Wollongong – a 21st Century Renaissance?

The more time I spend in Wollongong, the more little pockets I discover where there are exciting things going on. I wrote about this a little while ago, but have been thinking more about it recently.

There is so much great brewing in Wollongong at the moment. Artists, Designers, Startups and Entrepreneurs. A 21st century Rennaisance?

— Cowork the Gong (@CoworktheGong) September 13, 2012

A Melting Pot of Culture

Each of these little pockets has so much going on.

Places like Yours and Owls and Music Farmers are revitalising the live music scene in Wollongong. Opening up opportunities for local artists to get in front of people and perform. I hope we will only see this on the increase.

The Startpad, UOW eClub, the ICT and others are doing a great job of fostering the heart of Tech/Startup/Entrepreneurship in the city. But it’s not only the large organisations having an impact. People like Lime Rocket, 42 Startups and Klassifi are starting to make an impact on the startup scene in Sydney, and there is a real grassroots movement taking form. People are banding together to start Hackathons, question the way the uni teaches certain subjects, and generally foster a spirit of innovation in the city.

Arts and Culture continue to be fostered by folk like Dioni Pinilla (Gong101), the folk at 5 Crown Lane and other great little places around town. Globe Lane continues to be revitalised and the Central Chambers Building is filling up with great little shops and galleries like GoodJelly, Terrarium, Milk Thieves, $4 Vinyl, Quay Collective and more.

There is a real sense that these little niches are really starting to find their feet, and are ready to move on to bigger and better things. This is so exciting – but I see one interesting problem.

Never the ‘Twain shall meet

At this stage, these little pockets are all isolated from one another. All of these people are doing great things, but there isn’t a great deal of awareness of what is happening outside each of the little ecosystems.

It hits me that so much more could be done for the greater good of Wollongong if we all started working together and collaborating on things. We need to foster an environment in which people meet, and talk, and do amazing things together.

But How?

I don’t have the answer to this – but I am sure that one exists. I’d love to know your thoughts on how we can get this kind of thing happening in Wollongong?

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1 Comment

  1. Brilliant post Jordy!

    It is very true there is this awesome momentum of creativity and innovation in the area that is built on a foundation of people who have been doing and making “stuff” happen for years.

    How to connect some of the dots / pockets? This one is almost too simple. Keep the coffee, beer & in real life conversations & relationships going. People connect -> Things connect -> More stuff happens. 🙂

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