Growing a Regional Ecosphere

'Ecosphere' love that word. First heard it from Trent Bagnall (Slingshot) a few months ago - It gives the notion that we all are interconnected...globally. And isn't that the ripe opportunity sitting at our regional areas feet?

The internet is undertaking its 'third wave' as founder from AOL Steve Case speaks so much about. It is infiltrating our everyday lives and is the great equaliser in terms of access to markets outside your city limits.

More and more regional businesses are starting from the kitchen table or garage and selling their products and services matter where they live. SO the third wave is bringing the regional wave. Breaking down geographical disparity, offering quality of living, affordable lifestyle, great access to health/education and the arts AND building rocking areas of new business activity.

How many people do you know who have returned or relocated to a region and found them selves motivated to start a business? Our 20 and 30 somethings are returning to our regional centers in droves, maybe because they need grandparents to babysit and so they can afford to get out of the apartment shoe box and have a real backyard. With them they are bringing a wealth of knowledge and experience, they are also bringing a demand for culture and events.


They are also starting globally reaching businesses, exemplifying a new wave of economic development in the regions. So with this new 'startup' landscape - who are the support organisations that can play a role? Councils, Business Chambers, Universities, Accountants, Lawyers, Marketing and creatives, real estate agents, ecosphere builders and more all have an opportunity to contribute to new economic development.

The barriers is often that people in these organisations may not know what their role is, how they can interact and provide more aligned services, how they see past the traditional shop front business. There are some inspiring examples sprinkled across regional Australia of organisations daring to be the early adopters, and now its time to share, learn and build across the regional ecosphere.

This really is my drive for creating 8point8 - Regional Innovation and Small Business Conference. Our speakers include the best examples from across regional councils, business chambers, universities, business, corporate innovation, space activation programs and future workforce planning.

To move forward, regional decision makers and influences must take the time to develop a good understanding of startups and the future of work. They must network and learn from people right across regional Australia because the regions future may depend on it.



8point8 will be held 21-23 August

tickets on sale HERE

Dianna Somerville