Russell Bailey – Global Busker

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Russell is a self-made community leader with a talent for lateral thinking, problem-solving and inspiring others.  After years of giving back to the community through his work as a musical leader, he’s decided to focus his entire attention on the interests of others.  He believes that we should take the time to define and discuss the best possible future for all life on earth, and then take the largest strides towards that future.

Now, with altruism on his mind, he’s on a long-term fact-finding mission to figure out where in the world he best fits to make the biggest difference in his lifetime.

For me, the primary seed is purpose.  Purpose generates will, energy, inspiration, drive, focus… everything.

Tell us a little bit about your idea and what made you decide to take the plunge and make it happen?

My idea is called Global Busker.  With the understanding that humans are biologically driven more from self-interest than from altruism, I have been exploring ways to make altruism fun.  I also want to paint a picture of a good future on earth, rather than just focusing on all of the problems.  The idea is to connect musicians and artists in poverty stricken communities to affluent western culture in a busking format.  The wealthier countries can begin to see impoverished people as humans, and also appreciate the value they bring with their ability to share their musical talents and culture.

I want to foster connection and bonding between cultures while raising money for the poor, with the added benefit that the busker is earning it; it’s not a charity. Global busker is a social enterprise in its infancy. We are currently building the technology to enable performing across the globe (both broadcasting equipment and internet capacity).

Can you please explain your business model?

The busker will perform remotely, creating live entertainment, and the public will pay the busker as they would pay any busker. 

How do you make ideas happen?

For me, the primary seed is purpose.  Purpose generates will, energy, inspiration, drive, focus… everything.

What role have mentors played in your business life?

Mentors have been a great source of support and advice.  They are also the best first test audience for pitching an idea.

What does your typical day look like?

My typical work day starts at 6pm when I get home from “my job”.  I sit at my computer for 3-5 hours researching and planning, emailing, networking and video conferencing.  I also draft proposals, schedules, and meet people over coffee to nut out the ideas.  My project draws together a number of independent threads, so there’s a lot of weaving to be done.

What challenges have you faced when starting or growing a business/organisation in Australia?

The biggest challenge for me is finding information and resources.  I know that there are plenty of like-minded people around the world.  My one wish would be for a system to connect with those people.

What’s an idea that you are willing to give away for free?

Surround yourself with the kind of people that you would like to become.  You will soon see the areas in which you are lacking and what’s required to fill those gaps.

What people/companies/organisations do you think are doing really cool stuff in your industry, internationally?

My favourites are Google (Alphabet) and Elon Musk.  If you are unfamiliar with Elon Musk, then you simply must look him up.

What role do you think business can play in affecting social change?

We need only consult the history books.  At a cursory glance, I would say that business plays the dominant role in western culture.  That’s why I’m backing social entrepreneurship as the way forward.

Speaking of affecting social change, Is there a particular charity you’d like to support?

It’s very important to look closely at which charities are doing the most good.  The difference between a good charity and a great charity is sometimes a factor of 1000.  A simple example is guide dogs ($40,000) vs curing blindness in Africa ($60).  I should reiterate that I think guide dogs is a good cause – I have nothing against charities.  Effective Altruism does a lot of work evaluating project effectiveness.  They support a couple of charity evaluators: GiveWell and ACE.  I donate to the top listed charities at these organisations.

Can you name 2 websites you would recommend to our readers?

I just discovered these 2 for networking purposes:

Are there opportunities for people to get involved with your idea (e.g. are you looking for funding, interns, marketing help)?

Yes please.

I currently need:

1) A digital display engineer who is prepared to innovate like crazy and put together a life-sized digital display with sound, software, internet connectivity, pay-wave facilities and 2-way camera system.  All components are fairly easy to get, but a custom unit with a streamlined production line is going to be the hardest nut to crack at this stage.

2) A software engineer (communications, multimedia) for developing the software and working with the digital display engineer. 

3) An internet technician to troubleshoot connectivity optimisation in Australia and also in 3rd world countries.

4) Another mentor on how to launch a business and social project would be excellent as well.

There are plenty of other opportunities to be involved with this project.

We’re aiming to build a community of Australian idea makers helping each other. If you could have one question answered about startups, marketing, social media, accounting, monetization, product development etc. What would it be?

Marketing from a social enterprise viewpoint.  I can see that there are added dangers regarding PR, ethics, etc.  What are the dangers?  Any good books or resources? 

What’s your favourite bar?

Little creatures brewery, Fremantle.


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