marcus westbury

my life. on the internets.

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What’s the difference between enabling and programming?

October 26th, 2013 34 Comments

  Following on from yesterday’s post where i boldly declared that “interaction with funding bodies actively destroys enabling mechanisms” several people responded to what i thought was pretty much a throw away point. It was my quick and dirty way to frame the debate. They either asked about or noted that they’d appreciated the explicit distinction […]

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Enabling as Arts and cultural policy, the problems of prediction and a modest proposal

October 25th, 2013 66 Comments

I’ve spent the last couple of days at an Australian Academy of Science hosted event in Canberra where 50-odd very impressive thinkers, scientists, business leaders, former politicians, even military leaders and came together to basically talk about scenarios for the future. It was great and I learnt a lot. There were also a few arts […]

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About that book…

September 9th, 2013 3 Comments

My grandfather was a tinkerer. He was incredibly good with his hands. When he passed away, it took a small army to clean out his sheds of a mostly completed speedboat he was building, a half built 1/6 scale model Tiger Moth plane (built from the actual plans of real one) he was building for a […]

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Creating Cities Crowdfunding Book Update

July 8th, 2013 11 Comments

The first day of crowd funding the Creating Cities book based on the  work we’ve been doing with Renew Newcastle and Renew Australia has been a great success. This will sound oddly back to front but my particular thanks goes to the person who gave one single dollar. In some ways that’s the point of the work […]

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A crisis is a terrible thing to waste (Help – i’m crowdfunding a book!)

July 7th, 2013 36 Comments

First let’s cut the chase: I’m crowd-funding a book and everything below is an attempt to get you to give me money or stuff.  Just go here and do it if you don’t want the long explanation. The longer version is I’ve spent the last two years working to build Renew Australia up into a successful  […]

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Cities: Are they YouTube or Hollywood?

May 22nd, 2013 28 Comments

This essay was commissioned for the May edition of Desktop Magazine. Illustration by Andrew Fairclough. Over the last few years, I’ve been involved in launching more than a hundred creative projects from artisans, makers, designers, photographers, filmmakers, artists, musicians, publishers and creative entrepreneurs in empty buildings in Newcastle, through the scheme Renew Newcastle. Renew has worked with, inspired […]

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How the #NBN has (actually) changed my life

May 13th, 2013 194 Comments

It’s a quirk of fate and geography that our family home and my work at the Renew Australia office in the Melbourne suburb of Brunswick are both smack bang in the middle of one of the first mainland rollout zones for the Australia’s fibre-to-the-home National Broadband Network. We’ve now been on it for more than a […]

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Renewing the new? Early reflections from Docklands Spaces

April 27th, 2013 7 Comments

Renew Australia has been working on a pilot project Docklands Spaces in Melbourne with partners including Places Victoria, The City of Melbourne, and MAB corporation. Docklands, unlike Newcastle or Adelaide, or some of the other places the Renew model has been obviously useful to date is not an old area that has fallen on hard times but […]

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How to fail and why it’s important (Deakin University occasional address)

April 24th, 2013 58 Comments

  I was asked to give a commencement address at Deakin University today. For various reasons (mainly because i’ve never actually finished Uni myself) it felt like kind of a big deal to me. What follows below is my notes of more or less what i said. I kind of winged it in person… Deputy […]

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Four years on: Renew Newcastle’s video pitch to property owners

January 7th, 2013 16 Comments

I’m really posting this here mainly because i just realised that i never have. This video is a pitch from Renew Newcastle to local property owners that was released a few months ago. It does a great job of capturing the energy and vitality of what we’ve been doing there. On current count we are […]

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