Technology for the People: Enabling Connection & Collaborative Communities

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There's no doubt that something's happening here (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/opinion/theres-something-happening-here.html?_r=1), whether you call it the Great Disruption or The Big Shift (http://edgeperspectives.typepad.com/edge_perspectives/2009/08/defining-the-big-shift.html).

In his recent TEDTalk (http://www.ted.com/talks/peter_diamandis_abundance_is_our_future.html), Peter Diamandis (founder of the X Prize (http://www.xprize.org/)) paints the picture of a future of abundance, enabled by advances in technology. He argues that emerging technologies not only provide pathways to a higher standard of living, but also better equip us to tackle society's grand challenges.

At this month's Collaboratory Melbourne Meetup* we'll be asking our special guest panelists Kate Kendall (http://twitter.com/katekendall) (Founder SocialMelb (http://katekendall.com/socialmelb/) & The Fetch (http://thefetch.com/)), Colin Fairweather (http://twitter.com/colfai) (CIO City of Melbourne), Monty Hamilton (http://twitter.com/montyhamilton) (Director Telstra Digital) and Dr Mark Elliot (http://twitter.com/MarkElliott) (Director Collabforge (http://collabforge.com/)):

How might we enable Australians to better connect and collaborate to create socially innovative solutions to our most pressing social & environmental issues? And how might we make Melbourne a global hub for collaboration and innovation utilizing emerging technology and communications platforms? Consider:

what the future holds for the 20% of Australians (http://www.deewr.gov.au/Youth/OfficeForYouth/Documents/StateofYoungPeople.pdf) that have grown up in a world connected by the world wide web (http://www.theage.com.au/national/this-is-mia-ruby-what-is-her-future-20120405-1wfd1.html) that Australia ranks in the top 5 (http://au.nielsen.com/site/documents/AustralianOnlineLandscapeExecSummReport2012FINAL.pdf) countries globally for internet penetration (80%) and more than half of us own smart phones (http://au.nielsen.com/site/documents/AustralianOnlineLandscapeExecSummReport2012FINAL.pdf) that almost half Australia's population are on Facebook (http://thesocialskinny.com/100-social-media-statistics-for-2012/), joining over 850 million people world wide, all connected by less than four degrees of separation (http://arxiv.org/abs/1111.4570) the emergence of a global Share Economy (http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/155/the-sharing-economy.html), and the Rise of Collaborative Consumption (http://collaborativeconsumption.com/) facilitated by online platforms and smart phone apps the revolution in online learning (http://www.idea.org/blog/2012/01/31/higher-ed-courses-with-massive-enrollments-a-revolution-starts/) with free offerings from Stanford University, Harvard University Codeacademy (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jjcolao/2012/03/22/codecademy/) and Khan Academy (http://www.wired.com/magazine/2011/07/ff_khan/all/1) attracting 100,000s of participants worldwide the ability to crowdsource socially innovative ideas (http://www.openideo.com/) from a global network, and collaborate on projects in realtime wherever you are using platforms like Google Docs, Yammer, Skype and Dropbox (http://www.fastcompany.com/1791035/dropbox-teams-launch-cloud-enterprise) the potential gold mine in open and free data (http://mashable.com/2012/04/05/sunlight-foundation/) the success of microlending sites such as Kiva (http://www.ssireview.org/blog/entry/kiva.org_made_to_stick), and crowdfunding platforms like IndiGoGo, Kickstarter (which has seen a number of projects raise over $1M recently (http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/Articles/2012/02/09/Kickstarter-Game-Project-Raises-Nearly-1-Million-in-One%20Day.aspx#page1)) and Australia's own Pozible - providing a platform for a new class of philanthropy, raising millions of dollars and building community (http://www.shareable.net/blog/crowdfunding-its-not-about-the-money) all around the world. For the world's most liveable city, how do we step into the future on a smarter planet (http://www.ibm.com/smarterplanet/au/en/) and enable access and opportunity to create connected communities (http://www.cisco.com/web/strategy/smart_connected_communities.html)?

Join us for a special night at York Butter Factory (http://yorkbutterfactory.com/)*, where we step on to the geekier side of things and explore how emerging digital technology is enabling social innovation and community collaboration. Our guest panelists:

> Kate Kendall (http://katekendall.com/whois/): Kate is a digital thinker and doer who’s been working in the social web space since 2007. She’s writes (http://katekendall.com/portfolio/), speaks (http://katekendall.com/speaking/) and consults on marketing, community engagement, content strategy, product development and communications. She’s listed as one of 15 recommended-to-follow Australians by Twitter, was named as one of Brazen Careerist’s Top 20 Young Professionals to Watch in 2012 and one of The Age Top 100 Influential People of 2011 in Melbourne. Kate is the creator of The Fetch (http://thefetch.com/) – a what’s happening guide to your city’s business, digital and creative communities now in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, San Francisco, New York, London and Berlin. She is also working on Cloud Peeps (http://cloudpeeps.com/) – a platform to connect community managers with startups and small businesses. In 2012 Kate is heading up digital and community at Dumbo Feather (http://dumbofeather.com/) – a magazine about extraordinary people and ideas.

> Colin Fairweather (http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=4217694&authType=NAME_SEARCH&authToken=GQMA&locale=en_US&srchid=fd5c5749-1d7b-49e3-a3ff-2104c70abf62-0&srchindex=1&srchtotal=15&goback=%2Efps_PBCK_colin+fairweather_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*1_*2_*1_Y_*1_*1_*1_false_1_R_*1_*51_*1_*51_true_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2_*2&pvs=ps&trk=pp_profile_name_link): Colin is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the City of Melbourne, which oversees Melbourne’s city centre and several inner suburbs. As a capital-city council, The City of Melbourne also speaks on behalf of Melbourne in local, national and international forums. The rapid pace of technological change and the increasing pressures on people's time means the City is always exploring new and innovative ways to engage with their community. The City of Melbourne is also in the early stages of developing a digital strategy for the city to look at ways technology can improve the experiences of all those who live, work and play in the city. Other major City of Melbourne technology related projects include:

Future Melbourne (http://www.futuremelbourne.com.au) - In 2008 the City became the first municipality in the world to develop it's 10 year plan for the future of the city via an online wiki. Our Say: Rio Plus 20 (http://oursay.org/rio-plus-20-agenda) - The City is currently working with Our Say seeking ideas and questions relating to Melbourne's progress on eco-sustainability that the city can present at the UN Rio Plus 20 Earth Summit conference in July > Monty Hamilton (http://exchange.telstra.com.au/author/monty-hamilton/): Monty leads the Digital Operations team in Telstra Digital, responsible for the day-to-day running of the Telstra Digital business across their Consumer, Business and Enterprise & Government channels. His team is also responsible for the web, devices and applications, content creation, user experience and demand management.

Monty is motivated by the design and delivery of online experiences that empower customers and has over 13 years experience in online services, project management, sales & marketing in the banking & finance industry.

Prior to Telstra, Monty led the design, delivery and operations of UBank online (http://www.ubank.com.au/ub/web/home), considered by many as a leader in the banking/finance industry worldwide.

> Dr Mark Elliott: (http://collabforge.com/our-team/) As founder of Collabforge, Mark has successfully designed and managed a range of high profile projects, working closely with organisations including UNESCO, the CFA, EPA Victoria, City of Melbourne & the Victorian Department of Justice.

Prior to founding Collabforge, Mark completed a PhD investigating the underlying dynamics and mechanisms that drive and enable online mass collaboration. The objective of this work was to provide understandings that could be directly applied to the purposeful engineering of mass collaborative projects and the communities that support them.

*Registration includes beer, wine and light snacks. Event starts at 6pm, with panel starting from 6:30pm sharp.