The Top Disruptors

Businesses love a buzz idea, banding it about as an intention, they are great for social media posting too, they do stuff that seems impossible and often, ‘I'll post about it, people will like it, and me’. Branson on the moon, Elon twitters it, RBG and her motions, the Nike guy talking about being in the story business, Simon saying – start with why. And then there is Apple with their next thing, Mr Patagonia giving it away, Greta just calling it out, that guy that won’t go away with the bad hair. Share it, like it. 

The disruptor is in us all, everywhere. I love witnessing disruptors in the every day. They make the world more interesting, champions of their ware, flock to my food cart, quote my ideas. What separates us, you, me, from being the next big thing – is a good idea. A great story and hard work. There’s bravery, courage and even outrageousness to get it out there. Dogged persistence is mandatory, and most importantly having the attitude to see the opportunity, put all the measures in place and going for it, really going for it. The best disruptors do all the above, but also know when to move in, and move on.

We live and work in times where we are compelled to exercise care and avoid risk. This messaging manifests itself across our community endlessly. What would have to be true for you to disrupt your market and find new opportunities? I am convinced that people and organizations that raid, challenge and lead in their sectors, come with a nutty passion for ‘their thing’ and a disruptor attitude to back it up, and tell the world.

Who are the disruptors of our times and what are they reflecting about our culture? When putting together ideas for this piece, a few questions arose... who or what are the real disruptors in our community? What compels people to disrupt, where is the opportunity to disrupt in powerful and positive ways?

The environment being the number one global challenge is attracting a raft of people with ideas and passion. Switching from carbon based thinking has attracted a variety of disruptors. The low fruit is consumer based products, however mass transport and shipping, food packaging are the sectors to watch.

An exciting small disruptor was witnessing community transport ideas in action in Italy. In Oz the shared bike and scooters are seen as a novelty come nuisance. A recent visit to the big cities in Italy, the community ebikes are a force, something to fight over, as people use them to travel to work, drop their kids to school, site see or go out in the evening. The possibilities for cities with community transport innovations are quieter, more scenic and free of parking tickets. Until the parking cops disrupt. This disrupter makes the experience highly accessible, aligned with tech and off it will go.

Coming back home these are my favourite three disruptors: 

Joost the florist, come no waste warrior has been charming his way into the community hearts and minds. Joost’s projects are prolific, varied, and always ambitious. His Greenhouse venture at Federation Square lagged during COVID, however a new film has launched at the Melbourne Film Festival that brings his vision to the world. Joost and his energy to share and socialise his ideas gets people to come together. Legendary rappers, business people, politicians and everyday people want a bit of his simple yet compelling idea of a no waste world.

Love him or hate him David Walsh brings together his loves of sex, death, art, design and home. He has a masterful ability to see opportunity and make life and money work for him. Behind every project is an understanding of risk, making a call and going for it. Readers spend a little time dissecting the way he operates. It’s unorthodox and that’s what he backs. There are so many stories that live around the Walsh myth and he is a  wonder at seeing opportunity aligned with his way and doing it. His calling of COVID early was masterful, his mix of art and experience is always pre sold. His attention to detail is out of this world, his bravery pays in countless ways. Just ask the NGV about the Blackman work he sold to the gallery.

Finally a cache of disruptors are leading Australian women for all backgrounds and sectors, from Madeleine Buchner, Anna Brown, Melanie Perkins, Shemara Wikramanayake, Yasmin Poole, to Ash Barty – stepping up, jumping in to follow their dreams and putting it out there. It's an exciting time for new voices and all these women are expressing themselves and their ideas in exciting and powerful ways. The next generation is taking in this wave of ideas and action, the fallout may well inspire the world to shake it up.

Keep your message simple, easy to access and easy to activate. See opportunity, understand the risks, jump in and onto the next idea. Be prolific, and share it

– people can’t experience the difference you can make while it only lives in your head.

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