AngelCube takes six startups under its wing

angel cube

Click here to view the original article on Startup Smart.

Melbourne-based accelerator AngelCube has announced the six startups that are currently taking part in its program. The program, which the six startups began in June, involves a $40,000 investment in exchange for 8% equity, as well as mentoring, six months free co-working space at Inspire9 and multiple chances to pitch in front of prominent investors.

AngelCube program manager Amir Nissen says they’re already seeing growth in the participating startups. “It’s been pretty intense,” Nissen says. “The pleasing thing is that the teams have come a long way since they walked in the door.”

The startups currently involved with the accelerator include project management product Coincraft, PR automation CurveUp, smart standing desk Jack.io, second-hand clothing platform Refound, website calling service SweetHawk and professional development startup Peer Academy.

AngelCube was focused on selecting founders with an all-round knowledge of the operations of their startup, Nissen says. “We’re mostly looking for them having a very, very in-depth knowledge about their business,” he says. “They needed to know what the obstacles were and be able to fire back answers quickly.”

Peer Academy co-founder Onur Ekinci says the startup’s traction played an important role in being selected. “It wasn’t just an idea, we had already turned out an MVP, had revenue coming through and repeat users,” Ekinci says.

The program allows them to do in three months what they would’ve done in one or two years without assistance, Ekinci says. “It’s been a real whirlwind journey,” he says. “It started off with really stripping it back to the core underlying assumptions and beliefs about what we’re doing, then going to the market and testing them.”

Peer Academy offers a novel take on professional development, providing peer-driven learning classes to small groups of corporate clients. Ekinci and fellow co-founder Kylie Long ran a pilot program in October last year, and now have over 600 users. The accelerator program will conclude in September 2015 with a series of demo days in Melbourne and Sydney, where the startups will pitch to a range of potential investors.

“The ultimate goal of the demo day is to get people interested, for them to do a follow-up that hopefully turns into an investment.”

“Now we’ll be doing a lot more dinners and drinks with handfuls of investors. We’re pulling in the same network but on a far more personal level.”

AngelCube was founded in 2011, and has invested in 23 startups through the program. The accelerator’s alumni includes LIFX, a company offering Wi-Fi enabled light bulbs that recently raised $13 million in seed funding, and Brosa Designs, which closed a $2 million funding round last month.

Learning from our peers

Alex Robert of the Department of Industry writes about his experience of Peer Academy’s flagship training and the opportunity for peer learning across the Government ecosystem.

By Alex Roberts – June 5, 2015. Click here to see the original article.

How do you best transfer tacit knowledge – the understanding that comes from practice, experience and application in a real world environment – to other people?

This is an issue we often deal with when talking about innovation. Innovation is a big concept. One word, ‘innovation’, represents a large body of knowledge and practice. How do we best get people across it? It’s something that a lot of people learn about through experience – but how can we help cut that learning time down?

I believe this applies to a lot of other practices (e.g. behavioural insights, design thinking, horizon scanning) where there isn’t a strict recipe for how to apply a methodology, and where it can be hard to codify everything that is involved.

At the same time, agencies are keen to take advantage of the existing expertise within their organisations. How can we unlock that knowledge, as well as looking to external training providers or more formal learning and development programmes where appropriate?

Basically – how can we speed up the process of sharing knowledge and expertise within organisations?

Peer Learning

These questions led us to test the services of Peer Academy, a new start-up based in Melbourne applying a peer-to-peer model for learning.

What’s a peer-to-peer model for learning? Well, we are currently seeing the growth of the ‘sharing’ or collaborative economy. Platforms are providing a means to connect those with spare resources or capacity with those who have a need. The peer-to-peer learning approach is about connecting those with knowledge and skills with those who would like to learn more – and doing so on a collaborative basis.

So on Wednesday 27 May a group of interested public servants, many of whom are in the process of planning events for Innovation Month 2015, undertook a ‘How to Host a Deep Dive’ session facilitated by Kylie Long, one of the founders of Peer Academy to learn more.

The all-day session was about how to host a peer-learning event, one where you share your knowledge and expertise with your peers. As Kylie explained, the approach is about recognising that people are increasingly looking to learn from each other in a collaborative fashion as peers, rather than within the traditional context of a student/expert dynamic. Peer Academy is looking at how such an approach can be made scalable and how to connect those wanting to learn with those willing to share their tacit knowledge.

Kylie took us through a fast-paced day with a lot of design thinking elements. We rapidly developed ideas around putting together an event, prototyped event ideas, worked on identifying our target audience(s), and learnt about facilitation and structuring an event to reinforce and emphasise key points. We also worked on identifying what we were trying to achieve as event hosts, and encouraged reflection to help improve our events in the future and to ensure that we learn from holding events, as well as helping others learn from us and from doing.

Reflections

I personally found it a great day and I learnt a lot (more) about putting together events that are relevant and useful. I also learnt a lot about the skills involved with facilitation and aiding people in connecting their ‘head, heart and hands’ (knowledge, passion and skills) and using the diversity of a group to get better discussions.

I also found it very interesting to think about how such a model might apply more broadly within the public service.

One of the challenges that I think might hinder such an approach in the public service is that we, as public servants, can often take shelter behind our professionalism. It can be uncomfortable to take off the ‘expert’ hat, and be willing to put forward knowledge as a peer and as something that is incomplete/not perfect. But then, as Kylie noted, we need to collaborate, and collaboration is often messy.

As ‘recipients’ of training or learning and development, I also think many of us tend to put a lot on the trainer – we expect to evaluate them and what they have taught us, without necessarily really thinking about our role and our commitment to learning. In a peer learning context it is a different dynamic.

To borrow one of the examples used on the day – event hosting is a bit like hosting a dinner party. The host has a lot of responsibilities – but so do the guests. It is different to going to a restaurant, where you are the customer and you can rate the restaurant. I suspect that change in dynamic will take a bit of getting used to for many of us.

In terms of what peer learning might offer in the public service, I definitely think that peer learning has a lot of potential, as well as fitting with the general direction that we’re heading in in terms of how things are done. I think that peer learning models can offer a lot in terms of scale, speed and effectiveness for sharing knowledge and skills throughout an organisation and/or across networks.

Of course, just as with any other emerging practice or innovation, this is a practice that is still evolving. It will be interesting to see how peer learning might develop as a component of the wider ‘sharing’ economy, and how we apply such thinking within the Australian Public Service.

Ted Talks meets Airbnb

Startup Daily introduces Peer Academy as a new approach to professional development.

Startup Daily writes about Peer Academy. Click here to view the original article.
By Tasnuva Bindi | April 17, 2015.

The popular belief is that universities prepares students for the workforce. Parents can certainly be blamed for conning their children into believing that studying hard at University for a few years will lead to a stable career and a comfortable life. The disparity between knowledge and work-based knowledge is not completely unsupported by universities, but is considerably large. If you’ve ever walked into a job on the first day as a fresh university graduate, you’ll know that feeling – nerves tacked onto an overabundance of gusto. But very quickly, graduates realise they’ve got little of the skills that employers actually want. Whether you want to be a cog in a wheel or start your own business, the real learning begins after university. A Melbourne-based startup Peer Academy has applied the collaborative consumption model into education to help people gain practical skills by learning from their peers.

Founded by Kylie Long and Onur Ekinci, Peer Academy has been designed for the next generation of tech-savvy professionals who prefer less regimented learning paths. Whereas old-fashioned modes of education employ a ‘top-down’ approach, where learners are taught how and what to think, Peer Academy’s hosts (teachers) share their knowledge while harnessing students’ ideas and skills. As such, the learning experience is collaborative.

“The collaborative economy is allowing more people to participate in the creation of ideas and innovation. People are demanding flexible, peer-to-peer learning. Peer Academy aims to become a destination for people to visit on a regular basis to engage with leading thinkers, while sharing their ideas and becoming part of a community of passionate learners,” said Ekinci.

Long said conventional approaches to professional development – like university courses and weekend seminars – are expensive and restrictive, failing to reflect change in our workplaces and careers. Peer Academy aims to provide a more agile system of education that empowers professionals to embrace continuous learning. People can select classes hosted by leaders in a range of fields including from leadership and management, innovation and digital, marketing and communications, and productivity. The cost of attending a class is also quite affordable, typically between $50 and $150.

So why type of classes are we talking about? Pretty much anything and everything that will equip individuals to be self-directed in their growth in an ever-evolving work landscape – whether they are entrepreneurs, leaders in organisations, or individuals starting out their careers. If you take one quick glance at Peer Academy and you will see classes like ‘Productivity Hacking with Asana’, ‘The Art of Strategic Questioning’, ‘From Vision to Result: How Prototyping Can Help’, ‘Creating a Culture of Innovation’ and ‘Grow Your Business through Powerful Partnerships’, among many more.

There are certainly other education platforms like Lynda.com, which is in the process of being acquired by LinkedIn for a $1.5 billion, as well as Coursera, General Assembly and Khan Academy, that can be used for professional development. And closer to home, there’s OpenLearning, BSchool and WeTeachMe. But Peer Academy claims to have its own unique style.

“There’s a peer review process as a way to benchmark quality, which is quite unique in the education space. We also teach people how to ‘host’ a class. And as far as professional development goes, we’re very different to anything that’s out there at the moment, particularly in respects to congregating some of the world’s best content around skills development and the overall cost-effectiveness,” said Long.

She added that it’s important for Peer Academy to be a self-organising entity: “it’s actually not about us, it’s about the community.” As such, Peer Academy’s marketing efforts will be centred around its community. Long said Peer Academy will profile hosts and other members of the community.

“We’ve been influenced by Humans of New York, so we’ve been doing regular features on our hosts and community in a similar style. That approach has proven to be really really popular,” said Long.

Peer Academy also teaches ‘hosts’ how to conduct a class. This is especially important for people in leadership roles, because no matter how skilled a person is in a particular area, they need to be able to relay that information in an engaging and effective manner so learners can take that information on board and apply it in their own work. Long said that Peer Academy is passionate about equipping people with the ability to deliver collaborative, experiential learning. The three-part ‘How to Host Training’ costs $150, though this is not compulsory and free resources are also available for aspiring hosts.

Peer Academy has thus far formed three venue partnerships in Melbourne – including NAB Village, Henley Club and the Foundation for Young Australians. The startup has plans to expand into other Australian cities and even internationally. In fact, Peer Academy has already received offers to expand to over ten cities, including New York, Amsterdam and Taiwan.

“Because we’re still in startup phase, what’s important for us is to set up a strong foundation in Melbourne and creating the right algorithm. Then it’s a simple process of launching in other areas. I’d say Peer Academy will be in Sydney and Brisbane quite early next year. We’re already forming the relationships to make that happen,” said Long.

For the time being, Peer Academy is going half-half with hosts in regards to revenue generated from ticket sales. But Long said that as Peer Academy grows, it will be looking to cut that down to 10 to 15 percent.

“Our interest is to create a scalable business; and we need as much revenue as we [reasonably can] to create the right culture and maintain quality as we scale,” said Long.

Long also said that they’re constantly doing market research, interviewing at least two or three people a day.

“We’re in a constant cycle of iteration. After a class, I ended up staying back and talking with a couple of girls and getting insight on how we can deliver topics that are of interest to them. Research is everything for us as what we’re pitching about is providing the very best user experience we can,” said Long.

As a two-sided marketplace, it’s important that Peer Academy is able to grow its ‘hosts’ and ‘students’ simultaneously. Long said getting initial hosts on board to teach classes hasn’t been difficult

“People can really see the vision of what we’re looking to do; and so where there’s a shared purpose, there’s a strong willingness,” said Long.

“I was talking to Will Dayble who is the founder of SquareWeave, who is absolutely extraordinary. He was really excited to come on and host with us on Peer Academy. We were talking about the difference between those at university and those leading their own development which is so central to entrepreneurialism. You can’t survive in this space without [continuous development] and that’s kind of what we’re seeking to support at Peer Academy.”

At the moment, there are people applying to host classes; and within the next couple of months or so, Long believes there will be enough awareness around Peer Academy that the founders won’t have to seek out hosts themselves.

Also, now that applications are coming through, Long said they will be doing quality control to ensure topics are appropriate.

“If we have people approaching us and saying that they want to deliver training on say, Excel spreadsheets, that’s a tool of the past and we’re not interested in that. If they say they want to deliver training on how to use Kumu, which is a really sophisticated visualisation tool for organisations, then we’d be very interested,” said Long.

There is also opportunity for Peer Academy to offer a multi-tiered subscription model to large corporates and government organisations, so that staff have access to classes and can contribute to corporate innovation.

More information on classes or how to host classes is available via peeracademy.org.

‘Ted Talks meets Airbnb’: Melbourne startup Peer Academy introduces new approach to professional development

Screen Shot 2015-04-27 at 8.12.07 pm

Startup Daily writes about Peer Academy. Click here to view the original article.
By Tasnuva Bindi | April 17, 2015.

The popular belief is that universities prepares students for the workforce. Parents can certainly be blamed for conning their children into believing that studying hard at University for a few years will lead to a stable career and a comfortable life. The disparity between knowledge and work-based knowledge is not completely unsupported by universities, but is considerably large. If you’ve ever walked into a job on the first day as a fresh university graduate, you’ll know that feeling – nerves tacked onto an overabundance of gusto. But very quickly, graduates realise they’ve got little of the skills that employers actually want. Whether you want to be a cog in a wheel or start your own business, the real learning begins after university. A Melbourne-based startup Peer Academy has applied the collaborative consumption model into education to help people gain practical skills by learning from their peers.

Founded by Kylie Long and Onur Ekinci, Peer Academy has been designed for the next generation of tech-savvy professionals who prefer less regimented learning paths. Whereas old-fashioned modes of education employ a ‘top-down’ approach, where learners are taught how and what to think, Peer Academy’s hosts (teachers) share their knowledge while harnessing students’ ideas and skills. As such, the learning experience is collaborative.

“The collaborative economy is allowing more people to participate in the creation of ideas and innovation. People are demanding flexible, peer-to-peer learning. Peer Academy aims to become a destination for people to visit on a regular basis to engage with leading thinkers, while sharing their ideas and becoming part of a community of passionate learners,” said Ekinci.

Long said conventional approaches to professional development – like university courses and weekend seminars – are expensive and restrictive, failing to reflect change in our workplaces and careers. Peer Academy aims to provide a more agile system of education that empowers professionals to embrace continuous learning. People can select classes hosted by leaders in a range of fields including from leadership and management, innovation and digital, marketing and communications, and productivity. The cost of attending a class is also quite affordable, typically between $50 and $150.

So why type of classes are we talking about? Pretty much anything and everything that will equip individuals to be self-directed in their growth in an ever-evolving work landscape – whether they are entrepreneurs, leaders in organisations, or individuals starting out their careers. If you take one quick glance at Peer Academy and you will see classes like ‘Productivity Hacking with Asana’, ‘The Art of Strategic Questioning’, ‘From Vision to Result: How Prototyping Can Help’, ‘Creating a Culture of Innovation’ and ‘Grow Your Business through Powerful Partnerships’, among many more.

There are certainly other education platforms like Lynda.com, which is in the process of being acquired by LinkedIn for a $1.5 billion, as well as Coursera, General Assembly and Khan Academy, that can be used for professional development. And closer to home, there’s OpenLearning, BSchool and WeTeachMe. But Peer Academy claims to have its own unique style.

“There’s a peer review process as a way to benchmark quality, which is quite unique in the education space. We also teach people how to ‘host’ a class. And as far as professional development goes, we’re very different to anything that’s out there at the moment, particularly in respects to congregating some of the world’s best content around skills development and the overall cost-effectiveness,” said Long.

She added that it’s important for Peer Academy to be a self-organising entity: “it’s actually not about us, it’s about the community.” As such, Peer Academy’s marketing efforts will be centred around its community. Long said Peer Academy will profile hosts and other members of the community.

“We’ve been influenced by Humans of New York, so we’ve been doing regular features on our hosts and community in a similar style. That approach has proven to be really really popular,” said Long.

Peer Academy also teaches ‘hosts’ how to conduct a class. This is especially important for people in leadership roles, because no matter how skilled a person is in a particular area, they need to be able to relay that information in an engaging and effective manner so learners can take that information on board and apply it in their own work. Long said that Peer Academy is passionate about equipping people with the ability to deliver collaborative, experiential learning. The three-part ‘How to Host Training’ costs $150, though this is not compulsory and free resources are also available for aspiring hosts.

Peer Academy has thus far formed three venue partnerships in Melbourne – including NAB Village, Henley Club and the Foundation for Young Australians. The startup has plans to expand into other Australian cities and even internationally. In fact, Peer Academy has already received offers to expand to over ten cities, including New York, Amsterdam and Taiwan.

“Because we’re still in startup phase, what’s important for us is to set up a strong foundation in Melbourne and creating the right algorithm. Then it’s a simple process of launching in other areas. I’d say Peer Academy will be in Sydney and Brisbane quite early next year. We’re already forming the relationships to make that happen,” said Long.

For the time being, Peer Academy is going half-half with hosts in regards to revenue generated from ticket sales. But Long said that as Peer Academy grows, it will be looking to cut that down to 10 to 15 percent.

“Our interest is to create a scalable business; and we need as much revenue as we [reasonably can] to create the right culture and maintain quality as we scale,” said Long.

Long also said that they’re constantly doing market research, interviewing at least two or three people a day.

“We’re in a constant cycle of iteration. After a class, I ended up staying back and talking with a couple of girls and getting insight on how we can deliver topics that are of interest to them. Research is everything for us as what we’re pitching about is providing the very best user experience we can,” said Long.

As a two-sided marketplace, it’s important that Peer Academy is able to grow its ‘hosts’ and ‘students’ simultaneously. Long said getting initial hosts on board to teach classes hasn’t been difficult

“People can really see the vision of what we’re looking to do; and so where there’s a shared purpose, there’s a strong willingness,” said Long.

“I was talking to Will Dayble who is the founder of SquareWeave, who is absolutely extraordinary. He was really excited to come on and host with us on Peer Academy. We were talking about the difference between those at university and those leading their own development which is so central to entrepreneurialism. You can’t survive in this space without [continuous development] and that’s kind of what we’re seeking to support at Peer Academy.”

At the moment, there are people applying to host classes; and within the next couple of months or so, Long believes there will be enough awareness around Peer Academy that the founders won’t have to seek out hosts themselves.

Also, now that applications are coming through, Long said they will be doing quality control to ensure topics are appropriate.

“If we have people approaching us and saying that they want to deliver training on say, Excel spreadsheets, that’s a tool of the past and we’re not interested in that. If they say they want to deliver training on how to use Kumu, which is a really sophisticated visualisation tool for organisations, then we’d be very interested,” said Long.

There is also opportunity for Peer Academy to offer a multi-tiered subscription model to large corporates and government organisations, so that staff have access to classes and can contribute to corporate innovation.

More information on classes or how to host classes is available via peeracademy.org.

Collaborative Consumption’s ‘Collaborative Pioneers’ Interview

(To view the original interview with Collaborative Consumption, please click here)

Onur Ekinci is the co-founder of Peer Academy, a Melbourne-based professional development company that brings together innovators and collaborators who are passionate about accelerating change in their organisations. In this interview Onur explains the evolution and thinking behind this new peer to peer learning model with Darren Sharp.

Why did you and co-founders Kylie Long and Mark Hogan start Peer Academy?

Currently, many education models aren’t keeping up with the pace of job or career changes. As people change jobs more frequently the need for new skills will change in variety and pace. The collaborative economy is also allowing more people to participate in the creation of ideas and innovation. We are seeing this with the Rise of the Intrapreneurs. Organisations are witnessing the value of staff who think and act like entrepreneurs to create value. That means, there will be increased lessons to be learnt from our peers. So as we enter into the collaborative economy, people will demand flexible and peer to peer learning.

What does peer to peer learning have to offer?

People learn best when they are active and responsible for their own learning. Many of us want to move beyond the expert vs student paradigm and would rather learn from peers who have gone down the tricky path we are venturing on. Learning from someone who has been through the same issues and challenges as you and can genuinely share their failures as well as their success makes the learning authentic, immersive and practical.

When you consider this in combination with the future of work, we saw an opportunity to build a new professional development model fit for the 21st century.

What is Peer Academy?

Peer Academy facilitates the exchange of skills, tools and knowledge for professionals across Corporate, Government and Not-For-Profit. We team up with inspiring change makers to host a wide range of interdisciplinary topics focused on 21st century skills that are on-demand, low-cost and practical. Topics range from Design Thinking, to moving from debate to dialogue, to storytelling for change, to increasing your influence through social media.

Peer Academy differs from other learning platforms such as Skillshare or WeTeachMe as we facilitate face to face learning focused on professional skills and not lifestyle or leisure-based skills.

The Peer Academy concept has evolved from the creation of a network of Intrapreneurs in Melbourne in early 2014. As the network doubled and then tripled in size in the space of just a few months, it became clear that there was an opportunity to make peer to peer learning more readily available.

Screen shot 2014-10-27 at 11.19.30 AM

How does it work?

Sessions tend to go for two hours and are hosted by peers who have a story to tell and a skill to share. Sessions are designed to be collaborative and informal to help peers connect, have a more meaningful experience and most importantly have fun!

Having fun has to be one of the most important things about your experience at Peer Academy. If you want to create lasting change, people need to overcome their fears. The best way to do this is to make the ‘new’ more fun than the ‘old’. Otherwise people easily revert back to what they know and feel safe with.

Another key point of difference is storytelling. As peers tell stories of their own experiences, others get to clearly see what their skill or knowledge looks like in practice. We see this as an important difference from academic learning which can often be difficult to put into practice.

Finally, as we all know, most organisations are feeling the pressure to be lean and adaptive, making us more responsive to change. These trends also need to be reflected in the way we learn. We believe in the model of ‘lean learning’, where learning happens in shorter bursts but more frequently. For example, attending a two-hour session once a month is likely to be more effective than a two-day course once a year. ‘Lean Learning’ also helps keep people in a learning mind set, which makes you more malleable and embracing of change. The concept of ‘lean learning’ has been at the heart of the design of Peer Academy.

What’s next for Peer Academy?

Our vision is a world nestled in a learning culture. Where change is accelerated as a result of sharing skills, tools and knowledge. Where we overcome competition through collaboration. Where we work together to address the complex challenges of our time. Therefore we’d love to make Peer Academy a global platform and preferred destination for professional development. With requests to start up in a number of cities across the world, we’ll be looking at designing a business model that will allow us to scale.

We’d love for people interested in Peer Academy to contact us or to follow our journey on Twitter @Peer_Academy or Facebook.com/PeerAcademy.

Thought Leadership To Be The Next Edge

Most organisations focus on the quality of their products or services as a measure of success. This is a reliable and tangible way to track performance. What we tend to lack are lead indicators that can give us an insight on the quality of thinking that goes into creating those products or services. That thinking is often linked to our organisational culture and can show up in the way products and services are created and delivered one to three years down the track from an initial strategy workshop. However, most tools for conducting a health check on the culture of an organisation give little insight to the quality of an organisation’s thought leadership, such as staff satisfaction surveys.

Thought leadership in organisations rests on its ability to manage the creation, access and flow of knowledge. With most organisations trapped in siloed ways of working, it becomes a difficult task to encourage knowledge sharing. Yet wherever you go there are pockets of excellence of talented individuals and teams. Not only does it become a missed opportunity to access, package and share valuable and practical knowledge from these exemplars, often, these are individuals who are passionate about accelerating change and therefore sharing knowledge.
Peer Academy seeks to address these organisational challenges by creating a platform that makes it easier to identify and tap into the talent in your organisation. By creating a platform for talent to showcase their work, facilitate learning and unlock new opportunities for organisations, we seek to accelerate change.
Peer Academy is available for individuals and teams to host a topic of their choice for the wider professional marketplace, therefore increasing capacity across your sector or industry. Whilst also providing an internal organisational platform for colleagues to learn from one another. Join us in changing the way we learn.

Interview with the Changemakers Festival

(To view the original interview with the Changemakers Festival, please click here)

interview with a changemaker: onur ekinci of peer academy

Changemakers Logo

Introducing Onur Ekinci and Peer Academy

Onur Ekinci and Peer Academy are offering Changemakers Festival attendees the first glimpse at their new way of enabling professional development through peer networks. There are 15 Peer Academy pop up session happening throughout the Changemakers Festival! The topics include: Engaging more people in your cause via digital campaigns; Storytelling for change; Co-Design in Government; Innovation, Values, Culture – How to underpin high performance.

Q1: Introduce yourself to the Changemakers Festival audience, please!
A: For the past five years, I’ve dedicated myself to develop as a facilitator. I’m passionate about holding good processes for collaboration. Knowing that the complex challenges of our time require us working together across sectors, I’ve been focused on designing the conditions for wide-scale collaboration.

Q2: Tell us about the Peer Academy events at Changemakers Festival!
A: We’re excited to be launching Peer Academy as part of the Changemakers Festival. Peer Academy is a new and disruptive education model, focusing on 21st century skills and cutting-edge practices for any workplace through peer-to-peer learning.

During this years Changemakers Festival, professionals across sectors will be hosting a number of sessions, ranging from: Getting started: Engaging more people in your cause via digital campaigns; Storytelling for change; Co-Design in Government; Innovation, Values, Culture – How to underpin high performance!

Q3: How did you get on this path? Was there a significant person or event in your life that sparked your desire to work towards social change?

Peer Academy was born from the need for more dynamic, practical and collaborative learning. Founded in Melbourne, the idea behind Peer Academy is supported by a community of professionals across Corporate, Government and Not For Profits who are tired of existing education and training models.

People are really enjoying learning from each other, which is growing collaboration. They’re becoming more activated and immersed in their own learning, and it’s transforming organisations. Additionally, we believe that many education delivery models are not keeping up with the pace of job or career changes. We need a new education paradigm for professional development. One where learning happens on-demand, is low-cost, practical and peer-led.

Q4: What kind of Australia (or world!) do you want to build over the next 20 years?

Imagine a world nestled in a learning culture. Where change is accelerated as a result of sharing skills, tools and knowledge. Where we overcome competition through collaboration. Where we work together to address the complex challenges of our time. We hope Peer Academy can be a vehicle for such change.

Q5: Why are you attending the Changemakers Festival?

The Changemakers Festival is a great time to showcase and celebrate all the amazing things happening across Australia. The Changemakers Festival couldn’t be a better time for us to introduce Peer Academy to the world. We’re excited to help build a movement of 21st century changemakers.

Thought Leadership To Be The Next Edge

Most organisations focus on the quality of their products or services as a measure of success. This is a reliable and tangible way to track performance. What we tend to lack are lead indicators that can give us an insight on the quality of thinking that goes into creating those products or services. That thinking is often linked to our organisational culture and can show up in the way products and services are created and delivered one to three years down the track from an initial strategy workshop. However, most tools for conducting a health check on the culture of an organisation give little insight to the quality of an organisation’s thought leadership, such as staff satisfaction surveys.

Thought leadership in organisations rests on its ability to manage the creation, access and flow of knowledge. With most organisations trapped in siloed ways of working, it becomes a difficult task to encourage knowledge sharing. Yet wherever you go there are pockets of excellence of talented individuals and teams. Not only does it become a missed opportunity to access, package and share valuable and practical knowledge from these exemplars, often, these are individuals who are passionate about accelerating change and therefore sharing knowledge.

Peer Academy seeks to address these organisational challenges by creating a platform that makes it easier to identify and tap into the talent in your organisation. By creating a platform for talent to showcase their work, facilitate learning and unlock new opportunities for organisations, we seek to accelerate change.

Peer Academy is available for individuals and teams to host a topic of their choice for the wider professional marketplace, therefore increasing capacity across your sector or industry. Whilst also providing an internal organisational platform for colleagues to learn from one another. Join us in changing the way we learn.