In the last week of October, I visited the lovely coastal town of Geelong to attend the Pivot Summit.
The summit was a one day conference focussed on inspiring the start up community in Geelong with new ideas around social business. After I saw that Brian Solis (@BrianSolis) was one of the speakers I immediately paid my registration fee to attend. I used it as an opportunity to not only network with a new group of people there but also enjoy the drive down there from Melbourne.
Situated on the Barwon River and Corio Bay, it is approximately 75 kilometres from Melbourne. In its hey day was the industrial and manufacturing hub of Victoria. People could still remember the Ford motor plant, the Alcoa aluminium smelter and the Fletcher Jones textile factories. I believe that they were part of my school excursions many years ago. However, now as all these factories are long since closed, padlocked and forgotten, Geelong is going through a revitalisation of sorts with new infrastructure such as an airport, new roads, apartment development, university campus; state-of-the-art library and aquatic centres being built.
The aim of the summit was to inspire locally based entrepreneurs and businesses to stay in Geelong so that the city can reap economic benefits and continue to develop. The speakers I most enjoyed listening to were Brian Solis who talked about business designing experiences for their customers and how to stay relevant in a changing world; and also futurist Robert Scoble (@Scobleizer) who talked about some new gadgets and devices designed to make our lives easier.
Amusingly, there was this guy sitting at our table tapping away on his Apple Mac. His laptop had stickers all over it and my first thoughts was, “this guy is someone OR he is an entrepreneur with a start up.” My assumption was that anyone with stickers on their Apple Mac must be someone famous in the digital business arena. The same logic applies to golfers who wear white belts. See a golfer with a white belt and they’re more likely to be a golf pro. There’s an unwritten rule that says you don’t wear a white belt when you’re playing golf unless you’re a professional so I’m wondering if it must be the same with entrepreneurs and their sticker covered Macbooks)? Anyway, I naively ask him, “You wouldn’t happen to be Robert Scoble?” to which he answered, “I am” and then I introduced myself. It’s at that point that I got a bit awestruck, words failed me, looked down and fumbled with my camera. So much for staying cool, calm and collected. That was the extent of my interaction with him so I came across as a moron to say the least.
The Pivot Summit got me thinking about the area I live in which consists of light industry. I wouldn’t be surprised if over the next 20 or so years, the area of Moorabbin and Braeside also experiences a similar change as to what has been experienced by Geelong and I wondered how our suburb’s demographics would change. Here’s a short video on my reflections of the day.