Episode 18: Engagement, Life and Community, with Matthew Wright-​Simon

Marketers, communicators, writers and digital gurus all talk about it: Engagement. But few live the process of engaging publics like Matthew Wright-​Simon.

A self-​professed propagandist, Matt’s professional live has gone in a dramatically different direction away from the creative agency, Ecocreative, that he had for many years. Ecocreative is still around; but it’s a very different beast from what it was.

Matt is well-​known in South Australia. He’s unashamedly focused on sustainability and the environment, and has a fine understanding of what it takes to create meaningful communities.

In this episode of the Pixie Podcast, we go down a different rabbit-​hole. We think about what it means to be human, and how our communities contribute to our understanding of our environments and ourselves. Most importantly, we learn why it’s so important to do this in person. Not from behind a screen.

Join us for a deep-​dive conversation around the fascinating topics of sustainability, engagement, and human-​ness: How do we spot it, what does it mean for us… and why humour is such an important language.

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What’s in this episode?

00:00 Introduction

00:50 The Pixie Queen and the Lost Episodes

02:45 Ecocreative was South Australia’s first B Corp. Matt talks about what that meant.

03:45 Why Matt let his B Corp certification lapse

04:55 What it’s like to grill your suppliers on their environmental practices

07:00 Matt’s definition of sustainability and why language is weird

09:45 Cultural sustainability isn’t thought about enough

10:25 The moment when sustainability became a Big Thing in Matt’s life

12:25 Why sustainability can’t just be a brand action

13:45 Matt on propaganda — and why he considers himself to be a propagandist

14:45 We go deep down the rabbit-​hole of propaganda and behavioural economics

16:30 News is a type of advertising

17:05 Spiderman!

17:25 Should we educate people about rhetoric, or is it redundant now?

18:35 Humour is the way we’ll understand that life isn’t what we portray it to be

19:20 Matt explains how his thinking about people got him involved in TEDx Adelaide

22:45 People with good ideas need support if they’re going to take risks

23:40 How the community feels about TEDx Adelaide

25:05 Matt talks about what his career has taught him about how we all communicate

25:20 Humour is our common language

26:50 Behaviours that Matt can predict when he works with people

28:10 People feel like they need to justify their own sustainability behaviours

29:00 Matt on Right to be Invisible

30:30 The Humanity Question

32:05 The Bot-​Human Communication Question

36:40 The Book Question

40:30 Matt’s one takeaway for you and what you can apply right now in your own community

43:32 The Shirt Question

Right at the end, where you can find Matt online.

Resources referenced

None of these are affiliate links. Book links go to an Australian-​owned bookstore that we dearly love (and support with our own hard-​earned cash, too).

Connect with Matthew Wright-​Simon online

Portrait of Matthew Wright-Simon

Matthew is a creative facilitator with a line in storytelling and an eye for design. He specialises in engagement for change-​makers, and is associated with , , and 

Official website

Follow him on Twitter @ecocreative

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