Massive Action Sydney 2023-25

We choose urgent change

People doing group work sitting around desk

Projects selected for ongoing development

Five projects ideas from the 2022 Massive Action Sydney design sprint have been selected for further development. Projects receive ongoing mentorship with Massive Change Network (MCN), along with strategic advice and support on project management, collaboration and resourcing through the ADA Innovation Hub. These projects will now commence an 18-month project development phase focused on design and implementation across 2023/2025. Projects will also receive marketing, communication and international visibility through the MAS network.  

Making Good Media

What if the media empowered us to combat climate change? 

The media maps and shapes our culture. But today’s stories don’t reflect the overwhelming consensus that we’re having a negative impact on the planet.

We can create a culture of positive climate actions with simple shifts. The weather presenter could improve our understanding of the energy grid, the finance report could redefine value and what it means to be a market-leader, a cooking show could help reduce food waste, and children’s television could inspire the next generation and give their parents hope. We can inform and empower broad audiences without increasing climate anxiety.

Content innovation and shifts in language can make an exponential difference. But we need the right people in the room – an intersectional community with diverse knowledges, supporting First Nations perspectives, data-based climate science, life-centred design, economic strategy, and more. Be part of it – it’s already happening.

Project Lead: Rebecca Green
Project Manager: Carmel O'Connor
Animation and Visual Arts Specialist: Anna Tow
Digital Matte and Environment Artist: Nicole Mather
Creative Technology Specialist: Damien March
Art & Design Student Collaborator: Sarah Lui

Caring for Country Leave

What if you changed your mindset from what you can get to what you can give?

First Nations knowledge systems recognise all things are of and from the land. We exist in a reciprocal relationship with Country, and we have a responsibility to give back to it. However, western cultural agencies and institutions rarely hold space for this.

By engaging in and reflecting on reciprocity, we can become a part of an irresistible collaborative responsibility to care for and honour the land. Giving back, connecting and caring for Country allows us to demonstrate real action towards climate change together with First Nations communities and all life within and across stolen and unceded land in Australia.

Caring for Country leave is proactive and preventative climate action. Access a new category of leave that enables you to give back to Country through culturally and environmentally appropriate activities locally and across Australia.

Project Co-Lead: Sara Padgett Kjaersgaard
Project Indigenous Co-Lead: Tessa Carnegie

(Daily) Delight~Disrupt

What if we shifted common sense to support more restorative ways of being? 

Many people in Western/ised and/or industrial/ised settings are potentially very empowered yet feel incapable of contributing to broader socio-environmental solutions.

(Daily) Delight~Disrupt cultivates a movement through ecoculture jams - playful public unsettlings that promote and experientially manifest creative and restorative ways of being while disrupting the destructive status quo. The movement is developing an interactive living archive of existing ecoculture jams and a shared collective action formula. It is also producing new daily repeating and evolving local ecoculture jams that are simple and easily upscaled to global, such as Tree-hugger Tuesdays and Seed-bombing Sundays, and collaborating on methods for their impactful mass dissemination.

Spark irresistible delight every day of the week and ignite your agency to connect with and care for others, place, ecosystem, and species in power for the planet.

Project Co-Lead: Tema Milstein
Project Co-Lead: John Carr
Project Manager: Nicole Suniary
Lead Graphic Designer: Michael Donohue
Research Collaborator: Viviane Nguyen

Big Trauma, Big Change

What if we radically transformed our approach to mental health?

The current mental health system is failing. Outside the privileged metropolitan areas, there is little or no support for those dealing with trauma, suicidality and ongoing distress. Unprocessed trauma costs the nation around $25 billion a year.

The WHO, the UN and the Australian Productivity Commission all agree that we need to do things differently. It’s time to look beyond the medical model of ‘mental health’.

The Big Anxiety team works closely with communities to reimagine support for mental health and trauma – and to develop the resources we need to make big change, in ourselves and in the world.

In one day, we can bring a community together.

In ten minutes we can be transformed by a powerful immersive experience.

The future of mental health depends on empowering people and communities. Rather than treating people for disorders, it will offer inspiration, discovery and validation, using experiential media like virtual reality to engage with the senses and emotions – and to explore the questions that enable growth and transformation:

  • How do we change the way we feel inside when we are broken and disconnected?
  • How do we connect to ourselves, to community, to culture and to Country?
  • How do we build a viable alternative to “the system” – a culture that is supportive and sustaining, that fills us with awe, hope and wonder, and offers genuine practical help?

We know that our tools and community programs work in a remarkably short time frame:

  • “It’s like doing ten years of therapy in one morning” (participant, Brisbane)
  • “It’s maybe ten years of growth in a very short time” (participant, Warwick)

Through Massive Action Sydney we are developing the means to scale up and scale deep.

Project Lead: Jill Bennett
Project Manager: Jenni Tyler
Research Collaborator: Gail Kenning 
Design Strategist: Chloe Cassidy 
Spatial and experience specialist: Katherine Bond
Lead Immersive Designer: Volker Kuchelmeister
Art & Design Student Collaborator: Alina Wirtz


What tools do we need to become more responsible designers and changemakers?

As designers we have a responsibility to make informed choices that contribute to the sustainment of life. To consider the broader ecosystems and local contexts in which we are participating and designing into. In Australia, it is our imperative to engage with First Nations perspectives and knowledges as part of this process. 

Last September during Massive Action Sydney, we relied heavily on the contributions of three First Nations collaborators who moved between project groups sharing their insights and expertise. Having seen the cultural load placed on these individuals it became clear that we also need to carefully consider how we engage these perspectives.

So how can we be more proactive and intentional designers? And how can we educate ourselves and expand our worldview and knowledge base without adding to the cultural load of others?

We propose ‘re-situ’ - a digital platform that connects and informs designers and change makers to First Nations perspectives. A living and evolving body of knowledge, grounded in place. A platform that brings the local context to the forefront and aids a process of unlearning and relearning.  

Let’s build the tools for a more informed and responsible generation of designers and changemakers.

Project Co-Lead: Charlotte Adams (Art & Design Student)
Project Co-Lead: Bronte Contador-Kelsall (ADA Alumna)
Project Facilitator: Emma Mills