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Content Starts Announcement – Me And Our Future (Founder annoucement)

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For the last 18 years I’ve been on a radical journey, organising concerts on Sorry Day at Sydney University, founding AIME, growing it, growing my brain as a mentor and taking AIME to the world. The gift of which has revealed to me our superpowers – first it’s our ability to build bridges between those with power and those at risk of being left behind – we have continued to foster a complex social network, protecting the grey space. And now that network can power remarkable change into the future. Our second superpower is mentoring – we are global leaders in this field, we have codified and broken down the elements that it takes to be a mentor and we can now train it at scale for free. We believe to be a mentor is the highest prize to strive for as a citizen. And finally, the third superpower, we believe this to be the origin of all thought, the power to change ourselves, and the world around us, the place where it all begins, every action, every word, every thought, begins with imagination. 

Today I’m announcing the end of my time as CEO, as I step full time into the Head of Design role at AIME to focus all my energy on sharing our three superpowers with the world, as we go from doers to trainers with the landmark opening of IMAGI-NATION{UNIVERSITY} in 2021.

The focus of the university – to provide a stage for university students, school students, teachers, executives, and citizens to be trained in Imagination & Mentoring over a 5 day digital course, and then to be organised in networks of 10 to spend the following 10 monhs pursuing their action projects to eradicate educational inequality and more broadly solve the challenges of tomorrow. 

You will see university students organising their fellow students to be mentors to go back and connect with marginalised high school kids, you will see school students given the stage to lead and show they are not the problem, they are the solution. You will see executives committing to levelling the playing field by implementing Co-CEO programs and building out their own strategies for equitable change in the rooms of power. You’ll see teachers around the world bringing to life AIME’s world of IMAGI-NATION on the last Friday of every month, and you’ll see every day citizens making pledges to create a fairer world, with AIME providing the Imagination training tools, the mentoring philosophical frames and roadmap, and the network of people around the world coming together to power each other on.

If we want to change the world, we have to change the way it works and that is going to happen with engineering.

We are going to say from here on out – we’ll work on imagination, we’ll give the world a framework for change, we’ll rip the doors off their hinges so a 7 year old kid from Kalgoorlie to Kampala has a direct connect to the wealthiest people in the world, and then we’ll back the human spirit to lead and drive the change forward.

I started this as a 19 year old with the belief that life should be fair, that we are better in a complex world where we see each others potential, not one where we destroy each other for our past. 

We have truly remarkable possibilities ahead – life on Mars, re-imagined ways of success and societal design, educational inequity is something every one of us faces when we let our imagination die – our imagination is our freedom, our ability to picture tomorrow, it’s what powers MJ’s buzzer beater, through to Madiba’s long walk, it’s what changes a teacher’s vocabulary, it’s what shifts the way we walk, the way we eat, the way we greet each other, the way we be. It’s our everything and our organisations legacy will be the world’s most incredible IMAGI-NATION{LIBRARY} showcasing the thinking which has broken down into edible form, the wonder of our muscle called imagination, and then shown what happens when we gel that superpower with the fortitude and nobility of the mentor, and gather in spaces which remove the differences between black and white, rich and poor, old and young, and we get to work to create. Oh my friends, imagine what’s possible. 

I’m inspired to retire the CEO role – which is so flawed to rely on one person and to replace it with a council of minds guided by our newly announced General Manager (or as she prefers, #33) Taryn Marks who you’ll hear from in the next week. Taryn will be supported by our newly arrived council of elders, our Mentors in Residence, who will shepherd our key leaders for 3-month stints on the AIME rocket ship/bullet train before handing on the baton to the next class of Mentors in Residence. These are world class thinkers who can make sure we can pull off this extreme dream we are working towards – truly changing the world – with imagination as our super power, and you as a part of a network built on unlikely alliances. We will be running this organisation in a cellular circular decentralised fashion moving forward.

To get a sense of the calibre of our Mentors in Residence here’s our first crop who are currently graduating:

Candice Mama
Daniel Flynn
Mike Stewart
Leila Naha Jibri
Heena Chavaroti
Cordell Carter
Si Philby
Jonathan Zawada
Karla Grant
Kim Williams
Wayne Blair
Bryony Anderson
Damon Gameau
Osher Gunsberg
Jocelyn Muhutu-Rémy
Susan Murray
Liz Gillies
Dr Julian Perfanis
Ilana Atlas
Sammi Oliver
Adam Spencer
Jared Weiss
Alison Kubler
Ian Walker
Charlotte Kelsey
John Davis
Ben Kirshner
Dr John Davis

Alongside our Mentors in Residence we have our Global Board, Chair Tom Dery AO, Bronwyn Bancroft, Ben Jones, Chris Wirasinha and Helen Wiseman and our US Board of Tom Dery AO, Professor Emeritus Chris Bartlett, Barbara Bartlett, both of which I sit on as Director, and we are about to launch a Fundraising squad led by John Winning.

Where am I going? Well definitely not out to pasture. I’m always going to be the Founder of this world, and I’m going to focus my time as our Head of Design. It’s a little bit like what Google did and a lot like what we are doing.

We’ve just concluded our 10-year celebration of Hoodie Day with the campaign WE IMAGINE, and we’ve declared what we imagine in the next 10 years.

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