Please indicate if your Initiative is an Established Initiative.
City of Melbourne
Team - who worked on the project/initaitve
City of Melbourne, team from the Smart City Office. Our vision for Melbourne as a smart city is simple: to enhance the aspects of our city that make us uniquely Melbourne, and intelligently prepare for the changing needs of the community, the environment and the economy.
That Startup Show is an award winning live online show focusing on the fast-growing entrepreneurial boom and the culture that surrounds it. Shot live in downtown Melbourne, season 1 has been downloaded over 1,000,000 times by viewers in 60 countries. Our mission is to demystify entrepreneurship, startup culture, technology and innovation, and make it accessible to all people.
CEO of That Startup Show
Overview - Provide a summary to introduce the project or initiative
The City of Melbourne Startup Action Plan was co-created with over 400 local startup community members to identify opportunities to help more startups to “start, grow & go global” from Melbourne. Through this process many opportunities & problems, big & small, were identified where the CoM was uniquely placed to positively contribute.
One problem identified was the lack of free, readily available & accessible images that the startup community could use to accurately showcase or represent different facets & faces of Melbourne’s startup culture. Many startups getting started do not have the funds available to create their own imagery. In these cases, they turn to stock photography but it is often difficult to find images that are free & appropriate. That Startup Show’s mission is to create visibility for startups, particularly underrepresented founders.
In response, the Startup Photo Library is a collaboration between CoM & That Startup Show to showcase diverse & vibrant startup life within the City of Melbourne for the startup community, by the startup community. We sought to represent the uniqueness of Melbourne & the diversity of the startup community including statistically underrepresented groups like women & people who are culturally & linguistically diverse.
We did this because the power of what we see in the media influences both how minority groups think about their place in the world & how dominant groups think about minorities in their world.
Representation in the media really does matter, & the Startup Photo Library is achieving this objective by planting the seeds of possibility to build the diversity of the startup community.
How would you say diversity is embraced within your organisation or sector? Are there diversity initiatives in place or are diversity approaches new to your sector?
At City of Melbourne, we are supportive of ‘diversity by default’ as an organisation and a government sector body but with the acknowledgement that there is still a way to go.
Our vision for diversity and inclusion within CoM is outlined in our diversity and inclusion strategy. We want to keep building a resilient, adaptable and diverse workforce that reflects our community. We are striving for a culture where all individuals are welcomed, valued, supported and able to fully participate. By having diversity and inclusion ingrained in our culture, processes, structures and part of our values of integrity, courage, accountability, respect and excellence, we can continue to be a high performing, leading organisation. In 2018 so far, we have been working with Diversity Council Australia (DCA) and Mercer Consulting to achieve further diversity outcomes including effective measurement of workforce diversity and creating pay transparency.
As an organisation we have many policies, procedures and programs in place. These include:
- De-gendered parental leave
- Keep in Touch Sessions for people on different types of extended leave
- Gender balance on recruitment panels
- Paid family violence leave
- Additional $500 per year superannuation contribution for women
- Implementation of a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) including Jawun secondments and Traineeships
- An employee-led CoM pride network
- Advertisement of roles on National Disability Recruitment Coordinator
- Coaching and support to Managers to make reasonable adjustments for employees with disabilities and chronic illness.
- Specialist support in EAP with specific helplines for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, Domestic and family violence, LGBTIQ and Eldercare
- Driving cultural change via education and awareness of legislation and training for staff in Unconscious Bias, Responding to Family Violence, LGBTIQA+ Awareness and Disability Awareness
Local governments like the City of Melbourne are leading the way in diversity, but the startup sector is quite a different picture. Across the startup sector there are pockets where diversity is top of mind and embraced, however the Australian, Victorian and Melbourne startup sector statistics tell a different story.
Overall Australian statistics by Startup Muster indicate that:
- Over half of Australian startups have less than 30% female employees
- 38% of startups have 0% full-time female employees
- Only 25.4% of startups have Female founders
According to Startup Muster and LaunchVic Data for Victoria and Melbourne:
- 70% of founders are male
- 95.4% speak English as a first language
- A majority of the community are aged between 30 and 40.
These statistics don’t reflect the amazing diversity we have in the broader Greater Melbourne community with:
- 34.5% of residents speaking a language other than English at home
- 51% of residents identifying as women
- 30-39 year olds only making up 15.5% of the population
This has been acknowledged by the startup sector and many efforts have been established to change this, particularly in the last two years. Some recent examples of initiatives in the tech and startup sector to address this lack of diversity and increase diversity and the participation of underrepresented groups include:
These programs are fantastic and have positively contributed to increasing diversity in the startup sector.
However, there has been little movement on increasing the visibility of people and organisations that deviate away from the dominant groups in the startup sector. That Startup Show’s commitment to visible representation of underrepresented groups is evident in its casting on screen, particularly in its latest season 2 with two new hosts who challenges the “late night host” paradigm. That Startup Show also seeks to ensure balance in its own production team and has policies and procedures in place to ensure this in its recruiting practices.
The Startup Photo Library is the first project of its kind that seeks to address the visual representation of diverse groups in the startup sector. This initiative comes directly from the community consultation for the Startup Action Plan. During consultation with over 400 local stakeholders over 18 months, it became clear that contributing to a more diverse and inclusive culture was a frequent request for CoM to provide more support on.
An Australian first, the Startup Photo Library provides free images made for the startup sector by the startup sector whilst deliberately focusing on diversity. By doing so, it acknowledges and leverages the power of representation and what this might mean for people from underrepresented groups.
Detail the approach that was taken to implement the project or initiative, what actions were taken and why?
The Startup Photo Library initiative originally came out of the community consultation for the City of Melbourne’s Startup Action Plan 2017-21. Over the 18 month consultation period, we spoke with over 400 local stakeholders and it became clear that contributing to a more diverse and inclusive startup sector was a frequent request for CoM to provide more support on.
Consequently, Inclusive and Collaborative Culture became one of the four Startup Action Plan themes. One of the action areas identified within this was to ‘Showcase Melbourne - build the reputation of Melbourne as a great city for startups by identifying and promoting Melbourne’s startup success stories.’ CoM’s role in this is to provide, partner, facilitate and advocate these action areas.
After the community consultation concluded, a partnership was established with That Startup Show to help execute and create a library of stock photography showcasing Melbourne’s diverse startup sector, available to all under the a user friendly license. That Startup Show’s experience in creating visual images and diversity in casting (“Diversity by design”), its extensive networks within the startup community and its creative direction, was a major factor in delivering the outcomes achieved.
Recruitment of talent was targeted to be representative of the unique ecosystem Melbourne has and showcased locations typical to Melbourne and the ‘knowledge’ activity/hubs of the city. Images were selected and curated into library categories which included: accelerators, biotech, coworking, in the city, laneways, makers, mediatech.
City of Melbourne developed a brief outlining these objectives:
- Activate and convene Melbourne’s Startup community
- Provide an image library that Melbourne’s Startup and Entrepreneurial ecosystem can add to and access for free under the creative commons.
- Provide an exciting and useful array of images for use by the Smart City Office storytelling work and other CoM departments.
- Kick off delivery of year one action to convene the startup ecosystem.
- Showcase and celebrate the City of Melbourne’s Startup Action Plan and release of the Startup photo library with a launch event.
Project scope and outputs:
- An initial workshop with relevant CoM stakeholders to determine the look, feel and objectives for the project
- Extensive consultation with That Startup Show on the creative direction, themes, locations and casting
- Quality, engaging, authentic images which showcase Melbourne diverse startup ecosystem in specific categories
- x10 Locations (Coworking Spaces, some key companies) At least 300 images initially to populate the library
- 3.5 day shoot
- A suitable ‘hero’ image to use on the cover of the Startup Action Plan.
The City of Melbourne provided advice and assistance in the following areas throughout the project:
- Access to existing research, strategic documents and other information necessary for the project.
- Contact details of City of Melbourne officers and representatives that can assist in demonstrating their projects.
- Assistance on shoot days from team members from CoM’s Smart City Office.
The final outputs included; 300 original, high-quality photos and any additional assets created for the project including website design and development where the images could be accessed and downloaded. The photo library was made free, public and readily accessible via http://startupphotolibrary.thatstartupshow.tv/ to encourage the whole community to make use of the resource without any barriers to entry.
Some of these locations included: Melbourne Health Accelerator, Gravity Coworking, ACMI X, Melbourne Accelerator Program, Hub Australia, Patricia Cafe and other typical City of Melbourne landmarks.
Startups included: Bajaboard, Marketing Entourage, Chai Walli, The C Method, Signal Ventures, Startup Playbook Podcast, Hava, Kinyei Cafe, Culture Amp, Girl Geek Academy, Startup Victoria, Aptus Personnel, Best Friends Forever, Medtasker, Shoji, The One Social, MyGolgi, Calbaro, Mit Wed, Daily Care.
The City of Melbourne Startup Photo Library was released to the public at a stakeholder event on Thursday 26 October 2017 at the Creative Spaces co-working space, The Guild.
Demonstrate the leadership shown in driving the initiative and fostering behavioural and organisational change.
This project is the first of its kind in the startup sector. It is the first of its kind to be led by a local government organisation in collaboration with an industry partner. It’s the first initiative from the Startup Action Plan. Collaborations of this kind, are foundational to the continued development of the startup ecosystem and demonstrate leadership for further growth.
The Startup Action Plan was endorsed by Council because Melbourne is a great place to start an entrepreneurial business. Our local startup community is raw, passionate and growing in numbers every week, yet our startup ranking has been slipping on a global scale. Melbourne was rated as number 18 in the ‘world’s best startup ecosystems’ in 2012, but dropped out of the top 20 in 2015 and we are yet to regain ground. This ranking drop is because the stakeholders of other cities around the world (e.g. corporates, universities, accelerators, investors, government) have been investing in their startup communities at a faster, more aggressive rate. As a result, on a relative basis, Melbourne is falling behind.
Global startup city rankings matter because they can influence the attention of potential founders, talent and investors. Recently, the Victorian State Government, LaunchVic, City of Melbourne, our local universities and other key stakeholders have significantly ramped up their focus and support for Melbourne’s startups and entrepreneurs. The impact of this is yet to be reflected in our global ranking, but there is strong agreement across the community that we need to continue to partner together to address some key gaps and get ahead.
The startup action plan has been codesigned with 400 people from the startup sector and is designed to propel more startups and entrepreneurs to ‘start, grow and go global’ from Melbourne over the next four years and beyond.
The City of Melbourne already offers more than 50 services that can support startups. Our startup community validated that, as the city’s custodian, they see the City of Melbourne as a natural collaborator to build on our existing services and lead this action plan, working in partnership with others including LaunchVic and the Victorian State Government, local academic institutions and the private sector.
The first initiative from the Startup Action Plan is the Startup Photo Library. The partnership between CoM and That Startup Show created space for a unique collaboration with some well-known startup sector brand names and companies. We were also mindful to provide opportunities for some lesser known startups and initiatives to gain publicity, exposure and prominence by featuring as part of the Startup Photo Library.
By leading the way and creating the Startup Photo Library, we put further value into the premise: “we are what we see”. By making diverse, local faces more prominent we harness the power of representation and foster a welcoming and diverse ecosystem. We had feedback from the community who were saying, “we look at stock images and they’re very American, there’s no aspects of Australia there.” This is why this project is so important to bring our unique culture and faces to the fore.
The Startup Photo Library is also integral for startups looking to do their part to foster diversity in their organisation, especially with regards to their media and marketing activities. It’s healthy to showcase different, diverse people in the business world — visibility is key. By providing diverse imagery for free, we help to combat issues of unconscious bias.
The first round of images for the library launched 26 November 2017 with an awareness raising event and a second round of images launched in July 2018. We’re currently exploring the creation of more libraries to showcase startup culture in urban, regional and indigenous Australia which also never been done before.
Was there organisational/industry or other resistance to the initiative? If so, detail the actions taken to overcome resistance to the project or initiative.
The Startup Photo Library was the very first initiative of the Startup Action Plan Pillar of work Collaborative and Inclusive Culture. As this is in direct alignment with City of Melbourne values and policies, it had universal support from the City of Melbourne’s Prosperous City Portfolio and Directors as well as the related organisational work areas.
Detail the follow up or response to the project or initiative by the organisation /industry /sector. For example has it been extended for a further year, or has the scope been expanded?
Since launching the photo library we have seen 108 unique users to the website and 706 downloads of the images. Repeat users include companies like SmartCompany, a popular startup sector newsletter who have a daily audience of 50,000. The images have also been used by LaunchVic, the peak startup government body for their startup guide and toolkit for local government, as well as Startup Victoria’s ecosystem mapping report (2017). Combined with extensive usage from other Melbourne based meetups, startups, accelerators and coworking spaces, the potential amount of impressions is approximately 450,000.
Internally the City of Melbourne have used the images in various contexts including promotional flyers, reports, guides and planning publications (print and digital), website assets and social media marketing collateral for Melbourne Knowledge Week and other such events run by the city.
Due to the positive response and success of the first iteration of the Startup Photo Library, the project was extended in 2018 to include 200 more images from the new Victorian Innovation Hub The Goods Shed one of the largest in the State and home to over 100 startups. The new collection was titled “WorkLifePlay” and featured organisations such as fintech accelerator Stone & Chalk, agtech accelerator Sprout X, and medtech incubator The Actuator and migrant incubator/accelerator Cultiv8, plus representatives from the Disruptive Business Network, Two Square Pegs, The Koorie Circle, Spark Health, GiftSkout, VetsOnCall, Arranyinha and MoneyPlace among many more. The expansion of the library came about as there were some gaps identified and we wanted to address these to showcase and support even greater diversity of the ecosystem.
Moving forward there is extended scope to develop a training program that will support other councils and/or organisations to embrace diverse ecosystems and to share their stories with the wider community, in particular the City of Brisbane and the City of Sydney. We have suggested this be accompanied by a “Diversity by Design” Workshop with all Councils and CoM with That Startup Show taking a leadership role to empower other ecosystems to develop their diversity capacity
Another next step we’re exploring is to create some stock video content that is freely available for public use.
Please provide 2 references being the beneficiaries or people that experienced the change (as a result of the initiative). Details to be provided should include:
4. Phone number
6. Short description (up to 250 words) of association with the nominated diversity initiative eg as a beneficiary, experiencing the outcome, etc.
- Bronwen Clune
- Phone number: 0421 790 759
- Digital Director
- LaunchVic has worked with the City of Melbourne team for the past 4 years. During that time we have worked on various activations together in the startup community including International Women’s Day 2018, Melbourne Knowledge Week 2018 and the Startup Photo Library. As a result, we have become very familiar with City of Melbourne and the work they do in the startup
sector for Melbourne. As an organisation, we are focused on supporting and promoting diversity in all that we do which includes communications and marketing. Before the Startup Photo Library was established, it was very difficult to find stock images that were affordable and appropriate. Often the startup and tech imagery available was visibly American and didn’t represent the age, gender and ethnic diversity we have in the Victorian startup community. The Startup Photo library allows us to communicate in a representative way and get on with funding and supporting diverse entrepreneurs in the Victorian startup community.
We have used the Startup Photo Library images on our website, and in other promotional branding. We look forward to the new rounds of photos to be added in the coming financial year.
There is no other project like this in the Australian startup sector and it is fantastic to see the City of Melbourne investing in positively impacting media representation of underrepresented groups in the startup sector.
- Startup Daily
- Phone number: 1800 755 188
- Startup Daily covers the startup and technology ecosystem across Australia and New Zealand. The publication began in 2012 as a local startup blog and has since scaled into one of regions top business publications.
As a media organisation, images are big part of telling startup stories. Before the Startup Photo Library was established, it was very difficult to find stock images that were appropriate. Often the startup and tech imagery available was visibly American and didn’t represent the age, gender and ethnic diversity we have in the startup community. The Startup Photo library allows us to select images and communicate quickly about the Australian startup eco-system. We have used the Startup Photo Library images on our website, social media channels and other branding.
What outcomes have been achieved against overall program or organisational performance? Using metrics specify these outcomes, for example financial, growth, policy achievement, performance or capabciltiy uplift?
There is great opportunity to grow the impact of representation and to further understand it’s impact on diversity within the startup ecosystem. Measurement of this sentiment remains a challenge worldwide.
In other studies on the sociology of representation, although infrequent, the findings on the impact of diverse representation in visual mediums include:
- A 2012 study about television’s effect on children’s self-esteem found that TV made subjects feel good about themselves ― if those subjects were white boys. Girls and boys of color, on the other hand, reported lower self-esteem as they watched
- Character tropes like the nerdy Asian math student, the sassy black sidekick, the icy female boss are unhelpful. For the underrepresented, seeing a character who looks like them can have a limiting effect if that character is restricted to behaving only in certain ways, which don’t reflect the breadth of their life’s experience. This shapes the expectations both of the underrepresented and those who are not.
In regards to program performance, in delivering year one of the Startup Action Plan, City of Melbourne’s role was to lead and support external marketing activities that raise awareness of Melbourne's startup and innovation ecosystem identity, diversity and achievements. The Startup Photo Library and partnership with That Startup Show was a key component of this work and contributed to a number of key outcomes/deliverables over the last financial year including:
Mayor’s International Business Mission
The City Economy branch at City of Melbourne have used the photo library extensively for business and tourism endeavours including the biennial Business Mission to Osaka, Japan and Tianjin, Beijing, Wuxi and Suzhou, China in March 2018. The Mission showcases the best Melbourne has to offer in the fields of innovation, health and life sciences, urban sustainability and general aviation.
Melbourne Knowledge Week - Startups Stream
Melbourne Knowledge Week saw 22,500 attendees this year with over 100 events across Melbourne. One of the key themes of the festival this year was startups and there were 21 startup-focused events that attracted over 2600 attendees and engaged over 50 startups in festival delivery. At the Startup Breakfast events, we showcased four large scale framed photographs from the Startup Photo Library and encouraged participants from all walks to engage with our online engagement platform - Participate Melbourne. Images from the photo library were also used in marketing collateral; on the website, event pages, social media, printed flyers and postcards. In our post event attendee survey, 23% said they have thought about potential business ideas after attending Melbourne Knowledge Week 2018, we believe part of this was due to the strong Startup programming and showcase at the events.
Open Innovation Competition
A how-to guide on Open Innovation was developed off the back of our The Open Innovation Competition on City Accessibility this year and we used some of the new additions to the photo library in that publication. This guide will be featured digitally (available online) and as a printed version distributed to other local government organisations and businesses looking to leverage the Open Innovation concept.
Financial outcomes/growth was not part of the plan for this particular project and therefore hasn’t been measured in this instance.
What do you consider your significant achievement with this Initiative and why?
There are many things that the Startup Photo Library has been able to achieve in its short life so far. These include:
- Taking action to combat lack of representation and diversity in the media landscape
- Encouraging conversations with the startup community around diversity - “this is what it looks like” without being tokenistic. Consultation and collaboration happen during the process of producing the library
- Workshops delivered by Anna Reeves at General Assembly on “Diversity by Design” in front of 200 people
- Exhibitions at Tech Inclusion Conference (300-400 people) and MKW (19,000)
- Permanent display of images at the Goods Shed Innovation Hub Making the business case and getting approval from Council and CoM to allocate funding to this project
- Showcasing the diversity of Melbourne locations, startups and founders in the startup community
- Continued support to expand (from Council and the wider community)
Who inspires you from a diversity perspective? Who provides leadership in diversity and why?
Melinda Briana Epler, CEO of Change Catalyst
Melinda Briana Epler has more than 25 years of experience elevating brands and developing business innovation and inclusion strategies for startups, tech hubs, social enterprises, Fortune 500 companies and global NGOs.
As Founder & CEO of Change Catalyst, Melinda empowers diverse, inclusive and sustainable tech innovation through events, education, mentorship and funding. Through Tech Inclusion, an initiative of Change Catalyst, she partners with the tech community to solve diversity and inclusion together. Her work spans the full tech ecosystem, from Education to Workplace, Entrepreneurship, Policy and Media.
Melinda speaks, mentors and writes about diversity and inclusion in tech, social entrepreneurship, women entrepreneurs and investing. She is also an award-winning documentary filmmaker – her film and television work includes projects that exposed the AIDS crisis in South Africa, explored women’s rights in Turkey, and prepared communities for the effects of climate change. She has worked on several television shows, including NBC’s The West Wing.
Melinda and the Change Catalyst team have travelled out to work in Australia a few times in the last 12 months. In December last year partnering with LaunchVic to run inclusive startups workshops and again in February to deliver the Melbourne Tech Inclusion conference. The conference focused on convening the tech industry to focus on solutions to diversity and inclusion. The Tech Inclusion conference will be back in Melbourne again in 2019 and operates annually in other locations like New York, Silicon Valley & London.
The Startup Photo Library was exhibited at the Tech Inclusion Conference in Melbourne to reinforce the importance of “diversity by design” mantra we champion.