We’re bringing you the first in a series of travel notes from interesting locations across the globe. Uno de Waal, publisher of 10and5, is visiting Melbourne for two weeks in February to explore the creative industry there.

When I first had a look at Pause Fest in Melbourne it seemed like a mix of Design Indaba and SXSW. Billed as one of the coolest, most innovative conferences in Australia (and by the line-up, I’d venture to say a little wider), it certainly has a massive reputation to live up to.

In the past, Pause Fest has had many of the first launches for local companies and innovative products. The theme for this year is “Discover your future self”, with the focus on understanding the ways that business, technology and creativity intersect. The conference spans 3 days, with each day focusing on one specific theme. There are also a host of other (free) events to attend in the area, which take place from 8-14 February. 

Below are some of the talks I’m most looking forward to.

Photo: www.olisansom.com

Day 1, 10 Feb:

There’s a really great thread of female creativity running through the conference. On day 1, VICE Australia’s Alice Kimberly looks into New Frontiers in Female Culture, unpacking “Femvertising” and looking at the large disparity in female representation in the media and advertising industry.

The team from IE Agency will lead the panel discussion on a Start-up Within a Start-up, taking you through some experiences of building a successful product in the US and some lessons from that.

Luke van O’s talk is titled Wally was Wrong and is about the rules and values of strategic branding.

Photo: www.olisansom.com

Day 2, 11 Feb:

Day 2 is the tech stream, with most of the talks revolving around building or producing something in the tech world. Iain Nealie, Creative Director at Google Zoo, is speaking on the dependent relationship between technology and creative – specifically how to balance an idea and execution.

One for the urban planners out there – a pretty impressive line-up of panelists will be on the Get Onboard the Smart City panel, with speakers talking about ICT, the internet of things, sustainability and what that means for our future cities.

For the talk, The best Technology is Invisible, Stefan Hajkowicz looks at what people from the future want from their gadgets. As tech becomes a larger part of our lives and plays a bigger role in how we interact with each other, what does that mean for real world interaction? The implication for experiences and interactions become massive as people seek out these authentic moments.

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Day 3, 12 Feb:

On the 3rd day, delegates are treated to a day of business, to learn how to better start, run and disrupt a creative business. First up, James Law from Envato talks about how to create experiences people love in organisations. We’ve all heard about the things tech companies like Google are implementing, and James will share some of the lessons from their company.

Following on culture, a panel discussion talks on surviving and thriving through business transformation. The panel leads into another discussion on the modern workplace – a question on how to design these spaces for better happiness.

One of the latest talks of the conference is Start-ups are big business. Can Big business please startup?. We’ve seen a massive growth in services that operate on the periphery of the start-up culture in South Africa, but how can big business’s also incorporate the models and lessons from lean start-ups, MVP’s and hacks to boost growth and grow their customer base?

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Other things to look out for:

While the conference is packed with talks, the fringe events happening around Pause Fest are just as exciting.

Battle of the Reels: a VX battle for students showcasing work and getting feedback from industry professionals.

Clemenger Creative Incubator: A pitching session for start-ups.

Tesla Motors Display: Take a ride in a Tesla! Hell yeah.

Yarra River Listening: Put your headphones in and walk along the Yarra river while you listen to geo-tagged content.

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For a full line-up of all the speakers and events, check out the Pause Festival Schedule.

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