The week of interviewing Sam Smith her team “Future Proofing Geelong” won two awards for their work, to see Greater Geelong become nationally recognised as a city demonstrating sustainable leadership. I joked with her and asked if they have super hero action figure merchandise, she laughed and said she had been considering heading to the op-shop to find some dolls to do up with super capes!
I first met Sam at the Australian Regional Development conference which she won the 2014 Australian Regional Innovation Environmental and Sustainability Award.
Sam Smith is one of the three key players in Future Proofing Geelong. This small team, in three years, has turned around industry, small business and community from working separately to working in unison to dramatically lower emissions in their region.
This transition from vastly different segments of Geelong working separately, to working together, Sam explains is due to Future Connections listening to people. “Our strength is relationships and connections over a cup of tea. Everyone thinks email and social media personalities can connect people. Change can only happen through real face to face connections that create trust and result in relationships.”