact the outside world we operate in. Placing increasing expectations on government hasn’t worked either.

Rather than focus on our own organisations and individual sectors, its time to look from the outside in.

Cross-fertilisation of ideas is the name of the game for 2012 and in its third successful year, Creative Innovation 2012 will address big, wicked, problems that improve the economy and society as a whole.

Together we will learn, share and discover bold ideas and great business opportunities that spark a revolution for courage and change. We will come together; business, academia, government and not-for-profit and there’ll be international minds present too.

Ci2012 is the place to learn from world changing innovators, futurists, inspired thinkers and curious souls gathered together in an interactive community. From anthropology to technology, from economics to art and from entrepreneurship to science, Ci2012 brings together leading national and international minds to solve society’s wicked problems and provide its findings to the Australian government for review and comment.

To learn more about speakers, bookings and the program visit www.ci2012.com.au

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Ci2011 – The Speakers

Written on December 5, 2011 at 10:55 am, by Carlos

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Photography by: Casamento Photography

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Watch Dr Peter Shergold’s Ci2010 presentation!

Written on April 21, 2011 at 11:00 am, by Carlos

Dr Peter Shergold AC was a CEO in the Australian Public Service for two decades. For five years from February 2003, Dr Shergold was Australia ’s most senior public administrator, serving as Secretary of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Dr Shergold is now the Macquarie Group Foundation Professor at the Centre for Social Impact.

His presentation at CI2010 – “Empowering communities to transform democracy” – is an unquestionably informed and frighteningly real insight into the future of participatory democracy if something does not change.

The good news, however, is that there are extraordinary opportunities for renewal and invigoration if we are willing to be creative & innovative. Dr Shergold addresses five ‘Big Ideas’ that can change the face of democracy:

  1. The Resilience Theory. Originally applied to ecosystems, the resilience theory recognises that nature & humans co-evolve. That the eco-system is dynamic, in constant flux, and very adaptive… but therefore volatile and innately unstable. What happens if we apply this theory to politics?
  2. The Hollow State. How outsourcing to community organisations should be a vehicle to create social & public innovation. What is holding this back?
  3. Co-production. Empowering ‘clients’ who have become reliant on government support to be involved in the process of designing their own policies & programs.
  4. Edgecentric / Network Governance. To properly engage private & third sectors, to properly empower people & communities, we need new forms of government.  Leadership that understands its key role is to collaborate – it is not a heirachy, but a network of partners.
  5. Democratic Dialogue. Citizen’s assemblies, people’s forums, citizen’s services, etc. These devices DO HELP inform & develop policy.

If we pull these ideas together, we can produce a new democratic fabric. There is an exciting opportunity for new-style governments based on interactive engagement, and dependant on ongoing involvement & engagement of citizens. IT IS POSSIBLE.

Watch this short 13min presentation by Dr Shergold as he investigates these ideas in further depth.


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Watch Austin Williams’ Ci2010 presentation!

Written on April 14, 2011 at 11:45 am, by Carlos

In this presentation addressing the idea of the ‘big society’, Austin Williams questions why the word ‘community’ is now on the national agenda, what communities are and aren’t, and what politicians are trying to capture, bottle and sell back to us.

200 years or so ago we had enlightenment politics, which framed the way we viewed the world for over 100 years. We spoke of battles for reason, science and autonomy.

Then, we had the idealogical battles between left & right wing societies.

As recently as the last 30 years or so politics went on to address human rights – fighting rasicm, poverty, equality freedom, and so on.

Now, we are in a situation where the previous administration was talking about litter.

In this though-provoking presentation, Williams explores further the contradictory term “constructing communities”, what the key elements to a genuine community are, and why putting local issues on the national agenda can be detrimental to the true intention of community spirit.


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Watch Claire Pennicard’s Ci2010 presentation!

Written on March 31, 2011 at 11:56 am, by Carlos

Claire Pennicard is a pig farmer. You might think that she ended up in this career because it was a family business, or because of location, or any number of other reasons.

But the truth is, Claire is a pig farmer because she chose to be a pig farmer.

A series of careful calculations and meticulous research led her to this career, and to wide acclaim and recognition for her outstanding innovation and entrepreneurship.

This fascinating presentation follows Claire’s journey from her first beautiful sprawling cattle farm in the 1980s to the two 250m long pig farms she owns today. Two 250m long pig farms that produce $9million worth of pork per year.

By thinking outside the square Claire has reached the best kind of success – one that is financially sustainable, environmentally friendly and animal-welfare responsible.

Watch this video to hear how Claire ethically and innovatively achieved her goals.


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Watch Mike Smith’s Ci2010 Presentation!

Written on February 22, 2011 at 11:58 am, by Carlos

Mike Smith is well known in Australia as CEO of ANZ Bank. Before arriving in Australia, Mike was running the most profitable division of HSBC bank in Hong Kong – you could not ask for anyone more equipped to speak about big business!

This presentation takes a look at big companies: why they fail, how they can succeed, and the importance of innovation to ensure the longevity of any sized company.

The journey from a good company to a great company can be a long process, but the journey from a good company to a mediocre one can happen very quickly. From the Top 50 companies in Australia in 1980, only 8 survive today.

Why does this happen? As Mike outlines in this presentation, the world changes – and it changes extremely quickly. It can be very difficult to bring innovation into the thinking of large companies… But in order to succeed, we must not consider how to play the game better, but how to change the game itself.

In a time of rapidly evolving economies, we all need to innovate – there has never been a time we needed to do this more to survive & thrive in a world of constant change.

This presentation is a fascinating inside-view on how our top leaders can and must create capabilities to respond to tomorrow’s environment.­­


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