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What is 30under30?
30under30 is an Anthill initiative launched in 2008 to encourage and promote entrepreneurship among young Australians. This year’s batch of nominees was extensive and impressive. So much so that we believe several young talents who didn’t snag 30under30 top honours still deserve your attention and recognition. We’re calling them our Up-and-Comers. More.
Brodie McCulloch, WA (b. 1983)
Name: Brodie McCulloch
Age: 28 (Born: May 1983)
Perth may be isolated geographically, but when Brodie McCulloch returned home after four years abroad, he felt a different sense of isolation: a large gap existed in Western Australia between the plenitude of resources that supported the dominant industry (i.e. mining) and the lack of resources for innovative social enterprise.
“I went looking for the social entrepreneur networks and government agencies that supported this and found out quickly that they just didn’t exist,” he recalls.
He began Social innovation in Western Australia (SiiWA) with the intent to bridge this gap. The idea is to “support entrepreneurs, communities and businesses to deliver social good through innovative means,” he explains.
McCulloch identifies as a movement entrepreneur, one who utilises communications technology to mobilise communities and affect social change. The SiiWA website contains reports on local and Australia-wide conferences and workshops, with links on investing in startups and projects dedicated to fair-trade, green and environmental causes.
One hears this same language when McCulloch describes his goals for the SiiWA organisation: he likes to talk about creating a “sustainable innovation infrastructure” of community advocates and “an organic network” of like-minded individuals to keep the movement growing.
His original goal had been to launch a bike-sharing program in Fremantle. The resistance he encountered, mainly in the absence of social initiative, inspired him to create SiiWA to tackle the larger issue of disconnect, “to move people from idea to prototype to scale in a shorter time frame,” he says.
One SiiWA success story is its collaboration with Stockland to build an Innovation and Collaboration Hub in Perth’s Central Business District. Set to open this year, the Hub will be able to accommodate 70 people including entrepreneurs, government and corporate staff.
McCulloch comes from a marketing background, having served as marketing manager for the cruise company Holland America Line. Before SiiWA, he founded the consultancy firm Think Big Communication.
He longs to see greater diversity in Western Australia beyond the mining sector and the profits boom that it has created.
“We are about to enter a period of economic wealth and how we invest that now will determine our future direction,” says McCulloch. “I think by investing on a local level to empower the people who are already passionate we can multiply their effect and encourage new and innovative solutions to create positive change.”
Asked to gauge the impact of SiiWA, he is optimistic: “I think it’s coming together nicely,” he says.
Anthill asks: Brodie McCulloch, what’s your superpower?
“The ability to think laterally across industries and opportunities. This may seem quite straightforward, but with an increasingly complex world, being able to have an understanding of where things fit and then employ strategies to best position your organisation or cause for maximum effect is going to be increasingly important.”
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To check out the full list of Anthill’s 30under30 winners, click here.