Brisbane Innovate events

Brisbane Innovate is Brisbane’s flagship open innovation event, bringing together local businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and residents to work collaboratively to make Brisbane an even better place to live, work and relax.

Brisbane Innovate 2019

The fourth annual Brisbane Innovate took place at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on 9 October 2019. The event brought together a diverse cross-section of Brisbane’s residents, corporates, businesses, entrepreneurs and academics, with the key focus being to come together to solve some of the city’s wicked challenges.

The morning opened with a fireside chat between Lord Mayor Adrian Schrinner and Deputy Mayor Krista Adams, moderated by Cat Matson, Brisbane’s Chief Digital Officer. 

Following this Matthew Tobin, Co-founder and Managing Director of UAP delivered the keynote address on embedding breakthrough innovation within our cities. Mathew’s talk challenged the audience to further their understanding of how new world cities are innovating, not only within the walls of government, but within communities themselves.

The main focus of the event was a mass-scale design thinking session where 400 passionate participants worked to solve problems in three key challenge areas.

  • Amplifying small business growth: How might we make Brisbane a city of small businesses powerhouses for ongoing economic growth and job prosperity?
  • Innovating for effective, sustainable construction: How might we use technology and innovation within the property and construction industry to drive sustainability, efficiencies and cost savings in the supply chain?
  • Engaging out of town students: How might we make it as easy as possible for regional and international students to connect with and contribute to Brisbane so that they find it easy to live, work and grow?

Following Brisbane Innovate a number of follow-up workshops have been run to further the development of the ideas generated on the morning. These ideas will continue to be worked on and championed by the community and industry leaders who generated the ideas at the event.

For a full wrap up of the event, please visit Digital Brisbane

Previous Brisbane Innovate events

Find out more about past Brisbane Innovate events and the challenges proposed to attendees.

Brisbane Innovate 2018

Hosted for the third year on 7 November, Brisbane Innovate 2018 saw change champions and innovators come together to explore solutions and connect on unlocking the value of waste, tackling social isolation and empowering local communities to create vibrant and proud neighbourhoods.

Queensland Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp (Everledger Founder and CEO) presented an inspiring keynote speech on the importance and opportunities of a true circular economy. This set the scene for an engaging panel discussion about creative funding options for getting problem-solving projects off the ground, led by Cat Matson, Chief Digital Officer for Brisbane. The panel was made up of:

  • Tom Dawkins (Co-Founder and CEO, StartSomeGood)
  • Anna Guenther (Co-Founder and CEO, PledgeMe)
  • Peta Harwood (Partnering and Innovation Manager, Brisbane City Council)
  • Anthony Ryan (CEO, Youngcare).

2018 challenges included:

  • Challenge: waste economy - How might we create a new waste economy by unlocking waste as a resource, so that we can create jobs in new industries while reducing landfill and increasing markets for recycled materials?
  • Challenge: social isolation - How might we, as a city, better connect Brisbane's communities who are potentially excluded or isolated so that Brisbane is a more inclusive city where everyone has people and places to connect to?  
  • Challenge: neighbourhoods - How might we support and enable residents to celebrate the local area’s identity and actively contribute to its future so that neighbours form a community with pride in their local place?  

Brisbane Innovate 2017

Brisbane Innovate 2017 was held on Friday 20 October at Brisbane City Hall. The event was live-streamed and featured a keynote speech by Sandy Blackburn-Wright (Managing Director, Social Outcomes) who explored collaboration for social innovation. The panel event focused on 'sustainability in our city - the role of innovators, government and citizens to build a better future' and was led by Cat Matson, Chief Digital Officer for Brisbane. Panellists included:

  • Rob Fox (Marketing Manager AECOM Brisbane)
  • Edda Hamar (founder and CEO of Lana)
  • Bernadette Howard (Chief Information Officer, Brisbane City Council); and
  • Sue Keay (Chief Operating Officer, ARC Centre for Robotic Vision).

This session was followed by a roundtable brainstorming session focussed on six key topics:

  • City planning - How can we make the city planning process more inclusive and engage more people in a positive way?
  • Traffic congestion and public transport - How do we ensure Brisbane is easy to get around, now and into the future?
  • Shopping precincts - How can we better understand and encourage desired behaviour in different precincts? For example, how do we activate the daytime economy in Fortitude Valley or attract more shoppers to precincts like Stones Corner and the CBD?
  • Talent and skills - How can Brisbane future-proof its workforce and attract and retain the world's best talent?
  • War on waste - How can Brisbane fight the war on waste (landfill, office furniture, food and kerbside collections)?
  • Digital inclusion and access - How will Council provide connectivity, devices and education for those not online? How do businesses retain traditional contact channels? 

Christmas Tree collaboration session 2017

On Wednesday 24 May 2017, Brisbane City Council held a Brisbane Innovate collaboration session at The Capital, 155 Queen Street, Brisbane City. Individuals, businesses, entrepreneurs, students, academics and government representatives came together to discuss innovative ideas on how to light Brisbane’s iconic Christmas tree sustainably.

Brisbane Innovate 2016

Brisbane Innovate 2016 was held on Wednesday 19 October 2016 and was part of Council’s commitment to optimising technology and encouraging innovation.

Attendees enjoyed Keynote speakers and panel discussions with innovate thinkers and had the opportunity to discuss challenges relating to the Brisbane Vision 2031.

2016 challenges included:

  • Challenge 1: Our Accessible, Connected City - This challenge asked participants to develop a solution that delivers a predictive personalised multi-modal integrated journey experience that provides Brisbane travellers with choice around their preferred journey options.
  • Challenge 2: Our Smart, Prosperous City - Challenge 2 asked participants to develop a solution that utilises the insight from Council data and customer contact to predict opportunities and the need for service intervention, and/or guide strategies for customer service channels of the future, using conversational commerce, artificial intelligence, machine learning or similar tools.
  • Challenge 3: Our New World City - The final challenge asked participants to develop a solution that provides an innovative Brisbane digital ‘concierge’ service that will provide information to businesses, residents and visitors by ingesting, integrating and disseminating Brisbane information from multiple data sets and various sources. This could be done using conversational commerce, artificial intelligence, machine learning or similar tools.

More information

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Last updated: 10 December 2019