Big World Advocates.
Leaders who share our passion.
Meet our enthusiastic advocates who share our interest in new ways to approach our city’s toughest challenges.
Lauren Capelin – Reinventure
Lauren is a community strategist and disruptive innovation specialist passionate about the development and application of new business models, corporate social innovation, impact investment and fostering entrepreneurial capacity, particularly in women. She is currently Head of Venture Community at Reinventure Fund, an Australian venture capital firm focused on investing in disruptive financial services startups, with Westpac as its largest investor. Prior to this, she co-founded Collaborative Lab with author Rachel Botsman, working alongside leading thinkers, entrepreneurs and community champions to play an instrumental role in growing collaborative consumption into a global economy and movement over the last 5 years. Lauren is also cofounder of Common Room coworking space with her husband Josh, is Curator of the Sydney Global Shapers, a community of the World Economic Forum, and acts as an Ambassador for B Lab ANZ.
Patrick Crooks – Fusion Labs
Patrick has led large-scale industry disruption on behalf of various Multi-National-Organisations, helping change the lives of millions of people for the better while creating significant new revenue streams for clients. He has advised senior executives in disruptive innovation in over 15 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa, co-founded an IT company that grew to employ over 1200 people in its first three years, led the set up three large scale mobile banking businesses, led or co-founded at least 20 startups, and have been directly responsible for creation of over 15,000 new banking retail outlets. Patrick was lead project director for the world’s second fastest and second largest mobile banking project, which took on 10 million new customers in its first 18 months. Today Patrick runs Fusion Labs – a “skunkworks” that helps companies explore, experiment and execute on new opportunities.
David Gravina – Future Friendly
Dave is an entrepreneur at heart, and has always made things for as long as he can remember. About 14 years ago he realised that he got the most out of making things that do good in the world. He’s always been a tech geek but have learnt to respect the power of co-design to create useful things for people, fast. Future Friendly, the company he founded in 2001 (previously Digital Eskimo) believes in the power of co-design to shape a better tomorrow. They work with brave organisations to make future-ready products and services that transform organisations and disrupt sectors.
Selena Griffith – UNSW
Selena Griffith is a designer and academic interested in the roles that designers play in mapping our futures. After 15 years working in the design Industry she decided to apply her experience to teaching design. She is a Senior Lecturer and UNSW Engineering Manager at Scientia Education Experience. Selena believes that designers make significant decisions in their work that, due to the potential scale of production, impact on the collective footprint and consumption patterns of those who consume their designs. If well informed these decisions can make very positive change though reducing resource usage, providing considered end of life options and extending usage. She also believes that design thinking can be used to solve most problems in innovative ways and that designers cannot make effective change in isolation. They need to collaborate and co-create with people across all professions. To assist students to become agents for positive change she has developed courses in sustainability, design management, design practice, collaboration and innovation and has also designed a number of serious games to illustrate the interconnections of everything we do.
Timothy Horton – NSW Architects Registration Board
Tim Horton is the Registrar of NSW Architects Registration Board. He is nationally recognised as an architect, adviser and agitator for smart policy that enables good design. He has worked in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide and Los Angeles in small and large practice, with executive-level experience in both the private and public sector. As a former founding CEO of the Committee for Adelaide and former Commissioner for Integrated Design based in Adelaide, South Australia, his interests lie at the intersections of design, technology, innovation and governance, architecture, city planning, and the application of research in creative public policy. Tim is a former President of the Australian Institute of Architects (SA Chapter), Chair of the National Practice Committee of the Australian Institute of Architects, member of the Australian Government’s Built Environment Industry Innovation Council and member of the Australian Urban Research Infrastructure Network Management Board and the CRC for Low Carbon Living. He is a regular contributor to radio & print media on built environment policy, design practice, and public sector innovation.
Bruce Jeffreys – GoGet
Bruce Jeffreys is the co-founder of GoGet, Australia’s first car sharing service and Dresden, a new eyewear-as-service business based in manufacturing in Australia. Bruce has a degree in Economics and a background in marketing and sustainability across the private and public sectors. Bruce is also a Director at Makerspace – a unique facility that gives people access to expertise and equipment to learn and build new businesses.
Kylie Legge – Place Partners
Kylie Legge is the Director of Place Partners, a specialist place making consultancy with an interdisciplinary approach to the creation and revitalisation of great people places. She is also the founder of Place Score, a new tool to provide a review of the positive and negative aspects of the user experience of places. Kylie is an experienced place maker specialising in the creation and management of places that attract people. Her project work has included working with communities, government and commercial developers in NSW, Western Australia, Queensland and Victoria in Australia, as well as in Dubai and Abu Dhabi Emirates. Most recently she provided place making and management training to the Singapore Tourism Board and its precinct management teams.
Jess Miller – Republic of Everyone
Jess works at the Republic of Everyone where she designs and leads the collective impact programs for the 202020 Vision and IAG. These programs focus in increasing and improving green space as well as improving resilience in cities. Jess is a founder of Grow it Local a campaign that seeks to improve urban and suburban food resilience by encouraging small-scale urban farming. Jess is also the TEDxSydney food curator. In 2012 she introduced the idea of crowd-farming, in 2015 the introduced the idea of ‘rebel food’ to discourage supermarket diets and broaden the food spectrum to include bugs, weeds, ugly food and wasted cuts of meat and seafood, and in 2015 she built a food program on beloved family recipes. Currently she is running as an Independent Candidate on Clovers Moore’s team for the 2016 City of Sydney election.
Avis Mulhall – Think Act Change
Avis likes humans, and the planet. She uses storytelling, innovation, design thinking, entrepreneurship and a healthy dose of humour to catalyse social and environmental change. She may do many things. But importantly, she gets shit done. Avis is a serial social entrepreneur and is most well known as the face behind Think Act Change, Sydney’s largest change-maker community. She is also an oh-so-proud trustee of the Awesome Foundation. Avis speaks regularly at events and conferences, MC’s panel discussions, designs & facilitates workshops, curates innovation events, acts as a guest lecturer at universities and mentors numerous social entrepreneurs. Named in Sydney Magazines “Top 100 People of Influence”, Avis has been dubbed a “super-connector” due to her passion for, and particular talent at connecting change-makers to enable greater impact. Avis, admittedly, curses like a sailor, but brings nothing but raw passion to everything she does. She is equally passionate about creating change in the world and living her life wholly and fully, unapologetically. She is dedicated to inspiring others to do the same.
John O’Callaghan – JOC Consulting
John is the Director of JOC Consulting, a creative urban planning practice that specialises in community, place and technology. He is also the Chair of Brand X, a not for profit arts organisation based in Sydney and Founder of Idea Bombing [City], a creative meetup focused on highlighting and supporting the cultural life of our cities. John is inspired by best practice and global trends, including those not directly connected to the built environment. He is the Editor of Trending City, a collaborative blogging platform capturing great ideas from across the globe and a regular contributor to the Planning Institute of Australia’s New Planner magazine with a column focusing on technology, new media and urban planning. He has co-designed a course and lectures at the University of New South Wales teaching contemporary issues in urbanism. John uses his social media following (of more than 14,000 people across twitter, instagram and facebook) to advocate for a more creative and liveable city. In 2014, John was awarded the Urban Provocateur 2014 award by DARCH (the NSW Emerging Architects and Graduates Network) and recognised as an AMP Tomorrow Maker by the AMP Tomorrow Fund. In 2015, he joined Claire McCaughan and Lucy Humphrey as co-directors of the Sydney Architecture Festival 2015. In the same year, John was also a Finalist in the NSW Creative Talent Awards and named 1 of 10 instagrammers to follow in Sydney by TimeOut.
Dr Tim Rayner
Dr Tim Rayner is the author of Life Changing: A Philosophical Guide (2nd ed., 2016), and the collaborative short film ‘Coalition of the Willing’ (2010). ‘Coalition of the Willing’ won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Hampton International Film Festival, Best Short Film at the 2011 San Francisco Green Film Festival, and Best Environmental Short at 2011 FlickerFest, Sydney. Tim teaches leadership in the MBAe Program at the UTS Business School, Sydney. He has taught philosophy at the University of Sydney and the University of New South Wales, and inspired audiences at the F5 Creativity Festival (New York) and Vivid Ideas (Sydney).
Jess Scully – Vivid Ideas Curator
Jess Scully is a curator, policy thinker, festival director and media producer who is passionate about using creativity to inspire social change: she seeks to curate projects that inspire curiosity, spark conversation and explore opportunities for the arts and creativity to deliver impact in communities and add value to the broader economy. Jess is the curator of Vivid Ideas: an annual event connecting creative practitioners and businesses with global leaders, to support professional development and expand market opportunities for the sector. Spanning industries from art and architecture to gaming and filmmaking: the Vivid Ideas program now brings together close to 80,000 participants and has been recognised by the Guardian as one of the top ten ideas festivals in the world. Jess is one of the curators of TEDxSydney: since 2013 she has collaborated with a talented team of volunteers to help deliver one of the most sophisticated talks events in the world. As a public art consultant, Jess is delivering permanent public art and temporary projects for Green Square Library and Plaza. She is also public art curator for 60 Martin Place and Barrack Place, and public realm activations at Quay Quarter Sydney. In the past, Jess served as policy advisor to the NSW Minister of the Arts, directed the Qantas Spirit of Youth Awards (SOYA), and edited magazines including Empty, Yen and SummerWinter.
Fr Peter Smith – Justice & Peace Promoter
Fr Peter Smith is the Justice & Peace Promoter at the Justice and Peace Office of the Sydney Catholic Archdiocese and has been a priest since 1985. The mission and role of the Office is to act on behalf of justice and participation in the transformation of the world to fully appear to us as a constitutive dimension of the preaching of the Gospel, or, in other words, of the Church’s mission for the redemption of the human race and its liberation from every oppressive situation. After leaving school, Peter studied Economics before entering the Seminary. Since ordination he has served in various parishes in the Archdiocese and is currently the Parish Priest of St Columba’s Leichhardt North. Peter has lectured in ethics and served on various ethics committees including Sydney University, the NSW Cancer Council and the Board of The Sisters of Charity Health Services Auburn. He has always been active in social justice issues and more recently in the promotion of the Sydney Alliance. Fr Peter holds a Licentiate in Sacred Theology.
Martin Stewart-Weeks – Author & Independent Consultant
A strategic thinker, organisational consultant, facilitator and writer, Martin Stewart-Weeks brings 30 years experience spanning government, the “for purpose” or social sector and the corporate sector. His work explores the intersection of policy, government, technology and innovation. Martin is an independent consultant and advisor, including a role as advisor in policy development and digital innovation for the Deloitte public sector practice.
From 2001 to 2013, Martin led the Asia-Pacific public sector team in Cisco’s consulting and innovation arm, the Internet Business Solutions Group. He was part of Cisco’s higher education practice in Australia and New Zealand. He is a director of the Business Higher Education Roundtable. Prior to his role in Cisco, he held various policy and management roles in the federal public sector, including Chief of Staff to a Minister in the Federal Government (Fraser Government), and with the NSW Cabinet Office (Nick Greiner and John Fahey). He also ran a successful policy, research and organisational consulting practice, The Albany Consulting Group, working with public and nonprofit organisations.
Michelle Tabet – Left Bank Co
Michelle Tabet is an experienced urban strategist, working at the intersection of creative strategy and urban planning. Having spent her life living in some of the world’s most vibrant cities, she understands the important role innovation and strategic placemaking play in shaping successful urban environments. Michelle is the Founder and Director of Left Bank Co., a boutique strategic consulting firm based in Sydney, Australia. Left Bank Co. works alongside city makers to define, sharpen and action ideas and projects to make cities more meaningful. We work with a broad range of public and private sector clients, across Australia and internationally, including property developers, architects, councils, arts and cultural organisations and private businesses.
Tea Uglow – Google Creative Labs
TL Uglow (‘Tea’) is Creative Director for Google’s Creative Lab in Sydney. Tea works with cultural and creative organisations around the world exploring the space between technology and the arts and what can happen where they intersect. TL has a history in the arts, a love of literature, and a problem with staying focused. Tea speaks graphics geek, a bit of web‑dev, some Python, a touch of digital strategy, remedial project management, and really bad French. Likes include physical/digital, pen and ink, and carefully organised (chaos) doubt. At the moment the “interests” list contains: augmented audio, digital books, proximity tech, non-linear storytelling, and the physical web… plus a few things that are less tech-geek like uncertainty, small people and yoga. In May 2016 TL spoke at the Sydney Writers Festival on Doubt as a creative catalyst. During the talk Tea acknowledged that she is transgender, and transitioning. The talk was made into a book, and will be available as a podcast. TL’s 2015 TEDx talk on the contrast between the screen-based world we live in, and the natural, organic world that we say we love more has been viewed over 1.5 million times.
Michelle Williams – Ideaction
Michelle is a strategist, relationship manager (partnerships/ stakeholders), community organiser, program / project manager, event producer, marketer and communicator with a strong technology background. Michelle is the founder of Ideaction, educating and enabling individuals and companies to succeed in the democratised innovation era. Focused facilitating connections and programs in disrupting of industries – Education, Health, Energy, Manufacturing, Transport, FinTech. Michelle has been at the intersection of communications and technology for 15 years working on projects with startups, government, big businesses and universities. Michelle regularly speaks on innovation, technology and startups and is currently writing the book “Participation is the new consumption”. Michelle has co-founded startups including Social Innovation Sydney and last year organised the largest StartupWeek in the world with 8,000 attendees at 63 events.
Dr Tim Williams – Committee for Sydney
Tim is the CEO of the Committee for Sydney. Before coming to Australia, he was the senior Special Advisor to a number of UK cabinet ministers in the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG). In that role, between 2005 and 2007 he was one of the UK’s leading policy makers on urban regeneration and city development. Since coming to Australia in October 2010, Tim has become recognised as a leading thinker about high speed broadband and the impact of digital media on communities, public services and businesses. His ground-breaking report, ‘Connecting Communities: the impact of broadband in the UK and its implications for Australia’, was launched at the National press Club in Canberra in February 2011. It was commissioned by Huawei, the world’s second largest telecommunications company. Tim is recognised as one of the leading urban renewal thinkers and practitioners at work in the field, with an international reputation. For ten years he had a weekly column in the professional journal ‘Regeneration and Renewal’ and currently writes a blog for them on urban renewal and development issues in Australia. He has written and published reports on the design of affordable housing (for the Housing Corporation: published in 2007 as ‘The Williams Report’) and on urban design: he wrote much of the current London Mayor’s Design Guide for London.
Adam Russell – RAW Architects
Adam Russell is a registered Architect in NSW, Australia and founding director of RAW Architects. Adam holds a passion for critical practice, design excellence and quality of service. His architecture is held in high regard and recognised through numerous awards. Adam has expertise in public buildings, urban design and fine-grain and affordable urban housing. He is an honorary Associate of the School of Architecture at UTS and part-time design educator in the Masters of Architecture degree.
Sam Wright – The Make Ready Lab
Sam Wright is Founder & Director of The Make Ready Lab (TMRL) an Arts & Cultural Management service with a penchant for festivals, creative consultancy, producing and programming.
Raised on a variety of festivals including Adelaide Festival, Dark Mofo, Brisbane Festival and Adelaide Cabaret Festival, every arts project is worth TMRL’s time.
Previous to TMRL, Sam’s earliest achievements were recognised by the South Australian music industry in 2012 and 2013 when he received a Fowlers Live Music Award for Best Music Industry Initiative for Moving Music 2012 and Best Music Industry Initiative for A Band On Boat 2013. Sam was also named one of South Australia’s fastest-rising stars under 30 in 2014 by SA Weekend.
In 2015, he was selected to attend the Atelier of Young Festival Managers in Budapest, Hungary (June 2016) amongst 44 other participants from across the world.
When it comes to housing, it’s time to think big, and the answer isn’t small.
It’s all about the collective.