Dr Guy Turnbull’s report is here

Former Adelaide Specialist Thinker in Residence and award-winning UK social entrepreneur Dr Guy Turnbull is encouraging South Australia to step up and grow its co-operative movement.

Dr Turnbull, recognised for successfully opening co-operatives (or social franchises) abroad, has outlined recommendations as part of his role for the Adelaide Thinkers in Residence program, focused on developing South Australia’s Purpose Economy.

“Adopting new co-operative ways of owning and organising a range of economic activity including health and social care services, is the key to strengthening the local economy.”

“There is no greater way to engage an employee and deliver superior outcomes than to make them an owner of the organisation they work for – this is why the employee ownership and co-operative business models are thriving.”

Dr Guy Turnbull

When people have a stake in an organisation like a co-operative, they deliver a much better quality of care. This makes the business more successful and means that profits can be reinvested in staff development and better care.

The right support ecosystem needs to be in place for more co-operatives and mutuals to form in South Australia. This includes:

Dr Turnbull’s final report from his 2018 residency.
  • Establishing a central voice
  • Having strong connections to the global movement
  • Accessing appropriate social investment finance
  • The availability of bespoke business advice and support
  • A supportive legislative environment

Co-operative and social enterprise business models gain traction when they focus on particular sectors – health, aged care, disability as well as creative industries should be prioritised.

There are already great ideas being brought to the table including; bringing together carer co-operatives with primary and allied health professionals and having multi-stakeholder co-operatives of providers and people with disabilities, families and workers, who as member-owners, are engaged in how care is delivered.

These are examples of potential innovative models where South Australia can show national leadership on engagement and outcomes for transformational social care programs such as the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“I encourage South Australia to identify and nurture more Social Entrepreneurs as people are what matter most in business, including co-operatives and social enterprises.”

Dr Guy Turnbull

Dr Turnbull’s report: ‘Towards a Co-operative State: Securing the Social and Economic Prosperity of South Australia through Corporate Diversity,’ is available here.

The Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals, State Government, tertiary education, allied professional stakeholders and the private sector are currently working with Dr Turnbull, on contributing to the development of a blueprint for action in Australia’s health and social care sector.

Melina Morrison, CEO of the Business Council of Co-operatives and Mutuals (BCCM), comments on Dr Guy Turnbull’s final report.

Call for less government control of Lot Fourteen

In Daily Adelaide’s Independent News | Stephanie Richards 17 June 2019

The non-government sector should have a greater say in the management of Lot Fourteen as the site enters a “critical” stage of development, a visiting scholar will tell the State Government.

Canadian Rhodes scholar and innovation expert Ilse Treurnicht will present a series of recommendations to the State Government in September on how South Australia can learn from other cities’ approaches to building innovation hubs.


Millennials key to SA becoming a global pioneer in the Purpose Economy

Internationally recognised social entrepreneur Suzi Sosa has identified attracting and retaining millennials, as a crucial move for South Australia to grow the Purpose Economy.

Ms Sosa, the co-founder and CEO of Verb, a global social enterprise based in Adelaide’s sister city, Austin, Texas, has handed down recommendations as part of her ‘Thinker’ role for the Don Dunstan Foundation’s Adelaide Thinkers in Residence Program.

“There’s a lot of discussion about brain drain of young talented minds out of South Australia,” Ms Sosa says.

“Young people leaving the State shouldn’t be viewed as a problem – in fact, this is a good thing. It’s a problem if they don’t come back or South Australia can’t attract new talent.”

Millennials represent about 40 per cent of the workforce and expect their employers to show greater social responsibility.

“They are having a major impact and demanding strong leadership, mentors, low-cost and attractive living options, as well as access to capital,” Ms Sosa says.

Suzi Sosa’s Pathways to Global Leadership in the Purpose Economy: Recommendations for South Australia include:

  • Millennials are crucial to the Purpose Economy. South Australia needs to stem the millennial brain drain. If South Australia wants to retain its millennial population and attract new talent, it will need to have a more supportive culture and infrastructure for millennials.
  • Further develop Social Entrepreneurship programs alongside the current entrepreneurial ecosystem to offer new employment opportunities that align with millennials’ values and priorities.
  • Universities have a key role to play in supporting industries to understand the needs and values of millennials through more innovative approaches to work-integrated learning.
  • Support more mentoring programs and knowledge exchanges with millennials and industry.
  • Develop a strategy for attracting more millennials to start business in SA, for retaining millennials and for encouraging others to return.

“With the Purpose Economy, the fastest job creating part of the South Australian economy, export opportunities need to be considered where solutions to local challenges have already been identified,” Ms Sosa says.

“It’s important the State works more closely with industries already aligned with social impact such as healthcare, renewable energy, education and the creative industries” she says.

“Also, education providers should be encouraged to strengthen students’ connection to social impact including providing more social entrepreneurship content in the high school curriculum. This will prepare them for a future workforce that will place a much higher premium on purpose.”

South Australia has been trialling a new Entrepreneur Visa program where foreign entrepreneurs and investors can bring their business venture to the State. Under the Federal Government initiative, which will be rolled out nationally in 2019, applicants don’t need capital backing.

Foreign investors will become eligible to apply for permanent residency if their business in Australia is successful.

“Governments need to consider how it can better use incentives, such as financial support and government procurement, to support early stage and purpose-driven business,” Ms Sosa says.

“The Purpose Economy should be declared as a key pillar in the State Government’s economic strategy for South Australia.”

Read the report: Pathways to Global Leadership in the Purpose Economy: Recommendations for South Australia.

The Don Dunstan Foundation has partnered with the university, business, public and community sectors to deliver the Adelaide ‘Thinkers in Residence’ Program which is focusing on growing jobs in the purpose economy.