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Why Youth Entrepreneurship is important

A recent team member experience on the eve of SXSW in Austin, Texas at a round table discussion on impact innovation with the Premier of South Australia, Jay Weatherill, local business leaders, colleagues from Tech Ranch and the New Venture Institute, Flinders University highlighted the importance of building an entrepreneurial mindset.

This opportunity to exchange experiences between Adelaide and sister city Austin meant that alongside a very warm welcome, there was a sense of common purpose particularly thinking about entrepreneurship to solve big environmental and social challenges.

For example, South Australia has begun a search for solutions for South Australia’s Low Carbon Entrepreneur Prize.  Adelaide will become the world’s first carbon neutral city, looking for ideas to reduce carbon emissions in energy, transport, waste and livability.  This goal also aligns with the smart city or smart community approach.

Austin has a thriving local startup and business community plus hosting an unbelievable event like SXSW every year means their networks, connections and leadership is world leading.IMG_9029

Some of you may perceive entrepreneurship in a different light, perhaps images of the Wolf of Wall Street, pure profit making and seeing young people become survival entrepreneurs is your current frame of reference.

But here was are talking about entrepreneurship applied in a business, community, environmental and social sense.

This varies from well-known hustlers (in a good way) like Gary Vee who wrote a book at SXSW in 6 hours on the floor who says he is willing to reverse engineer everyone who works with him.  Gary talks about trends like selling direct to consumers, esports, Software as a Service (SaaS) in boring industries and the social networks or space to watch – he backs the person more than the business.  A key piece of advice from Gary is, “Build the best thing and you win” with lots of hard work.

The interest in entrepreneurship and innovation applied in a collaborative, social context is growing.  For Example Sarah Gun from GOGO Events pitched her business at the Innovation forum held at the City of Austin Town Hall where she employs homeless women.

Global collaboration across the 5 pillars of private enterprise, education, government, science & technology, and arts is viewed more holistically and connected than ever before.

At this same forum there was much interest from the audience with questions for Dan Squire from Drones over Water pitching his water testing and analysis service.

Entrepreneurship is nuanced and evident across all industries now facing disruption.  This mindset views failure positively because there is zero innovation if you don’t fail.  As Brene Brown asked at SXSW, “What does it take to get back up after you fail?  Reckoning, rumble and revolution”, was the response.  Paying attention is synonymous with mindfulness which was a simple takeaway to structure your breathing.

There is a theme of being more productive by working less, for example Treehouse has implemented a short work week of 32 hours paying full salary.  The research and outcomes seems to support it.

Into the future we will see humans using software where it is giving back value – this is a joint job needing specialised training where tasks will be fully automated.  The application of big data will see maps with opportunity scores for example jobs that you can get to from affordable housing in 30 minutes without a car.

Roles and skills that will be relevant into the future include entrepreneur, creativity, problem solving, managing software, Artificial Intelligence (AI) trainer and AI interaction designer.

21st Century jobs will automate repetitive intellectual tasks and the best way to predict the future is to invent it.  This is why being an entrepreneur is the number 1 job role and more young people need to be job makers.

For further insights from SXSW and the USA trip check out these Storify links:



April 2016

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