About Me

My photo
Making innovation work for good. T:@inspirechilli

Friday 25 November 2011

Think 'n' Chips

Have I woken up back in England? It is hammering rain against my hotel windows, the city skyscrapers disappear into mist, and at the railway station there are no trains.  Just an anomaly, I’m told.

On the TV news, 19mm of rain is a major headline. I find myself staying to watch the bizarre experience of the world weather screened with the backing sound of Vera Lynn singing We’ll Meet Again.  It shouldn’t work, but is quite moving.  Maybe they were thinking of the sun.

A morning off, so I make straight for the nearest prison museum.  It’s the usual story of our failure as a society to cope with, nurture and rehabilitate those deemed to have fallen outside the law. Yet we still don’t seem able to understand how to change the narrative.  The youth justice system is as problematic here as it is in the UK.   The tools of puinshment many have changed, but the mugshots of people remain the same.

I follow the tourists snailing around the Opera House. My mind though is elsewhere, thinking of Open Talent day back in October, and the wonderful young person from Arena whose talent goal was to be an Opera Singer. In many ways, her journey towards that goal had taken her much further than where I was standing in Sydney.  The birds squark and the joggers run.

For lunch, I meet up with 5 members from the Sydney Rotaract Club. Appropriately, they choose the 24 hour Express cafĂ© down at the Circular Quay. Its newspaper style menu claims that it is ‘always open, always good news’. The prefect venue to present Open Talent. Indeed, the paper wrapping my (thin) chips includes an article from 1912 entitled ‘A thrifty people’ on the value of human capital. This is the new Open University - learning delivered through chip paper.  I’m impressed by the Rotaract group’s energy and commitment, the range of talents they offer around the table.  We are soon discussing practical ideas on how to invest in advantages.  In particular, how micro financing can be applied as a vehicle for empowering enterprises and personal goals. I think they’ll be pioneers for a positive investment in young people.

Walking back along the harbour, I finally bump into the person known around the world in every city: the guy who plays the wooden pipes. He conjures up the great George Harrison track, 'Something'. Just another anomaly.

As the sun sets over Sydney for the last time this tour, I notice some of the pictures from the conference are now up on photographer Anna Zhu's site.  The usual one of me - all hair and lips.  Great to see that Anna captured the 'hands up' moment at the beginning of my workshop.  I hope that makes my colleague Nicola Kidston smile. 

Bye bye to Sydney - thanks for the memories.

No comments:

Post a Comment