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news / journal 21.06.2017 Words:Camilo Potocnjak-Oxman

StirXP

“You know when you were growing up, there was that slightly older person you admired? They handed you an album by an artist you didn’t know, telling you they think you’d like it.
And it completely changed your life…”
[SHIFT ONE Crew Member, November 2014]

Over the past three years, Stir has grown into a platform focused on helping emerging creatives to develop their entrepreneurial mindset. By using our project creation process, we aim to help people think about their projects from an entrepreneurial perspective. Our purpose has been to increase their understanding and use of certain concepts that could, over time, open many more doors and opportunities for their projects to grow, such as entrepreneurship competitions, crowdfunding, business grants, and other programs offering support.

Time and again we’ve heard people say “we came for the grant, but stayed for the learning”, and that has provided us with a tremendous sense of achievement. However, we have often felt that something is missing from our platform.

In the entrepreneurship world, a commonly used term is that of “mentor” – someone who has already travelled a similar path, that is open to sharing their experience, expertise, contacts and advice. They are the Yodas, the Professor McGonagals and the Mr. Miyagis of the world. They help those who are starting their journey to learn, to improve, to move faster, and to avoid mistakes that have already been made by someone else. This role is unfortunately not as common in the creative industries.

This year, as Season Three draws to a close, we thought we’d do something different for our Awards Night. Rather than a ceremony and a party, we thought we should focus the event on providing useful learning experiences. In particular, we thought it would be the perfect opportunity to invite past participants of Stir to share their experience. To share how their projects have progressed, evolved, changed or ended, what they’ve learnt from it all, and any advice they might have for someone getting started. By doing this, we hope to encourage their transition into the role of mentor – an “older sibling”, who, like the person in this post’s opening quote, shares their experience with the next generation and changes their lives for the better.

This is how the idea of the StirXP came to be: A day-long event for the Stir community to share our experience, learn from each other, and celebrate what we’ve achieved over the past three years. To wrap it all up, we’ll be announcing this year’s grant recipients!

It has been developed thanks to the contribution and effort of a range of Stir participants and supporters, who have helped us find a space, are sharing their projects in a showcase, teaching skills through workshops, sharing their experience on panels and also providing entertainment and tasty beverages during the day.

This version of the StirXP will be a pilot, to help us gauge whether there is interest in doing other, bigger events supporting creative entrepreneurship in CBR. So if you‘re interested, come along to one of the talks, check out the showcase and stay around for a chat. It will be intimate and fun, a great chance to meet some of the Stir community and the Crew behind the platform, and together let’s contribute to a culture of sharing knowledge, skills and experience among the creative community!


The Stir XP will take place on Saturday, July 1st, at 11 East Row in Civic, Canberra. Doors open at 10am.

Tickets are free and available at: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/stirxp-celebrating-canberras-creative-entrepreneurs-tickets-35254329649

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