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Collaboration is an interesting topic, as one might argue that collaboration happens across different sectors all the time, for example through trade or production, the act of working with others to produce something. Whilst this form of collaboration happens all the time as it is essentially impossible for one individual or one business to have all the attributes to achieve something independently, the majority of the times, this type of collaboration is very egoistical as the motive is purely self-serving.

What about collaboration for change, where we actively collaborate together to create positive change, where the ultimate goal is not self-serving, would it still be possible for enterprises to be successful if their goal changed from one of “I want to collaborate but only to achieve my own goal” to one where “I want to collaborate to create some great community outcomes”

When it comes to the idea of wanting to give back, wanting to do something that has a positive impact on society, it seems that often we work in silos in our own businesses and enterprises to create change, there are a plethora of example of small enterprises with big dreams, big ideas, a mass of creativity but that struggle to be sustainable let alone creating change as they lack funding or human resources to bring that big idea to light.

On the other hand, we find that large businesses and co-operations that have the funding and the resources, but are bombarded with managing process, managing people to deliver the process, managing change, so what tents to happen is that all the creativity is sucked out of the organisation and the people within it. We have giants of co-operations that are not flexible and agile to adopt change, have little creativity, don't really know how to engage with the communities they operate in or operate for, are only interested in short term goals and are struggling to understand what society needs are as they are only interested in the next product they can sell.

This is where I see collaboration could truly work. On one hand we have the small enterprises, businesses with purpose that has the big idea to create a positive social or environmental change and on the other hand we have the large co-operations that have the funds, resources and processes to make it happen. This does not in any way refer to the simple transaction of money exchange from the large corporate to the small enterprise with the idea. True collaboration happens when all parties have a genuine desire to create change, all parties come together as equals to create this change and all parties put on the table what they have to offer to create this change.

I see a lot of these one sided type of so called collaborations happening, in my opinions these are just transactions, and what happens, is that when it comes to these type of exchanges, there will be a winner and a looser, often the looser being the small enterprise with the big idea.

What I would like to explore is the idea of true collaboration for change, hence the topic of this year's Ethical Enterprise Conference. How do we collaboratively solve social, environmental or global issues. Could a conglomerate of small enterprises come together to collaborate on an idea, what are the examples of true collaboration between a small enterprise and a large corporate or government. I challenge you to consider this, how will this look for you and your enterprise, how can we make this happen and if you want to share your experience, your knowledge, your research or your view with others, I encourage you submit and application to speak at this year's Ethical Enterprise Conference, after all, true collaboration start with the act of sharing.

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Call out for speakers for the Ethical Enterprise Conference 2019

This year the Ethical Enterpirse Conference theme is “Collaboration for Change”. Effective action requires collaborative partnerships across civil society, industry and government. We’ll explore the power of connecting communities, people and businesses, building new alliances with civil society and governments to address the challenges we face. We’ll explore the opportunities that exist for the ethical business sector as a result of collective collaborations, we’ll share stories of how scalable impact is achieved through leadership, innovation and collaborations. The Ethical Enterprise Conference brings together exceptional thinkers, doers, entrepreneurs, academics and disruptors. It inspires hundreds of business owners, leaders and professionals. It provides an exceptional opportunity to share and pass on knowledge to others, meet leaders of extraordinary organisations, network with both the profit and not-for-profit sector.

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Join the Moral Fairground Business Membership

The program is designed to strengthen the relationship between fair-trade, ethical and as well as providing opportunities for exposure to consumers social business and enterprises. You can join at any time and get exposure through our range of events and programs; access to discounts and offers, share your initiatives via our networks. Join us today. moralfairground.com.au/membership

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Out and about

Get your soup at Melbourne Soup

The fourth Melbourne SOUP event is taking place on Sunday the 28th of July, bringing people together to be involved in bottom-up positive change. Attendees will pay $15, hear from 4 people presenting ideas that have a social and/or environmental purpose, then enjoy a bowl of soup and live music, before voting on their favourite presentation. The winning presenter receives the majority of the ticket money raised towards their project. All the details, including how to apply to present, are available via the Facebook event or directly on Humanitix.

Celebrating NAIDOC Week

Date: Wednesday 10th of July 2019
Time: 5.30pm to 8.00pm
Location: Aboriginal Advancement League, 2 Watt Street, Thornbury Victoria.
Cost: Free
Booking: Essential

Not-for-profit scholarhips

Deadline: 20th June 2019
The Australian Institute of Company Directors's scholarship program is about to close. It gives promising directors the opportunity to develop their skills and capabilities to be our board leaders into the future. There is still time to apply, click here for details.

Opening Night image

Patrick Mau

Cairns Indigenous Art Fair

Date: 10 to 14 of July 2019
Location: Cairns, Australia
Experience the vibrant aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Culture of Queensland at the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair, free and ticketed program.

 
 
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