Rebecca Scott believes that most intractable social problems aren’t actually intractable – we just need to be far more creative with our solutions. In this talk at TEDxCanberra 2011, Rebecca Scott talks about where the dollars go when we buy our daily cup of coffee, and how thinking and acting in a more sustainable way can make a measurable difference all the way from the farmer to the barista – especially when that barista used to be a homeless youth.
As the CEO and Co-founder of STREAT, a Melbourne-based social enterprise that provides homeless youth with a supported pathway from the streets to a career in hospitality, Rebecca Scott is attempting to build a scalable hybrid organisation that has the ability to stop homelessness using the marketplace anywhere on the planet.
The growing field of social enterprise appears a long way from where Rebecca started her career in science. But then I guess you didn’t know she flipped a coin to decide if she’d become a scientist or artist when she finished school. Science won. But she quickly realised she was better at talking about science than actually doing it and ended up touring Australia as The Slime Queen with a travelling science circus. And whilst she’s continued to take career hook-turns from slime to science management to international development and then to social enterprise, the common theme is how alive she’s always felt at the interface between disciplines. She particularly loves building teams, projects and organisations at these interfaces.
When she’s not building STREAT you can find her in the kitchen or garden with her partner Kate, or on the floor building train tracks with their three year old son Will. Alternatively she’ll be on the street making street art or photographing, or in her shed building something weird out of red milk crates.