Last week, The Hub Melbourne launched Australia’s first Dialogue Café. Dialogue Café is home to a high-definition video conferencing network specifically designed to facilitate dialogue between people from across the world to address social issues. The Hub Melbourne’s first Dialogue Café exchange will be with Cleveland, Ohio for a discussion on social enterprise business models. National Australia Bank (NAB) helped fund the project and we contributed by providing state-of-the-art Cisco TelePresence.
Dialogue Café will allow Australians to meet face-to-face with a diverse group of citizens around the world to informally discuss ideas that address social, environmental and economic issues, such as youth literacy and the job skills required for work in the 21st century. The concept is a vision of individuals from different cities and cultures around the world to collaborate and share experiences, to learn from each other and to work together to make the world a better place.
All Dialogue Cafés are connected through a global Cisco TelePresence network to enable city-to-city and multi-city conversations and activities. By the end of 2012, there will be between 15 and 20 Dialogue Cafés open all around the world. There are ambitions to grow the number of Dialogue Cafes locally, in particular, with sites in Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Sydney all proposed as well as other major APAC cities such as Singapore, Hong Kong and several locations in India.
Helping businesses improve efficiency and lower costs is one thing but being able to help improve the exchange of ideas across countries and time zones truly makes me proud to be employed by an organisation such as Cisco.