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Nexus – watch this space!

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By: Nina Skrzynski

Nexus Australia Co- Chair and New Generation of Giving member

Originally published in Philanthropy Australia, March 29, 2016.

Young people, innovation and collaboration on an international scale are crucial to solving our most critical social problems, and they are mobilising to do exactly that.

The Nexus Global Youth Summit brings together some of the brightest young minds in the world in their chosen fields, who may have otherwise never met. Nexus aims to manufacture these strokes of serendipity in an environment built to motivate.

My first experience attending a Nexus event in Sydney in 2014 was transformational in terms of my perspective. By day I run an interior design firm designing restaurants bars and people’s homes, a world far removed from the world of social enterprise and philanthropy, and whilst I had some experience through my family’s foundation and the wonderful New Generation of Giving programme through philanthropy Australia, attending my first Nexus conference literally made me stop in my tracks and change the way I thought about everything moving forward.

I was so inspired listening to a unique intersection of skilled speakers, then discussing the sessions afterwards with delegates who were equal parts awe struck and motivated to translate what they’d just heard into their philanthropic strategy or new project

In the humble and understated world of Australian philanthropy, without opportunities to meet fellow delegates at events like Nexus, I would never have known there were so many like-minded people – those fascinated by B-corps, social impact bonds, and efficiencies and innovations in social change.

I seized the opportunity to chair this year’s 2016 Nexus summit held in Sydney at the beginning of this month and wanted to share the best elements of 2016 Nexus panels and breakouts.

The Intergeneration Philanthropy Panel featuring Michael and David Gonski and Quin & Cathy Scalzo was riveting, all egos were checked at the door and what ensued was a generously honest discussion into family values and the difference in 1st/2nd generational giving strategies and motivations.

The Unconscious Bias Training was a favourite breakout session held by Robert Wood, from the Centre of Ethical Leadership, and had delegates, speakers, and sponsors alike questioning their unrealised bias’s and preconceptions in everyday life.

One of the standout keynotes from our special international speakers was listening to the enigmatic and charismatic Taylor Conroy speak so passionately on how he is catalysing change in the third world one school and house at a time through the power of strategic fundraising and peer to peer giving circles at Change Heroes.

This year the Nexus organising committee wanted to also feature some more dynamic sessions to add another dimension to the standard conference plenary and breakout sessions.  These included a screening and talk from Good Pitch founder Melinda Wink, a real time Q&A session featuring our standout keynote speakers and moderated by Geraldine Doogue. This new session, for the first time at Nexus, featured a live twitter feed encouraging live audience input which resulted in the #WeAreNexus hashtag trending on Twitter nationally and a call from the ABC newsroom wanting to find out Nexus was all about.

Lastly we held a demonstration of the 10 x 10 philanthropy model, a live pitch session which showcased 3 start up social entrepreneurs who are changing up the way we think of solving social issues within our local communities and abroad all vying for their share in the ANZ’s pledged funds to support them.

Nexus aims to start some change in this world and the event for under 40’s brings together people with ideas and those with the means to enact change.

I can’t wait to see the collaborations and initiatives that come out of this year’s 2016 Nexus Global Summit.

Watch this space!

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