Spark Festival - insights for storytelling, pitching and strategy for social entrepreneurs

I was delighted to attend some of the Sydney Spark Festival, 11-24 October 2017. It was certainly an epic program, and I hope to have more time to engage with future events!

There were awesome masterclasses on storytelling, pitching, and strategy in action, presented by Social Impact Hub. I enjoyed these practical sessions with inspiring social entrepreneurs, and also appreciated meeting with some super changemakers across Sydney.


Tom Dawkins, CEO and co-founder of Start Some Good, led the Storytelling masterclass. He shared insights for effective crowdfunding campaigns to create change - pointing out that across major international platforms, less than a third of campaigns reach their goals, compared to 53% of Start Some Good campaigns. Indicative of the level of support that Start Some Good offers crowdfunders to strategise their campaigns, Tom spelled out the fundraising formula Reach x Propensity x Capacity, and shared examples of great campaigns across creative and social enterprise. He prompted participants to collaborate in sharpening our own stories by layering them with hooks to connect with our ideal audiences.

Rob Irving, Lead Pitch Coach for The Funding Network, led a resounding masterclass to help participants hone pitching skills. He led us through the very practical elements of a good pitch, with clear Purpose, great Planning, and lots of Practice. We learned the importance of opening strong, some great techniques to engage and to influence hearts and minds, and to conclude with the right call to action.

Mark Osborn, Chairman of FluidIntel Pty Ltd and The Funding Network, led a very practical masterclass on Strategy in Action. We collaborated with the inspiring Lauren Hockley and Marissa Sandler, co-founders of Careseekers, to apply this strategic planning methodology to their social enterprise. Together we sketched out a very simple roadmap for their strategy over 3 year, 12month and 90 day frameworks, and shared useful insights from across the broad expertise of the masterclass participants.

It is clear that social enterprise is an innovative, diverse and exciting space in Sydney. I was pleased to make new connections, and to share my own perspectives working within regional Australia, and drawing on my background in cultural and community enterprise.

Also super, I rode tiny steam trains and enjoyed every other form of public transport known to Sydney, with our 2yo and family. Here's to more adventures ahead!

Keep an eye out too for other Australian and international events and opportunities, which I share regularly on Facebook and Twitter. Let me know if you have creative and social enterprise news you'd like to shout out about!


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