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Antonia's Blog

Another change

life July 18, 2017

About three and half years ago, I left my full-time job at the European Commission to move to Australia and go to university. Since then I have gained a Masters degree, run workshops, managed an online project, moderated panels at conferences, set up systems to help a graphic design studio work more effectively and learned to build websites from scratch. I’ve got married, and co-founded a not-for-profit company. I’ve pitched to accelerators, and taken part in hackathons. I could never have imagined doing so much that was so different to what I had done before. I came here wanting to know whether the skills I had were useful in a different setting, and I think/hope I’ve answered that question.

Do things that scare you

life July 16, 2017

Isn’t that the saying? I certainly did that this weekend, if by scare you mean putting yourself in a position where you are asking others to rely on you to deliver in an area where you have limited expertise.

Pioneers of the Erasmus Generation

European Union May 23, 2017

I had a great time today at the EU Centre at RMIT, who held a celebration of 30 years of the ERASMUS Programme. This student mobility programme, financed by the EU, took me to Leiden, in the Netherlands in 1992. At the time it seemed to be just a fun way to enhance my under-graduate experience and get something interesting on my CV (that’s all it took in those days – we didn’t need 14 internships…).

Learning to code in Bali

Technology May 05, 2017

I’m currently in Bali, doing a 10-day intensive front-end website development course. We’re only on day 2, but I’ve already learned so much more about code, HTML and CSS than I managed to learn doing online courses, useful as they were. There’s something about learning with people and being able to ask question and try things out. The online courses were like learning a language from a phrasebook, whereas this feels like learning it in the country.

The value of pausing and listening

Organisations April 21, 2017

I liked this piece in HBR on holding good meetings. Having sat through a fair few interminable meetings in my time, quite a lot of it resonated.

What remote workers teach us about leadership

Organisations March 25, 2017

I do a lot of thinking about new ways of working. Firstly, because of the focus on organisational issues during my Masters, and working for over a year for the Centre for Workplace Leadership at the University of Melbourne. Secondly, because of the work with Freelance Australia, and curating content for our community. Thirdly, because that’s how I work now, and we’re always most interested in what affects us directly, aren’t we?

The women that made me

life March 08, 2017

I started this International Women’s Day thinking about the women who have made me who I am today. Each one of them has taught me an important lesson (or several!) about the person, and woman, I want to be in this world of ours. This is my tribute to them.

Money for Nothing

life January 04, 2017

I read a great piece on Medium today (read it here). It starts by talking about the change to the Instagram feed (now algorithmic) and turns that into a discussion on what the author calls “the attention web”. How our desire for free internet services means we are paying with our time. This struck a chord with me in several ways, given my current misgivings about the way that social media is being used not to develop offline businesses, but as a business model itself (brilliantly skewered by satirical news site the Betoota Advocate here).

It's all about people

Organisations October 14, 2016

I’ve been sick for several days and lying in bed watching daytime TV, particularly the Food Network (I’m a bit of a foodie). A lot of the programmes are about an expert going into an restaurant/bakery/bar that is having trouble and helping them get back on their feet. Having watched a few of these, it has become really clear that in every case, the issue is one of relationships. From the father who won’t listen to his daughters’ ideas, the father who won’t accept that his son doesn’t want to work in his bakery, the brother and sister who don’t see eye to eye, the husband and wife whose relationship is suffering – in every case dealing with the relationship issue helps to unlock the improvement.

What's the secret to network success?

life August 25, 2016

I was delighted to be invited this week to help an organisation find its network mojo. This particular network brings together academics and practitioners in a sector to spread expertise, good practices and innovation. They have had some success, but they are not sure that they are drawing all the potential benefits from a network structure. I was asked to do a session with them on what networks are and what factors make them effective.