Party time: Looking back, and forwards to the future!
You may have noticed Talk Wellington is pretty buzzy…. we’ve launched our future (there was a party!) and we want you with us! Here’s Convenor Isabella on Launching the Future and the post-party buzz
You can probably imagine the mood: there’s excitement in the air, quite a lot of stress and anticipation, lots of activity as close friends and family help us set up.
It’s a special night: several things are converging at this party.
Firstly, we’re celebrating our first proper year of operating which deserves a damn good hooray!
Secondly, there’s now a growing community of readers who like and believe in what Talk Wellington’s doing. That’s really quite something.
And thirdly, it’s time to put our baby to the test: does Wellington want this enough to fund it?
So here we are on Wednesday 21st November: a glorious Wellington evening up at Prefab Hall (donated for the occasion by Talk Wellington enthusiast Jeff Kennedy).
The doors are open and the guests are rolling in, to be plied with wine, beer, sodas (thank you Yealands, Garage Project, Six Barrel Soda!) People cluster like bees around the platters of delicious Middle Eastern treats from Pomegranate Kitchen, and circulate the room having Wellington moments (“oh hi, how do we know each other?”)
At half six the MC (beloved progressive Wellington businesswoman and social entrepreneur) Laurie Foon opens the festivities with an enthusiastic welcome. She invokes Wellington’s progressive spirit and reminds us how what we build to live our lives in shapes who we are – so we should shape that stuff and shape it good.
Then there’s an icebreaker, facilitated by our clever volunteers, because Wellington runs on connections between like-minded people, meeting like this.
But pretty soon MC Laurie is introducing the star speaker, Wellington’s wildly successful (and now London-based) James Nokise.
Known for his sharp, thought-provoking (and uncontrollably snort-provoking) comedy, Nokise’s sharp eye finds the delightfully absurd and the plain ol’ stupid in Wellington’s transport and urban form landscape. From buses to Kiwis’ appetite for change (“we talk a big game about being innovative and stuff, but really we’re pretty anti it”) he works the audience for a crackling 20 minutes.
It’s a hard act to follow but someone has to tell people about Talk Wellington – why it’s good for Wellington, why they should be excited – and hopefully do a good enough job that people want to help support our future.
Stageside, I remind myself: don’t freak out. This crowd is a friendly one – perhaps the friendliest you could hope for. Talk Wellington crew around the region cheering us on – and these guests – they’ve chosen to come tonight because they’re enthused about this whole kaupapa. This is it! Get up there!
I tell the origin story of Talk Wellington – society’s need for good information (and how hard it is to produce it), how influential the built environment is upon our lives, and why we should worry especially about Wellington’s deficient information diet when it comes to transport and urban form issues.
Seeing Greater Auckland’s fantastic impact on Auckland’s civic conversations about transport and urban form, and struggling to find anyone else to start something like it for Wellington, I recount my decision to give it a go – the conception of Talk Wellington. The goal, from the get-go, is great information powering people to make Wellington better.
Simple to conceive, harder to deliver!
After sketching out how we’ve built our organisation to do this, the funds that primed the pump, and our successful start-up year of operating, I talk about our plans for 2019 and our crowd-funding quest to support this good mahi.
I take a breath, and lay it out bare: Talk Wellington is either funded in 2019 for our minimum viable ethical service, to form sustainable funding partnerships – or we’ll wind it up.
End of story.
Talk Wellington will become compost in the information landscape.
It feels terrifying to say it out loud, to so many people, and on record – but it feels good too.
There’s no point putting energy, money and time going into another great but tiny blog that never reaches beyond a small audience; what Wellington lacks is good transport and urban form insight in its regular information diet.
Having plead my case, it’s time to get the hell off the mic.
MC Laurie takes over to guide people into donating. Volunteers are scattered through the crowd, ready to help. We’re hoping most people in the room are keen to be Talk Wellington Family (ongoing small donations, anything from $25/week).
But any and all donations are welcome. And as the music, conversation and food start up again, the donating begins!
The volunteers answer questions, help people navigate Presspatron (and donate direct if preferred) and encourage people to think of others beyond the room who would be interested.
The Hall keeps buzzing well beyond our scheduled finish time and we eventually have to call it a wrap at 9pm.
Alex our fundraising strategist has wrapped up the Facebook Live; event manager Kate and helping hands pack us up (dropping the leftovers to some delighted people at the Night Shelter), and we all fall into bed like zombies.
Whether or not you got to enjoy our Launching the Future party, please help us in our quest!
Since the event night, we’re now being gifted almost $800 a month in recurring donations.
(This is apparently rather good for an organisation of our current scale and reach – a slightly better ratio than Newsroom!)
However we need about $6400 a month to do our minimum viable ethical service for a year.
So, if 50 people could help us with $25/week (which gets you in our Family) we’d be almost there!
This would mean just$17k to secure from larger sponsors – and we’ll be sorted for 2019.
Can you help us?
Hopefully you, our friends, our readers, are already having a chat with people and organisations you know, saying “hey you’ll like this, you should join the Talk Wellington Family!” or even “why don’t we sponsor them?”
Will you join the Talk Wellington Family yourself? Or you could gift a membership for Christmas! Read more here.
Whatever you do, please share our quest with all the choice folks you know.
Here’s to the future!
- Event photos – GlamBat photography
- Flaked-out hedgehog: GIFY