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Inside the DIF 2018 Showcasing Victoria's digital innovation future 24 August - 7 September 2018


Digital Innovation Festival

Inside the DIF 2018 Digital Innovation Festival (DIF) is a unique initiative created to develop, demonstrate and promote the capability and connectedness of Victoria’s technology ecosystem through a range of events and activities across the State. In its third year, DIF2018 was bigger, broader and more compelling than ever. Powered by a new website, online events portal and marketed through social media platforms, the Festival achieved exponential growth in participation and in the number of hosted and DIF branded events. DIF2018 comprised more than 400 events over the period 24 August to 7 September, reaching new audiences and engaging an estimated 15,000 people at many locations across metro areas and regional Victoria. This Report outlines the key initiatives and achievements which characterised DIF2018 including a new online events platform and social media campaign. The Report highlights the efforts made to reach new audiences across multiple sectors and across regional Victoria. It also highlights the focus on international engagement and the opportunity DIF presents to build Victoria’s brand in relation to digital innovation DIF2018 was a successful initiative for the State, making a tangible, practical and positive impact on economic development, community building and jobs growth. DIF2018 was planned around the following four strategic goals that aim to promote Victoria’s digital economy:


Inclusion and Growth

DIF2018 highlighted the extent to which Victoria innovates with technology. The Festival showcased the creativity of grassroots innovators, encouraged collaboration, celebrated achievement and stimulated positive and productive engagement with technology. Excellence was highlighted as Victorians recognised how technology and innovation is critical to our future.

DIF2018 reached out to individuals and businesses in all industry sectors across Victoria to stimulate awareness of how effective use of technology can stimulate competitiveness and create new jobs. DIF2018 delivered a substantial program across regional Victoria, including events focused on agriculture, tourism, energy, retail, transport, financial services, and youth and employment to name a few. Specific emphasis was given to how innovation benefits from gender and cultural diversity and how technology can promote social inclusion.

Advanced Capability DIF encourages interaction between research, business, education, entrepreneurs, local communities and government. It values and promotes thought leadership and looks to the future as it supports the local development of advanced technology capability. DIF2018 brought a sharp focus on the importance of advanced technology capability to Victoria’s priority industries, particularly in areas such as artificial intelligence, IoT, virtual and augmented reality, cybersecurity and blockchain. Student engagement was encouraged across the State and for those not able to attend events, DIF provided remote access to digital innovation content via the DIFVic website.

International Engagement DIF seeks to engage international tech communities and promote Victoria as a centre for technology innovation. DIF2018 created an environment that attracted international events and visitors from at least 12 countries. New technology investments were announced, trade delegations hosted, policy discussions shared and global relationships formed and developed.

Supporting the Ecosystem The Digital Innovation Festival (DIF) is a strategic industry engagement and investment promotion initiative. DIF supports Victoria's tech innovation ecosystem by connecting local companies, world class universities, entrepreneurial community and small businesses. DIF showcases the State’s success stories, explores and engages emerging technologies, leverages industry experts, builds talent and capability, connects startups and promotes Victoria as a vibrant centre for digital innovation. DIF is designed to highlight innovation, stimulate new relationships, generate business opportunities and foster job creation. Focusing on its strategic goals of Celebration, Inclusion and Growth, Advanced Capability and International Engagement, the Festival aims to position Victoria as a leading location for technology investment, creating a uniquely engaging environment for tech-related investors and local innovators. Major events in DIF2018 included Blockchain APAC, the AI Summit, Magnify World and Smart Cities Day focussing on thought leadership and building the State's technology capabilities and competitive advantage. An Innovation Community Leadership Program featured the inaugural Australian Co-Working Summit, attracting interstate and international attendees. Co-working spaces were activated across Victoria including in Ballarat, Wodonga, Horsham, Shepparton, Richmond and Footscray. Victorian entrepreneurialism was celebrated and supported through LaunchVic's YeahNah Conference - the showcase of home-grown entrepreneurs. Other events were supported by LaunchVic funded initiatives such as the Upstart Challenge in Geelong and Runway workshops in Ballarat. Startup Victoria’s flagship event Above all Human returned to Melbourne with over 2000 participants and 30 speakers. DIF subsidised tickets for regional entrepreneurs to attend and extend networks. At the centre of DIF2018 was the iAwards Pitchfest and Gala Dinner. Hosted by the Australian Information Industry Association, the iAwards is the premier awards program for Australia’s technology industry and attracted 1,000 participants including many from interstate. Keeping a focus on the importance of inclusion and the value of diversity, DIF2018 supported the Social Innovation Tech Summit. This enabled wide-ranging discussions of ethical issues and encouraged stakeholders across the ecosystem to explore how technology might be used positively to address societal disadvantage and ensure a sustainable environment. DIF2018 encouraged the tech ecosystem to reach and embrace regional communities resulting in successful events across regional Victoria such as the Bendigo Innovation and Invention Festival.

The DIF event program seeks to engage and inspire all elements of the innovation ecosystem. Navigating the key issues, the program's three event themes allows people to create their own DIF experience. From Emerging Technologies Powering Investment to Tomorrows Workforce Building Digital Skills and Digital Change Makers Driving Inclusion. Inside the DIF 2018 ezine explores these themes across this year's festival. So hopefully the next question after reading this is ‘How can I make the DIF?’.

What is Digital Innovation? The Digital Innovation Festival – or DIF- was originally launched in 2016 by the State Government of Victoria. The key objective of the DIF is to be an enabler for all Victorians, along with national and international visitors, to contribute, collaborate and celebrate the impact of digital innovation both now and in the future. But what is digital innovation, how does it affect us all and how can we contribute to the DIF? We asked Kathy Coultas, Director of Strategic Innovation Investment for the State Government of Victoria to explain more about the festival – ‘The DIF is a platform for everyone, it’s about digital innovation across the entire state. We want to connect together the tech sector, tech experts and academics but also people within Melbourne and in regional Victoria, business owners, community groups and individuals. It is really about helping Victorians understand that digital innovation is not trivial, it’s about our future as a state and it involves and creates opportunities for everyone.’ Kelly Hutchinson, program manager for the DIF continued ‘The DIF is about contributing – putting your hand up if you have an idea and collaborating. We can do so much more in partnership than we can by ourselves. We want people to connect, but on a meaningful level, and finally celebrating our success. It is about diversity and inclusion and open to all.’ Year on year the festival continues to grow. The 2018 DIF includes over 400 events spread across the whole of Victoria – from the ‘Digital you’ event in Bairnsdale, to the Bendigo Invention + Innovation Festival and the iAwards in Melbourne. The choice of what events to attend is vast and based on nine separate categories (including digtial skills, emerging technologies and entrepreneurs). With such a broad spectrum of events as part of the DIF, how do we explain Digital Innovation?

Kelly Hutchinson, DIF Manager [L] and Kathy Coultas, Director, Strategic Innovation Investment. Victorian Department of Economic Development [R] share a passion for innovation and the opportunities digital technologies can bring to the economy for all Victorians.

Phil Ore, DIF Champion and speaker at a number of events believes ‘Digital Innovation means different things to different people. It can be related to the using technology to simplify personal tasks, the improvement of business processes or creating a social impact on a global scale.’ “Apart from the obvious uses of computers and communications - such as email, online banking or streaming videos - digital innovation has affected almost every aspect of our lives” explains Dr. Peter Thorne, committee member of the Pearcey Foundation. “If you drive a car, make a phone call, take a ride in a train, a plane, or even a lift you are using products of the digital revolution. And the age of innovation is not over by any means. People and companies are finding new opportunities and developing new products and services in every conceivable field.’ Victoria’s distinguished history in innovation was highlighted in a recent blog relating to Emerging Technologies. Some of the early innovators were based in Ballarat, including Henry Sutton (1856-1912), who was a student and later staff member at the Ballarat School of Mines. Nowadays, Ballarat is building a strong hub of innovation thanks to an ecosystem that includes Federation University, a growing startup community, a proactive local council and digital innovation leaders (including IBM) having a made the city their home. Casey Thomas, originally from Ballarat showcased Dark Shadow Studio's latest game Drone Legion at Ballarat Tech School as part of DIF2018. Casey is passionate about virtual reality and drones and the importance of promoting women in eSports and the games industry. The impact of digital innovation within regional Victoria is expected to grow considerably over the next decade. Robert Layton, co-founder of Eurekative and Vice President of the Ballarat Hackerspace provided his thoughts - ‘The world runs on information, and digital innovation is about discovering and building new ways to work with this information.’ He added ‘I see regional areas growing significantly in both the short and long term. Through better connectivity, the need for high-skills jobs to be concentrated in cities has reduced dramatically. This has led to the ability for people to still do their work, but live in a region that provides a better lifestyle at the same time. The current innovation landscape in the region has changed dramatically in just the last year. When we started Eurekative, our startup prototyping company, it was really the only place for startups to go in Ballarat. In the time since, we have Runway, Platypus, Startup Ballarat, and lots more engagement from larger businesses too. We have started the next exciting phase in this area in Ballarat.’ The Melbourne hub for the DIF 2018 was Curate Space in Little Collins Street. The coworking space hosted 22 sessions including a Lunch and Learn series to improve Digital Skills with Mary Henderson and Creative Industries day covering event, venue and creative tech with Chloe Beevers, [R] to name just a few. The DIF has proven its diversity and inclusion through the establishment of the online event platform. Anyone with a relevant event has been able to add this to the festival program, ensuring a holistic approach to building knowledge for all participants.

Phil Ore DIF Champion, Marketing Entourage and Entrepreneurs & Co. [L]

Casey Thomas, CEO, Project Lead Drone Legion, Dark Shadow Studio

Robert Layton, Co-founder Eurekative, Vice President Ballarat Hackerspace

Event Tech Panel @DIFhub18 Chloe Beevers, Founder, Curate Space Kelly Hutchinson, DIF Manager, VicGov Chris McDonnell, Music Partnerships, Eventbrite [L-R]

The impact of emerging technology The Internet of Things or IoT is another emerging technology that has a broad range of applications. Lorraine Tighe, Smart Cities Consultant and former head of City of Melbourne’s CityLab, provides her thoughts. IoT - ‘Put simply IoT connects ‘Things’ to the internet to collect and share data. Transforming something that is ‘dumb’ to a ‘smart’ device that can communicate without human intervention.’ The ‘Thing’ can be anything from a light bulb to a jet plane any physical object really. The main element however is the data and using this data and other data sources to create new actionable insights for decision makers whether it’s a city planner, business manager or citizen. Now more than every Cities, governments and businesses have access to more data about their own products and internal systems, and a greater ability to make changes as a result. One of the key application areas for IoT are Smart Cities. Smart Cities is simply about applying technology, data and engagement effectively to provide more liveable, sustainable and prosperous communities. The Internet of Things (IoT) is an integral technology for smart cities with over 8 billion devices connected today. A large number of these devices are in cities and can be used to provide real-time information to city managers, planners and citizens. At the same time we are seeing the maturing of Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) technologies which also play an important role in enabling the smart city. Drone technology is also increasingly being used to map and understand environments for planning and also assist in logistics and emergency management. All these technologies are assisting us to have better experiences, better planning of spaces and resources, and more sustainable and safer places. IoT is also referred to as Industry 4.0, or the Fourth Industrial Revolution and is widely considered to offer the next productivity and economic uplift for advanced economies. Recent research by Deloitte Global found that Australian business leaders are the least confident in the world about successfully stewarding their businesses through this era yet the same research also revealed those leaders are the most confident of their current workforce ability to adapt to Industry 4.0. 'How do we reconcile these and other research findings and what do they reveal about Australian leadership in the postindustrial age?' asks Sandy Plunkett, Pearcey National Committee, journalist, author and industry commentator. As part of DIF 2018, Sandy lead a panel of experts in a deep dive into the good, the bad and the irrelevant in Australia at a time of extreme change asking - Industry 4.0 Does Australia get it?

SMART CITIES IoT SENSORS - collecting data about the ‘Thing’ e.g. Temperature, GPS location, speed, and all other usable data about the “Thing”.

Lorraine Tighe presented at the DIFhub2018 Smart Cities Day and chaired the Smart Cities Blockchain panel Rita Arrigo @rarrigo, Dr Ellie Rennie @ElinorRennie, Meet Leelou @meetleelou, Lorraine Tighe @LorrTighe, Boyd Cohen @boydcohen [L-R]

CONTROLLERS - control the ‘Thing’ e.g. turn on/off, stopping a vehicle, locking/unlocking a door, adjusting the temperature of an oven and any other controllable aspect of the “Thing”. SOFTWARE - programs to make the ’Thing’ do certain things e.g. Algorithms creating an if this happens do this function - this is where the magic or the mayhem happens!

Artificial intelligence (AI) – automating human tasks Artificial intelligence is already starting to create change in many Australian professions and workplaces. The use of AI is commonplace in many leading businesses including carsales and other platforms. Barbara Sharp is CEO of Melbourne based startup C-Sight, a platform that uses AI to automate low-order cognitive tasks like reading online body language. Barbara describes AI as ‘the automation of human tasks using rules written in code. AI augments human intelligence to make humans faster and smarter. For example, the recommendations for movies on Netflix and Amazon are ready examples of algorithms learning from your behaviours or choices.’ Matine Letts, CEO of the Committee for Melbourne (R) spoke at the Digital AI Summit and Pearcey Day as part of DIF2018. Tweeting 'We need a whole of government whole of community approach to AI and courageous leadership in board rooms plus government where risk aversion, short-term interests and targets dominate".

Martine Letts, CEO, Committee for Melbourne, Steven Spangher, Digital AI Summit/Australian National Exhibitions, Kathy Coultas, DEDJTR, Clive Dwyer, Committee for Melbourne and Cheryl George, CSIRO. [L-R]

"The AI Revolution will change every Australian profession and every work place, and much quicker than most think. Therefore individuals and companies have a choice of either riding the AI wave to prosperity or risk being dumped", said Steven Spangher, Australian National Exhibitions the host of the summit. The Digital AI Summit was a one day crash course in AI. with world leaders like Google, IBM, Salesforce and Microsoft and local experts from By the Way Group and Crowdstrike. The Summit was pitched in layman’s language for easy understanding, rather than scientific and coding terms of boffins. That's what DIF is all about - making emerging tech accessible. Whatever your level of understanding there are ways to engage with the digital economy in a way that makes sense to you. "Being Human In The Age of AI" was the title of Professor Genevieve Bell's keynote at Above all Human. As the Director of the Autonomy, Agency and Assurance (3A) Institute at ANU, Prof Bell is at the forefront in exploring the ways in which we can best navigate the complexity of cyber-physical systems. Understanding what opportunities and risks emerge from the development of AI and its continued presence in human decision-making systems.

A Melbourne school group thoroughly enjoyed what was certainly a unique excursion.

Professor Genevieve Bell at Startup Victoria's flagship event, Above all Human at the Royal Exhibition Building.


Extending reality in different ways

The scope of emerging technology is extremely broad and also challenging for many to understand. AR, VR. MR, XR, AI, Blockchain, IoT – all terms that over time will become more common within general conversation. But what do all these terms mean and what is their benefit? We asked some of the experts from the Victorian community for their opinion. Trent Clews-de Castella, CEO of immersive technology company PHORIA describes digital innovation as ‘an impactful transformation enabled by technology. There has been a paradigm shift brought forward by advances in computing, media and information technology.’ Trent, was involved in both Magnify World and the Digital AI Summit and shares his insights into VR, AR, MR and XR of what will be a $200 Billion Industry by 2020. Magnify World expo and business summit brought global speakers to Melbourne for DIF to discuss the future of film and TV, advertising/branding, education, live events, tourism, gaming and investment in an augmented world.

VR - Go anywhere

VR - GMR - Why not choose both?

Virtual Reality (VR) is a fully immersive user environment affecting or altering the sensory input(s) (e.g.sight, sound, touch, and smell) and allowing interactions with those sensory inputs by the user’s engagement with the virtual world. Typically, but not exclusively, the interaction is via a head-mounted display, use of spatial or other audio, and/or hand controllers (with or without tactile input or feedback). VR can be used to alleviate pain, improve cognitive capabilities or to trick the brain (to overcome phobias).

Mixed Reality (MR) seamlessly blends a user’s realworld environment with digitally-created content, where both environments coexist to create a hybrid experience. In MR, the virtual objects behave in all aspects as if they are present in the real world e.g., they are occluded by physical objects, their lighting is consistent with the actual light sources in the environment, they sound as though they are in the same space as the user. As the user interacts with the real and virtual objects, the virtual objects will reflect the changes in the environment as would any real object in the same space.

AR - See anything Augmented Reality (AR) overlays digitally-created content into the user’s real-world environment. AR experiences can range from informational text overlaid on objects or locations to interactive photorealistic virtual objects. AR differs from Mixed Reality in that AR objects (e.g., graphics, sounds) are superimposed on, and not integrated into, the user’s environment. AR is being used to expand on our human perceptions – for example we are using it to see through walls.

Magnify World

XR = VR/AR/MR – extend reality X Reality (XR) is a general term to cover the multiple types of experiences and technologies across VR, AR, MR and any future similar areas. All of these systems have in common, some level of display technology (e.g., video, audio) mixed with a method to track where the user is looking or moving (e.g., up/down, side-to-side, turning around). How those systems work individually, and together, determines which of the more defined experiences the product would be named – VR, AR, MR, or some future XR.

Trent Clews-de Castella, CEO PHORIA Magnify World Expo [L] Ted Schilowitz, Futurist, Paramount Studios/Viacom Los Angeles keynote at Magnify World Business Summit [R]


Creative Tech This year saw creative industries featured in the DIF. The IFAB X RMIT Activator Fashion Tech Innovation Showcase was held on 4 September as part of DIF and Melbourne Fashion Week. Binary Shift had a panel on Art Meets Technology [Above] with local artists, Marco Ryan, Founder, Marc-o-Matic [R]; PollyannaR, Founder, The BIG Picture Space Inc lM] and Dixon Patten, Creative Director, Bayila Creative. Marco’s augmented reality art was on display during the conference and he was also the Artist in Residence Curate Space in Melbourne as part of at the DIF Hub [Top L]. Basing himself in situ meant audience members could see the creative process in action.

"As part of Victoria's Digital Innovation Festival Binary Shift Conference has been a great experience to share emerging tech knowledge with various organisations and students back in my old stomping ground. Also had the pleasure of sharing #AR Storytelling with former Product Manager from Google & GippsTech CEO Dr. Elena Kelareva. Big thanks to Binary Shift Conference team for having me". Marco Ryan

Blockchain Futures The biggest enterprise blockchain conference in Australia #BlockchainAPAC2018 took place in Melbourne on August 29, 2018. Steve Vallas was compelled to put the event together to help industry understand the opportunity for enterprise blockchain applications. The Blockchain Centre hosted the Blockchain Day as part of the DIF Hub program. Jon Quidim, [Above] DIF Champion and Blockchain Centre Manager curated a compelling program with local and international experts sharing their knowledge and experience as well as predicting where blockchain is heading.

Victoria’s impact on Digital Innovation The term ‘emerging technologies’ is not new. In fact ‘technology’ as a term dates back to the 17th century, although at the time linked to applied craft. By the 1930s the use of ‘digital technology’ enabled the start of the computer age. Dr. Peter Thorne [R], committee member of the Pearcey Foundation commented ‘From the very beginning of the computer age people and organisations seized the new technology to help them solve problems, to do existing tasks more quickly and more efficiently and to provide new products and services. The early scientific and engineering uses were quickly followed by companies and government organisations. As the technology has become cheaper and computer scientists and engineers have made it more accessible and easier to use, more and more people have benefitted.’ Peter continues about the early days of technology innovation in Melbourne - ‘When I was an undergraduate at the University of Melbourne, I became involved in CSIRAC – the first computer in Australia and, with it’s first successful test in 1949, one of the earliest in the world - I got the job as weekend minder of the computer. I also spent time with Trevor Pearcey who had been the driving force in launching Australia into the computer age.’ [R photo credit Damjan Janevski] In relation to digital innovation, emerging technologies have had a dramatic impact on society, especially over the last 30 years. This was driven by development of the internet from private to public networks and the development of affordable digital devices. ‘The current digital devices are a million times more powerful than the early computers and can now fit in you pocket’ added Peter ‘this has allowed for individuals to have access to the world’. This is particularly relevant to countries like India where now over 500 million people have access to the internet, many of whom experienced this for the first time via their mobile device. The Pearcey Foundation continue to celebrate and recognise the achievements of the IT industry in celebrating the past, informing the present and inspiring the future as part of DIF this year by hosting Pearcey Day. with plans to celebrate Trevor Pearcey's 100th birthday in March 2019.

Since the 19th century there has been wave upon wave of emerging technologies and Victoria has been the home to many significant innovations. These include: Henry Sutton (1856 -1912) a student and later a staff member at the Ballarat School of Mines, whose innovations included experiments with flight, electric light, telephones (Alexander Graham Bell came to visit him) early automobiles and a form of television Arthur James Arnott (1865 -1946) who, here in Melbourne, invented the first electric drill Anthony Michell (1870-1959) a Professor of Engineering at the University of Melbourne. Michell’s thrust bearing is used on almost all large ships to this day, he also innovated in turbine design, the design of cypher machines and engines that did not need crankshafts David Warren (1925-2010) who pioneered the Black Box flight recorder- now essential equipment on all commercial aircraft Graham Clarke, David Dewhurst and team – the bionic ear or cochlear implant (an outstanding commercial success arising from early research work at the University of Melbourne) Grant Petty, Founder of Black Magic Design. Founded in 2001, Black Magic Design is a Melbourne company that designs and builds high quality TV and film cameras. Black Magic Design’s innovative equipment was used in 8 of the last 10 blockbuster movies.

Work skills for the future Whether you are a student deciding what courses to pursue or someone older planning a career change, this article will help you understand that the answer lies in not choosing a job. Instead, it’s about equipping yourself with work skills for the future, where rapid change will see us do many different jobs and require a continual learning journey to access them. Helping Victorians understand the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow’s economy is part of the Digital Innovation Festival (DIF), which aims to foster economic resilience for our state. This article will help you do that, and will show you how to learn more through DIF events too. AN ECONOMY POISED FOR MAJOR CHANGE Our workforce is continually changing and evolving, and technology has long been a major force behind that. But the changes expected over the next 20 years are likely to be unprecedented. Why? Because of a combination of forces that are set to bring greater, faster and different workforce transitions than we have seen in the past[1]. These forces include: Rapid technological change driven by faster computers, greater connectivity, increased data collection and artificial intelligence Disruptive business models, such as Uber and Airbnb, that transform industries, removing the need for some jobs and creating others An increasingly global workforce as more people access tertiary education worldwide and online marketplaces enable anyone, anywhere in the world, to work for Australian-based businesses

WHAT TO EXPECT The future is far from clear but there are some emerging trends that are likely to continue, providing the backdrop for jobs of the future. Larger companies might choose staffing models with a smaller number of staff, supplemented by freelancers Small businesses are likely to grow, benefiting from technology and greater connectivity which makes it easier for them to build reputations and access larger markets Automation will continue affecting jobs, typically those with lower pay and/or less formal education Artificial intelligence could affect many industries, including higher paid ones such as law and medicine, by taking over some tasks and augmenting human involvement in others Diversity and culture will become increasingly important to successful organisations because of the strong connection they have to innovation and productivity carsales Chief People Officer Jo Allan knows first hand the importance of this last point. carsales began as a startup and has grown into an ASX top 100 company with more than 1200 employees in Australia and overseas. “We need to continue innovating to remain relevant,” Jo says. “And to be innovative, we need diversity of thought. Our goal is to be a destination for talent who want to work in a business that is successful not only for its financials but also for its culture.”

Choose a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life - so the saying goes. But how do you do that in a world where work skills seem to be changing?

WORK IN SERVICE SECTORS The end of the mining boom in Australia has coincided with declining job growth in manufacturing and agriculture. On the other hand, service industries are expected to provide job growth into the future. This includes education, healthcare and aged care, with growth in the last two driven partly by Australia’s ageing population.

Digital Springboard is a training program run by Infoxchange in partnership with Google and local education partners to build basic digital skills for tomorrow's jobs

Tahlia Peake tried out the displays at Digi Try 18 at the soon to be home of the Wangaratta Digital Hub [Photo Mel Gray]

The rise of the experience economy - providing millenials with the experiences they value - is likely to cause job growth in services such as customer experience experts, online chaperones, personal trainers and life coaches, and in industries like hospitality and tourism. The creative economy is also likely to continue growing, with jobs in industries such as marketing and design requiring technical skills to augment what individuals can provide. BASIC DIGITAL SKILLS WILL BE ESSENTIAL Digital literacy will soon be as important as basic numeracy and literacy. It means being familiar with the main technologies needed to live, learn and work in society, such as the internet, social media and mobile devices. Even for industries where this might not seem important, such as construction, it will be. For example, in the next few years a builder might need to connect the various smart devices within a home. Being digitally literate doesn’t necessarily mean being up-to-date with all the latest devices, gadgets and programs. It’s more about being able to find information online and adapt to new technologies quickly. This usually comes from being familiar with technology in general, which comes easily to digital natives - people who are growing up using digital technology - while other generations might have to put in more practice. FOCUS ON THE RIGHT TECHNICAL WORK SKILLS It’s easy to assume that in a technologically driven future, all technical skills are worthwhile. To some extent this is true because learning one technical skill usually makes it easier to learn another but with the expected rapidity of change, some technical skills could become outdated very quickly. Nesta in the UK recommends focusing on digital work skills that are used in nonroutine tasks, like problem solving and creativity. For example, learning to use software that creates animations or educational programs. [2]

Minister Philip Dalidakis with student teams at the IoT Hackathon at RMIT with Leap, PTC and ThingWorx

It forecasts that digital skills used for admin purposes, such as payroll or supply chain software, are least likely to grow as these occupations will become automated more easily. [3] Most reports agree that STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) will provide strong employability skills in the coming decades. But they will need to be at the more advanced end, such as scientific research, analysis and technology development, to avoid competing with STEM tasks that can be more easily automated. Entrepreneur and "Hackathon Queen" Michelle Mannering says machine learning, deep learning programming and integrating digital and physical coding will be among the top technical skills needed in the next decade or so.

Bendigo Health Datathon was part of the Bendigo Innovation & Invention Festival (BIIF).

Victoria’s Digital Innovation Festival also provides some great opportunities to learn about technical skills and industries too, including the Digital AI Summit and Blockchain APAC event, where Michelle was MC.

THE TRICK TO DEVELOPING TECHNICAL SKILLS, IS TO START Not everyone wants to develop robots or program computers. And that’s okay. Entrepreneur Michelle Mannering recommends building technology into something you already enjoy. “If you’re in marketing, learn the latest digital marketing platforms, some web coding and social media analytics,” Michelle says. “If you’re a photographer, learn how to use the latest photography software. Whatever area you’re in, or want to be in, learn the latest technology in that industry.” Jo Allan from carsales agrees and adds that for her organisation, it’s more important to have a passion for technology rather than exactly the right technical skill set for a particular role. “We are always willing to teach and develop our people because technology is so fast moving; certain skills can pivot very quickly.” Code Like a Girl Co-founder Vanessa Doake says there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to building tech skills. “Do whatever is within your ability and means. Someone who is self-taught can be just as talented as someone who has spent the last three years in a computer science degree,” Vanessa says. “We also find that people who come along to our events, workshops or coding camps get a new sense of inspiration and determination. Their networks grow and all of a sudden they have access to more opportunities.”

EQUIP YOURSELF WITH ENTERPRISE WORK SKILLS The economic changes that are beginning to unfold as a result of automation, globalisation and more flexible work are making enterprise skills - also known as soft skills increasingly essential. Enterprise skills are transferable employability skills that will help you navigate changing careers across industries and professions, ultimately allowing you to keep working in a changing world. They include: Problem solving Financial literacy Digital literacy Teamwork

Creativity Communication Critical thinking Presentation skills

As entrepreneur Michelle Mannering says, these are the skills that set us apart from others and importantly, from machines. Jo Allan from carsales says enterprise skills are often more important to her business than technical ones. “When we look for talent, we are looking for aptitude and attitude. It is the ability to adapt, embrace change and pivot that are the most essential skills,” Jo says. The Foundation for Young Australians certainly recognises this too. It predicts that jobs of the future will demand these skills 70 per cent more than jobs of the past, and that jobs requiring enterprise skills will pay more too. In Victoria, tertiary students have a unique opportunity to develop work skills for the future through the annual SummerTech Live paid internship. www.summertechlive.vic.gov.au

THE TECH SKILLS PREDICTED TO BE IN HIGH DEMAND Big data analysis: There is expected to be a big shortage in analytical expertise needed to make the most of the opportunities that the rise of big data will create ICT skills in the areas of blockchain, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, data science and cloud management ICT skills that combine technical skills with broader business skills, such as IT project managers, business development managers and business analysts

Digital AI Summit 28 August Donna Thibault, Michelle Mannering, Michael Ngyen, Catherine Lou 2018 [L-R]

COMMIT TO LIFELONG LEARNING While the future is uncertain, there is no doubt that to remain relevant in the workforce we will need to remain committed to learning to take advantage of the opportunities that rapid change will bring. This might sound daunting but it doesn’t mean doing a university degree every five years. As the workforce is changing so too is learning, with qualifications like micro-credentials emerging to recognise employability skills at different levels, including enterprise skills, without a prohibitive cost or time involvement. There are many ways to learn about events and information that will help steer your lifelong work skills journey. Entrepreneur networks such as Startup Victoria and LaunchVic are good places to find out what's available. Professional development programs with non-traditional education provider General Assembly and Academy Xi both provide short courses to update skills from coding, digital marketing and human-centred design. Coworking spaces often host workshops and panel discussions about the latest trends. Creative Geelong hosted 12 events at their Makers Hub as part of the 2018 DIF [L-R]. Brad Kitschke: Opportunities for FinTech in Regional Victoria. Zoe Hollingsworth: Creating Video for Impact. Adam Lloyd: Why Blockchain is more than Bitcoin and Kathy Reid: Intro to Voice Technology. www.creativegeelong.com.au #DIFvic ONLINE EVENTS A special 5-part webinar series was presented exclusively for 2018 Digital Innovation and Small Business Festivals. Internationally recognised Online Business & Personal Branding Coach, Mary Henderson shared her insights on entrepreneurship and digital marketing with than 300 people across the series. Online Tips & Tricks To Save Your Business Time was extremely popular as was the How To Find Your Personal Trademark. Feedback such as "I’ve attended a lot of online courses and presentations about online business, but they always focus on what I should be doing (t he process). Mary focuses on me (the personal). I cannot tell you how valuable that was," showed that there is a need for entrepreneurs to continue their professional development as an integral part of their business strategy. An extension of the DIF Hub was the launch of an online events series, broadcast in real time via Webinars and Facebook Live or on demand. These online events ensured that people located outside Melbourne’s CBD could access Festival content. DIF Online Events covered a range of topics such as digital careers, smart cities, women in digital business and blockchain technology. The events reached a wide audience and created a library of content which can be reused outside the period of the Festival to encourage engagement with digital innovation year-round.

Mary Henderson's webinars are available on our YouTube channel http://bit.ly/DIFtvMaryHenderson

Workplaces of the Future

Workplaces of the future will have to work hard to attract the top talent and diversity they will need to be innovative and successful in a rapidly changing digital world. As part of Victoria’s Digital Innovation Festival (DIF), we asked some industry leaders for their take on how organisations can do this. Here’s what they had to say. carsales Chief People Officer Jo Allan

WORK180 Co-founder & CEO Valeria Ignatieva

When carsales was founded in 1997, it disrupted the traditional model of classified print advertising. Since then, it has grown into an ASX 100 company with more than 1200 employees in Australia and overseas.

WORK180 is a jobs board that pre-screens employers on paid parental leave, pay equity and flexible working arrangements to help women find jobs that will support their growth and development.

Q. How have you built your company culture?

Q. What holds employers back when it comes to attracting skilled women?

We have strived to build a culture that balances the agility and fast pace of a startup with the positive things about being an ASX 100 organisation. As a business built on innovation and disruption, we want these values to evolve from within. One of the ways we encourage innovation is through our hackathons. Twice a year we give our team creative freedom to spend three days generating concepts and working prototypes to benefit the company, our clients and all of the people using our sites. To be innovative, we need diversity of thought which is why we have such a strong focus on diversity within our business.

Talented women in the technical space have scores of companies trying to hire them, so employers need to be competitive and really show what they have to offer in terms of paid parental leave, flexible working options and positive cultures with proper commitments to diversity. There is also an issue with many employers wanting senior technical staff, and not being willing to invest in graduates or juniors. Job ads that require years of experience in particular technologies could be missing out on amazing talent. Talented engineers can pick up most tech stacks quickly and thrive if employers invest in them.

Q. What makes a great place to work? A place where people are supported to do their best work in a fun, friendly and trusting environment, where they contribute to the organisation’s success. There are so many aspects to a great workplace, such as great leadership, engagement, a personalised employee experience, a compelling vision for the future and much more. Ultimately, it’s about people loving where they work and being inspired to do their best work. Q. What do you look for when hiring? We look for someone who is talented at what they do, has a sense of humour, is flexible and is comfortable with agility. We put a huge emphasis on finding talent, internally and externally. People want to work with other talented people so we want to attract great talent who want to continue to learn and evolve. We know that if we bring in the right people with the right attitude and capacity to learn, they will flourish.

Q. How do you see this changing in the next 10 years or so? Tech companies are going to get bigger and bigger. Their teams need to grow at a fast pace - some doubling or tripling in just a year - and to be successful, they’ll need to attract the most skilled employees. Companies will need to provide environments that support work and life, and offers more than just money. Flexible initiatives of paid parental and carers leave, investment in personal budgets for annual training, self care and green commuting. Q. What’s the single most important thing women will want from their work in the next 10 years and why? Candidates and employees will ditch organisations in a heartbeat if they’re not what they thought they were. Transparency is key. All the research supports common sense on this - organisations need to be upfront from their job ads onwards about the reality of their diversity challenges and show how (and why) they’re changing.

Using technology for real social impact A POWERFUL FORCE FOR GOOD – THE COMBINED STRENGTH OF DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIAL INVESTMENT Using digital technology to solve complex social problems is relatively new concept – but it’s an approach that’s gaining real momentum around the world. Here in Victoria, a multitude of tech entrepreneurs and social services are turning tech into a powerful social-change ally. These people are putting digital tools to work in solving all kinds of complex social problems, from homelessness to family violence, and from disaster relief to issues faced by people with disabilities. Given that social problems involve people, the digital world may seem an unlikely place to start looking for solutions to our unique and complex problems. But the combined power of big data and artificial intelligence can deliver finely nuanced and carefully tailored approaches to mapping, measuring, managing and mitigating even the most complex social issues. POWERFUL NEW TOOLS DESIGNED TO SUPPORT SOCIAL CHANGE So for most digital innovators developing social-change products and solutions, the biggest challenge is not the intricacies of society or humanity. For most innovators creating new technologies, the biggest challenge is often awareness. Socio-tech entrepreneurs and philanthropists know what is possible, but their field is a new one so most of the rest of us – and especially people outside the social-change sector, such as corporates and venture capitalists – have no idea these powerful change-enabling tools exist. And this is where the Victorian Government’s Digital Innovation Festival (DIF) comes in, and in particular, the Social Innovation Tech Summit. CONNECTING TECHNOLOGY WITH OUR NEW, PURPOSE-DRIVEN CULTURE “Purpose-driven business used to be a marketing-type trend, but now it’s becoming more of a market demand. More customers and employees are questioning organisations, saying: ‘What are you doing to make this world a better place? Because if you’re not doing anything, I don’t want to know you, buy from you or work for you,” Megan explains. “So, the summit can help organisations leverage this purpose-driven culture, giving them a competitive advantage in whichever market and industry they’re in.” As someone who has been immersed in the digital innovation sector for many years, Megan knows cross-sector collaboration is an integral part of social innovation. “And yet,” she says, “Our vehicle for cross-sector collaboration is fundamentally flawed because we have no idea who’s doing what, where they’re doing it, why they’re doing it, who they’re collaborating with or what could we learn from them.” So right now, we have a corporate sector looking to create real social value, many industry sectors unaware of new technology being developed specifically to help them, and start-up digital entrepreneurs unsure how to connect with potential partners. This is why the Social Innovation Tech Summit is such a valuable opportunity for people working in all kinds of industries.

ADDING VALUE THROUGH USING TECH FOR GOOD As social responsibility becomes a clear market force, Megan says the summit was especially valuable for corporates who have not been exposed to the types of technology being applied to social issues right now. “When corporates recognise digital innovators are offering real opportunities for effective collaboration, both with not-for-profits and social entrepreneurs, these corporates can go beyond their everyday CSR strategies. They can align their CSR activities with opportunities to solve really big social problems – and support projects that are aligned with their brand values,” says Megan. GROW YOUR SOCIAL INVESTMENT IMPACT WITH ADVICE FROM THE EXPERTS “Summit attendees – including those from all sectors – will come out with practical tips and strategies for growing their impact,” is how Megan puts it. “All summit thought leaders are all going to talk about what they’re doing within their organisations with digital inclusion, shared value, preparing for the future of work, data for impact, measurement and evaluation – and lots more. . The summit will model the kind of world it wants to create – a superinclusive and collaborative world. A two-way conversation between audience and speakers will be conducted throughout. “Everyone in the room will have a digital tool for sharing what’s happening for them, what they think about the on-stage discussions, and for asking questions as the discussion progresses,” Megan says SHOWCASING AUSTRALIA’S INNOVATIVE SOCIO-TECH THINKERS AND DEVELOPERS The summit showcased more than 30 socio-tech entrepreneurs and innovative leaders, each sharing insights on how innovative digital technology can help change lives for the better. And on how organisations can help put this tech to work in positive ways. The focus is on making information accessible to all, from tech gurus to complete newbies, so case studies and practical examples will be used throughout. Examples of speakers on the day included Max Lynam, whose start-up, Impactful AI, is developing a tool to improve the measurement and evaluation of social outcomes for not-for-profits and aid organisations, assisted by machine learning and artificial intelligence Also presenting was David Spriggs, CEO of Infoxchange – a Melbourne based not-for-profit social enterprise that’s been delivering technology for social justice for more than 25 years. “We've provided 7,500 community organisations with tools to improve efficiency and deliver greater social impact on both national and local-scale projects,” David explains. Infoxchange also supports the Australian Digital Inclusion Alliance, an initiative working to empower disadvantaged people through better digital access, in partnership with corporates and universities.

Megan Wright, a socio-tech entrepreneur and President of the Social Innovation Network, the summit’s organiser, says a more collective approach to harnessing technologies for solving social problems is the way forward. And by collective, Megan means everyone. “All industries can benefit from the innovative work happening in this sector – and if we work together we can develop better understandings of how to lead a more sustainable future together,” Megan says. “We’re steering away from buzzwords and abstract concepts – we want to inspire and excite people. Attendees of the Social Innovation Tech Summit will leave with a head full of ideas, new and interesting contacts and a fresh perspective on how technology can deliver social benefits,” says Megan.

HOW HACKERS, ACTIVISTS, GOVERNMENT AND CORPORATES ARE FINDING COMMON GROUND Kelly Hutchinson [above], founder of Digital Social Innovation Australia (DSI4AU) was the summit’s keynote speaker. An international expert on digital social innovation, Kelly shared her deep knowledge on the power of digital technology to drive social change. “The plan was to take people on a journey,” Kelly says. “Together we explored both global and local examples, perspectives and experiences from within this emerging field.” Like Megan, Kelly sees inclusion and collaboration as key drivers of digital innovation. Kelly says she is most excited by the fact “hackers and community activists are now working together with corporates and all levels of government, joining forces to address issues that matter to all of us.” MAPPING AUSTRALIA’S RICH TECH-FOR-GOOD LANDSCAPE Social-change-focused collaborations are something both Megan and Kelly would like to see more of, and Kelly is taking steps to make connecting with like-minded people easier. “I see many different activities happening – but what’s getting developed in one place might already be developed by somebody else. So I’m putting a lot of energy into building a DSI4AU crowdmap of Australia’s digital social innovation projects.” With a map, Kelly says it will be easy to see what’s happening in the socio-tech sector, including “where it’s happening; who funds it; who's doing it; who’s driving it and who will benefit. With this tool, we can connect people working on related projects, and share learnings and do things better,” Kelly explains. Kelly says Victoria is well-placed to lead the socio-tech charge. “We have a really long history of philanthropy here: we have a corporate sector that’s committed to social responsibility; and the use of private wealth for public good, via foundations and community giving. And we’re now seeing these new developments in the intersection between technology and philanthropy. “This trend is happening worldwide – but in Melbourne – and across Victoria – there’s this coalescence between our culture of giving and our focus on digital innovation,” Kelly says.

DATA FOR IMPACT panel at the inaugural Social Innovation Tech Summit Rosa Thompson, Project Manager at ConsenSys APAC [L] Max Lynam, Co-Founder and CEO, Impactful Ventures [R]. "The sharing economy really spoke to me... But whatI saw over the last 10 years was that the ideals were being compromised by the central ownership of our data... the monopolization of this data means centralisation of power... I believe in the potential of blockchain because it provides the opportunity to own our own data." Rosa Thompson. [Paraphrased @newvoteaustralia]

Inclusive Innovation BLOCKCHAIN FOR SOCIAL IMPACT is an emerging field and a complex landscape to navigate. As part of DIF2018 Chris Zhong, Digital Industry X.0 Blockchain Lead, Accenture and president of Blockchain Philanthropy Foundation, a non-profit organisation focus on promoting Blockchain technology for humanitarian causes. Chris is passionate about leading edge of computing technology and is active in the global blockchain scene, especially for enterprise applications and social inclusion. Chris spoke at the Blockchain APAC conference and the Blockchain for Social Impact session at the DIF Hub Blockchain Day.

INCLUSIVE INNOVATION: LEVERAGING THE EMERGING MAKER MOVEMENT was hosted by Ballarat Tech School, TOM Melbourne & Ballarat Hackerspace on 3 Sep 2018. A creative Q & A session led by a diverse panel of expert social impact leaders who will share their personal stories and insights into rapid prototyping techniques and digital fabrication allowing for global openinnovation processes of designing and creating solutions for neglected needs of people living with disabilities and other disadvantaged individuals in the community. Sally McArthur, Swinburne University; Ryan Tilley, TOM: Melbourne (Maker). Robert Layton, Ballarat Hackerspace; Beau Vernon, TOM: Melbourne (Need Knower) and Kylie Appel, TOM: Melbourne [L-R]

DIF HUB DIGITAL HEALTH DAY, Leo Tam, from NVIDIA [R] presented a deep dive on how machine learning and AI have enormous potential for medical applications. Sharing his expertise as Solutions Architect and Deep Learning Community Manager, part of the NALA-based, World Wide Field Organization (WWFO). Leo was previously at Stanford’s School of Medicine, and as a leader in R&D, he holds multiple patents for MRI machine learning and encoding methods developed at the Yale University School of Medicine where he earned his PhD.

Regional Growth In preparation for DIF2018 the DIF team travelled across the State to meet and engage with local stakeholders at five locations: Bendigo, Geelong, Ballarat, Traralgon and Wangaratta during May-June 2018. Supported by the regional network of Victorian Government Business Offices the roadshow raised awareness of DIF and of the opportunity to engage with digital innovation more generally. Local stakeholders including Victoria's Regional Partnerships were involved. This activated local chambers of commerce, libraries and community centres, education networks, coworking spaces and local government agencies and business groups to create their local 'DIF'. Regional Development Victoria officers ensured that eight of Victoria’s nine Regional Partnerships engaged actively with DIF2018, expanding the Festival’s reach to a wider regional audience. Regional stakeholders were encouraged and sponsored to drive and deliver a range of activities that met their local priorities and aligned with their emerging Digital Plans. Ultimately 25 regional locations hosted events as part of DIF2018 representing an increase of around 80% in participating regional locations over DIF2017. The events were varied in focus and reflected DIF goals and local digital plans and priorities, while actively engaging many of the State’s key industry sectors. Regional Victoria was host to over 120 events in 25 locations, engaging an estimated 3,000 individuals across the state, as part of DIF2018. A total of 45 regional events were financially supported by CRCP, including six sponsorships, 35 Regional Partnerships events and four events celebrating the opening and closing of the Festival. The DIF online events platform enabled a further 80 regional events to be crowdsourced and profiled to a wide audience.

Regional Events Highlights AGTECH ON MY FARM – a workshop at Rupunyap for farmers to learn more about the power of data collection and application in the agriculture sector BENDIGO INNOVATION & INVENTION FESTIVAL – attracted more than 600 people across the four main activities including a two-day Symposium, the Festival of Failure, a design jam and a datathon [L] BINARY SHIFT – Gippsland regional entrepreneurship conference expanded in its 2nd year doubled their audience and added a Gala Dinner DIGI TRY 18 – an expo of tech tools and educational applications for students at Wangaratta’s GoTAFE DIGITAL YOU – a careers afternoon for 60 local secondary students at Bairnsdale LLEN with games development workshops and hands-on activities from Monash University’s SensiLab and Girl Geek Academy [Top] FUTURE GUIDE – Visit Ballarat's with Mt Clear College students programmed a humanoid robot guide (middle photo credit Kate Healy) FUTURE OF RETAIL – a dedicated workshop with local traders to explore online business strategies hosted by the Benalla Rural City Council INNOVATION COMMUNITY – a series of events activating local coworking spaces in Horsham, Ballarat and Shepparton NORTH EAST DIGITAL INNOVATION CONFERENCE AND EXPO – held in Wodonga offering workshops and information sessions to small business owners and entrepreneurs to support technology adoption. Major Anne Steelie, City of Wodonga opened the festivities. USING QR CODES – a session hosted by the Colac Chamber of Commerce for the tourism sector describing how local companies can benefit from mobile technologies to enhance the visitor experience LA TROBE WOMEN IN BUSINESS – Keynote speaker Professor Fiona Wood AM shared her career and life journey and the Gippsland Women's Business Network raised $10,000 for the Fiona Wood Foundation [L]

'Discover Digital Victoria' Regional Media Hungry for success stories, regional media outlets picked up on the opportunity to feature technology in their local economies. The DIF showcased how digital innovation can help build job opportunities and revitalise regional communities. This resulted in significant media coverage across TV, radio, print and online.

David Hughes BIIF podcast interview [Top L] Bec ABC Radio Gippsland Binary Shift [Top R] Jen Cromarty from Creative Geelong on Bay939FM [Bottom L] Local Gippsland MP Harriet Shing and Elena Kelareva at Binary Shift [Bottom R]

Discover Digital Victoria from Ballarat to Bairnsdale, Warragul to Wodonga. The Digital Innovation Festival runs August 24 to September 7. An initiative of the Victorian State Government. Find out more at dif.vic.gov.au

#DIFvicRegional DIF2018 also saw the first radio advertising campaign undertaken. TRSN Regional Radio Package had 100+ radio spots on 12 stations in 10 regional towns: Albury-Wodonga, Ballarat, Colac, Geelong, Hamilton, Horsham, Sale, Bairnsdale, Swan Hill, Warrnambool and Wangaratta.

Global Business Connections DIF2018 engaged international tech communities and created an environment that attracted international events including Magnify World and Blockchain APAC which featured speakers from top tech companies globally. Additionally, technology experts were attracted to attend and speak at local events across the State exposing Victorian communities to thought leadership in relation to digital innovation. The experience was so positive that many of the international speakers have expressed interest in returning for DIF2019.

Global Tech Leaders Dialogue' AIIA and Victorian Government Working with the Victorian Government Trade and Investment Offices around the world, DIF2018 attracted international visitors from at least 12 countries. A key event for many of these visitors was the 3rd annual Global Tech Leaders Dialogue (GTLD), hosted by the Victorian Government in partnership with the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA). The GTLD is a tech diplomacy initiative that positions Melbourne as the ideal location for open discussions about the impact of technology on represented economies. The event is an opportunity for technology leaders from participating governments and industry to share challenges, discuss opportunities, examine effective policy instruments and build relationships. It also showcases Victoria and the vibrancy of our digital innovation ecosystem.

‘Melbourne Tech City’ International Advertising Campaign DIF2018 presented the perfect backdrop for the launch for the Melbourne Tech City campaign. 1.08 million views of video interviews with Melbourne Tech Leaders and 209 media outlets picked up the story with a potential audience of 10 million. Some may well have found the DIF website as they searched for more info on Melbourne, which may explain why US based visitors were the highest cohort outside of Australia.

'Victorian Invitation Program' Trade & Investment DIF2018 created an attractive opportunity for interstate and overseas tech companies to visit Victoria. Working with Trade Victoria a targeted invitation program to international delegations was developed which resulted in delegations from Malaysia and Singapore. Secretary Richard Bolt hosted the Global Tech Leaders Reception to over 150 industry leaders.

Pivot City and Cyberjaya Partnership A highlight of DIF2018’s international engagement program was a visit by a delegation from Malaysia and the announcement and signing of an Innovation Partnership between Pivot City, Geelong and Cyberjaya, Malaysia. (Photo Digital News Asia)

Building networks Over 15,000 people participated in this year's DIF and every individual is important as they played their part in showing the commitment to driving the digital economy. The DIF inspired researchers, entrepreneurs, business people, associations, regional communities, educational institutions, local, state and federal government representatives and existing and potential international investors to discover what digital innovation means to them, their business and their industry. DIF recognises the many and varied representatives who contributed their time, passion, knowledge and networks as event hosts, speakers, sponsors and participants. We can truly do more in collaboration and DIF is a unique opporunity to bring people together to explore Victoria's digital innovation frontiers.

Sector Growth

Sharing the Entrepreneurial Journey

DIF isn't just for the local tech sector, it is about the application of digital technology and the opportunity it presented for business innovation, productivity growth, process efficiencies and enhanced competitiveness. Sectors engaged included agriculture, aged care, transport, tourism, digital health, creative industries, fashion, education, retail, financial services, food, advanced manufacturing, disability services, local government, new energy, small business and youth employment.

Yeah Nah LaunchVic annual summit returned for the 2nd year as a major event of DIF. The theme 'Building Founding Teams' brought together the very best of Victoria’s startup community, to be vulnerable and share their stories, including the ups and downs of building their founding teams. See more pics at LaunchVic on Flickr.

Hackathons making connections Hackathons attracted significant interest as part of DIF2018. Melbourne students solved problems for local businesses at the RMIT IoT Hackathon and whilst regional Victorians connected around data at the Bendigo Health Datathon. Ballarat GovHack involved hackers, hustlers, hipsters and hybrids in a competition to use open data to create new solutions for government. GovHack was held across Australia and New Zealand on the final weekend of DIF2018. MAVHack, hosted by the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV) focused on the issues of Transport - optimising technology to enhance roads; and Jobs and Business Creation - for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal citizens who want to live and work locally in Morwell and Geelong.

Startup Victoria's Above All Human biennial conference returned to feature in DIF2018. On a refreshing Melbourne morning on Wednesday 29 August, a few thousand humans gathered at the iconic Royal Exhibition Building for a day of inspiration #aah18.

Promoting Tech Events & Entrepreneurs DIF is designed to showcase and develop the quality of the State’s technology capability whilst stimulating awareness of the number of technology related activities happening organically across the State and encouraging engagement with those activities. DIF builds on and nurtures a grassroots movement already existing and seeks to make it discoverable and accessible to all Victorians while inviting participation from national and international audiences.

Website & Online Events Portal DIF2018 achieved significant growth in number of events and audience reach. This growth was largely due to the launch of a dedicated DIF website www.dif.vic.gov.au. The website attracted over 30,000 monthly views and was instrumental in raising the profile of DIF2018 to new audiences. The website hosted the DIF online events portal which was developed and delivered by local Melbourne SME, Everi. Everi’s AI-driven platform enabled the organising and categorising of DIF2018 events and allowed for the expansion of the crowdsourced program by 75% over DIF2017. Event host organisations were able to post and self-manage their events directly, saving time and resources. Events were categorised and searchable by a wider audience of potential participants. The result was that over the two-week period of DIF2018 more than 400 events were promoted. These events were held in many locations all across the State and included such activities as award ceremonies, major international events, investment roundtables, careers sessions, demonstrations, conferences, expos, product launches, hackathons, debates and hands-on workshops. Feedback from event hosts suggests that event audience numbers were significantly enhanced by promotion through the DIF Online Events Portal.

'DIF Champions' Mindset + Audience + Making a DIF Showcasing our local talent was central to the Festival's strategic messaging for 2018. Profiling the people who live, work and play in Victoria, the DIF Champions campaign shared stories via video or interviews of key festival contributors. These videos formed the basis for social media contemt and launched the DIF YouTube channel. Michelle Mannering 'Hackathon Queen' was a 2018 DIF Champion promoting #DIFvic in her weekly #MishList to over 3,000 followers in the startup, e-sports, gamer and hacker communities. Other DIF Champions included Wayne Fitzsimmons AO, Pearcey Foundation Chair, Jon Quidim from the Blockchain Centre and Mary Henderson, Online Branding legend. Many more industry leaders were involved and will continue to be featured on DIF.tv.

Shining a light on Australian Innovation

For the past 25 years, the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) has been driving an innovation nation through their iAwards program. The iAwards is Australia's longest running and most broadly scoped innovation recognition program, promoting excellence in the Australian digital ecosystem from the likes of Google Maps, Atlassian, Wotif and WiseTech Global. The iAwards unearths, recognises and rewards excellence in Australian innovation that is making a difference and has the potential to create positive change for the community – whether this is at home, in the office or on a global scale. iAwards submissions are accepted from innovators across the whole Australian economy, whether you are an individual, a group, a government or private organisation, or a student. Since 2008 the National iAwards have been held in Melbourne. This pinnacle event in the iAwards calendar consists of a series of collaborative events, which showcase the inspiring achievements of our home-grown innovators. This year they attracted 600 entries this year from startups, government, corporates and students from across the nation. For three days winners and merit recipients represent their State or Territory pitching to a panel of expert judges. The winners National iAwards winners and merit recipients can go on to the Asia Pacific ICT Awards. With the support and participation of 16 member-countries from the Asia Pacific region, the annual APICTA competition, where all entrants are already winners of ICT related award schemes in member economies, is regarded as a quality, prestigious and ‘best-of-the-best’ award. It offers top innovators and technologies the opportunity to shine on a global platform, and pitch for the chance to receive a highly coveted international ICT award. The iAwards are part of Victoria's Digital Innovation Festival which will run until 9 September celebrating the talent and ideas that give Victoria's digital tech industry its distinctive edge. Victoria is Australia's technology hub, with the industry generating more than A$34 billion in annual revenue, employing more than 83,000 people in around 8,000 companies and exporting A$3 billion annually.

iAwards 2018 Inspiration Award

Nurturing tomorrow's tech talent

Great celebration followed the announcement of the “best of the best” Inspiration Award for 2018 which went to Victorian company, Blamey Saunders Pty Ltd for its product Facett, the world's first modular, self-fit and rechargeable hearing aids. Photo of the winning team with Minister Dalidakis.

Lily Taylor, Summer Batch, Ruby Macpherson and Mia Carrabin. The pupils from St Josephs Catholic Primary School Como created an app to help girls between the ages of five to 12, “return to happiness.” won the National Junior School iAward

Congratulations to all the Victorian iAwards 2018 Finalists Victorian iAwards Winners Undergraduate Tertiary Students – CollabHero by Deakin University Startup of the Year – Language Your Way Research and Development Project of the Year - Spark Bushfire Modelling & Analytics Toolkit byCSIRO's Data61 Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System by Blamey Saunders Hears Research and Development Project of the Year - Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System by Blamey Saunders Hears Big Data Innovation of the Year - Real-Time Health Emergency Monitoring System by Department of Health and Human Seres Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning Innovation of the Year - Deakin Genie by Deakin University Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning Innovation of the Year - Asset Prediction System by City of Casey & M innovation Industrial and Primary Industries - Uninterruptible Power Supply for Rail Signalling by Metro Trains Melbourne Business Service Markets - SalesPreso Senior Students - Movement Impeding Dee: A Biomedical Apparatus by John Monash Science School Junior Students - LSH (Life Support Helmet) Mark1 by Great Ryrie Primary School Public Sector and Government - Gateway Prison Operating System by Dialog & The GEO Group Australia Community Services Markets - Facett: A Modular Self-fit Hearing Aid System by Blamey Saunders Hears Consumer Markets - Digital iD by Australia Post

Victorian iAwards Merit Recipients Undergraduate Tertiary Students – FireFly by Victoria University Startup of the Year - Health Delivered Startup of the Year – Connexus by Bayshann Research and Development Project of the Year Bendigo Funding Finder by GrantGuru & City of Greater Bendigo Infrastructure and Platforms Innovation of the Year Music Therapy in Virtual Environments by University of Melbourne Big Data Innovation of the Year - MineExcellence Products - BIMS, BLADES & Smart Blasting App MineExcellence Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning Innovation of the Year - Injured Workers Claims Assistant by DXC Technology Public Sector and Government - Real-Time Health Emergency Monitoring System by Department of Health and Human Seres Business Service Markets - Prism Horse Racing Management by Prism Pay Business Service Markets - PaperCut by MF Consumer Markets - MineExcellence Products - BIMS, BLADES & Smart Blasting App Community Service Markets - Chirality-2 by RMIT University Public Sector and Government - CALD Assist [Pic below of Victorian iAwards winners 7 May 2018]

Victoria State Government Major National iAwards Partner Melbourne is the home of the AIIA iAwards since 2008

Innovation Community program ran across the state throughout DIF. Kicking off the festival with a tour of Melbourne coworking spaces in Richmond, CBD and Footscray (L). Lead by Tayor Tran, the first Innovation Coworking Summit was held at Launchpad Cremorne with leaders and community builders from Victoria and beyond (M). The tailored program brought together industry leaders, investors, community builders and entrepreneurs to explore partnerships opportunities. The weekend wrapped up with visit to Eynesbury for presentations on AgTech and IoT and some exciting racing Eastside First Person View (FPV) club is the largest FPV drone racing club in Australia (R).

Stories from those who make the DIF The 2018 DIF Hub, located at ‘Curate Space’ in Little Collins Street, hosted 22 sessions over the 2 weeks of DIF2018. Continuing an initiative that was trialled in DIF2017, the DIF Hub provided an accessible option for people to participate in the Festival, without having to outlay funds for larger events. This model attracted students, startups and freelancers and allowed them to taste and explore various workshops and panel events. The affordability of the venue and program offered participants a co-working space in the CBD for $20 (day pass) or attendance bite-sized 90-minute sessions ($5 each). Each day had a theme ranging from Event Tech [L], Blockchain [M], Digital Careers, Smart Cities, Skilled Migration [R], Digital Health and more.

Inside the DIF 2018 ezine captures the essence of what DIF is all about the people involved and the difference they make with tech in a digital world.

Behind the camera @ DIFhub Curate Space

Binary Shift Reunion

Laptop + coffee = DIF

Today Show film crew @MagnifyWorld MCEC Big Mouth team @theiAwards

iAwards celebrates 25 years of Australian digital innovation

@KathyCoultas top Tweeter #DIFvic @Pearcey_org Oration

Victorian Connection interviewing Monash University Senislab

Phil Ore Marketing Entourage @Yeah Nah

Sarah Moran Geek Girl Academy & chicken on roadtrip back from Bairnsdale.

Margot Ingoldby DIFvic, Sally McArthur Swinburne, Kylie Appel TOM Melbourne, Tamara van Noort RDV at Ballarat Tech School Inclusive Innovation [L-R]

Team DIF @kelhutchinson Harlan Wilkerson @simoneguin














The Digital Innovation Festival is an initiative of the State Government of Victoria www.dif.vic.gov.au dif@ecodev.vic.gov.au @difvic

Profile for Digital Innovation Festival Victoria

Inside the DIF 2018 ezine