Humble Design To Make Good Things Happen

Where should you put your excellence and effort, and where should you hold back resources for later?

People who answer this question well have startups that succeed, homes that are low in friction, and a reliably bright way of facing life’s uncertainty. The cast include Atlassian’s Principal Design Strategist, an Aussie Permaculture designer, and Japanese design philosophy itself, as seen in Muji, the iconic no-name homeware’s brand.

This interactive, experiential session will have you expand you vision of yourself and your crew as designers, people who can put the infrastructure of daily life on autopilot, locate good allies, and free ourselves up to go live our mission.

Choose better stories. Declutter and re-arrange your physical environments. Should you choose round or square, fuzzy or firm? Ask, ‘What does biology do, what would Apple do, and how would we transform a humble kitchen sink into a shrine of beauty and love?’

Set things up so the people around you behave well, without really knowing why. The things you should do become the things you want to do.

Practice your best Japanese before the event: it might come in handy.

This event is presented by Cecilia Macaulay.

About Cecilia Macaulay

Permaculture Designer

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Cecilia designs ecosystems. Actually, they pretty much assemble themselves, she just works out what creature, idea, or object is missing, and puts it in.

She works mostly in Japan, helping re-set the culture of children’s homes, art schools, share houses and Ecovillages. The aim is creating satisfying connections, getting rid of unwilling, unproductive effort, and working with, not against, each other’s quintessential nature and talents.

With buddy Mark Garratt, she designed a self-maintaining food forest for Richard Branson’s Necker island. She consults for organisations with big ambitions and no known way to achieve them, such as Tarronga Conservation Society.

She’s convinced you have ten times more things in your house than is good for you, not nearly enough people, and that if you allowed her to get her hands on it, your home would be transformed into a Zen Fairyland Resort everyone wants to hide out in.

Find out more and download some crazily inspiring illustrations and stories at

About Ben Crothers

Principal Design Strategist, Atlassian

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Ben is Principal Design Strategist for Australia’s most desirable Tech Company, Atlassian. Plus, his side projects are all about social good, making a better world.

When you are this talented, you don’t have to do meaningless work. He quickly sees the big picture, where the disfunction is coming from, and how to steer people’s existing energies into making things great, making life work out.

Ben is master at making the smallest possible intervention, for the greatest possible benefit, and gets his teams, his clients able to do this too.

He is ‘locally famous’ for the one little button he added to the social pages of the World’s Greatest Shave website, which resulted in an extra $1million of micro-donations. In Ben’s words “I like to design to change lives, not just the décor, but even more than that I like to bring out creativity in others.”

Most importantly, Ben is really funny.


For more information or to book, please visit:
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As the strip of land where European settlers chose to step ashore in 1788, The Rocks is essentially the birthplace of modern Sydney. Get a sense of Sydney’s past exploring The Rocks’ cobbled laneways, cosy cafes and some of the oldest pubs in the country.

The world-famous Vivid Light Walk returns with more than 60 spectacular light art installations, large-scale illuminations and mesmerising 3D-mapped building projections to light up Sydney’s waterfront. Lined up along prime harbourside locations that include the Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, The Rocks, Campbells Cove and Walsh Bay, the Light Walk is free and open to all. You can enjoy this enticing world from any number of places along the way; just give yourself plenty of time to stop, connect, express yourself and have fun.



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