Reflection, Social Change, Social Innovation

Hope & Courage

As my colleague explain our product, TeacherTime, to a suited man at the National Australian Association of Angel Investors Conference, the first few comments were pessimistic views and comments. When @HansKonings interjected with an optimistic view that the industry has the capacity to change and need to be changed, the suited man replied with a doubtful, “well, of course it can change”.

I find it rather interesting that of all places, we find these pessimistic and cynical attitude to entrepreneurship. Didn’t the whole idea of entrepreneurship build on the foundation of creativity and innovation which is all about collaboration, “yes, and …” and disrupting existing systems?

What happened to the days when we were allowed to be silly and think about inventing aeroplane, landing on the moon and hearing the voices of someone on the other side of the planet in real-time? Since when did we lost the essence of entrepreneurship – celebrating new ways of doing things, driving innovation, creating jobs, changing lives and making the world a better place?

Perhaps I have been ignorant or maybe I have just been indulging too much in my little optimistic world – or perhaps I have just been incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by geniuses who are working on the edges of innovation at Hub Melbourne? These misfits, optimistic creative thinkers, doers and people that just get on with stuff that needs to get done.

We seem to have become poisoned by greed and filled with fear that we become a bitter, cynical and pessimistic society.

I can understand that the financial crises over the past several decades have definitely killed lots of joy and optimism but I think that if we want to pull ourselves through these tough times (maybe not one that is too obvious in Australia), we need to find hope from the younger, maybe slightly naive (in a positive way), generation. The ones who have the courage to dream bigger than us and our folks.

Our world can only become better when we build upon new knowledge, new ideas and fresh talents. There’s a lot of magic that needs to be created, danced to be choreographed and songs to be written and sang. There’s a lot more beauty to living that we have the capacity to imagine, so I think we should all start to promote these creative process of thinking.

I definitely learned alot from all the angel investors today but I particularly really resonated with @HansKoning, who weren’t only very realistic and optimistic in his views, he’s got an interest in creating shared value when investing – an area often overlooked by many investors. Thanks AAAI for having me and look forward to more collaboration.

So, let’s bring back optimism and all the joy that comes with it and let’s work together in creating better futures, allow ourselves to dream big, and think creatively and openly.


I am blogging everyday this month as part of Steve‘s little experiment to get us all blogging for 31 days in March. For more info, follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #b03