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Docklander - October 2016

29 Sep 2016

Docklander - October 2016 Image

Some very big ideas for Docklands

By Shane Scanlan

Janette Corcoran is not your ordinary Docklander.  Not only does she want to live here, she wants to change the place – for the better.

The social entrepreneur has only relatively recently fallen in love with Docklands and is excited and motivated to mould its future.  

After a lifetime wandering the physical and academic worlds, Janette only walked across the Bourke St concourse late last year and was immediately smitten.

“I thought I wanted to live in the CBD, but when I saw this I knew I was home,” she said.

Janette comes across as a very private person.  But she wants to get to know Docklands and Docklanders.

She has envisaged a “social business” which is based on improving and getting the best out of vertical living.  The enterprise is the culmination of her considerable experience and expertise in a number of fields.

In the mix is: information technology; marketing; business and economics (PhD) innovation; data, business and administrative systems; commercialisation of knowledge; research (more specifically, e-Research!); strategy; leadership … the list goes on.

The salient point is that Janette has achieved a lot so far and is hungry to help others take the experience of apartment living to its full potential.

She’s starting a business called Uprisings, which is multi-faceted, but is ultimately about better apartment living.

One tangible expression of this will be a ticketed event at the Victoria Harbour Knowledge Hub next February called “SkyPad”.

For those old enough to remember The Jetsons (season one was released in 1963), the Jetson family lived at SkyPad Apartments in Orbit City in 2062 (less than 50 years away).

But, unlike George and kin, our real-life apartments have been built with minimal space.  So, what SkyPad participants can expect, is to be introduced to the world’s most innovative technology to make life within 50-100sqm soooo much better.

The gadgets are only part of the story and, as this is sounding too much like a free ad, you’ll have to wait for her Docklands News advertising (hello Janette!) to learn more.

What is of more interest to this column is her motivation.  Why bother?

“I feel that Docklands and other places like Docklands are on the cusp.  It could go either way,” she said.  “There’s a real possibility that the ‘ghettoes in the sky’ scenario could play out.  Or we could grasp the unlimited possibilities that are presenting themselves.”

Janette talks passionately about engaging with governments, developers and residents – bringing people together to pursue a galvanised vision.

Old cynics like this author wish her well but have little confidence in such a possibility.

But she says she has earned battle scars pulling people together in far more difficult places than Docklands – urban Johannesburg and Timor-Leste, for example.

“I know which fights to have and which ones won’t progress the cause,” she said.

“I’m encouraged by the buy-in from residents that I have already had here in Docklands.  People are really open to possibilities here.  It’s not like the suburbs.  It’s very reaffirming.”

So, welcome to Docklands Janette.  Here’s hoping you can cut through and give this emerging community even more reason to love this place.

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