Leading minds gather to discuss State Library social enterprise centre

On Tuesday 7 September the State Library of Victoria will host Making a small world smaller, a forum to explore a partnership between the Library and RMIT University that would facilitate socially driven programs in Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The Making a small world smaller forum builds on a proposal jointly developed by the State Library and RMIT University. The proposal explored how a new centre at the State Library could use elements of social enterprise, community development and social media to increase Victoria's intellectual and social capital.

The proposal would bring together RMIT students, industry partners and staff from the Library to develop programs that focus on the socialisation of international students, facilitate entrepreneurship among young leaders in regional Victoria and engage local secondary students in innovative activities.

RMIT Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Dr David Gilbert believes the benefits of the proposal are far reaching.

'This proposal will offer disenfranchised sections of our community the opportunity to work with industry mentors, academic staff, and students in building social capital and facilitating new business creation.'

CEO and State Librarian, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich says the Making a small world smaller forum will generate ideas to help bring the proposal to fruition.

'Major libraries around the world are using their resources and expertise to help business entrepreneurs. The British Library has its Business and IP Centre and New York Public Library has its Small Business Resource Centre. In Victoria we are exploring a different approach and asking how a social entrepreneurship model and new technologies can be applied to bring young people together to learn, create and make a positive change in their community. We are asking how can we work with educators and industry to give people opportunities to expand their skills and help expand the skills of others? What are the possibilities of this idea and what are the possible benefits to Victoria?'

The Making a small world smaller forum gathers leading social entrepreneurs, educators, digital media specialists and students to:

  • Set the scene on the role social media, mobile technology and social entrepreneurship play in learning communities
  • Demonstrate the social and economic value of innovation and learning in generating knowledge capital
  • Showcase new opportunities to engage tertiary and secondary students in social entrepreneurship, innovation and learning at the State Library

The State Library invites anyone with an interest in social entrepreneurship, social media, skills sharing and collective learning to attend the forum.

Booking and event information

Bookings can be made online, by calling 03 8644 7099 or at bookings@slv.vic.gov.au

Making a small world smaller will be held at 10am on Tuesday 7 September at the State Library of Victoria's Village Roadshow Theatrette, entry 3, La Trobe St.


Master of Ceremonies: Paul Callaghan, Freelance writer and independent game developer.

Over the past 10 years, he's worked as a programmer, designer, writer, and teacher in the games industry both here and overseas. Paul is also the co-director of the Freeplay Independent Games Festival, an annual event that focuses on the creative side of games and the intersection between art, games, education, and the broader digital culture.

Greg Miller, Former MD - Google.org

From early 2006 through August 2009, Gregory Miller was Managing Director at Google.org leading its philanthropic investments, grants and legal teams. He also was CFO/Treasurer, Secretary and General Counsel of the Google Foundation and chair of its investment committee. Alongside former Executive Director Dr. Larry Brilliant, Greg helped initiate and develop Google.org's programs and funding initiatives addressing global economic development, global public health and climate change. During that 3+ year tenure, Google.org grew to 42 persons, awarded approximately $100 million with 120 grants, led 11 philanthropic investments, and was recognized in widespread news articles, blogs and conferences recognizing its data-driven, outcome-based approaches.

Peter Williams, CEO - Deloitte Digital

Peter Williams is one of Australia's thought leaders on innovation and online, mobile & emerging technology. He has worked with many high profile organisations such as Telstra, CSIRO, Holden, Victorian & Federal Governments and Meat & Livestock Australia. Peter is a sought after commentator on web and technology trends.

James Sanders, Co-founder of entrepreneur network, The Hive.

After graduating from the Entrepreneurship Program at RMIT University, James now works on the Innovation Academy at Deloitte Digital.

Mark Daniels, Manager Policy and Development - Social Traders

Mark Daniels has wide ranging experience in service delivery, advocacy and policy development. Mark worked with the Brotherhood of St Laurence managing a number of social enterprises aimed at assisting people into mainstream employment as well as providing expertise to other agencies looking to establish social enterprise. Mark has extensive experience developing policy and community development activities for public housing estates in inner city Melbourne. Mark is a Director on the Board of Yarra Community Housing.

Professor Brian Corbitt PhD FACS, Deputy Pro Vice Chancellor, Research and Innovation - RMIT University

Professor Brian Corbitt has significant experience and international standing and recognition in Information Systems, National Information Policy, Health Informatics and e-learning.

Harriet Wakelam, Senior Producer - White Pages in the Digital Development Group, Sensis

Harriet Wakelam's interests lie in the transformational potential of technology rather than in the technology itself. User experience and service design approaches to data delivers experiences not features. She is interested in how the creation of digital content allows communication to occur through multiple channels, enabling new connection and engagement points. She has developed digital strategies for commercial (Telstra) and government environments, managed digital content services and innovative approaches to building customer experience.

Dr David Gilbert, Associate Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, RMIT University

Dr David Gilbert is currently Associate Professor (Entrepreneurship & Innovation Discipline) in the School of Management and Deputy Head (Industry Engagement) in the College of Business, having joined RMIT in 2007. He previously served as Program Director of the Bachelor of Business (Entrepreneurship). Prior to his career in academia, David worked extensively in international business at the highest levels, including CEO, President and Partner in both corporate and private enterprises in countries including Japan, USA, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Korea as well as Hong Kong.

Nathan Welch, Managing Director and Co-founder - DayEight

Nathan Welch has witnessed the tectonic shift rocking our social, political and economic landscape while marketing for the government, retail and finance sectors in years past. He is now part of a global movement, responding to the needs of the next generation as Managing Director and Co-founder of DayEight.

Jarrod Briffa, co-founder - Kinfolk Cafe

Kinfolk Cafe is a Melbourne based social enterprise project. Kinfolk operates as a premium café, serving quality espresso and fresh, healthy produce, all the while redirecting its profits to various worthwhile international and local development projects.

Andrew Hiskens, Manager Learning Services Division - State Library of Victoria

Andrew Hiskens is responsible for a broad range of programs including information literacy, engagement with books and writing, the history and culture of Melbourne and Victoria, and learning for the future. He is passionate about is the use of technology and learning as a power for good.

Kate McCready, Graduate, RMIT Bachelor of Business Entrepreneurship

Kate McCready was one of the students who worked on the original proposal for a centre for social enterprise at the State library. She set the scene on the project's beginings.

Elliot Costello, Co-founder and general manager - Y-Gap

YGAP is an entirely volunteer based, not-for-profit organisation that provides an avenue for individuals to become involved in international development. YGAP enables volunteers to join innovative, collaborative and practical initiatives by combining their unique networks, specific vocational skills and common ambition of fighting poverty. Through field-based partnerships, YGAP aims to 'bridge the gap' between the aspiration vulnerable children have for an education, with the opportunities available to them. In our work across universities and corporations, YGAP's vision is to become an outstanding source of inspiration and opportunity for all involved.

Barry McGuren, Library Services Coordinator - Melbourne Library Service

Barry McGuren was appointed to the position of Library Services Coordinator in 2007 when the new Melbourne Library Service was established. As well as having over twenty years experience in public libraries Barry has previously worked in special libraries, as Assistant Director Library Services, Defence Library Service and Library Services Manager, Legal Aid NSW. Barry is managing a library service that is experiencing significant growth and change.

Other speakers

Other speakers include:

  • Major Brendan Nottle - The Salvation Army
  • Ms. Anita Nayar, Consul General of India in Melbourne
  • Yianni Rigogiannis, Head of Media Communications - World Vision

Media information

Matthew van Hasselt
State Library of Victoria
Ph:03 8664 7263
E: mvanhasselt@slv.vic.gov.au