My passion for life comes from the three F’s

One of the greatest joys one can experience is the realisation of a dream. 

Why I believe Smart City Perth will work, comes from the three F’s aligned in my life and other collaborators seeking to create a greater world for generations to come.

Family – Faith – Friends

Family: 

I’ve inherited a legacy of unconditional love from my mother, father, brother and sister and we celebrate 50 years as a Greek/Macedonian migrant family to this beautiful nation, Australia, 18th April 1968. Perth being our home town. 

I married a young Australian lady who captured my attention in a local church. We’ve spent the last thirty three years growing together. We’ve raised a beautiful family and celebrate life knowing our children and our grandchildren have every reason to succeed as we pass on our unconditional love to them.

Faith: 

Anyone who comes to know me will quickly pick up that I’m a person of faith. My faith is deeply personal and a driving force that I’ve developed since my teenage years.

My faith has created lots of conflict and opportunity, but as I’ve aged, my ability to harness and direct my beliefs for the greater good is evident. I proudly let people know that I am not affiliated with any organisation and have no other agenda but to reflect love, hope and charity wherever I walk.

Friends: 

If my family is fine and my conscience is clean, the sky is the limit to my energy.

I am my brothers keeper and I consider it a privilege to help someone in need if I have the capacity. If I don’t have the capacity to meet a need, I’m forever marrying people and opportunities to meet needs.

Who is my friend? 

Anyone within my sphere of influence.

“What will I build in my lifetime, a house or a home”

A man had two sons and he assigned each of them to build a house for themselves in a tired old town that showed prospect, it appeared to be a good investment for their future.

The time came for the father to inspect what each of the sons had built.

He visited the first son who built his house on top of the hill overlooking the town below.

When the father started looking throughout the house, it was evident that this son spared no expense and the architectural detail and materials used was of the highest quality.

The father compliments his son on the building, however the father makes one comment that could be taken as negative “As I walk through your house appreciating the building, it feels cold and isolated”

The father went on to visit the second sons house which was apparently built in the township.

As the father and son walked through the town, a voice from a shop keeper calls out to the son “Please have dinner at my house tonight and bring your father” … then another shopkeeper calls out “You must have lunch this Saturday at my house, I’d like to introduce your father to my family” …. voices of strangers it would seem called out to the son and the father offering a bed and food or transportation.

The father amused by all the generosity and how sociable everyone was and in particular how much they admired his son.

Then the father asks to see the second sons house. The son responds, “This is my house, this town. I invested in all the businesses and the people, helping them rebuild their town. They provide food for me, a bed and company.

The father mused by the unexpected answer. Being a wise old man, he responds to his son. “You have indeed built the most magnificent home rather than choosing to build a house yourself”

My father shared the above parable to me as a young boy and it has always resonated the question “What will I build in my lifetime, a house or a home

~ Dimitri Smilovitis (My father)

The picture was drawn for me to illustrate the parable by my good friend and artist Mark Bruning, look him up on Instagram.

Smart Cities and the conceited side of prosperity failing to connect

To the Smart City Concept – There’s nothing new under than sun. What are we willing to exchange for peace of mind, community and true prosperity?

It’s more than nostalgia, it’s about family and community bonds.

As a migrant Greek/Macedonian child growing up in the Perth suburbs, I could count eight homes we could walk to in less than ten minutes that were relatives, four homes on the same street. Fifty years later and I built on that same street with all the other relatives deceased or they moved away from my street to new communities.

There was a simplicity to our lives and that feeling of belonging in a foreign land was nothing more than staying connected with our roots while we figured out our new paths in this new country, Australia.

With the rise of opportunity, technology, education and the convenience of social media, you’d think we’d be even closer as a community? Unfortunately all these dynamics that are to make life easier also erode that quality that creates fiber in relationships called hardship.

Hardship is that quality that waits things out, that talks things through, that gives for the greater good of the community.

I grew up in a home so small that my parents couldn’t hide their arguments, they had to work stuff out and we all knew when things were sorted. Being poor made you appreciate the simple things and definitely made people like my mother creative and frugal, no one in my family went without.

It was a time when once a week fish and chips on a Friday night was to die for and sitting around the table for Sunday lunch connected the most dysfunctional family.

I remember a fellow Greek wealthy man asking me what suburb I lived in and when he heard my reply he had that look of pity. He in his hubris moment actually said these words to me “We need to look for a way to get you out of there” thinking he was wanting to make my life richer.

I can’t help but pity such arrogance, he has no idea how wealthy I am.

It’s more than nostalgia, it’s about family and community bonds.

The Smart City Concept must bring families and community together, otherwise we’ve failed no matter how impressive our cities appear to be.

Swan Chamber of Commerce in Revival mode

No two ways about it, what I thought was a Chamber in its death spiral some years back has definitely turned a corner.

My involvement with the chamber spans many years and I’ve never really seen the benefit of involvement but respectfully I represented a family and a local shopping centre and on their behalf would attend most of the events.

My experience was typical of an organisation that lacked vision and forgot what its mission statement was all about. It reached its natural course and the dead wood was apparent in every direction.

1. The dead wood of over government representation

2. The dead wood of big business running the show

3. The dead wood of forgetting to invest in startups and entrepreneurs

4. The dead wood of elitism

Over the last four years I’ve seen the changing of the guard and the renewing of vision with its focus back on small business and the next generation.

The current new board is filled with new life and respectfully represents what any progressive enterprise ought to have – Pragmatic Enthusiasm ‘They are walking the walk and talking the talk’

It was interesting to note that not many big businesses sponsored the chamber this last year but they will to be part of this REVIVAL if they are to remain significant.

It was interesting to see local council and government only sponsored a minimal portion $$$ of what they’ve done in years gone by and only one councillor attended The Business Awards. This gives me great hope that the balance of power will return to small business rather than having a dependency on government support and hand outs from large corporations.

Organisations like the Swan Chamber of Commerce will thrive when they fight for significance, rather than rest on their laurels of past success.

The last four years may be the most turbulent times that the Swan Chamber of Commerce have had to endure in years but it will pay off in spades if they stay on this trajectory.

They’ve finished the year with the Business Awards and it was by far the best atmosphere that I’ve experienced in years.

Full of new blood, youth and young businesses.

I’m confident that the chamber will see a new lease if life as long as it sticks to its purpose ‘Support and enable small businesses to thrive and become a lobby group that challenges its very purpose not just its existence’

A special note of thanks to a 21 year old university student, Sebastian, who works part time for the chamber and oversees the marketing, he was integral to making the 2018 Swan Chamber Awards night an absolute success. Sebastian is the absolute representation of what Chambers like this or any other worthwhile organisation stands for.

It’s our responsibility as elders to make sure that the next generation are equipped to thrive not just survive. As much as guys like Gerry Hanssen who is the current president of the chamber can be annoying, anyone who knows him well, knows his heart is in the right place and we need more leaders that are tired of talkfests.

Gerry, is comfortable to start looking at a new leader to take his place now that the focus of the chamber is headed in the right direction.

Most leaders would find this hard to do but then again, they are not leaders.

Making a difference by having an outta body experience

Who doesn’t want to leave their mark on the world?

From a backyard dream to influencing the masses, there is something in the human DNA that wants to impress upon their fellow human being, I’m somebody, my opinion matters.

The unfortunate natural pecking order of life

The toddler has already worked this out, understanding that life feels like a bit of a pecking order and through the art of manipulation the toddler can move up in the world.

It’s a crying shame that a significant amount of adults haven’t broken free from the toddler mindset, why would we when it allows us to have our own way. Through bullying, winging, crying, giving dirty looks, sulking, lying, throwing tantrums and playing emotional games, the adult gets everything the toddler gets and more.

The alternative is the amazing unnatural and unseen order of life we can all tap into called dying to self, allowing this outta body experience to take place

Every now and again we come across an adult that has an outta body experience and they seem to turn the world upside down. Their opinions hit you like a sledge hammer, every word they say is measured and you feel compelled to reflect on their words rather than resist them.

These individuals are hard to explain, nothing extraordinary about their appearance physically however their countenance does have an unexplained aura about them.

I’ve not met many of these people in my life but when you’re in their presence you know it. There are also some and I count myself one of them where we have moments where everything we touch turns to gold, everything we say comes to pass and like a wave hitting the beach, we’ve made impact in that moment.

By enlarge, I’d say there are plenty of people that walk in and out of significance and in my observation it’s when we die to self, some are just better at it than others.

Dying to self is the most adult thing we can do when it matters most but behaving like a toddler is only natural. If you don’t believe me, watch Parliament or sit around a board room table, it’s hilarious watching educated adults act like toddlers in a shameless behavior. They manipulatively put in on thick likened to a child on the supermarket floor embarrassing its mother to have its own way.

Dying to self creates the outta body experience where wisdom stores its treasures

Those that make it a habit of dying to self no longer validate themselves or seek the approval of the pecking order regime. These people of significance are the peace makers, world changers, restorers of social justice and they influence the powers that be through their weighted words….

I said ‘they influence the powers that be through their weighted words’

Next time there is an opportunity to make a difference, don’t be so hesitant to win the argument, die to self and win the person.

A father’s heart is integral to a city’s fabric, not just a father’s paycheque

In a world riddled with uncertainty, the fabric of society is held together not by mortar alone.

Connectivity and safety in society cannot be drummed into our boys with anti bully slogans or the threat of discipline from a heartless system. Our girls ought to feel safe without thinking twice.

A father’s heart raises the sons of a city to have the fortitude of a warrior, ready to defend its city as well as raise their sons to have the heart of velvet, ready to nurture and instil values to their sons so that the daughters of a city feel safe in every corner.

A child craves the love of a mother as well as a father and when one is absent, let us citizens take the slack and offer to defend and nurture where needed before that child is robbed of their innocence.

The softer side to hard data

The dark side of great data and number crunching erodes basic intuition and the survival skills of the masses.

The talk of job losses resulting from technology is not new nor should it be surprising to anyone that still thinks for themselves.

For us baby boomers, we can recall back in the 70s in Perth, Western Australia the whole self serve petrol stations concept when it started rolling out. The talk of job losses and how could we expect ordinary people to handle petrol and yet in other parts of the world the self serve petrol stations were already in place in the late forties.

When we try to hold on too hard to anything, we miss the opportunity to adapt and embrace so much more.

Having said that, I believe there is a dark side when our lives are nothing more than analytics. Numbers and hard data may to some degree tell us about our past behaviour and current behaviour but it takes insight and wisdom utilise aspects of the data to bring change and new direction to a person or enterprise.

There is no nurturing back to life when technology is fully depended upon.

Let’s take the self serve petrol stations as an example and those of us that remember that feeling of being served and not rushing life. There was something pleasant about someone coming to your car window and asking how much petrol you wanted. While they filled your tank they would clean your windscreen and check your tyres. It seems the only ones that have benefited from the whole self serve industry was the petrol cartels and there bottom dollar, we the customer didn’t benefit, petrol prices have gone up 800% since the good old days.

Next time you think your tech savvy, just remember the big data may be slowly taking away the very essence of what it is to be human.

Smart people take only a extracts out of hard analytics, vital information and use wisdom to transform vital data into opportunities. Smart people also cast out the majority of analytics and numbers that the herd have come to rely on.

Smart City Perth is keen to assist the next generation in job creation rather than fear technology. Smart City Perth Network will be equipping our youth with the right tools and Insane Domains who is one of our supporting partners who is here to serve you.

Insane Domains is supporting and facilitating smart business people by taking all the unnecessary headaches out of your business ideas, helping you to govern your own future.