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s p a c e series reflections

By May 29, 2019October 22nd, 2021No Comments



I’ve just returned from the inaugural, immersive s p a c e series – a participatory, decidedly un-conference conference where a tribe of disruptive leaders and change makers from across Australia converged and diverged for three nights to disconnect, collaborate, create and converse on the sands and under the stars by the stunning waters of Byron Bay.

The s p a c e series concept was about bringing unlikely people together to build a more ambitious Australia through shared ideas and collaboration.

A lot of people have asked what it was like.

So I wanted to share my experience while my thinking was still fresh and raw.

Because what the event founders – Holly RansomAdam Ferrier and CJ Holden – created at s p a c e was honestly something special.

Something strange and soulful and electric.

And kinda indescribable to those who weren’t there. (I’ve tried. It ain’t translating!)

Because truth be told I’m still synthesising – trying to make sense of what was said and done and what to best do now to harness and create real action out of all that bloody thinking and connection that happened up there! (This seemed to be a common take-away).

What is clear is that it was a phenomenal collision of energy and people and ideas and music and fires, resulting in lots of incidental and intentional and creative conversations that kept circling in around the themes of undoing the short-termism, fear, status quo-ism and everyday small thinking that is holding our people, our conversations, our companies – and our country, back.

And what was markedly common amongst the everyday divergents, social change-makers, earth rebels and randoms and crazy cool visionaries who gathered at #spaceseries was their willingness to actually park their egos, unplug, disconnect, be real, talk real (no corporate tongues), openly share deep stories, and – despite our differences – hold up a mirror to our times and ourselves and fundamentally challenge and question what we have all come to accept as ‘normal’ in our work, and our life and our play.

Normal is not enough for rethinking the future of Australia.

Normal is not the catalyst that will create change.

Normal is not endless replication.

And normal is not the relentless and blatant social media self-congratulation (for tiny iterative shifts in sameness that actually don’t take us very far at all).

Normal people won’t shift the dial – they give way too many fucks about what other people think and do.

The opposite of normal is not.

The opposite of courage is conformity.

The opposite of action is inertia.

And the opposite of safety is not risky, it’s resilience – and boldness – and braveness – and a fierce willingness to rebel by pushing ‘normal’, showing up and creating the actual and physical and mental space to collide, combine, collaborate, create, converse, unlearn and dance and play in unlikely ways with unlikely people in an awe-inspiring place through an unexpected series of crazy powerful totally not-normal moments.

That’s what s p a c e was. Not normal.

And for me, whilst some of that felt uncomfortable, intense, overwhelming, enlightening and exhausting, and there were moments where I wanted to retreat from the vortex of energy that was created, and get back into my own comfort zone, I kept myself out there amongst it. Who knew it would spin me into some incredible conversations, inner circles, collaborations (ie: joining the cast of a spontaneous musical) and propel me onto the stage to bring out my spoken word creation which morphed into a full-blown syncopated song on closing night?!

With a few day’s headspace to look back in, it’s clear that the getting out of my skin and my own status quo was the thing, and the honest sum total two words of the #spaceseries experience that keep coming up for me are FUCKING AMAZING.

This experience has restored my faith in the fact that not-normal people exist in Australia.

That not-normal people are truly phenomenal.

That not-normal people are the catalysts for change.

And that not-normal people like those who came to s p a c e are the ones who create ideas followed by actions that create movements that make and shift and lift the ‘normal’ bar for better.

We need so much more of that in Australia right now.

And at s p a c e, ‘not normal’ happened in spades.

Watch this space for what happens next 😉


See to learn more.

Big shout out to s p a c e cadets I collided/conversed/created and laughed with including Holly Ransom Adam Ferrier CJ Holden Dominic Price Russel Howcroft Lisa Leong Tim Prosser Julie Trell Amantha Imber Laurence Goldstone Mim Bartlett Jules Lund Will Richardson Harriet Wakelam Jon Yeo Mond Qu Penny Locaso Ronni Kahn Jason Fox Greg Graham George Hedon Emile Studham Mykel Dixon Phil Ceberano Fiona Triaca Finbar OHanlon Zenith Virago Alexander Mayer Julia Steel Daniel Teitelbaum Julia May Louka Parry Hamish Curry Aqeel Camal Yasmin Poole Steve Hui John Chambers Amelia VealeNardia Renney Jarrod McGrath Eden Shirley Mitra Ardron Andre Eikmeier Shani LangiTrenna Probert and so so many more.