Australian Global 50 & Global Citizen Festival

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, charity: water, Events, Internet, Life | Posted on 10-02-2013


While my time to blog has dipped considerably compared to the pre-Twitter days of 2007 and 3 posts a week, I still view my blog as my real ‘home’ on the web.

As such, sharing two pieces of personal news for posterity.

Australian Global 50

I was surprised and honored this past Australia Day to be recognized by the Australian Trade Commission as one of the ‘Global 50′ Aussie expatriates making an impact on the world.

See the full list here, it’s an impressive group and I’m honored to join them due to the great work of my team at charity: water.

Global Citizen Festival

Here’s a quick video of the most nerve-wracking moment of my life to date – sharing charity: water’s commitment to raise $100 million for clean water by 2015 alongside Katie Couric at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.

The Global Citizen Festival was an amazing event led by the incredibly impressive Aussie Hugh Evans, and featured some of the world’s top bands alongside the most impactful causes, in front of an audience of 70,000 passionate world changers and the world’s largest ever live stream audience!

Speaking to a crowd of 50,000 in the middle of the world’s greatest city, on a stage shared with the Foo Fighters & Neil Young, isn’t something I’ll forget quickly — even if it was only a sentence!

On Australia

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Life | Posted on 23-01-2012


I always get a little homesick in the cold of the US Winter. Perhaps that what made a few notes from the newly annoited Australian of the Year, Charles Teo, strike me so:

So on a very simplistic level, what is it about Australia that makes it the greatest place on earth to live? Those of you who have lived overseas for any length of time will recall that it is very easy to reflect on your homeland with rose-coloured glasses. When in the US, I would recall Australia’s magnificent beaches and national parks and sunny summer days with flawless blue skies. I would reminisce on the irreverent humour of Doug Mulray, the natural beauty of Australian girls, the fresh and bountiful seafood, my friends from childhood and university days with whom I could be at total ease and the relaxed quintessential Australian way of life. I conveniently forgot about the Sydney traffic, the tall-poppy-syndrome, the flies in summer, the geographical isolation and the hidden and sometimes overt racism.

My view of an Aussie was someone who was hard working, unaffected, genuine, affable, relaxed, egalitarian, irreverent and charitable.

Spending nine years in the USA was an enlightening experience.  I felt Australia was such a great place to live, in no small part as a result of its isolation, not despite it. We appeared to be immune from world wars, border conflicts and dwindling natural resources. Why would you ruin this blissful isolation by allowing “queue jumpers”, potential criminals, into our Utopia?

My time in the USA made me reflect on how a country that was not that much older or bigger than ours had achieved such a standing on the world stage. In general, Americans were not more intelligent, diligent or talented than Australians. They have natural resources, so do we. Their pioneers did it tough, so did ours. They had a national pride, so do we. Speak to most Americans and they will be the first to concede the dependence of their economy on the hard-working and fiercely loyal Mexicans. Speak to almost any taxi driver anywhere in the 50 states and you will be inspired by a story of tragedy and conflict followed by hope and opportunity and concluded by a statement of national pride…in America NOT their country of birth. I don’t know for sure, and I don’t think anyone knows for sure, but, having lived in the USA for 10 years, I would be hopeful that our country would benefit from immigration of peoples from countries of conflict, or those subjected to political persecution, who are simply seeking refuge from violence and a better life for their children. I believe Australia has a moral and social obligation to demonstrate a higher level of kindness to and acceptance of refugees. I don’t know how this may be achieved but I certainly know that both sides of the political fence are floundering. I would humbly suggest that a bi-partisan approach would be one step closer to a solution and we need it now!

Australian populism vs American populism

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Current Affairs, Humour, Internet | Posted on 20-01-2012


This month I’ve seen two videos of political leaders go viral in my Facebook newsfeed. One from Australia, and one from the USA.

The content of each gives you a feel of the split between the cultures:

Barry Obama (POTUS 2008 – ) sings in Harlem:

Bob Hawke (Prime Minister of Australia 1983-1991) skulls a beer at the cricket:

charity: water in Sydney

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Business, charity: water, Events, Internet | Posted on 21-11-2011


I’m currently home in Australia visiting family and I’m taking the opportunity to host an event in Sydney to share the story of charity: water.

If you’re in Sydney this Thursday, November 24, I’d love for you to join us at the Exchange Center at 6pm for drinks and a presentation.

RSVP here to join us!

Foursquare Aussie Style

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Internet | Posted on 21-12-2010


Is Foursquare big in Australia? Not really (yet), but it’s surely growing and getting a push in-store:

Foursquare and Cricket in Australia

Snapped this photo yesterday in a Vodafone store at Cronulla beach, Sydney, Australia. A cricket wicket and a Foursquare blimp – I’m sure this is an unfamiliar vista for the Foursquare team back in NY, NY!

charity: water on ABC 20/20

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, charity: water, Current Affairs, Life | Posted on 19-12-2010


Friday night was a really cool moment for charity: water as our story was told on ABC 20/20 – check it out here (RSS readers click through for video):

A great way to close out 2010!

In personal news, tomorrow I’m flying home to Australia for Christmas. I’ll be in Sydney December 23 to January 9, if you’d like to catch up comment, email me or send me a tweet!

Julia Gillard: Australia’s First Female PM

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Internet, Life | Posted on 24-06-2010


Tonight I swung by a great geek dinner hosted by my good friend Amanda Rose and new friend Azita Ardakani, but was incredibly distracted by a historic moment breaking down at home: The appointment of Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard.

Now I voted for the man she replaced, Kevin Rudd, and while it was just words his ‘sorry‘ to Australia’s aboriginals delivered a high point for me in my nation’s politics. It’s also a little disappointing she was appointed by backroom manouvering, rather then at the forefont of a national election. Still, I think she’s a remarkable woman and I’m proud to call her the leader of my country.

Interesting from an online standpoint: I first found out this was going on via Twitter at 7am NYC time as news of the #spill started breaking. However by 7pm NYC when the votes were being cast Twitter was having issues, so I dumped their service in favor of Google live search updates. Whatever the service though, once again it was great to be part of a huge moment back home thanks to the power of the Internet.

Bonus: Mumbrella has an image of the souvenir front page of Sydney’s Daily Telegraph:

NYC Event: Social Media & Democracy

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Current Affairs, Internet | Posted on 20-04-2010


I’m heading to an interesting event put on by the Aussie consulate in NYC tomorrow night, Social Media and Democracy: The New Era of the Citizen Elect (who knew the editor of the WSJ is an Aussie?)

Let me know if you’re in NYC and want to tag along – and yes, I’ll be sure to live-tweet it and post some follow up thoughts here.

From the Advance site:

Victorians Abroad and Advance invite you to Social Media & Democracy: The New Era of the Citizen Elect at 6pm on Wednesday 21 April.

Join leading Victorian, Robert Thomson (Editor-in-Chief, Wall Street Journal) and a thought-provoking panel moderated by Evan Ratliff (Wired) for an eye-opening look at our digital future.

*What is the future of the new era of the ‘citizen elect’?
*What tools can help create a healthier democracy and engender ideas?

*What can the Government of Victoria learn about citizen engagement as it heads into an election year?

*Opportunities, pitfalls and strategies for this new form of digital collective action.
Join us for a behind the scenes look by key Australians and Americans who are leading this exciting new era of governing through social media.

Keynote speaker:

Robert Thomson

Editor-in-Chief, Wall Street Journal


Andrew Rasiej

Founder, Personal Democracy Forum

Vice President of Communications, NARAL Pro-Choice New York / National Institute for Reproductive Health

With questions moderated by:
Evan Ratliff
, contributing editor, Wired magazine and writer for The New Yorker, New York Times, Sunday Magazine, Men’s Journal.

Wednesday 21 April, 2010

6.00pm to 9.00pm


Level 50, 55 Water Street

New York, NY  10041

Australia’s Greatest Social Media Star: Fully Sick Rapper

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Humour, Internet | Posted on 09-04-2010


Christiaan Van Vurren is the greatest contribution Australia’s made to the social media scene.

Fighting tuberculosis, his excessive time locked in quarantine has given him plenty of time to produce a bunch of hilarious YouTube videos via his alter ego the ‘Fully Sick Rapper‘.


And to make a serious point, I actually think this is a great (if extreme) example of Clay Shirky’s thesis on ‘social surplus’. Essentially, the rise of social tools and self-publishing allows humanity to use their ‘social surplus’ to create and add value, as opposed to dumbly sitting in front of a television screen.

Much the same as peasants would drink themselves into a gin stupor during the industrial revolution, and also how in the past a bloke in quarantine would have to spend his days reading, watching DVDs and masticating (you’ve gotta watch the vid above to get that joke), instead of producing media that is generating hundreds of thousands of views and global attention.

Tuckshop NYC Book Exchange

Posted by Paull Young | Posted in Australia, Humour | Posted on 05-04-2010


How I love Aussie meat-pie shop Tuckshop NYC.

Book Exchange at Tuckshop NYC

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