Rhetoric, rhetoric, rhetoric: Forget free trade deals and look to the grassroots

Rhetoric, rhetoric, rhetoric: Forget free trade deals and look to the grassroots

This was reported in The Sydney Morning Herald:

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has hailed the G20 summit in Brisbane as a “weekend of achievement”  that had the Group of 20 “shift a gear” from being responsive  to proactive to world events.

World leaders pledged to lift their combined economic growth by 2.1 per cent – a measure the International Monetary Fund and OECD said would add more than US$2 trillion and “millions of jobs” to the global economy.

“People right around the world are going to be better off and that’s what its all about,” he told reporters attending the summit.

He said under Australia’s leadership, the G20 had set forth “bold plans” but crucially “strong execution” he said.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t see any form of “strong execution” or millions of jobs coming anyone’s way soon under Australia’s “strong leadership”, Tony.

I do see self-help. I see that people are investing in ideas and startups in both an organic way and with hard cash, in a tangible way I haven’t ever seen over the last 11 years I have lived here. 

I now observe so much talent and ideas bubbling to the surface and not going overseas as they once were. I do see money coming in from overseas to finance on shore projects and I do see a wealth of collaboration to bring the startup community and social enterprise projects to the fore.

To me, it feels like there is an underground movement. A swell, a growing interest, that has nothing to do with government, but to do with people. I wonder if we have given up on government and turned to each other to make things happen.

In my world, this is the case.

The vested interest we have in a new social enterprise business we have started up is taking us on a journey of global movement for social change that came from corporate Australia and now is touching the collective power of India, the UK and USA has surprised me. The pace and investment in our “Aussie born idea” has truly astounded me. It has organically brought people together from many corners of the universe for social good.

My core business, Bendalls Group, its processes and IP, as well as technology investments we are making in platforms, have never seen so much interest and investment from Australian CEOs and boardrooms.

My network and natural interest in entrepreneurs and startups is now a vibrant community here, in Australia, as opposed to bleeding overseas. Australian connections to Silicon Valley, its thought leadership and money is available.

I haven’t seen this kind of interest since the dot com days of the early 2000s, but this time, it is based on real business plans not whims. It is also based on a realistic understanding of failure and success and not being afraid to look failure in the face.

BUT, it has nothing to do with the politicians nor G20 promises. I think it is borne out of the concept of self help and self do. Not a welfare nor government orientated world. We have less reliance and less want of political interference. We just want these guys with all the paraphernalia of government, security and closing cities down for sound bites, to get out of the way and let us get on with it!

Fi Bendall is the managing director of Bendalls Group, a team of highly trained digital specialists, i-media subject matter experts and developers.

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