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Edgeware UPLOAD 2009 is Unleashed!

UPLOAD is for young people considering their options - life, love, work, the whole catastrophe.

I wrote back in January about my experiences at the UPLOAD Young Entrepreneurs Camp at the Glasshouse Mountains Eco-Lodge. It was a fantastic week in many, many ways and I would like to extend my knowledge of this priceless event to you. And I'm quoting most of this blog entry because I could never explain UPLOAD even half as well as Edgeware have:

With UPLOAD, Edgeware offers stimulating, accessible, enjoyable explorations of enterprise development and entrepreneurial skills, delivered through a series of interactive, hands-on workshops with expert trainers and young, real-world entrepreneurs. UPLOAD is all about helping young people equip themselves to navigate turbulent times and to create meaningful, sustainable and responsible employment and life pathways.

Now, Edgeware have just released their 2009 young entrepreneurs program, which I am very excited about. I'm very happy they have also added in the teachers and youth workers workshop too!

The UPLOAD Young Entrepreneurs Camp (for Over-18's)

An intensive residential week at the beautiful Glasshouse Mountains Eco-Lodge. Delivered in partnership with the Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, with a focus on building and growing fledgeling enterprises.

The UPLOAD Young Entrepreneurs Camp (for Under-18's)

An intensive non-residential week in central Brisbane, taking place during school holidays, with a strong focus on personal development, teamwork and leadership.

UPLOAD Professional Development Workshops (For Teachers and Youth Workers)

Offered in half-day, full-day and three-day versions, focused on developing and practicing leadership and facilitation skills in the Edgeware model of youth enterprise development.

Futher information on these upcoming events and some charming photography from the January UPLOAD are available here.

BONUS Twitter list blog! As shared by the Edgeware team on Twitter: Top 100 Social Entrepreneurs, Businesses, and Ideas on Twitter

Edgeware's Do Well Conference

Over the weekend I attended my second Edgeware event. It was definitely a winner and I must firstly thank Sarah Moran for sponsoring my ticket to the conference. Unfortunately though, I was off to a bad start due to a clash with Friday evening traffic heading to Suncorp Stadium for the Broncos vs Cowboys rugby league game. Despite leaving home half an hour early I was forty-five minutes late when I stepped off the bus from the city! Cutting a long story short, I became so fearful of the time I was spending not yet at the venue among drunken football fans in the street I chose to take the safe route home again, thus missing out on the initial networking session and Map Magazine's Carl Lindgren.

The next morning I was welcomed warmly by the darling Nat Duncan, Edgeware director Michael Doneman and various Brisbane Twitter friends. I filled out a brief profile on myself and stuck it to the physical network of string and people on the wall of Substation 4 and immediately felt connected; even before meeting the majority of conference attendees! Later I was to learn this was part of reknowned Brisbane photographer Mark Lobo's Six Degrees project. Can't wait to see the outcomes!

Saturday's speakers were:

Sunday composed of:

The weekend was very well-planned, very appropriate for the broad range of attendees and made excellent use of Edgeware's kick-arse motto of Make money, have fun, change the world. I was inspired, validated and motivated (even to the point that I wanted to leave abruptly in order to act upon plans!). It was a very comfortable environment, which is sometimes difficult to achieve at conferences. Not that Edgeware has ever had such a problem at all!

To finish up, I acknowledge the lovely Ludmilla Doneman and her volunteers for the fantastic catering, and I'd like to share a collection of my favourite quotes from the weekend. Such gems!

  • "Are you in it for the idea or are you in it for business?" - Samantha Jockel
  • "Be honest with what you don't know. Start with what you do know." - Leesa Watego
  • "Only when you love good coffee can you make good coffee." - London advertising slogan, via Paul Natorp's presentation
  • "Don't ask for help; ask for advice." - Amanda Jackes
  • "Know who you are so that you know what you need." - Samantha Jockel
  • "If you don't fit your imagined entrepreneur then you must re-imagine what you want your lived entrepreneur to be." - Leesa Watego
  • "Sometimes it's easier to seek forgiveness later on than it is to seek permission." - Amanda Jackes
  • "Whatever criticism you receive, turn it into a greater asset." - Paul Natorp

Action Precedes Clarity: The Awesomeness that was Edgeware's Upload Camp

Today I write my Edgware Upload camp wrap-up. The past weekend I'll admit has been one of sleep catch-up and moping around the flat because I felt the magic was gone. Silly me! I'd just spent the past week feeling that "today is the first day of the rest of your life" and was so hyped up that when Saturday came around I was distraught I'd missed it in favour of eighteen hours sleep!

If anything the business planning of this week took a backseat to the personal development side, which just shows how entwined these two aspects of an entrepreneur's* life are.

I started off quiet, but most do when thrust into a new environment with strange people. This was evident immediately when our godfather for the week, Michael Doneman, pronounced us all "weirdos." The Eco-lodge was gorgeous and even the wasps were bearable for the week. Our kitchen was in a train carriage and I slept in a church loft with a wonderful view.

The general timetable of the camp was for Michael to start us off with some business strategies and planning content, then a guest speaker would present and answer our questions. After a presenter or two (snack breaks in between) we'd have a bit of free time in the afternoon or social activities before dinner. Usually fun activities in the evening and the food was always of the best quality mastered by Ludmila Doneman and Nat Duncan. Oh, except that dinner the 15-odd Edgies devised too.

Monday - Scott McKay of Wolfbyte

Scott visited and was a great start to the camp.

Theatre sports in the evening set a nervous yet hilarious tone for the group's dynamics. Miming and guessing games were just too good of ice-breakers to pass up in the program I guess.

Tuesday - Edward Harran & Elliott Bledsoe

Social media, Creative Commons licencing, swimming at the dam, discussing the Johnny Bunko manga business book. I worked a fair bit on developing my business idea and putting into use the matrix tools Michael had given us earlier that morning in deciding on niche markets. Bit of clarity here.

Wednesday - Esther Cole of Frollop & Ben Johnston of Joseph Mark

I think I gained a fair bit of inspiration on starting my own business from these two, more than on other days of the camp. Both being alumni Edgies, Esther & Ben both had a creative and individual flair which made the day (much like Tuesday) an entertaining one in the least.

The day ended with Japanese taiko drumming by a bonfire. There's nothing left for it. I MUST resume my drumming. I loved it just too much. I was on fire. I WAS that fire. The blisters on my hands are badges of honour and reminding me that by Friday of this week I will have cleaned off my own drumkit in the garage for a bash; the first since late-2007.

Thursday - Karen Woolley of Proscribe

Thursday we worked on our physical representations of our business plans. We had until 6.30 to create them from all sorts of scrap material and craft supplies.

My epiphany came when I was about to hit 'send' on a reply confirming my ideas for Brisbane Twestival, having just been approached to work on the event. The Event Buzz had hit me for the first time during a week of confusion and vagueness over what I wanted to do. Now I know! Event management and social media is where it's at. I love these worlds and I will make a mix of these my bag.

The exhibition of our sculptures was on during the evening. Mine was pretty awesome but I'll have to explain it further.

Friday - no special guests

The day to say goodbye. This was the most intense day of reflection that, yes, there were tears. There were poems, stories, hugs, games and even tree-planting.

We started the day presenting our business plans with ten minutes per presentation plus seven minutes to fill out feedback forms on each. I still am yet to look through the majority of my received feedback forms as I want to look over them when I feel the motivation fading away. Also, I finaly realised that what I'd been told all along was true: action DOES come before clarity.

The drive back to Brisbane with fellow Edgies reminded me how alike we all are. Burning for the future and each with our own individual strengths and weaknesses, all agreeing that screaming the chorus to "Sex on Fire" by Kings of Leon is the greatest after a few drinks yet you have to be in the right mood for John Butler Trio.

Things I am Accountable for

  • 1 hour drumming each week
  • 6 hours on business plan each week
  • 6 hours blogging each week for TechWiredAu
  • 10 jobs applied for each week
  • Learning sign language

(traditional media picked up on the story and fellow Edgie Mike Boyd's blog on Upload is here)

*I have since learned that "entrepreneur" is not a dirty word afterall!

Edgeware's Upload Young Entrepreneurs Camp

Right now I am at the Glasshouse Mountains Eco-lodge stretched out on a cosy attic bed reading Johnny Bunko: The Last Career Guide You'll Ever Need by Daniel H. Pink and reflecting over the past day at Edgeware's Upload Young Entrepreneurs Camp. Upload 2009 is the maiden voyage of the camp for gutsy, high school to mid-twenty-aged, business-minded souls seeking the path before them. I am one of those people looking to surpass wasting my life away working unnecessarily for a business I have no attachment to in a job I feel nothing for.

Today started at 9am with general introductions and we soon moved on to receiving goodie bags and copies of the above manga book.

The goodie bags contained:

  • the week's schedule
  • notebook and pen
  • party popper for that epiphany moment
  • map of Chartres Cathedral Labyrinth for that moment of despair
  • specimin jar to contain items believed to personally represent the "edgie" on day one and then to be reflected on Friday
  • inspirational quotes
  • various bits of pieces to inspire that crafty side (a fork, wrapping paper lantern. Or box. At least I think that is what it is)
  • and lastly, a copy of Edgeware's Small Business Backpack by Ian Dover FAICD

So today we focused on value proposition, success, cash flow, risk management and more. Michael Doneman of Edgeware facilitated the most of the day with guest speaker Scott McKay visiting for the afternoon. It was a great day and more is planned in the form of a games night - theatre sports! Sounds good to me :)

The Eco-lodge is a beautiful venue, I do not think the Edgeware team could have chosen a more suitable environment to inspire young minds. It should be noted also that through Sunshine Coast Institute of TAFE, participants (about 15 of us) are gaining the following qualifications (one or two I believe I actually might already have as part of my Southbank Institute of Technology diploma in events management):

  • (THCICS04A) Originate and develop a concept
  • (THHGCS08B) Establish and conduct business relationships
  • (THHGCS07B) Coordinate marketing activities
  • (THHGLE19B) Develop and implement a business plan
  • (THHGLE03B) Develop and implement operational plans

If anything today I have spent time getting back in touch with my goals for the next five years. We will be each leaving on Friday with both a one-page business plan and a number of artistic representations of that plan. Sounds fun? Sure will be!