When Michael Kimmel first approached me, seeking support to gain an audience with corporate Australia, I hesitated. Sure, I had a great deal of respect for Michael’s work, I supported his messages and was in awe of his ability to tell a sticky story, but I’m not an agent and I wasn’t interested in just selling Michael’s time.
What I am is the curator and co-founder of TalkPoint, a small business committed to holding spaces for leaders to co-create future ways of working. So I asked Michael if he would trust me to try a different approach. I wanted to see what we could do together – TalkPoint, Michael and Australia’s business community – to cause a systemic shift towards gender equality in our workplaces. Michael was game and so the idea for the #KimmelTalks ‘Collaborative Cohort’* was born.
#KimmelTalks was launched in August last year, with Michael spending a day delivering his message, that gender equality is good for business and for men, to our community in Sydney. Since then we have formed a cross-industry cohort of organisations spearheaded by Lendlease, KPMG and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency. The cohort has worked behind the scenes to co-create Michael’s week long tour from 20 to 26 May 2016.
During his time here in Sydney, Michael will be providing private consultations and delivering internal events to member organisations as well as public events including Sydney Writers Festival on Sunday 22 May, TEDx Sydney on Wednesday 25 May, and our own Gathering Men: Talking tough with Dr Michael Kimmel – a premium breakfast workshop to launch #KimmelTalks 2016 on Friday 20 May.
I’m so looking forward to spending time again with Michael and hearing his most recent learnings and wisdom gained since he delivered his 2015 TED Talk. I’m also curious to see what emerges in our business community in the weeks and months following his tour, and I’m inspired to continue our work, facilitating leaders to co-create future ways of working.
“Working with TalkPoint on this ambitious tour is so exciting! I have every confidence that, together, we can cause a systemic shift towards gender equality in Australia, and I look forward to working with each and every one of you.” – Michael Kimmel
* Lead members of the #KimmelTalks Collaborative Cohort are Lendlease, KPMG and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency, supported by the Equality Rights Alliance, The Launch Pod, Australian Film, Television and Radio School, and The Thinking Field.