Shifting the economy’s foundations

Photo by Enkel

Photo by Enkel

Razia Osmani, Reporter

Fresh approaches to solving Australia’s economic problems will be vigorously debated in Perth later this year, thanks to local social innovation group Enkel and New Economy Network Australia (NENA) collaborating to bring the 4th Annual NENA Conference to WA in October.

The conference will be held at the Centre for Social Impact at the University of Western Australia business school between October 4 and 7. The working title is Beyond Paradigms and the four streams are positive futures, brilliant cities, full spectrum well-being, and peer-to-peer.

According to JP Parker from Enkel, “this event is designed as a peer-level conference for innovators and changemakers. At previous NENA conferences, we noticed that most of the attendees could just as well have been onstage presenting, there was just so much expertise and leadership in the room!

“That is why this conference is going to focus on engagement and connections, moving us beyond the realm of sharing ideas and into inspired action and collaboration.”

Enkel collective operates by consulting with organisations, encompassing social innovation spaces, organising courses, inspiring, connecting and supporting changemakers in WA. Enkel believes that new strategies and more people are needed to discuss the dilemmas of today and tomorrow.

The word Enkel is Swedish for ‘simple.’ The vision Enkel has for WA is to be a place of ideas, where people are enabled to shape desirable futures. Enkel’s values are courage, community, conscience, and creativity, which is aligned and reinforced through all the work they conduct.

NENA is a network of people and institutions striving to change Australia’s economic system. They are trying to embed the concepts of environmental wellness and social fairness into the foundation of policies and to make them the fundamental aspirations of the economic system.

Previous annual NENA conferences have been held in Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane.

In a press release Michelle Maloney, Co-Founder and Director of NENA, said, “We’re excited to work with Enkel to bring the NENA Annual Conference to Perth, and we look forward to reconnecting with existing NENA members and learning about new initiatives and networks in Western Australia.”

NENA operates to promote intermediaries, showcase and encourage innovative projects, build peer-to-peer knowledge and use collaborative strategies to grow and advocate for reform. To develop a powerful movement of people demanding, investing and profiting from fresh prosperity.

Core areas NENA focuses on include: “creating networks, connections and shared initiatives within specific geographic areas such as towns and cities, regions and states and across different sectors within the new economy. Including sustainable food, energy, transport, housing, indigenous economics, ecological economics.”

NENA works towards these goals by growing a number of connected, semi-autonomous sectoral and geographic hubs that bring people together to focus on different issues in the new economy. NENA also has a central coordinating hub that provides support to other NENA hubs across Australia.