Australia has innovation in its DNA, and some iconic inventions were born down under, as, just to name a few, the Hills Hoist, the black box flight recorder, Polymer bank notes, the electric drill, and of course Wi-Fi, thanks to CSIRO.
Paving the way
Whether it be creating something entirely new or refining and improving products and technologies, innovation takes many forms. And in Sydney, there are a few people and entities paving the way.
At the 360-degree interactive Data Arena of the University of Sydney (UTS), for instance, I was lucky enough to immerse myself in alarge, one-of-a-kind cylindrical screen visualization that is changing the way we view and interact with data.The aim? Helping researchers, business and government simplify complex information, as they literally surround themselves in data to observe, explore, refine, improve, discover and learn.
UTS, as such, help innovation flourish. They boast such a thing as an Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, which recognizes the incredible potential of the next generation of startup founders and business disruptors based in Sydney. “More than 40 per cent of our students have told us they want to create their own jobs or start their own companies, and we’ve listened,” explains Margaret Maile Petty, Executive Director.“Through our work in the UTS Innovation and Entrepreneurship Unit, we’ve developed a range of co-curricular programs and real-world industry opportunities to equip students with the entrepreneurial tools that will be critical to their success.” Over the next few years, the plan is to reach over 50 per cent of UTS students with entrepreneurial experiences and support.
Pioneering ICC Sydney
ICC Sydney (pictured) – maybe like no other – embodies this drive for creativity. An important contributor to innovation in the city, actively strengthening its local knowledge economy, the venue has grown to connect the city’s knowledge hubs and is attracting global thought leaders to the nation’s cultural and economic capital, delivering powerful, long-term benefits. “ICC Sydney connects the city’s financial districts, media and creative, cultural and student hubs. The precinct is also purpose-built to provide the ultimate platform for the world’s leaders and thinkers to meet, collaborate and innovate,” says Geoff Donaghy, CEO of ICC Sydney.
ICC Sydney’s Legacy Program partakes of this eagerness to stand out. Last year, a new dedicated Creative Industries stream was added to the Program, showcasing Australia’s home-grown talent on the global stage and supporting the next generation of creative leaders. This last addition has complemented the Legacy Program’s four core streams – Innovators & Entrepreneurs, Generation Next, First Australians and Sustainable Events, driving long-term social, economic and environment outcomes, which are both meaningful and measurable.
One final note on ICC Sydney’s First Australians stream. Building on the venue’s work to drive greater engagement with, and acknowledgement of, Australia’s First Nations people, the venue is actually the first – and only – convention centre in Australia to have launched a Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The initiative, which has clearly set a precedent in the industry, is testament to ICC Sydney’s ongoing commitment to recognize and celebrate the cultures, practices and traditions of Australia’s First Nations within the venue and the events it hosts.
As Laura Goddard, CSR Executive whois dedicated to working with clients to achieve their CSR goals through their events at ICC Sydney,puts it: “Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is deeply embedded in ICC Sydney’s philosophy, culture and business model. We consider CSR as both an obligation and opportunity.” As such, ICC Sydney is creating a new paradigm, and setting examples for others to follow.
This article was written by Boardroom Chief Editor Rémi Dévé. For more information about ICC Sydney, visit www.iccsydney.com.au