Who we are

Founded by Paul Kaan. We are Digital Strategists & Thinkers. We love technology & exploring how it can be used for real impact.  Re-imagining “What you do”.


Paul Kaan Founder Digital Strategist Thinker

Paul works with The Social Larder to help people put the Digital jigsaw puzzle together to build great Social Businesses.

You can connect with Paul on Twitter and Linked In:  Follow The Social Larder on Twitter   Check Out Paul's Profile on LinkedIn


To find out more about Paul, check out paulkaan.com.au, his blog “Look Up” and his Filthy Good Vino wine blog.

Paul aims to find the intersect between Digital and Physical for each individual, organisation and business he works with. Bridging the gap between what you currently do and what you could do.

Paul works both vertically and horizontally. Addressing the strategic, ensuring the key questions are addressed: Why? Understanding your Vision. Who? Knowing who you want to Reach. How?

Paul works to develop practical, manageable solutions, finding the best tools to Engage, Create Context with your Community and Amplify your message through the myriad of Digital networks that exist. Importantly, Paul, works to get you doing with Skillshares and action oriented advise.

Paul currently assists The Collaboratory Melbourne, with the Vision of Build Better Futures.

Paul is skilled in a diverse range of core business functions developed in a range of organisations from Start-Ups to Government. Experienced in the Online, Retail, Biotechnology, Government, Agriculture and Wine Industries.

Previously an advisor to Kari Accessories Pty Ltd est. 2009, Integrated Fashion Accessories Business with 10 retail outlets across east coast Australia, wholesale and other revenue streams. Founding Director of The Onion Group Pty Ltd est. 2008, Venture Creation: opportunity identification, evaluation and implementation.

Commercial Manager & Project Manager – Department of Primary Industries, Biosciences Research Division, a Biotechnology, Research & Development organisation. Managed stakeholder relationships at state, federal and international levels, contracts, a $50M strategic procurement program, intellectual property, commercialisation, fee for service business operation and a portfolio of project.

Paul spent 12 years making wine in Australia, France and Moldova, working across production and marketing with wineries representing a broad cross section of the industry including one of the worlds largest wine groups, low volume ‘Iconic’ producers and high growth new ventures. Paul worked as a wine consultant to independent wine retailers, Slow Food Victoria and Melbourne Food & Wine.

Paul is qualified with a Masters of Entrepreneurship & Innovation from the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship, Swinburne University and a Bachelor of Agriculture Science (Winemaking), The University of Adelaide.

His Values are Our Values:

  • Passion, Humility, Chivalry.
  • Embracing and driving change.
  • Taking initiative, taking a risk (this doesn’t mean being reckless), learn from mistakes.
  • Open, transparent communication.
  • Evolution and innovation.
  • Looking for a better view of the situation and a way to multiply that by 10.
  • Never Stop Learning.
  • Fun, Family and Happiness.

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Our Associates:

Digital is ubiquitous and pervasive throughout all aspects of life, business and society. With such breadth and depth of Digital it is essential that The Social Larder works with Associates, partners in Digital.  These Digital Gurus have specialised expertise to provide a comprehensive service.

The Social Larder has been fortunate to work with some of the Guru’s of the Digital, Social Business and Social Media scene in Australia on projects for The Social Larder and projects for our Associates.  All have extensive experience working with clients ranging from multi-nationals to one man operations.  We’re all passionate about what we do and seeing the end results for our customers.

The Social Larder will bring in the best possible people to meet your Digital needs. Where appropriate we will refer you directly to the best person for the job.

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A bit more about The Social Larder, Why we started in Digital? and our Approach

We’re the guys that have decided to: Ban the BS in Social Media, rewind, reverse the BS and turn it into SB = Social Business.  Take the pledge: Ban BS in Social Media turn it into SB = Social Business. Check out the 10 Commandments of Banning the BS in Social Media.

Ban BS Logo

We have a simple policy:  Ban the BS in Social Media and turn it into SB = Social Business.

Ban the BS in Social Media and turn it into SB = Social Business.

Why? Well one fine day we woke up and decided to start using Social Media.  We wanted to get stuff done for our business and for businesses we’ve invested in.

What did we think of Social Media Experts?  The “Professional Prism of Trust” below says it all … NOT MUCH!

Professional Prism of Trust

In exploring Social Media, the first thing we came across was a huge mound of BS:

  1. Random statistics – HUGE numbers promising that we’d be able to conquer the world if we just got on board and got the technology. “There’s 700M people on Facebook, if you can reach 1% of them that’s 7M people, you’ll be a millionaire by this time next year.”
  2. People guaranteeing page 1 ranking on Google if you just gave them a bag of cash they’d get you on page 1. Here’s a tip, make sure you ask “Who Benefits?” before forking out hard earned cash for Social Media services.
  3. No justification, no science, no structure.  Putting Technology before Strategy, before your stakeholders, your customers, staff and investors.
  4. Oh and then there was winning the lottery, predicting the future, the best Spaghetti Bolognese recipe from Heston Blumenthal (this one kind of appealed & yes, I’ve made it), something about Lepricons and a lot of other random BS.

Our BS Meters were going off the charts.

BS Meter off the Charts

What was blocking us from using Social Media?

  1. The BS in Social Media, the hype, the tweet: “Time for a cuppa now” or worse “Off to the loo”.  Raising the question: “How does that help me sell a widget? Solve a problem for someone? Make someone happy? Create any value at all?”.
  2. What is Social Media? Really? Sounds like BS to me!
  3. The perception that Social Media was just for Marketers, only for the external focus, for selling more crap that people don’t want and maybe a bit of PR.
  4. Not understanding the potential uses.
  5. Not working out WHY? WHY? WHY? we want to use Social Media in the first place.
  6. The immature and fragmented nature of the technologies Social Media uses. Which inturn make it hard to even know where to start to put some sort of manageable system together.

Why Social Business?

There are only two types of people in the World today. People who do use Social Media and people who will use Social Media.

But, the words Social Media are not sufficient to encompass what we are about and what can be achieved using the tools and technologies that are available now and will be available soon.

Social Business is what we are about.

Social Business is taking a Strategic Approach to running a business which utilises available Social Media, WEB 2.0 and other digital tools and technologies, to meet strategic business objectives considering all aspects of the business and stakeholders both internal and external. Social business applies these technologies to:

  1. Increase the number and frequency of constructive interactions.
  2. The level of active participation.
  3. The depth of relationships between stakeholders.
  4. To enable and accelerate collaboration to get things done.

David Amano (2011) describes Social Business as “Doing business in a more connected, participatory and socially responsible fashion. If done correctly, it benefits multiple stakeholders: your customers, employees, advocates, partners, etc.” David also defines “Social Business Planning is the blueprint for the transformation of an organization = bridging the external with internal, resulting in a more connected way of doing business which creates shared value for all stakeholders.” Reference Human Biz by David Armano.

All businesses have humans in them and all humans are social, therefore all businesses are Social Businesses.

Social Business is about more than just the PR and Marketing departments. Social Business’ potential application to improve productivity and connection between stakeholders deserves serious consideration by every part of the business.  Opportunities to support customer service, product design, hiring processes, employee engagement, collaboration and more exist.  Sure, every business is unique and applications of Social Business will vary.  Whatever the application it is a chance to innovate and differentiate.

The Greatest Upheaval in our Time is an Opportunity to Innovate

We’re taking our experience working across a diverse range of core business functions in a range of organisations from Start-Ups to Government. Experience in the Online, Retail, Biotechnology, Government, Agriculture and Wine Industries and taking a Systems Approach to  helping people benefit from Social Business Strategies:

  1. Understand Social Business.
  2. Develop a meaningful Social Business Strategy that is Manageable, Measurable and considers the System in which the business operates.
  3. Implement that Strategy.
  4. Continue to optimise it as the business and the system evolves and their strategy matures.

What both our definition of Social Business and David’s  have in common is that they require an increased level of openness and a systems approach. A systems approach being one that considers how things influence one another within a whole. In nature, systems thinking examples include ecosystems in which various elements such as air, water, movement, plants, and animals work together to survive or perish. In organizations, systems consist of people, structures, and processes both internal and external to the organization that work together to make it healthy or unhealthy.  One of the biggest components of a Social Business System is, Data and Information:

  1. Where it’s stored.
  2. How it flows not only in and out of the business, but around it as well.
  3. How it can be mined to create real value.

The advancement of Social Technologies has expanded the systems we live and work in and provides an opportunity for business to innovate and prosper within an ever evolving system.

The new systems are increasingly open and transparent, adapting to this changing system is one of the greatest challenges for leaders.

If you acknowledge this, as a leader you are empowered to decide, how open you wish to be, define the “Sandbox” for those you lead and how open they can be and most importantly start, do something.

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A note on Systems Thinkers

Systems thinkers consider that:

  • A system is a dynamic and complex whole, interacting as a structured functional unit.
  • All parts of the system should be considered in relation to the whole.
  • Energy, material and information flow among the different elements that compose the system.
  • A system is a community situated within an environment.

Systems Thinking

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