Update: I’ve secured a contract which will keep me here until at least January, by which time I hope to have found an ongoing position which suits my skills and passions. I’m still open to any suggestions!
As I mentioned last week Small Act have decided to pull the plug on the San Francisco office after I’d only been here five weeks, so my future in San Francisco and America is a bit uncertain. And by “a bit” I mean I probably have five weeks to figure something out which will allow me to stay here. And by “something” I mean work.
As you might imagine I’m disappointed by this turn of events. I was extremely excited to join Small Act and to come to San Francisco. The opportunity to work with, support and learn from a variety of social change organizations and be part of a small and evolving start-up appealed to me and felt like a perfect fit for my skills, experience and what I wanted to learn next.
As for San Francisco, it’s a city I’ve loved since I first visited as a 15 year-old. My life changed here when I attended the State of the World Forum as a 16 year-old. It was here that I realized my power as a changemaker. It’s the perfect place to be working at the intersection of technology and social change and for K it’s the perfect place from which to grow her family’s wine business in North America. Not to mention that it’s the home of burning man culture and one of the very few places in America with a decent psytrance scene. So: we were excited to move here.
And we hope to stay! I’m grateful that Small Act have given me time to try and figure this out as I wind things down with them over two months. At the end of this time I will need to have a new job in order to stay in the country. So, I’m looking for new opportunities to make a difference.
I’m passionate about the intersection of technology, community-building and social change. I believe technology can reshape our media and politics but that this is not an automatic outcome, that we must work for it. I am passionate about doing this work and have spent the past 15 years creating on- and offline platforms and opportunities for people to share stories that matter, come together to learn from each other, share and synthesize ideas and imagine a new future. I believe in the power of art and stories to engage, inform and inspire people to action.
My skill-set and background is entrepreneurial. I have founded a number of organizations and initiatives, most notably Vibewire Youth Inc which I established while at university and ran for eight years, until 2008. During this time Vibewire grew from an all-volunteer student collective to an internationally-recognized organization with five permanent staff, numerous project contractors and hundreds of volunteers and contributors. We launched several websites, ran online and offline conferences, toured a film festival around the country, sent youth reporters onto the campaign trail to report back on the Federal election and opened a youth enterprise incubator in Sydney.
More recently I spent two years in Washington DC as the first Social Media Director at Ashoka. In this role I established numerous new social media channels, grew the Ashoka twitter account to 315,000 followers, launched a blog, email newsletter and ebook series and significantly increased the use of video across the organization.
I have organized everything from art exhibitions to conferences, music events to film festivals, political outreach campaigns to social media strategies, training programs to Burning Man theme camps.
Which means I’m very open to possibility! I want to stay here and I want to do meaningful work. This could take the form of a new full-time position in a cause-focused organization or a series of smaller projects. As Small Act have agreed to continue to hold my sponsorship so long as I have confirmed work lined up (who then contract me from them) a new employer does not have to go through the visa process with me, a significant silver lining to this whole situation. This creates, despite the brutal deadline, an exciting amount of flexibility and possibility.
I know I can help an organization do something incredible, and I know that there’s many organizations here that are doing incredible things. I am confident that things will work out despite this set-back.
Five weeks to figure it out. Wish me luck!
Of course, if you know of anything that you think would suit me or people I should be talking to please give me a holla.
Here’s my resume, feel free to share:
And my full-length CV if you’re not into the whole brevity thing:
Image by Donnie Ray on flickr.