I was in Brooklyn recently, walking around the super neighbourhoods that make up that city. I started to notice all the ways that the Brooklyn name was used as a brand, with style and pride. Hats, t-shirts, shop signs. Brooklyn had such a strong sense of itself, of determination, of innovation, of creativity.
I walked and cycled for hours that week, trying to find the thing that made Brooklyn what it was. That separated it out from other places. That made it better than my home city, Melbourne. For days I searched, going back to areas I had already visited, checking out every single cafe I came across, and searching the web for what made Brooklyn unique.
But I didn’t find it. There was no one thing. What I started to realise was that Brooklyn was cool because it had the guts to say it was cool. To have a go. To express and put itself out there. And that alone was the belief that separated it from my city.
Melbourne has some of the most interesting and transformative things in the world happening at the moment. The world’s most liveable city, I think a big part of this is because of the entrepreneurs who are quietly going about the business of making this city, and the world, an even better place to live, in a way that is aligned with their internal nature, and the nature of the planet they live in.
The thing about Melbournians and Australians in general is that we can be quite self-depreciating. We don’t like to put our brand out there the way that Brooklyn does.
It was while pondering these ideas that I came up with the concept for this podcast. To tell the story of the subtle disruptors of Melbourne. Those who have taken the humble cafe and turned it into a experiential and wellbeing art form. Those who have had a hunch about creating an environment for liked minded people to work together in, and have inadvertently led the coworking craze. Those who are prepared to follow their hunches about the work that is calling them, being willing to seek authenticity over security.
I think some of the best work in the world is happening right here in my city. I want to meet those people. I want to tell their stories. I want the world to hear them. And most of all I want others who are in a similar frame of mind, quietly reeking havoc, to feel encouraged and know they are not alone.