[Image: Nanotechnology | © Spacious by ThemeGrill.]
My first year as my own boss has been an exhaustingly exhilarating one – coming as it has alongside the first year of my second daughter's life.
I've been fortunate to work on some amazing projects; from a multi–country nature–based tourism program in the Coral Triangle, to exploring ways to reduce inequality amongst indigenous Australians; from collaborating with Dutch and Australian climate resilience experts, to finding new ways to tackle Australian Homelessness; from helping the City of Yarra find ways to reignite their drive to become carbon neutral, to helping some of NSW's newly merged councils review their communities' direction.
And yes the work has been varied, but it's this very variety that was one of the key motivations for setting up 2iis Consulting in the first place.
During my career I've been fortunate to work on change projects at pretty much every possible scale. From multi–country programs to local initiatives involving just one or two communities. I've seen programs designed to change millions of people's lives for the better and projects looking to help just a handful of disadvantaged kids lift themselves out of poverty. I've been involved with a global organisation trying to prevent the exploitation of Antarctica and initiatives focused on a handful of farms looking to reduce the impacts of agriculture on the Great Barrier Reef.
And in all these projects, I've been challenged and pushed, inspired and educated – no matter the size or potential scale of the change I've been trying to help create.
I've also found myself constantly questioning how change happens. Why some initiatives grow and multiply in their impacts and why some, no matter how well–designed or funded, never get beyond the trial stage.
And why, at the end of the day, the scale of change being attempted is never really that important.
One of the realisations I've come to in the last 12 months is that I love working on change projects at pretty much any scale. In fact what I learn from the smaller projects invariably informs the larger projects (and vice versa), so I can never really foresee a time when I won't look to work on the greatest variety of projects in terms of scale that I can.
There's another reason behind my interest in seeking out change projects from the micro to the macro. The people I encounter on these projects are, in the main, highly passionate, engaging and smart individuals seeking out ways to build a better world for us all. They often grapple with seemingly insurmountable issues and face depressing realities every day, but they tend to do so with a seemingly endless supply of determination and optimism that I strive to match.
Let's be honest, without that attitude, driving change in this complex and challenging global society we've created is more or less impossible.
It's also a whole lot less fun – and as I've been known to say on a number of occasions, change without fun is change that's both that much harder to make happen, and also much less likely to stick.