Big Blue Sky Moonshot – The business of being human


Recovering from November 5th Big Blue Sky inaugural event was how 2016 started.

A small team had pulled together an extraordinary feat. For me 30 years of attempting to pull together passionate diverse people to collaborate on a Moonshot type projects finally succeeded. This beautiful ecosystem lived in the Trust Manifesto, a statement of how we choose to engage with each other as we work together.

Big Blue Sky Team at the Big Blue Sky Event

Big Blue Sky Team at the Big Blue Sky Event


We had brought to life something extraordinary, but the question remained as to how to make Big Blue Sky live as a whole and sustainable entity.

How do you turn an impulse, deeply rooted in social entrepreneurship and community organising, and make it support the very people who give their life force energy to it?


For the first part of 2016 I explored many conversations. I met people who said they were great at sales, lawyers, business developers and idealists like me… The conversation itself became a kind of game of loop-de-loop. Conversation on its own is not enough. It needs to be activated.

Since August 100% of my focus has been on Big Blue Sky 2016 and beyond. This year we had the most amazing support from the community. We had incredible sponsors from business and government. At the same time, we experienced our first sabotage.

This affected me deeply. But they say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. If I am not creating at least some disturbance, then I am not doing my work. I can’t say I am completely through this lesson…it just keeps giving. Which I do appreciate. I keep exploring how we at Big Blue Sky need to hold the Big Blue Sky of collaboration as our constant, stay in the Business of Being Human, invite participation and be very clear about what type of behaviours is or is not acceptable. The question, how to we demonstrate, day in and day out, the who of what we stand for?

Live it. It’s BIG. We named ourselves. We decided to create Moonshots. We did this deliberately. Moonshots ask us to be far far greater than we ever thought possible. Big Blue Sky is a Moonshot. We do not have a road map, or even a sky map. We only have a compass. 

We will make mistakes, we will fall down. And, we will never forget our humanity.


Yet we are part of the many amazing people and enterprises around the world who are working towards the new frontiers of business, organisation, citizen engagement, money, finance… that hold human dignity, respect and the 100% success of every single human without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone as the compass. We can learn from each other.

I have learned (and will no doubt continue to learn) much. In 2015 we focused exclusively on the quality of the event, and didn’t pay any heed to the numbers of participants. This worked so powerfully. In 2016 my focus shifted more towards the numbers. This was a mistake. Quality of the event is supreme (even though the quality of 2016 was excellent by all reports and accounts, you can check out a short video here).

We also learned the hard and costly effect of not continuing to build and nurture the community that was created through Big Blue Sky 2015. We had created this amazing trusting ecosystem, and we neglected to nourish it. No excuses.

Trying to sustain ourselves and figure out how to do this…and actually, not trusting the wisdom and support of the very community we had built. I feel pretty positive, in retrospect, that if we had of gone back to the community and invited them to the conversational table of making Big Blue Sky sustainable we would have co-figured it out. Instead we so easily defaulted to the very model that we are attempting not to represent. The one where the solo individual or the very small team have the answers. The diversity of the community has the answers, and more often than not, they have answers that are both counter-intuitive and stunning. We didn’t invite them to the conversation. Big mistake.

At Big Blue Sky 2016, on the Saturday, Richard Hames, a much valued member of our larger team, suggested that we convene a Moonshot called Big Blue Sky. About 10 people came together around this, and it was extraordinary to hear so many people so keen to support our thriving. Everyone was clear we had built something remarkable, and it was so close to having its own clear identity and to becoming generative and sustainable.

Post the event #2 in 2016 we held a stakeholder meeting, inviting about 14 of our fans and sponsors from business and community into a facilitated space. This was to get their feedback on the event, and the opportunity for input into the on-going build of Big Blue Sky. Then my remarkable co-founder, Lou, a branding and marketing expert, held a branding workshop… and we discover that we are in the Business of Being Human.

That we are omni-disciplinary, enabling anyone to have make their contribution from multiple sectors of business, society and community, that one of our unique attributes is the mashup/moshpit type experience people have – the academic talking to the artist talking to the social entrepreneur talking to the student, talking to the mum… with the spiciness of new thinking and models from the edge of business/innovation/entrepreneurship/leadership…. that we present the future of business (a new paradigm, not the old hierarchy of leader at the top, extraction to extinction, and profit at the cost of people, community, environment and a long term healthy future) – where business is designed explicitly to serve all of humanity…. that we are visionary, risk takers, resourceful, engaging, magnetic, vibrant and joyful.

That we are great individually, unstoppable together.

That we bring beauty back to business.

Amen to all that.



Big Blue Sky was begun at an opportune time. The Queensland Government is supporting the development of regional hubs through the state. At the close out of 2016, Big Blue Sky agreed to partner with a local/global software firm to collaborate on the regional hub. This is exciting.

The thinking behind the regional hub is to continue what we have started, to create a convening and co-ordinating space that brings diversity of world view, talent, skill and resources together under one roof, so to speak.

To build a Patient Capital fund, modelled on that can support social entrepreneurial projects on-going. To leverage the many existing resources and relationships we have in our ecosystem to enable all thriving.

2017 is a YES to magnificent, courageous, beautiful action, with a dose of adventure and play. To knowing that we are better when we work together.

If any of what we stand for at Big Blue Sky calls to you and you would like to be involved in any way then, please let us know. You call the shots on what that involvement looks and feels like. There is no contribution too small or too large.


If you want to be part of the conversation to enable Big Blue Sky to thrive, then let us know.

Shortly we will be announcing the opportunity for people to get together again in an informal way to explore this topic as well as be given the opportunity to contribute to many of the projects emerging:

*The Moonshot called Big Blue Sky –its ongoing viability and thriving

*The Big Blue Sky 2017 event

*The Regional Hub

*Hear from some of the teams working on projects from 2016

*A regional Moonshot to be announced

*Something you feel deeply passionate about that you would like to animate as part of the Big Blue Sky community?

Email us at You are what make this work, and we would love to have you involved, get your input, hear your feedback, and connect.


Big Blue Sky Great individually Unstoppable together




Thank you for being here, for your own commitment, for reading this far…

Wildest blessings,

Christine McDougall

Co-founder Big Blue Sky

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