About Stephen

Bio

Thinker and doer. Iconoclastic. Professional loudmouth.

I'm the Founder at acidlabs, a small (but very good) design thinking, user experience, and service design studio based in Canberra, Australia.

I'm known to most as "trib". It's a long story. Feel free to use it (the name, not the story).

At work, I'm a design thinker, problem solver, user experience and service designer, organisational comms guy, collaborator, and sketch noter.

I'm also the Creative Catalyst for TEDxCanberra and the Australia and NZ TEDx Ambassador.

I'm always a husband, Dad, brother, and son.

I play WoW and EVE Online.

I'm a powerlifter, CrossFitter, and rugby tragic.

Languages

English

TED Conferences

TEDActive 2014, TEDActive 2013, TEDActive 2011, TEDActive 2009

Areas of Expertise

knowledge work, service design, Experience Design, Collaboration , Social Innovation, Foresight, Design Thinking

An idea worth spreading

I want organisations of all sizes to switch their focus to valuing knowledge work rather than assuming it just is. Business needs to provide employees interesting and meaningful work, a workplace where staff can enjoy what they do, adopt a culture and philosophy that treats people as humans and work as having meaning, and most importantly, develop or seek out people who will lead staff on a journey to something better rather than just put ducks in a row.

I'm passionate about

Let's change the way we look at complex problems to focus on context, not preconception; it's placing problems in a nuanced framework that's the key.

Universities

University of Canberra

Talk to me about

Design thinking
Going paleo
Working at a think tank

People don't know I'm good at

Ballroom dancing (but I'm out of practice) and cooking.

My TED story

Ideas are the heart of everything human. Making them bear fruit and become things is what excites me. My involvement in TED as an attendee and TEDx organiser lets me be a part of that.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 1 year ago
Edward Snowden: Here's how we take back the Internet
Obviously, the issue of Snowden's whistleblowing is far more nuanced than Chris Anderson's binary "troublemaker or hero". There are many matters to be argued out over whether he ought to have done as he did, in the manner he has. Nonetheless, he has shed much-needed light on to darkness and corrupt, possibly illegal, conduct by the security agencies of many nations. There's no dispute those agencies are needed, however their blanket information gathering, and apparent view they ought to be beyond the reach of public scrutiny goes to the heart of the matter. Snowden has done the cause of open government and accountability of actions by governments a great favor. Hopefully, the fallout from his actions, as the media reveals ever-greater improper behavior by those security agencies, creates greater public awareness, and forces greater scrutiny.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
Stewart Brand: The dawn of de-extinction. Are you ready?
There's a very long way to go on Brand's aims here, and, at least in some cases, I hope he and his collaborators are successful. There are many species humans are directly responsible for destroying that might otherwise still hold a place in our ecosystems. However, I can't help but think a de-extinction biologist with a sense of grandeur might create a Jurassic Park of their own somewhere.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
Bono: The good news on poverty (Yes, there's good news)
Bono has grand aims, I hope he can use the power he has to achieve them, or at least give it, what we'd call in Australia, "a red-hot go". Being present at TED 2013 for this talk was quite surprising; Bono is rather more self-deprecating than you expect. That someone who's achieved what he has across disciplines is prepared to make fun of himself while talking about something so important bodes well for his plans and what they might achieve.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Lewis, the TED attendee and TEDx organiser community is pretty broad. Not everyone within it is happy with this decision, and I certainly believe it could have been handled MUCH better. My hope is that TED learn from it. There's a number of private forums where TED attendees and TEDx organisers speak directly to TED (though no less directly than here, just on a smaller scale). Let me assure you, there's plenty of upset and a diversity of views in those as well.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
Gail, I don't feel at all conflicted. I'm certainly aware others disagree with me, you included, and that neither bothers me, nor do I feel any compulsion to try to change your mind. Others here share both your view and mine. As it should be. Yes, I am (at least in part) defending TED's stance. I think they're within their rights to do what they've done. Could they have handled this situation better? Very much so.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
I'm not sure what power I have here... nor what power you (or others) don't have. I certainly have little influence with TED; I've attended a few times, and I run a small TEDx event far away over here in Australia. I fully understand the nuances of censorship and what they mean; I'm a former board member of the Australian equivalent of the EFF where one of my campaigning platforms was internet censorship and limiting government control. I've been in the trenches, so to speak. I've thought long and hard about this. My positions aren't reached without consideration.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
So, I'm not "TED people"; I'm not employed by them in any way, nor do I generate income from them. I am a volunteer organiser for a TEDx event 10,000 miles (I checked) from TED HQ. As I noted in my answer to your other comment, we disagree on what makes for censorship. In the West, we're a long way from being actually censored on very much at all.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
We certainly disagree on what censorship is. Here in the West, it's pretty hard to argue we suffer censorship in any true sense of the word. I'm also going to disagree with you that TED is both anti-science and militantly atheist. I think neither is the case. And I'm okay with us disagreeing.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Graham Hancock's talk
Bart, I'm well across the several processes that have taken place. TEDx organisers as a group (and not all of them agree with TED's actions) have been briefed several times as TED has taken each step. I certainly take a different view as to what, in aggregate or in specificity, amounts to censorship. I don't see it here, but I understand and accept others do (though I disagree with them). As to the matter of pseudoscience, TED is using an understood and accepted definition. Again, some (like me) accept that the talks in question fall within that definition, and others will not. I don't have a problem with that.
211512
Stephen Collins
Posted over 2 years ago
The debate about Rupert Sheldrake's talk
John, I think you'll find the organiser community is pretty diverse. Many of us, me included, don't always agree with the mother ship, and we often make it known (there's an active community of organisers in contact with TED and it's there where these things get thrashed out). In this case, I agree with their reasoning behind moving the talks (pseudoscience, etc.) though I'd argue (and imagine they'd admit) their handling of it will be no small learning experience for them.