The Link Deck #6 – Local Edition

Get localIf you want to change the world the best place to start might be in your own backyard. This week’s Link Deck is devoted to thinking and acting locally.

If you’ve got a great example of innovation happening locally, we’d love to hear from you on twitter or facebook.

Local Councils are more innovative than you might think

The 2014 Local Council Award finalists winners are going to be announced over the next couple of months but here’s a selection from the 2013 winners book:

  • East Arnhem Shire Council’s iStories: is a digital arts project that enables Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander people to create, produce and use context-specific bilingual literacy materials to digitalize stories of times past.
  • Townsville City Council transforming Magnetic Island into a Solar City.
  • The Safer Motorcycle Routes project –  a joint initiative of 3 Councils from the NSW Hunter Region. The project aimed to lessen the motorcycle crashes on recreational routes through the region, where active motorcycle road users were key participants in designing the approach and solutions in collaboration with professionals.
  • City of Playford, SA program ‘Juggernaut’: A project run by Playford youth who teach BMX, Scooter and Skateboard safety and skills to young people, presenting to both students and adults.

The newest member of The Social Deck team works from Byron Bay, where she’s noticed that, not only are they lucky enough to have amazing festivals like Splendour in the Grass and Bluesfest, and incredibly beautiful surf beaches – but also a pretty innovative local council. Over the past year or so, the Byron Shire Council got rid of the smell of its tip and earned $150,000 from carbon credits, has recycled 10 tonnes of e-waste (e.g. phones, laptops, TV’s) each month, provided free buses into town during the peak summer period, produced a hip hop video to try to reduce alcohol related violence, and encouraged the local community to contribute to their coastal management plan.

The great thing about local councils is that they’re much more accessible to local citizens – here’s 9 ideas to tell your Mayor about.

Speaking of Mayors, watch this charming TED talk from the Mayor of Oklahoma City on how he helped an obese town lose a million pounds. Continue reading

The Link Deck #5: Youth Week Edition


What better way to celebrate National Youth Week than with a youth-themed edition of The Link Deck?

Young Australians making ideas happen 

Some of Australia’s most talented young people are dedicating themselves to making the world a better place. Meet FYA’s young social pioneers.

In the lead-up to National Youth Week, Red Aware interviewed the CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians (FYA), Jan Owen, about the positive contributions of youth in society.

Crikey’s got a great list of young Australians changing Australian business.

And over at Ideas Hoist, we’ve been privileged to interview and be inspired by so many young Australians making ideas happen!

Youth led innovation

Supporting youth led innovation and entrepreneurship is all the more important as youth unemployment last year was at a 15 year high.

If we want to make sure that Australia’s young people continue to have the chance to lead innovation – we’d be well advised to take a look at this report from Nesta in the UK which identifies six ways in which policymakers, schools and youth organisations can help.

Continue reading

The Link Deck #3 – Science Communication Edition

Social marketing agency specialising in science communicationThe Australian Science Communicators Conference was on this week, so to celebrate, this is going to be a science-heavy edition of The Link Deck!

Science communication is cool

You can’t combat a point of view based on values with arguments based on science.

Science communicators have a responsibility to counter misinformation and facilitate community understanding.

No industry has more incentive to know the effects of climate change than the reinsurance and insurance industries. So… what have they found out?

The Wellcome Trust over in the UK runs an annual science writing award. You can read all 19 shortlisted articles from 2013 in handy PDF format.

Not to be outdone by the Brits, there is a also a book collecting the best Australian science writing of 2013. The book is not available online but the foreword by Tim Minchin is well worth a read.

Science is cool

A brief history of the universe, from the Big Bang up to now… in 18 minutes! Continue reading

The Link Deck #2 – what we’ve been reading, watching, playing.


Rainy day in Teneriffe, Brisbane.


Tips from the New York Times and from NPR’s social media desks – what they learned about using social media in 2013.

It takes energy to smile… the psychology behind smaller power bills

It’s been over a year since we returned from a life changing stint in New York City… We miss wandering New York streets.

Would you like to have Bitcoin explained to you as if you were five? Not only is this interesting in an of itself, but the whole ‘explain it to me like I’m five’ meme is a very interesting exercise in communication. Want to see more examples? Check out the ELI5 sub-reddit.

Are ‘super-foods’ the next battleground between marketing and common sense?

Check out UK based innovation charity, Nesta’s 14  predictions for 2014

Some interesting innovations to watch in journalism in 2014. Related the mega trends of media for 2014. Continue reading

Links from the Deck #1 – what we’ve been reading, watching, playing


Kate recently pitched an idea called ‘Volunteer Deck’ at the IPAA National Conference. This report by the Centre for Volunteering on the Critical Success Factors of Employee Volunteering Programs for the Small-to-Medium Not-for-Profit Sector has some great research, which confirms many of our assumptions about Volunteer Deck.

The future of marketing is about putting the public back in public relations and social in social media, and that has nothing to do with tools or technology we overly celebrate today.

The real challenge of content marketing is when you don’t have a strategy

Use a baseball card? Getting more creative with your press releases

8 tips for designing better public services

Is the public service more innovative than the private sector?  Continue reading

If I share with you my story would you share your dollar with me?

Storytelling is an ancient art. This post is not about the ancient art of storytelling.  It’s about playing the supporting role in other people’s stories.

Take the example of Nike Plus. By setting up an online platform, Nike played the supporting role in millions of people’s stories about how they were losing weight and becoming better runners. This was a story that their audience desperately wanted to tell so with the opportunity to share their story, people were also happy to ‘share their dollar(s)’ with Nike by buying their products. Read How Nike’s Social Network Sells to Runners for more on the success of this campaign. is an excellent example of a not-for-profit organization that has built a beautiful platform for sharing stories – entrepreneur’s from the developing world share their stories with Kiva (and their partners), then Kiva publishes those stories online and their platform allows people to become part of this story by investing in those entrepreneurs.  Kiva then continues the story by providing updates to the investor as the entrepreneur pays back the loan and experiences success. Continue reading