Opinion

Does Adelaide Need An Attitude Adjustment?

— Adelaide, SA


Preface
Does Adelaide need to adjust its attitude regarding its creative and entrepreneurial culture and community? We offer our thoughts.

Writer
Paul Holmes

Location
Adelaide, SA


In a heartfelt plea, Joshua Fanning of CityMag digs his fingers into his cheeks, drags them down, drawing blood, while begging Adelaide to focus on making Adelaide a living city, not just a liveable city. He asks Adelaide dreamers not to give up and demands private industry refrain from their sacred status quo and invest more in ideas that will invigorate this city. A fair ask, I say.

I agree there needs to be a change of attitude; the Adelaide start-up and 'entrepreneur' community often seems a bit closed off and insular. Nobody seems to be reaching out, at the right time, to captivate anyone's attention. It all seems to happen in private, in expensive co-working spaces rather than out in the open - in the commons - like you see in the innovation cities like Berlin. Visit St. Oberholz, Westberlin, and The Digital Eatery and you'll get the gist. Innovation occurs before your eyes.

In Adelaide it seems the same people growing their back catalogue of businesses and ideas. Fresh meat is rarely observed. It appears difficult for any 'outsider' to get in without being part of the crowd. As a city we very much lack any sort of visible 'community' of creatives and entrepreneurs.

While in Berlin last year, every cafe I went into was brimming with life and atmosphere. You could sense the people were actively attempting to make a difference in the world through the ideas they were working on. Tables were strewn with MacBooks, beer, coffee, and the obligatory Moleskines while the youth of Berlin feverishly cranked out code, business plans, and product designs. In-depth meetings with co-founders, Eureka moments, smiles, and high-fives. Being part of that atmosphere for a week and a half led my own Evernote brain dump of ideas to grow to unachievable proportions.

(Oops, I compared Adelaide to another city. Sorry, Joshua.)

I think about what we are trying to achieve with Worcere by helping to bring small business together with creatives, entrepreneurs, and start-ups to create a connected, engaged, like-minded community. Not even that, imagine that kid walking home to the train station and witnessing such a community and atmosphere we want to help create. Something they never knew could exist, perhaps? After all, four white walls are probably what they have been indoctrinated with. An open, in-your-face community can inspire a new generation of Adelaidian idea makers and dreamers to think bigger and bring much needed creativity to our economy.

We want Adelaide to adjust its attitude and grow its ambitions. Interestingly, new super fund Spaceship thinks the same - we need to stop investing in the same stale ideas and follow the market. The market is overwhelmingly heading in a direction and this city and state is not. It must start and it must start now.

Opinion

Does Adelaide Need An Attitude Adjustment?

— Adelaide, SA


Preface
Does Adelaide need to adjust its attitude regarding its creative and entrepreneurial culture and community? We offer our thoughts.

Writer
Paul Holmes

Location
Adelaide, SA