Monthly Archives

November 2017

Note from Executive Director, Susan Shi on 2017 Results

By | The Feed

2017 – What a year! It’s been non-stop planning, passionate people, late nights, crazy ideas we’ve scrapped and crazy ideas that we’ve made a reality! Below is a celebration of the highlights and an announcement that I will be taking on a new opportunity in the United States.

I’ve built a new team from the ground up with a culture centring around integrity, bias for action and purpose. Our mission was to realign the organisation back to its roots – Vibewire as platform to help young Australians enterprise. Today’s demands are ever changing and we wanted to ensure that young people weren’t just responding to changes in their careers and businesses, but they have the mindset and tools to instigate and lead that change. To prepare them, we built the Skills Gym.

Here’s a snapshot of the results from the last 14 months:

  • Launched our new strategy – the Skills Gym with 3 workouts – Soapbox Club, Start-Up Sundays and Hack-A-Thing with over 800 young Australians passing through. We’ve finalised the design of the last workout, Dollar Dollar Bill and this will commence in 2018
  • Designed and piloted a new sprint model with one of world’s largest media companies – GroupM, where we closed the gap between clients, agencies and startups
  • Built out our wider community to 10,000+ young Australians change makers/entrepreneurs!
  • Doubled our Vibewire startup memberships!
  • Ran Hack4Homelessness where we’re now supporting the winners create sustainable change. Full report is available here. This Dec 8-10 we’ll be running Hack4Domestic Violence – register now, details are here.
  • Collaborated with our wider tech/ creative arts community by running Geek Girl Dinners on how to negotiate change and our Vivid 2017 Program – Pitch The Future where we had 4 national finalists pitch their businesses on how to make technology more human.

Thank you to all our Community; Partners; the Board – Gavin Heaton, Leya Reid, Anne-Marie Elias; my wonderful Team – Shannon Bourke, Rowan Devereux and Sophie Saville; and my partner SOAPBOX Coach – Neil Gomez. Without your energy and hard work, ideas just stay ideas. We’ve given young people a platform to fail fast and risk free, challenge their ability to enterprise and help solve for some of the most difficult social issues in Australia. I’m really proud of everything we’ve achieved together.

Now that Vibewire is thriving – I’ve decided to take on a new opportunity in the United States to scale a new business venture and will be relocating to the west coast. My last day at Vibewire will be 1 December 2017. The Board will update on the new leadership team early 2018.

Though I’m sad to leave, I’m looking forward to see what’s in store for Vibewire and the Australian change maker community in 2018.

It’s an exciting time to be alive so remember to be brave, try new things and make sure your choices reflect your hopes and not your fears!

Keep in touch

Hope to see you at our Christmas Party on 14 Dec!
Happy holidays!


Susan Shi
Executive Director, Vibewire

Catch up with #Hack4homelessness Winners ‘CareConnect’

By | Hack4DV, Hack4Homelessness, Hackathing, Social Impact, The Feed

In the lead up to our 2nd social change hackathon – tackling Domestic and Family Violence – #Hack4DV [8-10 Dec] we caught up with our previous #Hack4homelessness winners CareConnect to let you know what you can expect!

Q: Kim, Linda and John – Congrats for winning Hack4Homelessness! Were you first time or seasoned hack goers? Can you share what your experience was like over the hack weekend?
John: It was my first time at a hackathon and it’s incredible just thinking back to it. The weekend was really exciting and I definitely had too little sleep.  Having access to mentors and representatives from the industry was extremely valuable because their insights helped us to continually iterate. From the very beginning, you can instantly tell that VibeWire put a lot of effort into organising the entire event. I am super excited to have all the hard work pay off especially since we are still making our idea a reality!
Linda: I had previously attended a 1 day hackathon with Gavin at UNSW at the end of last year, which was really my only exposure to hackathons prior to the hack4homelessness. I knew i needed to go to another one, but hadn’t been looking out for any for a while. The Weekend Hack was quite different, to the one day event, there were many more subject matter experts and mentors floating around the space, workshops and we even got to speak with a few homeless people to really understand their pain points too. Overall, the experience was amazing, and I learnt a lot about the sector as well as starting a business over just 1 weekend.
Kim: This was my first hackathon and there aren’t quite enough words to describe the intensity, excitement and diligence in the room that continued from the minute it started. Working with people I’ve never worked with before, learning from people I’d just met, and thinking about the people and sector we’d come together to try and help was shared value practice at its best. I’m blown away by everyone’s commitment and passion for making a difference and I’m proud to be part of the experience. There were some self-reflective moments too that pushed me outside my comfort zone amongst the frantic but focused thinking and designing. And I thrive on that! I’d encourage everyone to participate, or even just observe, the magic of a well organised hackathon in an area you’re passionate about.
Q: What’s the best tweet length description of your idea – CareConnect?
Team: CareConnect is an online platform for orgs. working in the #homelessness sector to streamline sharing & booking services. It makes current processes more efficient & effective, supporting the strength of existing partnerships & creating new opportunities.
Q: What’s the scope of the problem you’re solving and where have you tested the idea so far?
Team: Our scope is to support the people working in the homelessness sector (and possibly beyond!) by providing a more efficient process for booking client services with other organisations. For example, an organisation provides accommodation but needs to work with another organisation to access medical services for their client. Our platform will streamline the current process to find, book and share information between organisations. It will also help raise awareness of the full scope of services available at each organisation. There is the potential to extend this platform to all services provided to those in need in other sectors. The first version of our platform will be designed for organisational use only but it could extend to use by individuals to access opportunities, where possible and appropriate.
Q: Outside of the hack, how have you continued to build on the idea?
Team: Four of our original team of six have committed to continue working on our idea as a passion project with the support of Vibewire, NCOSS, Jewish House, Exodus Foundation and many of the organisations involved in the hackathon. We’ve been meeting with NCOSS and agencies that provide services to homelessness as we continue to research the needs of those using our platform, sought funding, and presented our pitch at NCOSS Investing For Good conference and Jewish House AGM. We have regular team meetings and are committed to progressing our idea beyond concept if we are certain we can build a viable product that’s truly valuable to the sector.
Q: On a more personal front, what has been your biggest learning from this hack experience?

Team: We have learnt so much about so many things over the last two months, but the biggest impact on us has been understanding the people experiencing, or at risk of, homelessness. We’ve spoken with and heard from people who have been or who are homeless. They’ve shared what it’s like to sleep rough, the many challenges they battle daily and what they’ve been able to overcome. We now know how quickly a situation can change and that it can happen to anyone at any time. And we continue to learn about ourselves and what we can achieve together.

#Hack4DV will take place Friday 8 Dec – Sunday 10 Dec

at MnM Institute 

39 Liverpool Street, Sydney 

Eventbrite registration 

If you are interested in mentoring the Hackathon teams let us know here!


Hope to see you there!

Vibewire @ I4G Conference

By | Hack4Homelessness, Hackathing, Social Impact, The Feed

Vibewire will be presenting at the Investing for Good 2017 conference!!

DEMYSTIFYING THE HACKATHON #hackforhomelessness Tackling the challenge of homelessness with a hackathon

Anne-Marie Elias, Chief Disruptor
Gavin Heaton, President, Vibewire

Investing for Good is a platform for organisations, government and investors to come together to explore financially sustainable ways to create social change. Designed to give attendees practical take-outs and key industry contacts, I4G helps us build partnerships that create social change and investment returns.

Thursday 9 November, 9am – 5pm
Australian Technology Park, 2 Locomotive St Eveleigh, Sydney

You can find the full program here

Our segment will include pitches from #Hack4homelessness teams Care Connect, Doti, Good Mates and Fair BnB:

Care Connect tackle the challenge of unused capacity with support services.

The Care Connect solution is to create a centralized booking system using Google calendars and a simple web interface.



Doti answer how we might we ensure there is a community safety net for every child in Australia to reduce the risk of homelessness?

The Doti solution to this challenge is to create a safe and secure physical and virtual community support network for all young people in Australia.

The Good Mates solution to this challenge is to provide a platform that brings together 15-23 year old young adults and people at and above the pension age. The young adults assist the pensioners and receive accommodation and a work opportunity that’ll lead to a profession in health care.

Homelessness and guidance for young adults leaving foster care in conjunction to support for aging community.

The Fair BnB solution to this challenge is to connect people looking for accommodation to share housing options.

Solving the problem of share housing.


Hope to see you there!