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news / journal 18.01.2017 Words:Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman

The Story of Stir, p.2

Welcome to the next instalment in the Story of Stir. The first part covered the formation of the CBRIN and its need for a program encouraging the young and creative to engage with the entrepreneurship scene. With a mission, a set of goals, and the design of a workshop in place, this week will focus on how people were contacted and invited to take part, the workshop and the things that the team learnt from the process.

It was November, 2014, and the team was about to begin the process of developing a program for youth and creatives to engage with entrepreneurship and the local innovation scene. Given the characteristics of these groups, it would be difficult to determine exactly what they needed or achieve anything meaningful without their close collaboration.


Luckily, the team was predominantly made up of people with a background in design, street art and underground music. This provided some insight and inspiration as to what could be sufficiently intriguing to young creatives and encourage them to take part in the process.

This is how the name SHIFT ONE came to be, a play on words alluding to both the idea of generating a change, and the fact that being part of it would involve work:

Shift (n)
“A slight change in position, direction, or tendency”
E.g. ‘a shift in public opinion’

“Each of two or more recurring periods in which different groups of workers do the same jobs in relay”
E.g. ‘Anne was on the night shift’

Once the name was decided, the team drew upon their personal and extended networks to get in touch with a wide and diverse range of leaders from the youth and creative communities to invite them to take part in the workshop, which would be held early on a Saturday in late November. You can read the original invitation email here. The email included a Google map location and an image with the message: “entrance is behind the white van”.

The team developed a simple logo, made some stickers on a home printer and put one on the door of the place where the workshop was to be held.

 

Although it’s faded, the SHIFT ONE sticker can still be seen on the door.

On the day, there was a general sense of nervousness and concern as to whether anyone would show up. However, slowly but surely, people started to arrive. All in all, around 23 people, young, creative and both, came along to take part in the workshop.

The team aimed to create an environment where everyone, no matter their background, age or experience, could perceive their contributions as equally important and receive the same level of respect and attention from everyone else. For that purpose, after a Welcome to Country, the team introduced all participants. “Now that we know who we all are”, said Camilo, “we can leave our egos at the door and focus on the needs of the thousand people we each represent”.

At this point, the workshop began. People were asked to form small groups with two others that they had not met before, and each group was given a small card with one of three colour-coded questions:

“How would you like to see CBR described in the future?

“Which opportunities would help young and creative people?”

“Which networks are required for young and creative people to flourish?”


With these questions in hand, groups began collaborating, discussing, and sharing what they thought would be necessary and important for a program to really attract and benefit the young and creative. Pictures from these exercises have been included below.

The workshop brought forth several interesting learnings. One of the most important was that young creatives are already very entrepreneurial, but they unfortunately do not feel catered for by many of the existing small business support initiatives present in the local scene. More than monetary support, many were looking for empowerment through education and personal development, as well as mentoring and business skills for their projects. Finally, there was a strong sense of emerging “micro-collectives”, each representing a community and specific interests, which could provide the initial feedback and validation for a creative project.

This information was compiled, organised and provided to participants for further discussion in a closed Facebook group. You can see the information in the images below.

Next week, in the third part of the Story of Stir, we’ll talk about how the discussion of the information continued online, and how this information gathered led to the development of the “crowd-voted microgrants” concept that later gave birth to Stir.

The Stir Crew would like give a big shout out to Monica Glasgow for her help with this article. Thank you!

Stir is a platform born from collaboration. If you would like to take part in developing and growing the platform, please contact us at crew@causeastir.com.au

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