Brisbane Innovate is Brisbane City Council’s annual open innovation event, bringing together private industry, academia, local start-ups and the community to generate ideas to solve citywide challenges. It was held at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Wednesday 7 November 2018.  We were lucky enough to grab a seat at this sold out event.

The Yoorala Street Community Garden at The Gap  Image: Commons.Wikimedia.org

This article has two purposes

  • to outline the process and benefit of the Brisbane Innovate Program so that readers can find out more, join the process and put it on their radar for 2019
  • to provide further State Library Queensland resources that will be valuable to this year’s participants take their ideas further; possibly to fruition.

The half-day event began with an inspirational keynote from Queensland’s new Chief Entrepreneur Leanne Kemp who is the founder and CEO of Everledger

Leanne teased out issues on creating a true circular economy and here are some gems from Leanne’s keynote address –

“products need to be rethought at the DESIGN LEVEL using the DESIGN THINKING process”

“jewellery and Olympic medals are now being made out of PRECIOUS METALS found in URBAN MINED RESOURCES from e.g. Dell, Apple”

“Maslow’s Hierarchy of NEEDS should now feature WIFI

“the catalyst of change comes from the ENABLEMENT of change”

“DESIGN for DISASSEMBLY, we must go beyond designing product only”

The second half of the event was a  round-table session  in which participants were grouped around one of three challenges (unlocking the value of waste, tackling social isolation, empowering communities to create vibrant proud neighbourhoods)

Facilitator, Cat Matson (Chief Digital Officer Brisbane), guided the groups to funnel down from the wider issue to possibilities and how to achieve them.  There was plenty of post-it notes and butchers paper, markers and matrix’s.  As Councillor Krista Adams stressed at the beginning of the session, “We’re looking for new solutions, a diversity of ideas”.   It was also stressed that some of these solutions may not be one for councils but co-created projects quite separate to government.

Participants were encouraged to be  active problem solvers and collaborate on solutions to the challenge at hand.  Some tables had come to a definitive idea to seek solutions, other tables were still grappling with what to focus on to bring about a project for change.  Contact details were exchanged and LinkedIn requests sent.   Mindhive was recommended as a post-event hub in which to further the conversation, collate ideas, make more connections and be directed on how to submit a proposal to council.

Homelessness Brisbane 2017 Image: Commons.Wikimedia.org

State Library Queensland, and Asia Pacific Design Library (as one of it’s collections), has a wealth of resources that those interested in tackling statewide issues like waste, isolation, homelessness, neighbourhoods, design thinking, product design, circular economy, community building, urban development, city planning and smart cities may like to explore.

With a free membership to State Library of Queensland you can borrow inspiring books on these topics and watch outstanding documentaries and films to whet your appetite and pursue your ideas.  See below a curated list of resources to keep the ball rolling.

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