Welcome to Enablers of Change…

We have officially launched Enablers of Change!

We had our “world premiere” at the recent APEN conference in Darwin (on 13 September 2019) where we had the chance to introduce ourselves and what we were trying to do with this enablers of change idea. Essentially, this is a place where we’ll share our thoughts and ideas about enabling change!

But first, let’s introduce ourselves. We have John James, who lives in Toowoomba, in sunny Queensland, Australia. He’s passionate about enabling change and has enjoyed working in this space for over 20 years. He’d like to share some of his experiences and learnings and also hear your thoughts and ideas, no matter where in the world you might be.

And then we have Denise Bewsell who lives in Christchurch in beautiful New Zealand. She’s worked in agricultural research, development and extension for many years and in several different industries. She too is keen to share her ideas and experiences with you so we can further develop and build our understanding of change.

So that’s why we’ve decided to create some short podcasts and videos, and share them with you on this Enablers of change site. We’ll share our thoughts about different topics around enabling change. We’ll focus mainly on agricultural industries and regional communities, but we’re always curious about what’s happening in other fields of study too. We’ve already compiled a long list of topics that we’re keen to share with you. Things like co-innovation, peer-to-peer learning, and even pre-mortems.

We’ll talk about different approaches, tools and techniques. We will mainly refer to evidence-based approaches. Some will have passed the test of time and be what we’d call classics. Others will be out-of-the-box ideas that we think are worth trying. We’ll also have some myth buster sessions, where we’ll test to see whether some commonly held beliefs are actually true.

We’re going to not only talk about using technology to better engage with our audiences, but we’re going to demonstrate how to use it. So if you do end up watching a YouTube episode, rather than reading the blog, you will notice that although we seem like we are sitting just across from each other and having a chat together, we’re actually 2500 km apart!

There is a very large ditch separating us, otherwise known as the Tasman Sea! That’s equivalent to the distance between London and Moscow, or for any Americans tuning in, it’s similar to distance between San Francisco to Kansas City. And for the Canadians, it’s similar to the distant from Vancouver to the middle of Ontario.

These are big distances we’re talking about, yet thanks to the Internet, a webcam and not much else, we can be chatting on YouTube. Admittedly it hasn’t been all that easy sorting out how to then record and create the videos, and we’ll share how we actually do it in a later episode, in case you’d like to use it as part of your work. Most people in Australia deal with big distances, as Australia is about 4000 km from east to west. So that’s why using online engagement tools like webinars and podcasts, is a great way of complementing our face-to-face activities. And while New Zealand isn’t quite as big, we share similar issues with the time it takes to drive from one place to another, often with winding roads. So anything that can reduce that sounds good!

You’re going to get to know us fairly well, as we’re bound to share a bit about ourselves over these blog posts. So some a couple more things to know about us… John is a budding beekeeper and has a hive that he looks after in the backyard. He used to have a traditional hive system, but he has moved to one of those new-fangled Flow hives, where you can just turn the tap and the honey pours out!

And Denise is a chocolate lover! If you come along to an event Denise is facilitating, it’s a good bet that there’ll be chocolate involved! In fact, Denise’s dream job would be to work as a taste tester for Whittaker’s Chocolates here in New Zealand.

But back to the story… we don’t want this to be a one-way conversation. We want you to join in and add your comments. Tell us if you agree or disagree. Share with us your ideas and experiences. By sharing and exploring the topics together, we’ll all have a better appreciation and understanding of the topic.

We’ve never done this before and are well and truly stepping out of our comfort zones. We’re being adventurous, starting our journey, and we invite you to join us!

If you’d like to join us, then subscribe so you’ll be notified as soon as we upload our next episode.

They say a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. So this has been our first step and we’ll look forward to seeing you at our next episode! All the best until we meet again.

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John JamesAlicia DunbarGreg Brennan Recent comment authors
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Greg Brennan
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Greg Brennan

Congratulations on the creation of this initiative. I’m sure there are huge advances that can be made using technology effectively to facilitate continuous improvement of our agricultural production systems. One area that may offer opportunities is the use of technology to enable individual levy payers to be actively involved in the process of prioritising R,D&E investments by industry bodies such as MLA and AWI.

Alicia Dunbar
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Alicia Dunbar

Awesome! Congrats John looking forward to the podcasts!