In this episode of the Smart Community Podcast, I have a brilliant conversation with Chad Randando, director for the not for profit Startup Status, Managing Director Australia for the Global Entrepreneurship network, and current PhD researcher exploring the connection between entrepreneur ecosystems and community resilience. Chad and I discuss his varied background that spans the US Navy, manufacturing, innovation hubs and a stint as a radio DJ, and how some of those experiences sparked his interest in the Smart Regions and Smart Communities space. We talk about the different types of resilience that communities, especially regional communities, need in this ever changing world and the importance of asking the question ‘Who is not in the room?’ When it comes to Smart initiatives. Chad tells us how he sees Australia currently embracing Smart concepts, and the need for bottom up approaches driven by the regions rather than top down solutions handed to them. Chad shares with us a bit about the projects he’s working on, including his PhD into the role of innovation ecosystems in developing community resilience. We finish our chat discussing why collaboration over competition should be an emerging trend. This month, in December, we are shining a spotlight on the regions. As always we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as we enjoyed making it!
What we cover in this episode:
- Chad’s varied background that spans the US Navy, manufacturing, innovation hubs and a stint as a radio DJ
- How some of these experiences sparked his interest in the Smart Regions and Smart Communities space
- The importance of the Smart Community concepts of connectivity and accessibility to people who can’t currently access Smart initiatives
- How Chad sees Australia currently embracing the Smart Community space
- The different types of resilience that communities, especially regional communities, need in this ever-changing world
- The importance of asking the question ‘Who’s not in the room?’ When it comes to Smart initiatives
- The power of collaborative, bottom-up approaches driven by the regions, rather than top-down solutions handed to them
- Why we should be providing principles, scaffolding and capability in order to build and keep skills and investment in the regions
- Projects Chad is working on, including his PhD into the role of innovation ecosystem to develop resilience in regional communities
- The advantage of Australia being a regional nation that is good at connecting digitally and socially
- The power of media in telling the real stories to help better integrate and collaborate
- Chad’s frustration at the persistent split between us vs them, regional vs metro etc.
- Why collaboration over competition should be an emerging trend
“Even though globally we are raising the poverty level for everyone, we’re also increasing the the gaps, which raises whole bunch of other challenges. So how do we apply our Smart Cities for everybody in the region, not just for those people who have access already?”
“Innovation hubs as a concept is a bit of a distressed business model, often needing to be subsidised in order to provide the extra support for entrepreneurs in some way. And because they’re typically struggling on resources they lack the ability to measure [their impact] consistently.”
“When you start mapping all the networks and who deals with what, you start identifying these super-nodes that are connected to more people. [We need to be] making those super nodes more efficient, because what we find is, whether it’s an organisation or an individual, these nodes becomes successful, and that’s almost the worst thing that can happen because they start slowing down and becoming inefficient.”
“I think the way to address not being collaborative is not to speak out against it per se, but to create the examples of what it could look like. I think that’s why a lot of times the innovation ecosystem overall can be so compelling if we get it right, because it is a culture of gift first, it is a culture of ‘how can I help?’ If we can get that model right, I think collectively we will be able to advance a lot faster as compared to a zero sum game where everybody just wants a piece of the pie, rather than growing the pie overall.”
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The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Perk Digital.