Brisbane Innovate 2017 | Brisbane City Council

Brisbane Innovate 2017

The Brisbane Innovate 2017 event was held on 20 October and included a livestreamed keynote speech and panel discussion, followed by an application-only roundtable brainstorming session

Keynote speech and panel discussion

Keynote speaker: Sandy Blackburn-Wright
Topic: Leave No-One Behind: Collaboration for social innovation

Sandy is an experienced thought leader and social innovator. Sandy has worked across multiple sectors for the last 30 years to create positive change, both locally and internationally. She is the founder and Managing Director of Social Outcomes, a for-purpose business that uses social and financial innovation to create and fund quality outcomes for its partners.

Sandy serves on the board of the Community Service Industry Alliance, the advisory board of QUT's Australian Centre for NFP and Philanthropic Studies, the Australian Advisory Board to the Social Impact Investment Global Steering Committee and is an industry fellow at Griffith University's Centre for Sustainable Enterprises.

Sandy has played a leading role in growing the impact investing, shared value and social enterprise sectors in Australia, designing numerous large social innovation projects and co-funding Impact Investing Australia. She has also been heavily involved in the growing opportunity of social impact bonds, having worked on the Benevolent Society Bond in NSW and most recently having designed two bonds in Queensland. Sandy has the ability to build bridges between the social and the financial after 15 years in international development in southern Africa and 10 years at senior levels in banking and professional services in Australia, with her last corporate role as head of Social Innovation for Westpac. She is also a best selling author and public speaker.

Panel discussion

Topic: Sustainability in our city - the role of innovators, government and citizens to build a better future
Host: Cat Matson
Panellists: Rob Fox, Edda Hamar, Bernadette Howard, Sue Keay

Cat Matson, Chief Digital Officer, City of Brisbane

As Brisbane's Chief Digital Officer (CDO) Cat is charged with the digital transformation of the city. Cat is an experienced digital and start-up strategist and respected business leader, and drives the Digital Brisbane strategy. Cat's focus and strength in the digital sector sees her taking a natural lead on innovative projects in Brisbane. From educating children on coding to supporting local budding entrepreneurs, she is also a key driver behind Brisbane Innovate - a project with a series of challenges and events that work to help build and sustain the growth and development of Brisbane. Cat is a passionate advocate for human-centric smart cities, recognising that digital is an enabler, not an outcome in its own right. She is a regular panellist and moderator for key industry events, talking on everything from digital to small business to the problem with smart cities. Cat endeavours to discern trend from fad in the digital space and determine how businesses can leverage new technologies to reach their full potential.

Rob Fox, Marketing Manager, AECOM Brisbane

Rob has 23 years of international sales, business and marketing management experience across the IT, electronics and professional services sectors with brands such as IBM, Toshiba and AECOM. Having chosen Brisbane as his new home, Rob is passionate about Brisbane and the future potential of this liveable city, retaining Brisbane's liveability and character whilst ensuring it becomes a New World City. Rob is recognised for getting the best from diverse teams and individuals, which includes mentoring young professionals, encouraging them to accept new challenges, expand their horizons and provide a secure foundation so that they can change the shape of how we will live in the future.

Edda Hamar, fashion industry sustainability and ethics advocate 

For more than seven years, Edda has built a movement to educate and inspire people to make sustainable wardrobe choices. In light of her work, she was recently named one of 17 UN Young Leaders for the Sustainable Development Goals 2017. Edda is the founder and CEO of Lana; an online marketplace introducing the share economy to the fashion industry. Edda is also the founder of Australia's largest sustainable fashion runway show, Undress Runways, established in 2011. Undress Runways exhibits in Australian cities and the event engages more than 50,000 people every year to celebrate forward-thinking designers from around the world. In 2014, Edda launched an annually published magazine on the future of fashion, The Naked mag. In 2015 she co-founded an ethical fashion label 'VIHN', manufactured at Lotus Silk in Cambodia.

Bernadette Howard, Chief Information Officer, Brisbane City Council

Bernadette joined Brisbane City Council in July 2017 in the role of Chief Information Officer, taking accountability for the strategy, project implementation and operations of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in Council. Since joining Council, Bernadette has outlined a clear agenda to drive alignment of ICT and business across Council and focus on the Customer. Prior to joining Council, Bernadette delivered Virgin Australia's first major business process alignment and established Tigerair's International Operations and the introduction of the Boeing 737 aircraft. Bernadette was also part of the Executive Management Leadership Team at Aurizon, holding senior roles in Information Technology and reported directly to the Managing Director and CEO in senior roles, in Enterprise Strategy and Mergers and Acquisitions.

Sue Keay, Chief Operating Officer, ARC Centre for Robotic Vision

An experienced R&D leader with a focus on disruptive technologies, Sue runs the world's first robotic vision research centre. Her background in commercialisation helps successfully bridge the gap between ideas and implementation. Sue recently developed a successful $1.5m R&D project supported by the Queensland government to explore the vision capabilities of Softbank's social robot, Pepper. Keen to make sure that women contribute to the development of the technologies of the future. Sue believes that everyone can be a roboticist and that science should be accessible to everyone.

Roundtable sessions

Focussed around six key topics, this session aimed to help Council seize opportunities presented by emerging technology by using cross-industry collaboration. Participants discussed the following 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? 
26 October 2017