April 23, 2019

#MKW19: Meet Calvin Cordle

Our second collaborator for Diversity in the innovative ecosystem is Calvin Cordle from NAB. This free, hands-on workshop will help you foster diversity and inclusion in your own workplace.

Calvin has worked in large and institutional banking for nearly two decades. As Regional Customer Executive at NAB, he runs a team of 175 business and private bankers across Melbourne.

Calvin has a degree in psychology, which he believes is a more useful qualification in large organisations than any business or finance degree. An ‘accidental banker’, he has a passion for making a difference through purpose-driven, compassionate leadership.

Calvin, why is diversity and inclusion important to you?

Fairness. Evidence shows that businesses with greater diversity and inclusion perform better on most metrics but I think performance is a secondary benefit. I believe we have a responsibility to strive towards greater fairness in the workplace.

Where do you feel the work you are doing in this space has had the most impact?

Gender diversity is a key challenge in banking. I often see women get sidelined for not ‘fitting in’ or for being too modest about their skills. With the support and influence of female leaders (consistently the best people leaders I have had) I have used the influence of my leadership positions to make space for gender diversity.

Where would you recommend people look for resources to build their practice and understanding of this topic?

There are plenty of great processes and policies. Most large organisations have heaps of them, which you can probably get hold of quite easily. But the key is to find mentors and role models who can help you implement cultural change. This is hard but the only way to deliver real change.

Book your ticket (free event) to Diversity in the innovation ecosystem.

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 20–26 May 2019, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne. Paper Giant is hosting this event in partnership with Committee for Melbourne.

April 17, 2019

#MKW19: Meet Lesley Gillan

We sat down with one of our event speakers, Lesley Gillan, to ask her a few questions in the lead-up to our Melbourne Knowledge Week event Diversity in the innovation ecosystem on May 22. Lesley is Head of Human Resources at ACMI, Australia's only national museum of film, videogames, digital culture and art.

Lesley has extensive experience as an HR leader in both the public and corporate sector as well as being a highly skilled mediator and conflict coach. Her particular interest is in helping organisations understand the benefits of conducting their business with a social conscience. She enjoys supporting leaders to empower, motivate and inspire others and offers a collaborative approach to cultural transformation.

Lesley, why is diversity and inclusion important to you?

Diverse, inclusive spaces enrich our lives and help us to build stronger, more cohesive communities. I believe that I have a role to play in fostering a just and equitable society through understanding, respecting and promoting people’s differences and experiences and by building strong relationships based on trust and respect. From a workplace point of view, there are extraordinary benefits to be realised through diversity and inclusion. Diverse, inclusive workplaces lead to innovative, dynamic and forward-thinking organisations where everyone feels welcome. I also care deeply about the employee experience and I know that inclusion and belonging really make a difference to people’s wellbeing.

When did you first feel like the work you are doing in this space was starting to make an impact?

The opening night of ACMI’s Cleverman Exhibition was a significant moment for ACMI in acknowledging and celebrating the centrality of First Nations People in our culture and firmly placing Indigenous voices and practice at the centre of our museum. This exhibition examined the making of Cleverman, a dystopian sci-fi TV show with a predominantly Indigenous cast and crew. The show delves into a series of Aboriginal origin stories in a contemporary context, touching on themes of class, racism and power. The exhibition explored First Nations storytelling, language and creativity in production design, costumes and props. It invited the audience to ‘listen first’, in honour of Indigenous oral storytelling traditions, and to immerse themselves in a powerful and contemporary expression of origin stories. The exhibition was curated by ACMI in consultation with an Indigenous Advisory Group and co-curated by Cleverman’s concept creator Ryan Griffen and production designer Jacob Nash.

At the opening night, one of our Indigenous curators, Kat Clarke, opened the exhibition by paying tribute to the Gumbaynggirr and Bundjalung languages from Northern NSW, which featured in the exhibition. She also acknowledged and paid respect to the lore of Bunjil the eagle. It was an incredibly moving, insightful and respectful event and a great example of how we want to support First Nations voices in our new museum.

Where would you recommend people look for resources to build their practice and understanding of this topic?

  1. Namely – HR blog
  2. Culture Amp – employee feedback platform
  3. Refugee Talent – this is a great employment platform that helps companies hire diverse talent and refugees struggling to get jobs that match their experience in a new country.

Book your ticket (free event) to Diversity in the innovation ecosystem

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 20–26 May 2019, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne. It is hosted in partnership with Committee for Melbourne.

April 17, 2019

Paper Giant at Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019

At Paper Giant we are passionate about creating spaces for important conversations about equity in the communities where we live, work and play.

We are excited to invite you to Diversity in the innovation ecosystem, a hands-on collaborative workshop on Tuesday May 22, as part of Melbourne Knowledge Week 2019.

Join us to explore the social and economic value of workplace diversity, generate strategies to foster creativity and establish connections with others in the creative and technology industries.

Book tickets (free event)

This event is part of Melbourne Knowledge Week, 20–26 May 2019, proudly presented by the City of Melbourne. Paper Giant is hosting the event in partnership with Committee for Melbourne.

April 16, 2019

PG #31 – The power of small, sensitive interventions

Illustration of a man and a woman holding ends of a drawing compass as it sketches a circle with two marked points

People that know me know I talk a lot about how design intervenes in the world. Sometimes, more cynically, I use the term ‘interferes’. I use these words as a way of reflecting on the fact that design – especially strategic design – is explicitly about changing existing ways of doing things in order to have an impact: on people, on the future, on organisations, on the planet.

A few weeks ago I was humbled to be on a panel alongside the wonderful designers Lina Patel and Leander Kreltszheim, where we discussed ‘Communities of Care’. Something Lina said at the session really stuck with me:

People come up [to me and say], “Oh, I want to make an impact.”

We’re in the anthropocene right now. Whether you like it or not, you will make an impact. […] We are literally making an impact on the geology of this planet. I think a more useful question to ponder is, “What kind of impact am I having?”

Designers (including myself) could stand to be a lot more humble about the impact that we have. To borrow Lina’s words, “I just don’t think that many of us are making that big a difference.” We are privileged to work at a point of change in complex systems, but the scale of our impact is, in reality, pretty limited.

On that note, I love this idea of ‘small, sensitive interventions’ – by choosing and considering how and where we intervene in organisations, systems and feedback loops, perhaps outsize positive impact is possible. Perhaps with small, sensitive interventions we can undo the negative effects of large, clumsy, insensitive ones. I think it’s worth a shot.

— Reuben Stanton, Design Director

Read the rest of Issue #31 here.

April 2, 2019

PG #30 – Turning data into decisions

“Just because something is easy to count doesn’t mean it’s useful to count, or relevant to the decisions you want to make.”  

When people look for evidence to base their decisions on, they tend to choose things that are easy to measure – simple numbers that you can watch go up or down. But the world isn't simple. When we use simple numbers as proxies for complexity, we can miss the very thing we are trying to understand.

In this fortnight's newsletter, we take a look at the complexities of designing with data, how sci-fi writers are being paid to predict our futures and Paper Giant's Experience Design and Strategy Lead, Kate Goodwin, reflects on the benefits of making friends with complexity.

– the PG team

March 29, 2019

#MDW19 – Fit your own oxygen mask first

Last week was a big week for the studio. We hosted four major events – with three included in the NGV’s Melbourne Design Week programme – and had over 300 people through the doors. Looking back on it, there’s still a lot to digest, but in the meantime, here are a few quick thoughts and some highlights from our panel discussion – Communities of Care.

There’s more to care and community than a dedicated day for checking in on those around you, or even a week of events hosted by your friendly neighbourhood Paper Giants. As co-facilitator Jaskaran Singh Bawa rightfully pointed out on Tuesday night, it’s about continuing a conversation.

Panelist Lina Patel was quick to add an important dimension, namely that “Caring is a learned skill. It's not that some of us are great of it and some aren’t – some of us are just more practiced.”

With those two things in mind, we want to thank everyone who took part in our collection of events last week, from making worlds to Making Sense, and from bringing people into the design process and caring for them while they’re here.

We've got a lot to think about as the year continues to ramp up, including the responsibility we have to care for our communities, our peers and each other.

However, Leander Kreltszheim might have given us all our first step with the timely advice, “Please remember to fit your own oxygen mask before helping others.”

We’ll be sitting with these thoughts over the next few months, and we invite you to join us the next time we get together to talk about design and our roles as designers in the world. Email us if you want to chat, or sign up to our newsletter and we’ll let you know what’s on.

– Ryley Lawson

March 20, 2019

PG #29 – Breaking cycles, creating cycles

In this fortnight's edition of the newsletter we ask, how can the work we do as designers be not disruptive, but regenerative – for our systems, our communities, for ourselves?

Because we are making changes to the world, and we have a responsibility to be stewards of our future.

– Reuben and the PG team

March 14, 2019

We’re open for Melbourne Design Week

With even Dieter Rams admitting his relentless pursuit of form and function contributed to the world’s overconsumption – the time is now to consider and evaluate design from all viewpoints.

Melbourne Design Week offers Melbourne’s growing design community a chance to celebrate their achievements but also to reflect on how and why we do the work that we do. This year’s theme raises the question: if design is shaping the future, is it the best possible future, and for whom?

This theme opened up some interesting questions for the team at Paper Giant – our response was to focus on care, and how care affects the ways we are able to shape futures through design.

So this year we’re preparing to open our doors to over 300 people – from practitioners to passers-by – by hosting and running 5 events between the 14th and 22nd of March.

Three of those events are part of the programme, one is a session being run by us free of charge for individuals in the public and not–for–profit sectors and one is on the other side of the globe.

All of them are about us creating the room and space to talk to each other, to care for each other and to support the design community as a whole to take responsibility for the futures we create through our work.


18 March
Wonderlab – The Worlds We Live In – MDW

19 March
Communities of Care – MDW

20 March
Co-Design for Social Innovation

21-24 March
Making Space presents Making Sense – MDW

22 March
RSA.org.uk – Systems Change Chats


It’s a busy week for us but to borrow words shared by Matt Wicking:

"We meet at a time when the human species is having an unprecedented impact on the planet."
"...the discussions we have here, the decisions we make and any actions we take as a result will have consequences for other people and other species - both those living now as well as future generations."

We remind ourselves of this when we host our communities, and Paper Giant, for one, is optimistic about the power of conversation and the ability of design to shape prosperous futures for everyone.

And we hope that you’ll join us.

March 7, 2019

PG #28 – “When you can’t name a problem, you can’t solve it”

Women from all backgrounds working together to put puzzle pieces of the world back together.
Illustration by Hope Lumsden-Barry

Today is International Women’s Day, a day that for many women is one of both celebration and mourning: how far we’ve come, and how far we still have to go.

In that context, I want to talk briefly about ‘intersectionality’, a word that some people dismiss as one piece of jargon too many. “Every five minutes there’s a new word you have to know, and if you can’t keep up, you’re a bad feminist! It’s too much!” – that type of reaction.

Like feminism, intersectionality is both a rich and complex field of study, and also quite simple: it is fairly obvious, for example, that on average Aboriginal women in Australia have it tougher than white women. We need to do better, and intersectionality can help us understand how we can do better.

This week's newsletter is dedicated to understanding the difference not just between but within gender. And for me personally the lesson here is not to assume that, because I share a gender with someone, I can know what their experience is like. As always: read, research, ask questions, listen.

– McKinley and the PG team

The world is complete and bee rebuilt by women.

February 24, 2019

Co-design for Social Innovation Workshop – 20th March, Melbourne

Illustration of eight people working together to build a framework

When some people talk about innovation, they talk about failing fast and failing often – an approach that many organisations simply cannot afford to take. Co-design is a method those in the public sector can use to create meaningful solutions to complex problems, without the gung-ho attitude.

Join us on March 20 for a free workshop at the Paper Giant office in Melbourne, where we’ll introduce the principles of co-design and provide some practical tools and case studies to inspire you


If you're interested in working with us, just get in touch.

Email: hello@papergiant.net
Call: +61 (03) 9112 0514


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Paper Giant acknowledges the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the lands on which our office is located, and the traditional owners of country on which we meet and work throughout Australia. We recognise that sovereignty over the land has never been ceded, and pay our respects to Elders past, present and emerging.