Think Act Change: Transforming Communities

Can small local changes transform our world for the better? Is it possible to build better, more liveable, more sustainable communities right here in our cities?

In a world where communities have become increasingly disconnected, we'll be exploring some wonderful initiatives aimed at transforming local communities, by connecting neighbours, embracing our environment and looking at more sustainable ways of living.

We've got ourselves some inspiring and engaging speakers who'll be sharing their stories and ideas on the night. Get ready for some interaction - you'll have plenty of opportunity to get talking with some audience and panel discussion coming your way!

If you're passionate about finding better ways of living more connected, more sustainable lives....this is an evening not to be missed!

MICHAEL MOBBS - Sustainable House, Chippendale

Michael developed a plan for Sydney City Council called the 'Sustainable Communities Plan'  It's a free guide to making a city suburb more sustainable via community-led projects. The Plan is set in Chippendale, but is being used to guide innovation in suburbs around the world.

The plan deals with food, transport, water, sewage, energy and 'the urban heat island'. It offers a range of simple, low cost actions that residents and businesses can take. It’s part common sense design, part council policy guide but firstly a study of how one suburb can impact our planet.

Michael was originally a lawyer, but now also a sustainability coach and author. He's well known for his 'Sustainable House' in Chippendale

DANIEL KOGOY - Sunday Streets / Greens Councillor


Daniel is a Greens Councillor on Leichhardt Council. Daniel is pushing to get 'Sunday Streets' going in New South Wales. 

It's also known in the US as 'Open Streets'. This is a day where a stretch of road is closed to cars but open to people. You can cycle, walk, skateboard, dance, bring your kids out, you name it. The idea is to show people that our streets can be valuable public spaces rather than just corridors for moving machines around. 

So far there's been 80 Open Streets in the US. The last one in Los Angeles attracted 150,000 people. There's also been Open Streets in Mumbai, Jakarta, Capetown and nearly every continent on the planet. According to Daniel the only continents left are Antarctica and Australia. 

'Sunday Streets' first started in South America - where it's known as 'Ciclovia'. In Bogota Ciclovias are held every Sunday on 100km of its streets. Two million people (or 30% of its population) get involved each year. 

Daniel is an environmental professional by trade who works on energy efficiency and climate change projects.


PHIL STUBBS - Better Block


Phil is co-ordinating Sydney's first 'Better Block'.

Better Block is a demonstration event where the community make the street more 'liveable' for a day. It includes adding trees, plants, tables, chairs, art, music, bike & pedestrian infrastructure, and slowing traffic. An important part of the event is involving the community in having a say in what they want to see on the street to begin with, and then providing feedback on the day itself. The project encourages people to re-imagine their street and builds momentum for permanent change.

The very first Better Block ran in Dallas 2 years ago. It quickly spread. There's now been more than 40 Better Blocks in the US. The Better Block Founders recently received a 'Champions of Change' award from the US government for their work.

The event here in Sydney is on 27 October 2013 on Clovelly Road in Clovelly - in the block between Arden and Beach Streets. You can see more about the event itself at  And more on the thinking behind it here.


Phil co-founded 'GreenUps' (Sydney Green Drinks), works as a trainer at Media School Sydney, and is a blogger & podcaster at The Environment Show. He also started the guerrilla veggie garden in Clovelly Gully (behind the beach.)

 

SALLY ARMSTRONG - Sydney Water

Sally Armstrong is a sustainability professional with a passion for improving community outcomes. She has over 15 years corporate, local and state government experience in sustainability spanning liveability, urban water management, water efficiency, conservation, climate change, resource minimisation and waste management.

Sally is currently the Manager of People and Places, in the Liveable City Solutions division at Sydney Water. In this role she is focused on defining and implementing Sydney Water’s corporate approach to liveability. This Approach describes how Sydney Water will continue to support and enhance the quality of life for its customers and communities.

Sally thinks the key to urban liveability is to unlock the multiple benefits that can be achieved through systems thinking and collaboration. In Sally’s words, creating better community outcomes in an urban context is about truly connecting with communities to understand their needs and aspirations for the places they live and work. This way you can design spaces, facilities and infrastructure that will be truly valued and increase social and environmental well-being.

Sally has been at Sydney Water for the past 7 years and has held a number of roles. Before that she was the NSW Environmental Manager for Coca-Cola Amatil. She has also had a number of roles in Local and State Government and grew up just down the road from the Barossa Valley in Adelaide.

 

 

Don't forget our shoutouts - where anyone can take the stage for 30 seconds to share an idea, ask for help or well just have a rant generally.

 

 

 

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  • Elise O.

    Hi Think Act Changers, I did a 30 second shout out last meet up about my event 'Pitch-a This' (thanks Avis!). Just wanted to let you know that Pitch-a This now has its own website if you wanted to know more/how to submit and idea/how to buy tickets etc. Hope to hear form you or see you there!

    www.pitchathis.com
    (Also on time out and Sydney Art & About)

    August 26, 2013

  • Kate M.

    In case there are any interested Randwick locals, we are having a session on sustainability and value/behaviour changes tomorrow night http://www.rotarynews.info/3/Club/4432/8403/

    August 19, 2013

  • Karen G

    Hi everyone.
    Im Karen, the "bra girl". We have just finished our eighth Project. We ended up collecting 572 bras for Uplift bras!!! (Our goal was 100)Special thank you to the members of Think Act Change who support the projects of The Practical Day Dreamers.

    Our next project is "Project 9 - Hankies for Samaritan's Purse".

    Without a hankie and a set of school stationery a child in Fiji cannot attend school.

    It seems such a shame that something so simple - a handkerchief and a set of stationery prevents a child from receiving an education.

    Our Project:
    To donate 100 brand new handkerchiefs and 100 coloured pencil sets to Operation Christmas Child by Samaritan’s Purse.

    Please check it out at, like the page and join the event at:

    www.facebook/KarenPracticalDayDreamers

    Thanks,
    Karen Grainger
    Founder of The Practical Day Dreamers

    August 14, 2013

    • Karen G

      Hi Stephanie. Thank you. Let me try to answer all your questions and suggestions:
      1. Pencil sets can be in tin, cardboard or plastic, or tied together with string, ribbons or elastic bands. The main criteria is that they be UNUSED pencils.

      If your kids have loose unused coloured pencils- you could do what I do- find at least 10 or 12 different colours including the primary colours and tie them with an elastic band. I think I failed art class – primary colours are red, blue, green and yellow?

      2. Hankies and old people’s homes. Good idea.
      Unfortunately, due to international customs requirements for Samaritan’s Purse they can only deliver the shoeboxes containing NEW handkerchiefs.

      3. Handmade hankies- I like the idea. So long as the material is new- they will probably satisfy the customs requirement of “new’” clothing only.

      August 19, 2013

    • Karen G

      If the Inner West sewing group would like to become involved – I know from personal experience it is difficult to purchase brand new soft toys and dolls that are affordable, soft and approximately 15 centimetres or less.
      Perhaps your friends in the sewing group might like to establish a side project for The Practical Day Dreamers sewing and creating soft toys/dolls under 15 centrimetres?
      Thanks!
      :o)
      www.facebook.com/KarenPr­acticalDayDreamer

      August 19, 2013

  • Roger

    Cvyvxc

    August 18, 2013

  • Luke M.

    Just wanted to say a quick 'well done & thanks' to Avis for organising such a great informative night. It was my first ThinkActChange event and it certainly lived up to expectation. Looking forward to the next one.
    Also, thanks for the 26second shout-out opportunity :)
    Cheers,
    Luke
    www.gotsoul.com.au

    1 · August 14, 2013

  • Vicky K

    It would be great to encourage a village atmosphere in our suburbs which can be so alienating, isolating and impersonal for so many. I grew up in the inner city Surry Hills and Redfern, when it was dominated by Southern Europeans who came from villages.
    Kids use to play on the streets, you knew all the street, people would say hello mothers would help babysit each other's kids and give a helping hand. With gentrification and affluence the inner city lacks in my opinion that friendly atmosphere. People mind their own business, there's a transiency which brings about a lack of SOUL. We have great terraces, lovely streets, great garden beds but no soul. How do we bring soul back to the city???
    Sustainable living is one thing but soul nourishment is another.
    http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/vacuous-shallow-city-with-no-soul/2007/01/26/1169788693362.html

    2 · August 13, 2013

    • Karen G

      I've got one neighbour who now crosses the street to say hello to me when she sees me in other suburbs. Start simple - a smile at a stranger.

      1 · August 13, 2013

    • Phil S.

      Agree Vicki. In our block on Clovelly Road we have a lot of diversity - Greeks, Chinese, Thai, German, French, Italian, Hungarian. That's one of the reasons our strip has a great feel. What we're doing with Better Block is re-connecting them. At our first meeting it was wonderful to see these people talking with one another.

      August 14, 2013

  • Phil S.

    Thanks all for coming, to Avis for organising it, and to the people who spoke with me at the end. Great to hear your ideas and enthusiasm. More about Clovelly Road Better Block on 27 October https://www.facebook.com/events/475788085832193/

    2 · August 14, 2013

  • Stephanie V.

    In Switzerland, they teach kids a poem at school called 'un sourire ne course rien et produit beaucoup' or 'a smile costs nothing and produces much'. Swiss kids are so polite, smile, say hello. In shops, you say hello and goodbye and wish people always a good afternoon, or good evening, or good weekend. We seem to have lost just basic friendliness in our mad sped up world! I often strike up conversations in the supermarket queue, unless the kids are driving me nuts, (and sometimes I do if they are )
    I always do that with an elderly person who you can tell from the contents of their shopping basket lives alone. I usually offer to help pack their stuff, too, it might add a couple of minutes to my day, but so what? If life has gotten so busy we cannot squeeze in a couple of minutes and yet have time to be on Facebook or social media everyday, then we are living life back to front and upside down. I regularly go a bit off the social media radar to do much more real world stuff.

    1 · August 14, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Great information and very inspiring speakers. I'll definitely be at the next one!

    August 13, 2013

  • Bryony

    Awesome, as always. Very inspiring with actual concepts that are achievable. :)

    1 · August 13, 2013

  • Liv Astrid B.

    Sorry, the flu has got me. I'll be there next time!

    August 13, 2013

  • Rama

    I'm running late, if it only goes for an hour then I won't be coming. Sorry x

    August 13, 2013

  • Rama

    Does it only goes for an hour? [masked]?)

    August 13, 2013

  • Ming Y.

    Hi all! For everyone who enjoyed the conversation about food waste last month, please come along to an event that Oxfam Australia is hosting this Thursday 15th August from 6pm.

    The evening will feature seasonal, organic and sustainable canapés and drinks, live music and delicious conversations ….. without wasting a grain of rice. Tix are just $11 (+bf).

    Bookings and info: http://watchyourwaste.eventbrit...
    When: Thursday 15th August.

    Where: The Darlington Centre, 174 City Road, Darlington NSW (part of Sydney University).

    Time: Drinks and canapés from 6pm; panel chat from 7pm; live jazz band and more food and drinks until 10pm.

    Cost: Tickets are $11 (plus $1.65 booking fee) available from http://watchyourwaste.eventbrit...

    Drinks: Available for purchase from the bar, organic and local options will be available.

    Hope to see you there!

    August 13, 2013

  • David P.

    Agreed.
    Which makes it even sadder to see that Economic Growth (i.e. Progress) is counted as the most important issue in the upcoming Election, and Climate Change has slipped down the list.
    I urge everyone reading this to think carefully about what really are the most important medium and longer-term issues for them and for Australia, and not to be distracted by the short-sightedness of the current political debate.
    And don't forget. You have two separate votes. The situation in the Senate is very different to the Reps, and you don't have to vote for the same party in both houses!

    August 13, 2013

  • Rama

    Will be coming a bit late, maybe. Hopefully not.

    August 13, 2013

  • Adrian P.

    dammit.. trapped at work, won't be able to make it tonight :(

    August 13, 2013

  • Frederick M.

    Hi everyone, I have designed a currency called Timebeats, that offers all participants to default to collaborating and sharing knowledge to achieve perpetual sustainability; highest quality product, minimal resources, shortest time. More information is available here: http://independent.academia.edu/timebeatsglobal.

    Feedback now is that I have to prepare to launch, so I now am in need of coders. This will be a crowdfund/sourced project, so you will be paid.

    If you a coder or know coders that really want to change the world, then please contact me at [masked]. I'd love to hear from you. :)

    August 13, 2013

  • Frederick M.

    Hey Avis,

    Never mind. I see discussing money is not really suitable in this lineup. When you have a discussion on money, let me know.

    Have fun tonight.

    August 13, 2013

  • Ella

    Woke up with the flu - don't think I should be sharing it! Sorry for the late change, but looking forward to the next meeting!

    August 13, 2013

  • Stephanie V.

    Can't be there this month, sadly.....and really wanted to meet my local Greenie councillor, as I had plans for Leichhardt in the space of green, drat! Have a great night, everyone and please remember it is the 65+ who are MOST disconnected and depressed in developed countries and large metropolitan cities so smile at that elderly neighbour and engage with them. you might be the ONLY person they engage with all day - or all week. I don't want that to be me when i'm 70 - do you?

    August 12, 2013

  • Daniel M.

    I'm feeling a bit under the weather. Unless there's a miracle cure in the next 24h I won't be able to join you guys this tac round.

    August 12, 2013

  • Astley

    Looks like I great night with even better people. I'd like to have a 30s shout out about a weekend community gathering called Conflux I'm having in September and is along similar lines.

    August 8, 2013

    • Avis M.

      Good stuff, pop your name on the door :)

      August 12, 2013

  • Jullietta

    Hi Avis, I might have a 30 sec shout out to plug my community project to help beautify Telopea (Home to many affordable and social housing estates).

    August 8, 2013

    • Avis M.

      of course! just pop your name on the door on arrival.

      August 12, 2013

  • Elise O.

    Hi Avis, I'd like to put my hand up for a 30 sec shout out/plug for 'Pitch-a This!'our first low-tech crowd funding night for ideas to make Sydney better one Tuesday eve this September. Thanks & looking forward to it :)

    August 8, 2013

    • Avis M.

      sure thing, just pop your name on the list at the door!

      August 12, 2013

  • Melita

    Hi all! For everyone who enjoyed the conversation about food waste last month, please come along to an event that Oxfam Australia is hosting this Thursday 15th August from 6pm. The evening will feature seasonal, organic and sustainable canapés and drinks, live music and delicious conversations ….. without wasting a grain of rice. Tix are just $11 (+bf).

    Bookings and info: http://watchyourwaste.eventbrit...
    When: Thursday 15th August.

    Where: The Darlington Centre, 174 City Road, Darlington NSW (part of Sydney University).

    Time: Drinks and canapés from 6pm; panel chat from 7pm; live jazz band and more food and drinks until 10pm.

    Cost: Tickets are $11 (plus $1.65 booking fee) available from http://watchyourwaste.eventbrit...

    Drinks: Available for purchase from the bar, organic and local options will be available.

    Hope to see you there!

    August 12, 2013

  • Dane M.

    Woo Hoo

    1 · August 12, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    To live sustainability with common sense. Recycle waste, food scrap compost and environmentally friendly use

    August 9, 2013

  • Tamara

    Hi I'm Tamara. I'm really interested in learning more about social innovation and sustainability.

    2 · August 7, 2013

  • Juliet M.

    Looking forward to it...

    1 · August 7, 2013

  • Ollie B.

    Possible plus one but not sure

    August 6, 2013

  • Kate M.

    Coincidentally, Phil Stubbs is also speaking in Randwick the week before. I have posted the details on the suggestions page.
    We have a smaller capacity but we'd particularly like Randwick/Clovelly/Coogee locals who can't make the city event to come along to be part of the local action.

    August 3, 2013

  • Julie

    1st timer

    August 2, 2013

  • Osita

    Look forward to meeting the group:)

    July 30, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I just did the training to become an ethics teacher for primary school. Ethics is an alternative to scripture in public schools. I found the training to be very fulfilling and the classes will give a meaningful experience to kids. I urge anyone who has spare time during school hours to think about doing this. I regret I didn't do this earlier.

    http://www.primaryethics.com.au/

    1 · July 29, 2013

  • Nathan J.

    The Better Business Partnershi team look forward to attending a d learning abut this movement. Visit www.betterbusinesspartnership.com.au for more information about or innovative joint Council sustainability program.

    July 15, 2013

  • Stephanie V.

    I have researched extensively on connectedness to community by life stage/age.

    most socially disconnected and suffering the most depression=65+ demographic:on the fringes, feel past their sell by date. Often don't live near family (interstate/overseas for work).Wonder why we discover our elders dead in their homes weeks/months?
    You have a neighbour always alone?do something extra. Invite them for coffee, have a chat, share a smile. You're likely the 1 persalan contact all day/week.

    My idea:get our amazing elders engaged with GenNext=kids. Have them policecheck cleared to go&volunteer their time- they often have a lot spare-into our schools sharing their life stories, which kids document. They teach kids sew/bake/woodwork.Buddy up youngest/elders, High schools home visits & stage elders only plays. Fuss over them!

    Once we lose them,we lose their stories=lost forever! Yr lonely n'bour?choose to act,be the onespark of difference in their lives!

    3 · July 12, 2013

  • Dave

    Great topic. People move first, politicians have to follow! Looking fwd

    1 · July 11, 2013

  • Remi D.

    Really excited to have found a group of people willing to do things differently and contribute to improve our world/society/communities. Can t wait to be inspired and start a new professional life as a changemaker.

    1 · July 11, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    I think it I was 3 inches taller my world would have been totally different. I miss America's ranch dressing and my mom, but that's about it

    July 10, 2013

  • Chris

    Sounds like an excellent group. Am looking forward to the August meeting. I am a big fan of Mondragon the successful workers network in Spain over the last 0ver 50 yrs and at present involving 80,000 workers, schools hospitals and peoples banks.

    July 10, 2013

  • Sarah-Jane S.

    Love this topic. I dream big in this space - sustainable cities such as the Venus Project by Jacque Fresco. On a smaller scale, I've worked with businesses to address their impact on the communities they operate in and their social responsibility.

    July 9, 2013

  • doug l.

    change or become extinct ie die

    July 9, 2013

  • Robert S.

    f3, capturing visuals of the future - a visual TED will be there !

    July 8, 2013

  • Daniel M.

    Thanks for bringing together what seems to be a diverse bunch of folks. If you're still looking for speakers there are some surprisingly good community connectors in the West. christmissionpossible.com.au, Bidwill United are just a couple of them.

    Dan

    1 · July 8, 2013

  • Steve J. S.

    Sounds like a great opportunity.

    July 8, 2013

  • Melissa F.

    Hi Avis Mulhall, So glad you started this group! Q How do the themes for each night come about?

    Melissa

    June 17, 2013

    • Avis M.

      oh only saw this now! themes come from my passions, and those of the community really :)

      1 · July 6, 2013

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Rafaël

We just grab a coffee and speak French. Some people have been coming every week for months... it creates a kind of warmth to the group.

Rafaël, started French Conversation Group

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